March 27, 2021



(Teletoon, Netflix, Family Channel, January 3, 2015-May 18, 2018)

DHX Media, DHX Studios Halifax


            Serving as a sequel to the original series, Inspector Gadget sees Gadget (Ivan Sherry) being brought out of retirement when his arch-nemesis, Dr. Claw (Martin Roach), is thawed out of the icy prison he was trapped in by his nephew, Talon (Lyon Smith), and resurrects MAD. However, Gadget wouldn’t be on the case alone—this time, his niece Penny (Tara Strong) and her dog Brain (Scott McCord) would be his partners as agents-in-training. The series was produced by DHX Media (now WildBrain), who had come to own the DiC Entertainment library and the rights to Gadget. The show, now rendered in computer animation, followed the same basic premise of the original in that Gadget, while equipped with a powerful assortment of gadgets, was completely inept and it was Penny who usually foiled MAD’s schemes (a fact Gadget and Claw were oblivious to). However, being older and an agent meant Penny could fight back and not need rescuing, nor did she have to work in secret. Talon had his own issues with trying to get Claw to stop being so old-fashioned and to avoid the mistakes that lets Gadget win. Penny and Talon shared a mutual attraction that couldn’t be acted upon due to their being on opposing sides. Penny also a gained a new best friend and fellow agent, Kayla (Katie Griffin), whose cheerful disposition and motormouth tended to cripple any MAD goons she came across.

Promotional artwork of Brain, Gadget, Penny, MAD Cat, Dr. Claw and Talon.

            Inspector Gadget debuted on January 3, 2015, airing on Teletoon (and later the DHX-owned Family Channel) in Canada, as well as on Boomerang and DStv internationally. It was originally intended to air on Cartoon Network in the United States but became a Netflix exclusive first airing that March (Cartoon Network Arabic would air it in the Middle East). This time around episodes (excluding the first) were comprised of two 11-minute segments rather than a full half hour. Gadget’s boss, Chief Quimby (Derek McGrath), still delivered his missions from peculiar hiding spots, but they were updated to exploding holograms. The theme by series composers Asher Lenz and Stephen Skratt was a stylistic update of the original, played over an opening sequence that followed virtually the same beats. Ultimately, Gadget ran for 52 episodes over 4 seasons. In November of 2017, the series came to American airwaves on Universal Kids

March 26, 2021



You can read the full story here.

A beloved author of children's literature, her trilogy of books starring Ralph S. Mouse were adapted into three episodes of ABC Weekend Specials.

March 25, 2021



You can read the full story here.

A star of stage and screen, she also had a prominent voice over career playing Admiral Rhea Bergstrom in an episode of Wing Commander Academy, Ashlee Walker Club Dupree in an episode of The Magic School Bus (1994), and Athena in an episode of Justice League Action, and starred as Meteora Butterfly in Star vs. the Forces of Evil. She also provided additional voices for The Pirates of Dark Water.

March 24, 2021



You can read the full story here.

Guested as J.B. in an episode of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters and provided the original voice of Dr. Eli Selig in an episode of The Zeta Project.

March 20, 2021




(ABC, September 9, 1966-March 17, 1967)


Greenway Productions, 20th Century Fox Television



            The Green Hornet was a radio serial character created in 1936 by WXYZ (now WXYT) owner George W. Trendle and writer Fran Striker, with input from radio director James Jewell. He was the alter-ego of Britt Reid (Al Hodge, Donovan Faust, Bob Hall & Jack McCarthy), the wealthy young publisher of The Daily Sentinel newspaper and a descendent of The Lone Ranger, whom Trendle and Striker also created. He and his loyal partner and confidant Kato (Tokutaro Hayashi, Rollon Parker & Michael Tolan) patrolled the city at night with a variety of gadgets and a technologically advanced car, The Black Beauty. They pose as criminals in order to better infiltrate the criminal underworld. The Green Hornet ran from 1936-1950, then again for 2 months in 1952. In that time, it was adapted into two serials by Universal Pictures and a comic book series that began with Henlit Comics (aka Holyoke) in 1940 and ended with Harvey Comics in 1949.

Green Hornet, Kato and the Black Beauty.

