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    The Six Million Dollar Man

    The Six Million Dollar Man

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    ABC (ended 1978)
    "Steve Austin, astronaut, a man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, we have the technology. We have the capability to make the worlds first Bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better. Stronger. Faster." This series chronicles the adventures of Steve Austin, cybernetically enhanced astronaut turned secret agent employed by the OSI under the command of Oscar Goldman and supervised by the scientist who created his cybernetics, Rudy Wells. Steve uses the superior strength and speed provided by his bionic arm and legs, and the enhanced vision provided by his artificial eye, to fight enemy agents, aliens, mad scientists, and a wide vareity of other villains.moreless
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    The Real Ghostbusters

    The Real Ghostbusters

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    ABC (ended 1991)
    The Real Ghostbusters continues where the first movie left off, with the four Ghostbusters facing forces of the supernatural. Helping out the Ghostbusters would be their secretary, Janine Melnitz, and (eventually) Louis Tully. Also joining in would be the green ghost busted at the Sedgewick Hotel in the first movie, which was given the name Slimer.moreless
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    The Bionic Woman Classic

    The Bionic Woman Classic

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    ABC (ended 1978)
    In 1975 Lindsay Wagner made a guest appearance on The Six Million Dollar Man as a perfect female companion for Steve Austin - Jaime Sommers. After a tragic skydiving accident, Jaime also received bionic replacements. She and Steve planned to be married, but it came to pass that Jaime's body rejected her new limbs and she died.

    ABC realized how phenomenally successful Lindsay Wagner's portrayal of Jaime Sommers had become. So, they brought her back to life and spun her off into her own series. It debuted in January 1976 and was an immediate hit. The series ran on ABC for two seasons and was picked up by NBC for its final season. In Spanish the title is known La mujer biónica, though in in regions speaking the Catalan dialect, it is called La dona bionica. In Italy it is called La donna bionica. In Portuguese it is called A Mulher Biônica. In French it is called Super Jaimie. In Germany it is called Die Sieben Millionen Dollar Frau ("The Seven Million Dollar Woman"). In Japan it is called Baionikku Jiemi ("Bionic Jaime").moreless
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    The Jetsons

    The Jetsons

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    ABC (ended 1987)
    With the success of The Flintstones, the modern Stone Age family, Hanna-Barbera decided to make a similar family cartoon, but set in their vision of the Space Age in the 21st century. This new series that debuted September 23, 1962 became The Jetsons. Set mainly in sky-high Orbit City, the show featured the family of George Jetson, Jane, his wife, their daughter Judy, and son Elroy living the average life in the future with flying space cars, instant transport tubes, and various robots and gadgets than can get their work done for them in a matter of seconds.

    George brought in the family income by working at Spacely Space Sprockets, run by his stocky, ill-tempered boss Cosmo Spacely, who's usually quick to fire George for any reason he could find. But somehow, he always managed to get his job back and continue supporting his family. He works as an indexer and is teamed with his helpful computer R.U.D.I. Other than the threats of firing by Spacely, George would also have to worry about any schemes carried out by Mr. Spacely's top business rival W.C. Cogswell, owner and president of Cogswell Cogs. If there's a dispute between the two businessmen, it's almost certain George would wind up in the middle of it. Most times, though, things always worked out in the end.

    Jane is the housewife who tends to the home, but loves to shop for the latest fashions and various items that can be a help to the family, like new gadgets that can help them in new ways. She's assisted by the family's robot maid Rosey (which can also be spelled Rosie). She's one of the older-fashioned models compared to most of the advanced robot maids of the future, but the Jetsons love her and regard her as a member of the family.

    Judy is the Jetsons' teenage daughter who attends Orbit High School and goes for the latest teen fashions, trends, and music, and seems to have a different boyfriend in most episodes. If she's lucky, she can even wind up dating a celebrity, like her favorite rock star Jet Screamer, much to her father's chagrin.

    Elroy is the Jetsons' genius son who attends Little Dipper Elementary School and is a straight-A student. He's a part-time inventor and can make new creations in hope to make a better future, and if fortunate, a little money on the side. But most times, he likes to be an average boy by playing various sports, and with his faithful companion, the family's dog Astro, who at times is overly affectionate, and can annoy George at times. But like Rosey, he's regarded as a member of the family.

    The Jetsons reside at the Skypad Apartments, which are properly cared for by superintendant Henry Orbit, who like Elroy is a mechanical genius. At times, he can invent gadgets that can help him with his maintenance work. His greatest accomplishment is his robot assistant Mac, who can get his work at the Skypad Apartments done in half the time. But he does have feelings for Rosey as the two are occasionally seen as a couple, but are mainly friends.

