August 28, 2016

MR. FUJI DEAD AT 82



Harry Fujiwara, better known by his professional wrestling name Mr. Fuji, died today. You can read the full story here.

Although he didn't actively participate in its production, Fujiwara's likeness and persona were used as one of the villain characters in Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling. 

August 27, 2016

SMF WILL RETURN SEPTEMBER 10TH

Hey, gang, there won't be any new posts next weekend. If you're behind on our stuff, now's a good chance to catch up. 'Til then, see you on September 10th!

MARVIN KAPLAN DEAD AT 89



Actor, writer and producer Marvin Kaplan died on Thursday, You can read the full story here.

Kaplan had starring roles as Choo-Choo in Top Cat, which he later reprised for the weekday series Wake, Rattle & Roll, and as Shellstock "Shelly" Turtle in the Frogger portions of Saturday Supercade. He also guest-starred in episodes of ABC Weekend Specials as Sutcliffe and Mouser, Garfield and Friends as Angel Puss, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters as Skeech and Sculptor. He also provided additional voices in an episode of The Smurfs.

COMMERCIAL BREAK: SUPER NINTENDO

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the classic gaming system, we present to you these commercials that you may have seen while watching on Saturday morning...









STARGATE: INFINITY

STARGATE: INFINITY
(FOX, September 14, 2002-March 24, 2003)


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Animation, DiC Entertainment

MAIN CAST:

            In 1994, a new sci-fi franchise was born with the release of Stargate. An alien portal was discovered in 1928 Giza. Jumping ahead to the present day, discredited Egyptologist Daniel Jackson (James Spader) figured out how to activate the portal and a military team led by Jack O’Neill (Kurt Russel) was sent through to identify potential threats. There, they discovered a planet much like Earth’s ancient Egypt where an alien posing as the god Ra (Jaye Davidson) had enslaved the populace. O’Neil and his team instigated a slave rebellion and overthrew Ra, freeing the planet.


            The film was directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich and released through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Opening on October 28th, it achieved the record for the highest-grossing opening weekend for an October film. Although critics were mixed about it, the film ended up earning over $196 million. Three years later, MGM planned spin-off of the movie into a television series and hired Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner to develop it.


Stargate: SG-1 picked up a year after the film and followed the military team on missions through the Stargate to find technology and allies against the Goa’uld alien race, and later in the show’s run against The Ori. The O’Neill role was filled by Richard Dean Anderson for the first eight seasons until he was replaced by Ben Browder as Cameron Mitchell for the final two. SG-1 aired half its run on Showtime before moving to the Sci-Fi Channel after the premium network dropped it.


            The show proved popular, spawning a wave of merchandising and its own convention, Gatecon. The show also spawned several spin-off series. The most well-known and received were the live-action spin-offs Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: Universe. Stargate: Atlantis followed another military team who operated out of the Lost City of Atlantis on the planet Lantea and helped the Atlanteans find a way to combat the Wraith. Stargate: Universe followed an exploration team flying on a spaceship trying to find a way back to Earth. However, the first spin-off was the animated attempt Stargate: Infinity.

The Infinity team: Stacey, Seattle, Gus, R.J. and Ec'co.

            Created by Eric Lewald and Michael Maliani, the series was set 30 years in the future from SG-1. Gus Bonner (Dale Wilson) was framed for insubordination and sending his men into an ambush by an alien. When the alien race Tlak’kahn, led by Da’Kyll (Mark Acheson), attacked Stargate Command for a recently-unearthed chrysalis, Bonner used the distraction to escape with a team through the Stargate in order to find the alien that framed him and clear his name.

Draga, the newborn recruit.
            Gus’ team was comprised of his by-the-book niece Stacey Bonner (Tifanie Christun), who believed that Gus was actually a traitor; Seattle Montoya (Bettina Bush), a Native American with precognitive abilities; R.J. Harrison (Mark Hildreth), a recent academy graduate who served as the series’ comic relief; and Ec’co (Cusse Mankuma), a half-alien cadet who could fix anything. They travel though the Stargate to various worlds, trying to stay one step ahead of the Tlak’kahn while getting involved in the perils and troubles of the alien species they encountered. Along the way they were joined by a newborn alien named Draga (Kathleen Barr), a very powerful being believed to be one of The Ancients who originally built the Stargates.  

The Tlak'kahn.