            Trendle had attempted to pitch the character for television in 1951 and 1958, but nobody was interested in it until Batman became a success on ABC. The network decided to take on The Green Hornet and put it in the hands of Batman producer William Dozier. Unlike Batman, The Green Hornet was played straight. The Hornet was once again publisher Britt Reid (Van Williams) with his trusty sidekick, martial-artist Kato (Bruce Lee), dedicated to fighting crime after his father was framed, imprisoned and killed. Only two other people knew their secret: Reid’s secretary Lenore “Casey” Case (Wende Wagner), as she did in the later years of the radio show, and District Attorney Frank P. Scanlon (Walter Brooke), changed from being a police commissioner in order to minimize comparisons to Batman. Sentinel police reporter Michael Axford (Lloyd Gough), no longer Britt’s bodyguard, was determined to get the scoop on the Hornet. Additional differences between previous versions were Hornet and Kato wore masks molded to their faces rather than one that covered the full face or goggles, Hornet carried a vibrational weapon called the Hornet’s Sting as well as a knockout gas gun, and Kato had darts hidden up his sleeve.

The Green Hornet meets Batman and Robin.

            The Green Hornet debuted on ABC, who owned WXYZ since 1946, on September 6, 1966. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestral interlude, “Flight of the Bumblebee”, had become synonymous with the character through the radio series, so the TV show used a similar jazz-styled theme arranged by series composer Billy May, conducted by Lionel Newman, and a trumpet solo by Al Hirt. Dozier served as the series’ narrator as he did on Batman, and the characters would cross over twice. Unfortunately, The Green Hornet did not duplicate Batman’s success for the network and they cancelled it after a single season. However, it left a lasting impression thanks to Lee as it introduced both him and true martial arts to American audiences, increasing the popularity of both and propelling Lee into a movie career. ABC aired reruns of the series until July 1967, and since then it has made sporadic rounds on various networks.



(ABC, September 15, 1949-June 6, 1957)


Apex Film, Wrather Productions (season 4-5)


             Created in 1933 for the radio by WXYZ (now WXYT) owner Georg W. Trendle and writer Fran Striker, The Lone Ranger was a masked cowboy vigilante. He began as a Texas Ranger named John Reid (Earle Graser until his death, Brace Beemer for the remainder, and several fill-ins), the sole survivor of an ambush on him and five of his fellow Rangers by a gang led by a man named Bartholomew “Butch” Cavendish (Bill Saunders). He was found and nursed to health by Native American Tonto (John Todd). Reid adopted the guise of the Lone Ranger to bring Cavendish to justice with Tonto and his trusty horse, Silver, by his side, and to continue to protect the west. As the Ranger was never identified as such verbally, those he helped were often left to ponder “Who was that masked man, anyway?” at the end of each episode. The show proved immensely popular, running until 1956 and spawning two Republic serials and books largely written by Striker. In 1949, Trendle brought the series to television with Clayton Moore in the title role and Jay Silverheels as Tonto.

The Lone Ranger, Tonto and Silver.

The Lone Ranger debuted on the fledgling ABC, who bought WXYZ in 1946, on September 15, 1949. Like the radio show, it used the ending of the “William Tell Overture” by Gioachino Rossini as its theme, which has become synonymous with the franchise as a result. 78 episodes were filmed and aired for 78 weeks, then rerun all-over again for another year. It became the first hit for the network, earning an Emmy nomination in 1950. For the next batch of 52 episodes, Moore was fired over a contractual dispute and replaced with John Hart. It was believed that the mask would hide the change and keep the audience invested, but he was disliked in the role and his episodes weren’t aired again until the 1980s. In 1954, Trendle sold the rights to Jack Wrather who produced another 52 episodes after promptly hiring back Moore. For the final season, only 39 episodes were produced, as that had become the industry standard, and Wrather fronted the money to produce them in color despite ABC still broadcasting in black and white. Wrather decided to skip dealing with the network and went on to produce two theatrical films, while ABC kept the show in daytime reruns for years.

March 13, 2021



(CBS, October 4, 1961-September 12, 1962)


Bagdasarian Film Corporation, Format Films

 For the history of Alvin and the Chipmunks, check out the post here.