    Other recurring characters in this series include Mr. Spacely's family, particularly his wife Stella (sometimes called Petunia, likely her nickname), one of few people who can actually put a scare in him if he rubs her the wrong way. And they have a young son close to Elroy's age named Arthur. Common characters at Spacely Sprockets are Uniblab, an underling robot who at times is a stool pigeon for Mr. Spacely to George's dismay, as well as Spacely's secretary Miss Galaxy. Cogswell also had a few subordinates of his own. Among them were his assistant Harlan and his scientist Moonstone.

    The Jetsons ran for only one season on ABC, but the series was more successful in syndication. This led to a revival in 1985 with new episodes with more advanced animation that was richer in color and made the series even more futuristic than the 1960's version of the 21st century. New characters were introduced as well, including a new alien gremlin pet for the Jetsons, named Orbitty, who has springlike legs and suction cup feet, enabling him to hang upside down. He could also tinker with machines and change color in accordance to emotion. Another new animal for the revival was a robot dog for Cogwell named Sentro, who served as a guard dog and a spy often used against Mr. Spacely in efforts to beat him to the punch on his latest projects.

    These episodes aired in syndication, which generated the same level of success as the originals when they went in that direction. This led to 10 more episodes to finalize the series in 1987, as well as two TV movies, the music-themed Rockin' with Judy Jetson, which was preceded by the epic crossover The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, which brought the Space Age and the Stone Age together as Hanna-Barbera's most famous families had a grand adventure spanning two eras. The Jetsons had its true finale when Jetsons: The Movie hit the theaters in 1990, as this would be among the last voice work for actors George O'Hanlon (George Jetson) and Mel Blanc (Mr. Spacely) for they both had died just prior to the movie's release.

    Overall, The Jetsons may not have had the supreme popularity of The Flintstones, but it did have a wide appeal for families of any generation and certainly had a place in the heart for those who would turn on and watch the series.

    The Jetsons, like many Hanna-Barbera series, can be seen on Boomerang from Cartoon Network. Check your local listings. And the majority of the series can be seen on DVD, so it would be a good means to build your cartoon collection.moreless
  • 5
    Super Friends

    Super Friends

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    ABC (ended 1973)
    SuperFriends was an animated series that premiered on ABC on September 8, 1973. The series was executive produced by the creative team of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. The series featured the adventures of DC Comics book heroes Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. These five superheroes along with superheroes in training Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog focused their abilities on putting away criminals, saving lives, and stopping terrible disasters after getting messages from their computer, the "TroubAlert."

    Each episode of the SuperFriends was geared to present, not only action, but also some lesson of educational value. In the short run of the series, a number of other famous DC comic book heroes appeared: Plastic Man, The Flash, and Green Arrow.

    The last new episode of the series entitled "The Watermen" was broadcast on December 22, 1973. The show continued in reruns until it was taken off the air on August 30, 1974. Two years later, however, the series was rebroadcast from February 7, 1976 to September 3, 1977. In an enduring testament to the popularity of the SuperFriends characters, they were later featured in a number of spin-offs and revivals.

    In 1977, the Hanna-Barbera produced sixty-two cartoon featuring the Superfriends. These cartoons were shown on ABC as part of The All-New SuperFriends Hour. Each hour long episode featured four cartoons (one half-hour cartoon and three seven minute shorts). The hour-long show featured adventures of the original fives superheroes from SuperFriends. Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog, however, did not appear. They were replaced by the shape-shifting Wondertwins Zan and Jayna and their space-monkey Gleek. The All-New SuperFriends Hour ran from September 10, 1977 to September 2, 1978 and was replaced in the next season by Challenge of the SuperFriends and SuperFriends (1978).

    Challenge of the SuperFriends was one of the most popular incarnations of SuperFriends that featured the Justice League of America against the Legion of Doom. This half-hour series ran for sixteen episodes from September 9, 1978 to September 15, 1979. It was accompanied in its run by SuperFriends (1978) which also presented sixteen half-hour episodes from September 9, 1978 to September 15, 1979. These episodes featured the same characters as The All-New SuperFriends Hour in further adventures.

    In 1979, Hanna-Barbera discontinued Challenge of the SuperFriends. Reruns of old SuperFriends episodes were mixed with eight new episodes and were presented under the new title The World's Greatest SuperFriends. The World's Greatest Superfriends was a hour long series that ran from September 22,1 979 to September 27, 1980.