            The series premiered on September 14, 2002 as part of 4Kids Entertainment’s FoxBox line-up on FOX. It was produced by DiC Entertainment in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Animation. Unlike the other Stargate entries, Infinity downplayed the military aspect of the team to focus more on the pro-social messages woven into each script that the characters would have to learn about and deal with. Maliani served as an executive producer along with Andy Heyward. Will Meugniot was the supervising director and the series’ music was composed by Mike Piccirillo and Jean-Michel Guirao.

The DVD cover.

The series was poorly received and suffered from low ratings during its run, resulting in its cancellation after only one season and several plotlines left unresolved. The creators and producers of the other Stargate programs, who had no role in the development of the cartoon at all, have gone on record stating that Infinity was not a part of the official Stargate canon and existed in its own alternate universe. Shortly after the show ended, DiC released a 4-episode DVD. MGM Home Entertainment released a complete box set in region 2 in 2007, with Shout! Factory and Vivendi Entertainment releasing the region 1 version the following year. 

EPISODE GUIDE:
“Decision” (9/14/02) – Court-Martialed Major Gus Bonner takes a team through the Stargate in order to find the Tlak’kahn race that framed him.

“Double Duty” (9/21/02) – A planet inhabited by the Thorn may have been infected by a disease during an earlier mission of Bonner’s and his team must protect an ancient chrysalis.

“The Best World” (9/28/02) – The chrysalis becomes Draga and wants to join the team, while Stacey still regards Gus as a traitor.

“Coming Home” (10/5/02) – The Hrathi people assist Gus’ mission and help him realize a shapeshifter may have been involved in framing him.

“Mentor” (10/12/02) – Gus’ former mentor seems to be benevolently helping the Mustari people, but his team helps Gus see otherwise.

“Hot Water” (10/19/02) – R.J. accepts a potentially deadly swimming challenge on an ocean planet while a team of mercenaries join the Tlak’kahn to help find Draga.

“Phobia” (10/26/02) – Stacey’s arachnophobia leads her to attack a peaceful spider-like creature for which she must now stand trial.

“Can I Keep It?” (11/2/02) – Seattle adopts a new pet that keeps on growing while a probe alerts the Tlak’kahn to the team’s location.

“Who Are You?” (11/9/02) – The team encounters a race of shapeshifters which leaves them unable to determine who’s friend or foe.

“Greed” (11/16/02) – A cave full of diamonds distracts the teams from the mercenaries on their trail.

“Stones” (11/23/02) – When Stacey earns the respect of the Elteri people, she’s given a stone medallion that alters her in unexpected ways.

“Initiation” (11/30/02) – Harisson helps a volcano island native while Ec’co discovers that the volcano is in danger of erupting—or exploding.

“The Mother of Invention” (12/7/02) – Kreeda is an inventor who would do anything to save what’s left of her ruined world, even if it means betraying the team.

“Reality” (12/30/02) – The team has to save the Tranquan from a VR game that keeps them trapped in a hostile environment.

“Museum” (1/6/03) – The team becomes trapped in a museum of Earth’s historical wonders as two robot armies fight to conquer the world.

“Us and Them” (1/13/03) – Draga finally meets her own people who show disdain for the rest of the team, while the Tlak’Kahn follow them through the Stargate.

“The Face of Evil” (1/20/03) – On an ice planet the team intends to stay out of the ongoing conflict until they learn one of the opposing forces is the Tlak’Kahn.

“The Key” (1/27/03) – Because the Commonality banned all writing as an outdated method, they have no way to verify or choose to believe Ec’co’s warning of a comet about to strike.

“Chariot of the Sun” (2/3/03) – Gus finds a spaceship near the Stargate and after its communications fail to reach Stargate Command he decides to take it back to Earth.

“The Answer” (2/10/03) – The team decides to investigate a controversial new mind-reading device whose inventor claims it’s to help eliminate war-causing misunderstandings.

“The Look” (2/17/03) – On a planet where respect is earned by a hair style, Harrison, Seattle and Stacey decide to help the less-fortunate claim the leaves they need for their hairdos.

“Feet of Clay” (2/24/03) – In the face of an epidemic, the Mardan decide to turn to the Tlak’kahn instead of accepting Ec’co’s cure.

“The Natural” (3/3/03) – Gus calls on a Heruun to help them navigate a Sulphur clouded planet, but Harrison falls to the planet’s surface and has to fend for his survival.

“Big Mistake” (3/10/03) – Helping the Mortai find an underground water source leads Stacey to finding a crystal that reveals a mistake that her father refused to own up to.