            With the popularity of Ross Bagdasarian’s creations, Alvin and the Chipmunks, riding high with hit songs and album sales, the time had come to expand the brand onto television in a more permanent basis. Bagdasarian teamed-up with Format Films, who redesigned the Chipmunks into more physically distinguishable and cartoonish characters, and created storyboards for a pilot episode to shop around to the networks. CBS ultimately bought the concept and commissioned the creation of the show. It would be broken up into three segments: the first was a standard Chipmunk misadventure, featuring Alvin, Simon, Theodore and their hapless guardian, Dave Seville (all Bagdasarian). In keeping with what made the characters so popular, that would be followed by a song segment, and then a second song to close out the episode. Additionally, the Chipmunks would appear in commercials for their primary sponsors: Jell-O and Post Cereals, both owned by General Foods. In between the two songs was an original creation: scientist and inventor Clyde Crashup (Shepard Menken, impersonating Richard Haydn’s Edwin Carp character) and his sidekick who only spoke by whispering in his ear, Leonardo. Clyde would tend to invent something that already existed but with his own flair added. And, usually, those inventions would backfire.

The Sevilles: Dave, Alvin, Theodore and Simon.

            The Alvin Show, named for the most popular character in the group, debuted on CBS on October 4, 1961. Bagdasarian would handle the music along with Charles E. King and Ken Lowman, with direction and arrangement by Johnny Mann. The series ran in black and white for two seasons in primetime before moving to the Saturday morning line-up and being colorized. By the end of the 60s, the individual Chipmunks segments were combined and the show was sold into syndication as Alvin and the Chipmunks, making its way to NBC Saturday mornings in 1979. Ultimately, a new series would emerge through Bagdasarian’s son, Ross, Jr., and daughter-in-law, Janice Karman. Clyde and the original animated Chipmunks would make appearances on that show. In 1994, Nickelodeon acquired the broadcast rights for The Alvin Show and re-aired them in their original form, less one song to make room for commercials. They also incorporated various segments into their own program, Weinerville. To date, only a few episodes and segments have seen release to home media, and the program itself has not been broadcast since Nickelodeon dropped it.



(NBC, October 15, 1952-March 23, 1955)


Joan Davis Enterprises


            When I Love Lucy debuted in 1951, it became a hit for CBS and sponsors were clamoring for more shows like it to bring attention to their products. NBC commissioned a similar production of their own with physical comedienne Joan Davis as the lead. I Married Joan centered on the antics of scatterbrained and clumsy housewife Joan Stevens who tended to get herself into a variety of pratfalls all designed to show off Davis’ physical skills. Early episodes would set up their stories by featuring her husband, mild-mannered community judge Bradley Stevens (Jim Backus), relaying it to people appearing before him in his court. These wraparound segments were abandoned after a few episodes, allowing the stories to stand on their own. In the second season, Davis’ daughter, Beverly Willis, would play her younger sister Beverly Grossman for several episodes.

The Stevens have a guest for dinner.

            I Married Joan debuted on NBC on October 15, 1952. To help entice Lucy’s audience to check it out, the first season was directed by Lucy season one director Marc Daniels. NBC scheduled it against the first half of the popular Arthur Godfrey and his Friends on CBS, resulting in it getting marginally decent ratings. Fortunately the scandal that followed Arthur Godfrey’s on-air firing of singer Julius La Rosa caused an irreparable decline in Godfrey’s popularity, allowing Joan to get significantly better ratings for the second season. Unfortunately, this boost was temporary as the ratings plummeted again when ABC debuted Disneyland. That, combined with Davis’ reported health problems (although she continued to make appearances up until her death), led to the show being cancelled after 3 seasons and 98 episodes. The following season, NBC moved reruns to its Saturday morning line-up for a year. Beginning in the 1980s, the series has had a sporadic syndication run on CBN (now Freeform), ION Television, AMG TV and Decades network. Episodes have also been screened at the annual Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention.

March 06, 2021



(ABC, September 27, 1961-April 18, 1962)


Hanna-Barbera Productions


            Top Cat was one of the prime-time sitcoms developed by Hanna-Barbera Productions in their early years. It was partly inspired by the East Side Kids--tough kid characters that starred in a series of films from Monogram Pictures between 1940-45--but took most of its inspiration from The Phil Silvers Show. The titular Top Cat (T.C. to his friends, voiced by Arnold Stang impersonating Silvers) was the feline leader of a gang of alley cats comprised of simple-minded Benny the Ball (modeled after his voice actor Maurice Gosfield, who also starred in Silvers), enthusiastic and devoted Choo-Choo (Marvin Kaplan, invoking Woody Allen), the ironically-named Brain (Leo De Lyon), laid-back ladies’ man Fancy-Fancy (John Stephenson) and beatnik Spook (also Lyon). T.C. would summon his gang by clanging two garbage can lids together and then proceed to lead them on a series of (often illegal) get-rich-quick schemes. Standing in their way was beat cop Charles Dibble (Allen Jenkins), who often put a stop to their schemes but was unable to evict them from the alley or get them to stop using the police call box phone for their personal use.