    In the 1980's, SuperFriends continued in a number of incarnations. From September 1980 to September 1984, Hanna-Barbara produced sixty-six seven minute shorts (see Superfriends (1980)). Twenty-Four of these shorts were shown in the 1980-1981 season, accompanied by SuperFriend's reruns, under the title The Superfriends Hour. In the 1981-1982 season, sixteen new shorts were presented as a part of the half-hour long Superfriends. These new shorts were, of course, accompanied by reruns. The 1982-1983 season, however, was all reruns. Although Hanna-Barbara produced twenty-four new SuperFriends shorts, ABC decided to show only reruns of the SuperFriends in a thirty minute program entitled The Best of SuperFriends. Most of the unaired shorts (called by some "The Lost Episodes"), however, would later air in syndication.

    The 1984-1985 season, new half-hour SuperFriends episodes would return to ABC under the title SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show. SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show was a half-hour sixteen episode cartoon that featured Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and the Teen Titans Firestorm and Cyborg. In the 1985-1986 season, these same characters would appear along with Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and Samurai in the half-hour The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. This final incarnation of Hanna-Barbara's SuperFriends offered ten new episodes. On September 30, 1986 with the end of the last episode of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, Hanna-Barbara's twelve year run of original SuperFriends episodes was over. The SuperFriends, however, would continue to live on in syndication.

    First Telecast: September 8, 1973 Last Telecast: December 22, 1973

    Episodes: 16 Color Episodes (16 one-hour episodes)

    Follow-up Shows: The All-New SuperFriends Hour, SuperFriends (1978), Challenge of the SuperFriends, The World's Greatest SuperFriends, SuperFriends (1980), SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.moreless
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    The Greatest American Hero

    The Greatest American Hero

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    ABC (ended 1983)
    This show was first aired in 1981, and was both a comedy and a drama. A special "power suit" that only works on him is given to the teacher by the aliens, and he is paired up with the gumshoe FBI agent who keeps them both busy with his scenarios. The suit of "unearthly powers" gives the power of strength, flight, invisibilty, flames, telekenesis, vision of events without being there, protection from bullets and firemoreless
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    Mork & Mindy

    Mork & Mindy

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    ABC (ended 1982)
    Mork & Mindy was a sitcom that ran on ABC from 1978 until 1982. The series starred a relative newcomer Robin Williams as Mork, an alien who came to Earth in a large egg-shaped space ship from the planet Ork, and Pam Dawber as Mindy McConnell, the human woman who he lives with. The series was a originally a spin-off of Happy Days where Mork first appeared in the season 5 episode, "My Favorite Orkan". In that episode he threatened to kidnap Richie Cunningham and take him to the planet Ork, however his plan is foiled by Fonzie. In the spin-off series Mindy discovers Mork after he lands near Boulder Colorado. When she finds out he is an alien she vows to keep his identity a secret and allows Mork to move into the attic. Afterwards, many hilarious situations arise. Story-lines centered on Mork's attempts to understand American culture and human interaction. At the end of each episode Mork reported to his boss back on Ork (Orson) and said what he had learned on earth in that episode.moreless
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    Galactica 1980