“The Illustrated Stacey” (3/17/03) – When Stacey is goaded into unpredictable behavior, she asks the natives for a facial tattoo that is unknowingly consisted of living microbes.

“The Long Haul” (3/24/03) – Draga takes the team back to Earth where a philanthropist discovers another Stargate, giving Gus a new lead on his prey.

PARTRIDGE FAMILY 2200 A.D.

PARTRIDGE FAMILY 2200 A.D.
(CBS, September 7- December 21, 1974)


Hanna-Barbera Productions, Columbia Pictures Television

MAIN CAST:
Susan Dey – Laurie Partridge (2 episodes)
Sherry Alberoni – Laurie Partridge, various
Danny Bonaduce – Danny Partridge
Suzanne Crough – Tracy Partridge
Brian Foster – Chris Partridge
Joan Gerber – Connie Partridge, various
Chuck McClendon – Keith Partridge
John Stephenson – Reuben Kincaid, various
Julie McWhirter – Marion, various
Frank Welker – Veenie, Orbit, various

            The family that plays together stays together—especially if that play involves a recording contract.


            Created by Bernard Slade, The Partridge Family followed the adventures of a talented family that formed a band and embarked on a performing career. It was loosely based on the real-life band family The Cowsills, who were popular in the late 60s and early 70s. Initially, The Cowsills were considered to play themselves, but as they were not trained actors and older than what the producers wanted that idea was abandoned.

The Partridges and their funky bus.

            In the pilot episode, widowed mother Shirley Partridge (Shirley Jones) was convinced by her children Keith (David Cassidy, Jones’ real-life step-son), Laurie (Susan Dey), Danny (Danny Bonaduce), Chris (Jeremy Gelbwaks for season 1, Brian Foster for the remainder) and Tracy (Suzanne Crough) to sing on a recording they were making in their garage. Danny went out and secured the family’s agent, Reuben Kincaid (Dave Madden), and soon they were off and touring in their mutli-colored school bus. Wes Farrell served as the show’s music producer and studio musicians, referred to as The Wrecking Crew, provided the sound of the family. Cassidy and Jones were the only members of the cast who actually sang on the recordings.

In concert.

            The series debuted on ABC on September 25, 1970. Screen Gems, who produced the show, heavily promoted it through a wide array of merchandising including posters, comic books, board games and, naturally, albums of the songs that appeared in the episodes. Cassidy quickly became a teen idol and incorporated Partridge songs along with his original works when he toured. Bonaduce also scored his own record deal, although Bruce Roberts provided most of the vocals. The show performed well, earning first place in its timeslot until ABC moved it to air opposite CBSAll in the Family. The ratings plummeted and ABC cancelled the show after its fourth season.

Judy Jetson, ace reporter.

            Meanwhile, Hanna-Barbera was looking to revive The Jetsons with an updated version similar to what they did for The Flintstones with The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show. Elroy would have been going off to high school while Judy was an ace reporter, and they would have been surrounded by a new assortment of space-age friends. They proposed the show to CBS’ Fred Silverman, but Silverman wanted to acquire The Partridge Family instead in the hopes of bringing their audience over to CBS. Since the network would see just as much of a return from a new Jetsons as they already did from airing reruns, Silverman had Hanna-Barbera retool their proposal to incorporate the characters. The Partridges had previously appeared on Hanna-Barbera’s Goober and the Ghost Chasers in several episodes in 1973.

Promo art.

           The resulting series was essentially The Partridge Family set in The Jetsons world. The family remained virtually unchanged from their live counterparts in personality and appearance (with the exception of Reuben, who ended up resembling an aged George Jetson), but were given space-age fashions, instruments and their school bus became a domed spaceship with the same color scheme. Dey, Bonaduce, Crough and Foster were all retained to voice their respective characters. However, Dey only recorded two episodes before she left the production to film a movie and was replaced by Sherry Alberoni. Jones would claim in a 2008 radio interview that she never knew an animated series existed. Joan Gerber instead played her character, taking on the name “Connie” that was used in the original unaired 1969 pilot for the original show (although the character’s model still resembled Jones).

Futuristic stage.

Cassidy and Madden were also absent; their characters played by Chuck McClendon and John Stephenson, respectively. However, Madden did record dialogue for the cartoon and was set to star in it, but the producers decided to replace him. New characters included Laurie’s half-green, half-blue Martian friend Marion (Julie McWhirter), Keith’s Venusian blue friend Veenie, and the family’s pet robot dog Orbit (both Frank Welker). The characters were designed by Dick Bickenbach.