Signed art of Dibble looking on as Brain, Benny, Fancy-Fancy, T.C., Spook and Choo Choo cause a ruckus in the alley.

            Top Cat debuted on ABC on September 27, 1961, featuring music from regular Hanna-Barbera composer Hoyt Curtin. Co-creator William Hanna called it one of the wittiest and most sophisticated shows he produced that had a rare appeal to audiences of all ages. Unfortunately, the show was only a modest success and only lasted a single season of 30 episodes that ABC would rerun as part of their Saturday morning schedule. However, that was just in America. Top Cat was a massive hit in Mexico, Chile, Peru and Argentina, and T.C. has been regarded as one of the most famous cartoon characters ever in those territories. In 1988, Hanna-Barbera produced a 2-hour television movie called Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats that aired as part of their Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 series of telefilms, and the characters continued to appear or make cameos in other Hanna-Barbera shows. Mexican animation studio Ánima Estudios would produce and release a theatrical film in 2011. While it did well in Mexico, the English dub was widely panned. In 2015, they released a CGI prequel that fared no better, even in its home country.



(ABC, September 22, 1987-May 23, 1995)


Jeff Franklin Productions, Miller-Boyett Productions, Lorimar-Telepictures (season 1), Lorimar Television (season 2-6), Warner Bros. Television (season 7-8)


            Created by Jeff Franklin, Full House centered on recently widowed neat freak Danny Tanner (Bob Saget, John Posey in the pilot) getting help from his best friend, comedian and impressionist Joey Gladstone (Dave Coulier), and brother-in-law, rock and roller Jesse Katsopolis (originally Cochran, played by John Stamos), in raising his three daughters: eldest D.J. (Candace Cameron Bure), middle Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and baby Michelle (shared by twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen). They moved into his San Francisco house and misadventures followed as three vastly different single men tried to deal with the trials and tribulations that accompanied three girls growing up. Eventually, the titular full house became even fuller when Jesse fell in love with and married Danny’s television morning show co-host, Rebecca Donaldson (Lori Loughlin), and they had two boys of their own, Nicky and Alex (twins Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit), while taking residence in the attic after it was converted into an apartment.

A full house indeed: Jesse and Becky with their boys, Joey, neighbor Kimmy Gibbler, Danny, Stephanie, Michelle, D.J. and her boyfriend, Steve.

            Full House debuted on ABC on September 22, 1987. The series’ theme, played at various lengths throughout the show’s run and in reruns, was “Everywhere You Look”, performed by Jesse Frederick and composed by him, Bennett Salvay and Franklin. The show, like most family-oriented sitcoms at the time, dealt with real issues families often faced in a combination of laugh-filled and heartfelt messages. Despite an unusually high writer turnover rate, the show remained incredibly popular throughout its run, becoming the springboard to launch fellow ABC programs Home Improvement, Family Matters and Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. It would go on to become the flagship program of ABC’s TGIF programming block before jumping back and forth between Tuesdays and Fridays. Ultimately, ABC decided to cancel the show despite its strong ratings due to rising costs of production, not even giving it a proper final episode. The show would go on in reruns for years on various basic cable channels, such as TBS and Nickelodeon, as well as streaming on Hulu.

            In 2014, after a lot of back and forth with rumors about a potential movie spin-off, Netflix announced plans to produce a spin-off sequel series. Fuller House debuted on February 26, 2016 and ran for 5 seasons. It followed a widowed D.J. who moved back into the family house and got help from Stephanie and her childhood best friend, Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber), in raising her boys Jackson (Michael Campion), Max (Elias Harger) and Tommy (shared by twins Dashiell and Fox Messitt). If that wasn’t enough, Kimmy had her own daughter, Ramona (Soni Nicole Bringas), from her failed marriage. The rest of the original cast except the Olsens, including former guest-stars and recurring characters, would pop in from time to time to offer help or just add to the comedic chaos.