    Galactica 1980

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    ABC (ended 1980)
    Only the first three episodes of the series, comprising the pilot movie, feature a title sequence beginning with "Galactica 1980." The remaining episodes begin by calling the show "Battlestar Galactica," as if this were the second season of the original show. All the roles were written for the original cast, as if this were the second season. When most proved unavailable, the parts were rewritten and a largely new cast was hired. Set 30 years after the first season, the Galactica, guided by the mysterious teenage genius prodigy Dr. Zee. Adama, sporting a hideously fake beard, remains in command of the fleet, with Col. Boomer his second in command. Upon realizing Earth of 1980 cannot face the Cylons, and hearing Zee's warning that the Cylons followed them, Adama turns the fleet away, sending his grandson Troy (the grown up Boxey) and his wingman Dillon to explore Earth and aid in speeding up its technological development. They are helped by a reporter named Jamie Hamilton, and new technology such as personal cloaking shields and flying motorcycles. The original premise set up in the pilot features a traitor named Xavier stealing a ship and traveling into the past in an effort to speed up Earth's development by introducing technology into the past. His first target is to help the Nazi rocket program, but he is stopped by Troy, Dillon and Jamie. He escapes their custody and heads to pre-Revolutionary America, and the pilot ends with Jamie vowing to join Troy and Dillon in the chase for Xavier through time — the implication being each episode would feature Xavier in a different era, with our trio of heroes trying to stop him from changing history. However, when the series was picked up, this premise was abandoned, and a plot thread featuring Troy and Dillon protecting a group of Galactican children on Earth was woven through many of the episodes, with Xavier abandoning his time travel efforts. The story of the children was an element no doubt introduced to appease broadcast standards requiring shows airing at 7 p.m. to appeal to younger audiences. While the show was considered a critical flop, it did feature a number of recurring storylines. Among them, in addition to the children, was the military's attempt to track down any evidence of the Galactica, and Jamie's boss looking to cover the story. Recurring themes included Troy and Dillon in fish-out-of-water scenarios as they attempted to adapt to Earth, which added a level of silliness, and the idea that Galactica was the guardian of the last human stronghold in the face of the Cylon threat, which added a layer of seriousness. Several episodes featured the following text at the end of the program: "The United States Air Force stopped investigating UFOs in 1969. After 22 years, they found no evidence of extra-terrestrial visits and no threat to national security." This may have been in response not only to the Air Force story arc, but also to the stringent educational standards of a 7 p.m. time slot. These standards may have at first given series creator Glen Larson the idea to feature history-themed episodes as a way to provide some educational context. Instead, ABC interference probably led to the prominence of the use of the children, and several episodes were little more than trite morality plays about such things as pollution and racism. As a result, the finished product ended up being insulting to most audience members' intelligence, while alienating core fans of the series who found the new premise absurd. The poor quality of early episodes and declining ratings were probably the impetus for Larson to reintroduce the Cylon menace so soon. The ninth episode, "Space Croppers," features a Cylon attack that hearkens back to fond memories of the first season before denigrating into the usual Earthbound dreck this season was known for. Larson has subsequently stated his regret for this second season, and other than the finale "The Return of Starbuck," considered the episodes a waste of time. Given another chance at continuing the storyline, he said he would chalk up "1980" to a bad dream or a computer simulation, then continue the first season as if "1980" had never happened. The existence of "1980" was cited as one reason Ronald Moore chose a new version of BSG rather than a continuation. Even so, "1980" beat him to the punch with humanoid Cylons, featured in the two-parter "The Night the Cylons Landed." Like the new BSG, "1980" dealt with the evolution of the Cylon race.moreless
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    Max Headroom

    Max Headroom

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    ABC (ended 1988)
    Max Headroom is a look into the future. Society is run-down and dominated by televisin and large corporations. Edison Carter is a reported intend on exposing corruption and greed. In the pilot episode, Edison is hunted down by his own employer. He is injured and his mind is digitized into a computer program. The resulting program takes on a life of its own. This is the creation of the eccentric and unpredictable character of Max Headroom. Max can move through computer and television networks at will. The series is about Edison Carter and Max Headroom in their combined fight to expose and eliminate the corruption in society.moreless
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    Starman

    Starman

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    ABC (ended 1987)
    Some 15 years after an alien was stranded briefly on Earth, he returns to rejoin the son he left behind and to search for the woman he fell in love with. He assumes the identity and likeness of photojournalist Paul Forrester, whose dead body lies undiscovered in a remote area due to a helicopter crash. He is again being pursued by George Fox, the US government agent who has been obsessed with capturing him since his original visit to Earth.moreless
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    Automan

    Automan

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    ABC (ended 1984)
    "On a scale of 1 to 10, think of me as... an 11."

    Thus begins the life of Automan and his creator, Walter Nebicher. Nebicher, a computer specialist at Los Angeles Police Department, creates a sophisticated computer program he calls Automan, the world's first fully automatic man. With enough power, the Automan hologram could become solid and "real." Originally, Automan was only able to run at night, his tremendous power requirements given as the explanation, power which was only available after daytime hours. The production reason was that the glowing costume looked better in dark settings. However, this was abandoned within the first few episodes as the effects were refined and Automan donned normal clothing in public, with only small glowing portions visible at the collar and cuffs.

    Automan has a helper called Cursor which creates objects that Automan can manipulate such as the Autocar, Autocopter and Autoplane, as well as creating realistic illusions. Cursor was given its own separate credit (as "himself") in the opening titles.

    Automan can talk to any computer, see and walk through walls and even protect Walter by surrounding him with his "aura."

    As with every superhero, Automan has limitations. His power depends on the electricity available on the grid. If he gets too much input he could also dissolve without notice.

    Supporting characters included Roxanne Caldwell, a young policewoman that Walter is attracted to, Captain Boyd, Walter's cantankerous, computer-hating commanding officer, and Lieutenant Jack Curtis, the only higher-up who has faith in Walter. Boyd constantly calls Nebicher, "Nebbish."

    The series drew inspiration for its effects and premise of a digital being from the 1982 motion picture Tron and used a combination of traditional cel animation and some computer graphics. It was canceled after only 13 episodes, originally airing as a lead-in for Masquerade, another 1983 mid-season series also from executive producer Glen Larson.moreless