Ad for the series.

            Partridge Family 2200 A.D. debuted on CBS on September 7, 1974. Like the live series, plots tended to revolve around Danny with the rest of his family being sucked in like a vortex when one of his schemes or inventions backfired. Hoyt Curtin handled all the incidental music while a band of studio performers supplied the weekly song cues. Although some of the same talent that brought life to Josie and the Pussycats were retained for the show, no consideration was given for any kind of album release due to the fact that the live Partridge albums had already declined in popularity and there would be no Cassidy on vocals to help sell it.

Danny with Orbit at snack time.

            2200 A.D. ended up becoming a disappointing failure, both in the ratings and from a creative standpoint. With the live show being cancelled months earlier with poor ratings, and most of its audience now too old for cartoons even if they were still watching the original at the end, CBS’ gambit on a built-in fanbase didn’t pay off. 2200 A.D. was cancelled mid-season, and it was replaced in March of 1975 by reruns of Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm. Hanna-Barbera would finally get their Jetsons revival in syndication in 1985.

Collecting souvenirs.

Like Jeannie, this show was owned by Screen Gems, now part of Sony Pictures Television, due to their owning the rights to The Partridge Family. In 1977, the series was retitled The Partridge Family in Outer Space and was included in the serialized Fred Flintstone and Friends series, which was co-produced by Screen Gems’ successor Columbia Pictures Television. In 2005, the episodes “My Son, the Spaceball Star” and “Car Trouble” became the only two episodes released to home media after they were included as bonus features in The Partridge Family: The Complete First Season DVD set.

EPISODE GUIDE (“*” denotes repeated song):
“My Son, the Spaceball Star” (11/30/74) – Danny pretends to be on the spaceball team in order to keep his mother from being disappointed.
Song: Gypsy Girl

“Danny, the Invisible Man” (9/7/74) – Danny uses a Plutonian invisibility gadget to impress a girl, but begins to experience side effects back on Earth as he keeps randomly disappearing.
Song: “Keep Rockin On”

“The Incredible Shrinking Keith” (9/21/74) – Danny’s invention accidentally causes Keith to shrink.
Song: “You Make It So Easy”

“If This is Texas—It Must be Doomsday” (9/14/74) – The family’s gig in Texxas ends up being a lifetime one.
Song: “Love My Life Away With You”

“Cousin Sunspot” (9/28/74) – Cousin Sunspot uses a voice changer in order to join the band, but it begins to transform him into a giant chicken.
Song: “Later On”

“The Dog Catcher” (10/12/74) – Orbit attempts to avoid the dog catcher in order to avoid paying for a new license.
Song: “One More Chance”

“The Wax Museum” (10/5/74) – Thieves steal wax figures of the family in order to create duplicates and make a fortune with their own family.
Song: “Take Good Care of Her”

“Laurie’s Computer Date” (10/26/74) – Laurie forces Keith and Danny to take her to the ball after scaring off her date, and they find her a computer date instead—with a clunky robot.
Song: “Suzy, Don’t Give Me Your Number”

“Movie Madness” (11/2/74) – When the family’s rocket crashes in Hollywood, Keith is drafted to star in a movie and success begins to go to his head.
Song: “Keep Rockin’ On”

“The Pink Letter” (11/9/74) – Danny mails Laurie’s angry letter to her boyfriend, not knowing he later called with a good excuse.
Song: “Gypsy Girl”*

“Cupcake Caper” (10/19/74) – Connie has to find the ring she lost while baking before her mother comes to visit.
Song: “You Make It So Easy”*

“Orbit the Genius” (11/16/74) – Orbit’s quiz show career is cut short when he’s stolen by a two-headed foreign agent.
Song: “Love My Life Away With You”*

“The Switch” (11/23/74) – Danny accidentally causes Keith to exchange bodies with a gorilla.
Song: “Late At Night”

“Car Trouble” (12/7/74) – Danny’s poor flying record lands him in debt for 20 years.
Song: “One More Chance”*

“The Roobits” (12/14/74) – Danny’s scheme of raising cute alien pets backfires when they start reproducing at a high rate.
Song: “Suzy, Don’t Give Me Your Number”*

“Let’s All Stick Together” (12/21/74) – Danny accidentally throws out of a priceless antique entrusted to Connie, and repairing it causes the family to become stuck together with super glue.
Song: “Take Good Care of Her”*

August 20, 2016

THE BRADY KIDS

THE BRADY KIDS
(ABC, September 16, 1972-October 6, 1973)


Filmation Associates, Redwood Productions, Paramount Network Television

MAIN CAST:
Barry Williams (season 1) & Lane Scheimer (season 2) – Greg Brady
Maureen McCormick (season 1) & Erika Scheimer (season 2) – Marcia Brady
Christopher Knight – Peter Brady (season 1)
Keith Sutherland (as David E. Smith) – Peter Brady (season 2), Superman/Clark Kent
Eve Plumb – Jan Brady
Mike Lookinland – Bobby Brady
Susan Olsen – Cindy Brady
Larry Storch – Marlon, Mop Top, Chuck White, Fleetwood
Jane Webb – Ping, Pong, Babs

            Fresh off the success of his series Gilligan’s Island, Sherwood Schwartz was working on his next show idea. After reading an article about people with children from previous marriages, Schwartz began work on a pilot script for a show he called Mine and Yours. The pilot centered on a widower marrying a divorcee, and the three children each one brought from their previous marriages. Schwartz shopped the script around to all three networks, and while they all liked it they wanted changes made before committing to the script. Schwartz eventually shelved the project.



            In 1968, United Artists released the film Yours, Mine and Ours starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, which centered on their characters Frank Beardsley and Helen North falling in love and getting married with a total of 18 children from their previous marriages (Beardsley had 10, North had 8). The film was a box office success, earning over ten times its production budget. Based on that success, and the similar premise, ABC decided to go forward with Schwartz’s series and made a thirteen-week commitment.

The Bradys: Cindy, Bobby, Jan, Peter, Marcia, Greg, Alice, Carol and Mike.

            The Brady Bunch kicked off when widowed architect Mike Brady (Robert Reed) meeting and falling in love with Carol Martin (Florence Henderson). The fate of Carol’s previous marriage was left intentionally ambiguous in a compromise with Schwartz after the network had objections to her being divorced. The catch-all was that each of them brought three children to the mix: Mike had his boys Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight) and Bobby (Mike Lookinland), while Carol had her girls Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Jan (Eve Plumb) and Cindy (Susan Olsen). Adding to the chaos was Mike’s live-in housekeeper, Alice Nelson (Ann B. Davis). Situations arose from the new large family getting used to each other as well as dealing with the everyday problems life threw at them.


            The most notable aspect of the show was its innovative opening sequence. Making use of the new multi-dynamic image technique created by Canadian filmmaker Christopher Chapman, each of the series’ main cast appeared in a box on a three-by-three grid. As the show’s theme song by Peppermint Trolley Company (for season 1, the kids the remainder of the series) played and laid out the story of the Bradys to the viewers, the cast members seemed as if they were looking at each other between their boxes. The attention this effect gained because of the show led to it becoming known as “The Brady Bunch Effect”.

"What?! I ruined my hair and now you tell me we're cancelled?!"

            The Brady Bunch debuted on September 26, 1969 and became the first television series produced by Paramount Studios, which had been exclusively a movie studio until then. The show only achieved modest ratings during its run and the network would only renew it for 13 episodes at a time. At the conclusion of the fifth season (the only season or receive a full episode order), the show had reached enough episodes for a syndication package and was finally cancelled.

The Brady kids: Cindy, Greg, Bobby, Marcia, Peter and Jan.

            When the show was about to enter its fourth season, Schwartz approached Filmation about adapting the sitcom to animation in order to bring the Bradys to a younger audience that may be missing it in its prime time timeslot. Filmation chose to make a show centered solely on the Brady children, omitting Mike, Carol and Alice altogether. Focus was given to the band the children formed on the live show.

The Bradys, Moptop, Ping and Pong staring at Marlon's latest goof up.

The Bradys had several new pet sidekicks for their adventures: a dog named Mop Top (replacing Tiger from the live series, voiced by Larry Storch); a talking mynah bird named Marlon (Storch), who flew by spinning his tail and was actually a wizard that frequently employed his magic to get the kids out of jams; and two panda cubs named Ping and Pong (Jane Webb) who only spoke in Chinese-like gibberish. Other new characters include classmates to the Bradys: primary antagonist Chuck White (Storch) who had no problems with cheating to win; his easygoing sidekick Fleetwood (also Storch); and Babs (Webb), who had a crush on Greg.

Superman: super babysitter.

Initially, Schwartz planned to hand over full control to producers Lou Scheimer and Norm Prescott. However, he took an active role in the show’s production, overseeing scripts and giving creative input. To save on both time and budget (Filmation’s trademark) an extensive amount of animation was reused from Filmation’s earlier teenaged band hit The Archie Show, as well bits and pieces from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. The show featured an introduction mimicking the sitcom’s, showing the real Brady kids transforming into their animated counterparts. The theme was composed by Frank DeVol and was similar to the live show’s with a greater touch of 70s style. Ray Ellis handled the rest of the series’ music.

Wonder Woman in her first television role.

The Brady Kids debuted on September 9, 1972 as an installment of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie called “The Brady Kids on Mysterious Island”. The movie was later split into the series’ first two episodes, “Jungle Bungle”, and began airing the following week. Filmation took some liberties and had characters from other properties interact with the Bradys, such as Merlin from Arthurian lore and Silver from The Lone Ranger. Filmation also featured crossovers with DC ComicsSuperman (Keith Sutherland) and Lois Lane, as well as Wonder Woman (Webb) in her first appearance outside of the comics.   

Ad for ABC's new Saturday programs.

The first season ran for the contracted 17 episodes, but Filmation wanted to produce five more to bring the episode number up to the required syndication amount. Harvey Shotz, agent for the kids, persuaded them to reject Filmation’s request to extend their contracts. Filmation threatened to sue the kids as well as replace them if need be. Ultimately, the three older kids held firm while the younger ones agreed to the extension. Replacing the departing actors were Scheimer’s children Lane and Erika as Greg and Marcia, respectively, and Sutherland (credited as David E. Smith) as Peter. The abbreviated 5th season came and went in 1973, but the show stayed on the air in reruns until August of 1974 when ABC’s new fall schedule was set to begin. Interestingly enough, the show’s timeslot was taken over by Super Friends, which was produced by rival studio Hanna-Barbera after they acquired the DC Comics license from Filmation.


While the live Bradys continued to get airplay in syndication and several revival attempts were made, the animated Bradys all but disappeared--at least until 1996. In 1995, Paramount Pictures produced a theatrical movie picking up from the conclusion of the fifth season called The Brady Bunch Movie. The movie featured a new, younger cast in the same roles and followed the principal joke that while the rest of the world had gone on to the 1990s the Bradys were obliviously stuck perpetually in the 70s. A Very Brady Sequel, which hit theaters the following year, featured the return of the characters from The Brady Kids in a dream sequence brought on when Alice (Henriette Mantel) unknowingly gave a man posing as Carol’s (Shelley Long) ex-husband, Roy (Tim Matheson), psychedelic mushrooms in his spaghetti. The only difference was that the animated Jan didn’t wear glasses as she did on the cartoon, had darker hair, and braces.

The Brady Kids DVD.

In 2007, Paramount Home Video released The Brady Bunch: The Complete Series on DVD. Included on a bonus disc were the first two episodes of the animated series, along with a couple of the TV movies. The 2015 re-release of this set excludes that extra disc. In 2016, Paramount released the complete animated series to DVD. 

EPISODE GUIDE:
Season 1:
“Jungle Bungle, Part 1” (9/16/72*) – The Bradys and Mop Top enter a balloon race and end up stranded on a mysterious island.

“Jungle Bungle, Part 2” (9/23/72*) – The Bradys meet Marlon, Ping and Pong on the island.
*Originally aired together on The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie on 9/9/72.

“Double Trouble” (9/30/72) – Peter’s wish to look like movie star Clint Flint has Marlon magically switch their bodies.

“Long Gone Silver” (10/7/72) – Marlon attempts to turn Bobby’s Lone Ranger pin into real silver, but ends up conjuring up the actual Silver instead.

“Cindy’s Super Friend” (10/14/72) – When the Bradys are tricked into painting a bank with invisible paint to make it easier to rob, it’s up to Superman to save the day.

“Pop Goes the Mynah” (10/21/72) – The Bradys have to rescue Marlon after he’s sealed into a soda can.

“Who Was that Dog…?” (10/28/72) – Mop Top falls for a French Poodle at a pet show, but Marlon accidentally turns her into a barking woman.

“It Ain’t Necessarily Snow” (11/4/72) – Marlon’s magic complicates things when Greg tries to learn to ski to beat Chuck in a race.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the End Zone” (11/11/72) – The Bradys end up in a spaceship and befriending real Venusians.

“That Was No Worthy Opponent, That Was My Sister” (11/18/72) – Chuck sabotages Greg and Marcia’s campaigns so that he can win class president.

“You Took the Words Right Out of My Tape” (11/25/72) – The Bradys end up involved in trying to save the Crown Jewels from a pair of thieves.

“Give Me a Home Where the Panda Bears Roam and the Dog and the Mynah Bird Play” (12/2/72) – Marlon’s magic causes chaos on the cattle drive the Bradys go on.

“It’s All Greek to Me” (12/9/72) – Marlon’s magic sends the Bradys and Wonder Woman to ancient Greece.

“The Big Time” (12/16/72) – The kids all come up with their own acts in order to enter a television talent show.

“Marlon’s Birthday Party” (12/23/72) – The Bradys’ surprise party for Marlon is put on hold when he and Merlin accidentally change places in time.

“The Richest Man in the World” (12/30/72) – The Bradys try to help a poor man, not knowing he’s actually the world’s wealthiest.

“Wings” (1/6/73) – The Wrong brothers steal parts of the Bradys’ road rally racer in order to build an airplane.

Season 2:
“Frankincense” (9/8/73) – The Bradys have to retrieve their jewel-eating robots from the thieves that took them for their own uses.

“Teacher’s Pet” (9/15/73) – Marlon loans Cindy a wizard’s ceramic cat that comes to life whenever a spell is recited, and Marlon accidentally turns it into a hippopotamus.

“Marcia’s Lib” (9/22/73) – A camping rivalry ends up seeing the Brady kids lost in the woods.

“Ceiling Zero” (9/29/73) – Marlon conjures legendary painter Michael Angelglow to paint the kids’ treehouse, and he ends up abducted by art thieves.

“Who Believes in Ghosts?” (10/6/73) – The Bradys’ attempts to restore an old house are foiled by the thieves hiding out there.

JEANNIE

JEANNIE
(CBS, September 8-December 22, 1973)


Hanna-Barbera Productions, Screen Gems Television

MAIN CAST:
Julie McWhirter – Jeannie
Mark Hamill – Corey Anders
Joe Besser – Babu
Bob Hastings – Henry Glopp
Janet Waldo – Mrs. Anders
John Stephenson – Haji, Master of all Genies
Tommy Cook – S. Melvin Farthinghill

            It was 1964, and ABC had just scored a major success with its supernaturally-themed sitcom: Bewitched. Sidney Sheldon was tasked with coming up with a competing series for NBC to match that success, and was inspired by the movie The Brass Bottle to come up with a show surrounding a beautiful female genie.


            I Dream of Jeannie followed the adventures of Major Anthony Nelson (Larry Hagman), a NASA astronaut who crashed on a deserted island and found a bottle containing a genie, Jeannie (Barbara Eden). Jeannie would activate her power typically by crossing her arms and blinking (although she didn’t always need to do so). Nelson, who had no interest in getting anything magically, ended up spending all of his time trying to keep Jeannie under control and under wraps; particularly from his superior, Dr. Bellows (Hayden Rorke). Eventually, Nelson developed feelings for Jeannie and the two were married.

Major Nelson and Jeannie tie the knot.

            I Dream of Jeannie debuted on September 18, 1965. While most television shows had switched to a color format at the time, Screen Gems executives weren’t convinced the show would be successful and wanted to save money by filming it in black and white. Also, it helped with Jeannie’s special effects which couldn’t be adequately shown in color at the time. The series did prove successful, and ran for five seasons. When ratings plummeted after Jeannie and Nelson were married, the network decided to cancel it at the end of the fifth season.

The animated Jeannie.

            When I Dream of Jeannie entered into syndicated reruns, the show performed remarkably well in the ratings. Hanna-Barbera approached Screen Gems about adapting I Dream of Jeannie into an animated series and were granted the license. Hanna-Barbera had previously worked with Screen Gems to make the animated opening for Bewitched, the series that caused the creation of Jeannie in the first place. At the time, Hanna-Barbera was also producing The New Scooby-Doo Movies which featured numerous guest appearances from celebrities of the day. With all the money being spent on those guest appearances, that meant Hanna-Barbera had a very small budget to work with, leaving them unable to secure the sitcom’s actors, let alone their likenesses.

Henry, Corey, Jeannie and Babu.

            As a result, Hanna-Barbera rebuilt the concept from the ground up to where only the fact that an ordinary human found an attractive female genie remained. That human became the teenaged surfer Corey Anders (a play on the Middle Eastern spice coriander, voiced by Mark Hamill in his first animated starring role) who shared the secret with his best friend Henry Glopp (Bob Hastings).

Jeannie model sheet showing her walking, zapping and flying.

Jeannie (Julie McWhirter) became a bit younger herself (at least in appearance) and was made a redhead. To use her powers, she would cross her arms and whip her ponytail instead of blink. When the live Jeannie was in production, there was some controversy over Eden’s bellybutton being seen on camera, resulting in her costume being cut specifically to cover it. The animated Jeannie seemed to suffer no such restrictions as not only was her navel shown, but her pants were made translucent to show off her legs. Jeannie was also given a sidekick for comic relief: a genie-in-training named Babu (Joe Besser), who would get so nervous his magic would constantly go haywire. Babu’s magic would be cast by saying “Yapple Dapple!” The only character carried over from the live show was Hadji, Master of all Genies (John Stephenson). 

Main character model sheet.

            Jeannie debuted on CBS on September 8, 1973 with music by Hoyt Curtin. Like the sitcom, many of the adventures were driven by Jeannie being constantly jealous of girls Corey would hang out with; Corey being oblivious to Jeannie’s feelings for him. Jeannie would either use her magic to interrupt Corey’s “dates” or in a misguided attempt to give him unwanted help. Causing Corey additional trouble was snooty rich kid S. Melvin Farthinghull (Tommy Cook). Despite the massive changes to the source material and only lasting one season, Jeannie performed well in the ratings; far surpassing Star Trek: The Animated Series in its timeslot.

Jeannie in her Scooby-Doobies vest.

            To help promote the series, Jeannie and Babu guest-starred on an episode of Scooby-Doo Movies. In 1974, Columbia Pictures assumed control of Screen Gems and it became Columbia Pictures Television. Because of that change, plans to use Jeannie and Babu in Laff-A-Lympics fell through as Columbia, through Screen Gems, owned all the rights to the Jeannie character and forbade her use. Babu, however, was owned by Hanna-Barbera and appeared on the show as planned. Jeannie did appear on early promotional art for Laff-A-Lympics. Reruns of the show were featured in their syndicated weekday package series Fred Flintstone and Friends, which was co-produced by Columbia. 

EPISODE GUIDE:
“Surf’s Up” (9/8/73) – Jeannie gets jealous when Corey partners with Aggie for the surfing contest, but she soon dumps him to enter with Melvin.

“The Decathlon” (9/15/73) – Henry and Corey are convinced their diet is helping for their upcoming athletic competition until Babu reveals Jeannie’s been helping them magically.

“The Great Ski Robbery” (9/22/73) – When Henry and Corey are fired from their ski resort jobs, Jeannie help them capture some crooks so they can get them back.

“Survival Course” (9/29/73) – Jeannie sends Corey and Henry on a survival camp field trip.

“The Power Failure” (10/6/73) – A jealous Jeannie takes Corey and Henry’s motorcycle and goes to a beauty salon where she loses her pony tail—and her powers.

“The Dognappers” (10/13/73) – Corey and Henry are accused of dognapping when a show dog in their care ends up taken.

“The Pigeon” (10/20/73) – Corey and Henry’s racing pigeon lays an egg, leaving them to care for her chicken offspring.

“Helen of Troy” (10/27/73) – Jeannie conjures up Helen of Troy to help Corey with his paper, but regrets it when the two begin getting close.

“The Sailors” (11/3/73) – Jeannie replaces Corey’s female partner in the sailboat race and ends up getting his boat disqualified.

“The Kid Brother” (11/10/73) – Young Billy catches a glimpse of Jeannie and attempts to prove her existence.

“The Blind Date” (11/17/73) – Corey sends Jeannie to her bottle over her latest bout of jealousy, and unfortunately his mother decides to recycle it.

“The Commercial” (11/24/73) – Corey wins a contest and has to appear in a commercial in order to earn a place in a four-year college course, but Jeannie has objections.

“Don Juan” (12/1/73) – Jeannie attempts to help Henry get over his shyness around girls by casting a spell, which earns him a lot of attention from girls and makes Corey miserable.

“The Dog” (12/8/73) – Jeannie is assigned to watch Haji’s dog, but when the dog steals his golden cup he turns Corey into a dog.

“The Jinx” (12/15/73) – Jeannie and the guys are tasked with bringing Babu back after he runs away thinking he’s a jinx, and to keep him around Jeannie corrects all his mistakes.

“The Wish” (12/22/73) – When Henry feels inadequate after Corey wins a football game, Jeannie grants him a birthday wish that switches his and Corey’s bodies.