saw the continuation of a new trend - making (mostly) bad cartoon versions
of classic television shows - and prime-time stars lent their voices to
cartoons this year as well. Only two shows this season are live action,
the rest are animated.
The three-minute 'Multiplication
Rock' segments were so popular last year that 'Schoolhouse Rock'
debuts on ABC between the shows. Thomas G. Yohe, was the creative director
of the ABC series of animated shorts that ran from 1973 to 1985.
(grammar), "I'm Just a Bill,'' (government), and "Interplanet Janet,''
(astronomy) were some of the subjects covered. Yohe
died in Dec, 2000.
TV-movies were popular
in prime-time, so ABC and CBS tried the form on Saturdays with animated
So popular they're selling tons of
cereal and vitamins by now. It would always bug me in those cereal
commercials when Barney would tell Fred: "I just ate your Pebbles!"
Replaced mid-season by 'Hair Bear
Bailey's Comets / CBS
Another chase cartoon with Roller Derby teens competing for cartoon
glory and a million dollar prize with clues to the finish line given
out in rhymes. Reruns ran on Sundays in 1974.
Doo Movies / CBS
Showing re-runs of last season's shows mixed with re-runs of the
Tim Conway appears in an episode as
a coach who helps the gang flush out a ghost. Also seen - The Addams
Family, Sonny and Cher, Dick Van Dyke and Sandy Duncan.
Martians / CBS
Surprisingly cute Filmation cartoon take on the Sixties sitcom.
Better than the original show in my opinion!
Well, maybe not...
The cartoon version has Jonathan Harris
(Dr. Smith on 'Lost in Space') providing the voice of Uncle Martin.
In this variation, Uncle Martin, his nephew and their dog landing
on Earth. Tim and Katy both discover them and try to hide their
secret. Howard Morris (Ernest T. Bass) also provides voices.
Jeannie / CBS
Yet ANOTHER sitcom brought to cartoon 'life', this time it's the
teenage adventures of Jeannie before she meets her astronaut master.
jeannie has a teenage master - Corey Anders, a high-school student/surfer
dude who found her bottle on the beach. Jeannie spends most of her
time trying to wreck Corey's social life.
Speed Buggy / CBS
Hanna-Barbera series about a friendly flying car with three teen
drivers - Debbie, Mark and Tinker, the designers of the car they
can control with the help of a remote. This cartoon ran almost every
year for the next ten years.
Josie and the Pussycats
in Outer Space / CBS
Classic Hanna-Barbera with superb character designs by Alex Toth.
As good as cartoons got in 1973, Josie and pals accidently blast
off into space and try to find their way back to earth. Along the
way the meet strange and hostile life forms who inevitably go comatose
when the band starts playing.
Everything's Archie / CBS
Gone are the television station format and the awful King Features
cartoons (Dick Tracy, etc) from the last two seasons.
It's back to Archie basics with short
stories, songs and blackouts centering around Archie, Veronica,
Reggie, Jughead, Moose, Betty and the rest of the Riverdale High
gang. A Filmation production.
Fat Albert and
the Cosby Kids / CBS
The second season opens with dumb Donald getting a new baby brother
and learning a few lessons about sharing. Sexism is explored with
a girl who plays football while Fat Albert bakes cakes, the gang
goes to summer camp.
The CBS Children's Film Festival
Hour long presentation of
foriegn films, hosted by Kukla, Fran and Ollie.
One of the films was "Tony
and the Tick Tock Dragon", a Hungarian film about a boy looking
for time, something his father won't give him.
Bugs Bunny / ABC
The "Waskally Wabbit" moves from long-time home CBS to ABC, bringing
Tweety, Daffy and the whole gang with him in this half-hour series.
Yogi's Gang / ABC
Yogi sides with the 'Crips' in a bloody confrontation in the streets
of East LA after Boo-Boo is shot in a drive-by. Actually, it has
Yogi battling the cloud-like Mr. Pollution, Mr. Dirt, The Envy Brothers
and Mr. Bigot, in these subtle moral tales. Yogi's "Gang" in this
show consisted of Huckleberry Hound, Magilla Gorilla, Quick Draw
McGraw, Top Cat, Boo Boo, Doggie Daddy, and Wally Gator. Just the
kind of guys you want watching your back.
Super Friends / ABC
Superman, Aquaman, Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman team with stupid
cartoon sidekicks and their dog to become the Justice League of
America. So why do they need to call themselves the Super Friends
when they've already called themselves the Justice League? And why
did ever show have to have teenagers and a dog?
A psychologist was hired by the network
to help make sure the Super Friends always do the right thing in
every single situation. The Super Friends were on every year but
one from 1973 - 1979.
Lassie's Rescue Rangers / ABC
Lassie leads a life saving rescue
squad of various forest animals. They also go after polluters and
environmental foes in this Filmation cartoon featuring the voice
of Ted Knight ('Mary Tyler Moore'). Show moves to Sundays in 1974.
Goober and the
Ghost Chasers / ABC
Hanna-Barbera entry about ghost hunting teenagers, directly ripping
off their own 'Scooby Doo', and a pale imitation it was. For kids
who just couldn't get enough Scooby. This time it's the dog that
can turn invisible and he's teamed with magazine reporters that
fit the exact same profile as Scooby's pals.
Voices by Paul Winchell (Goober) and
'Partridge Family' kids Danny Bonaduce, Susan Dey, Suzanne Crough
and Brian Forster made several appearances. Next season, reruns
were seen on Sunday mornings.
Brady Kids / ABC
Second (and final) season for the animated family.
Mission: Magic / ABC
An animated Rick Springfield singing his 'hits' punctuated this
fantasy about six students and their teacher falling through their
blackboard and into alternative worlds where things run backwards
and that type of thing.
The New Saturday
Superstar Movie ABC
Despite the 'New' title, only three
new episodes aired this season.
Still, the second season starts with
a bang - 'Space Family Robinson', the animated adventures of the
'Lost in Space' Robinson family - well, sort of. The original Dr.
Smith (Jonathan Harris) was on hand, but (for legal reasons) it's
a different Robinson family he's lost in space with.
This was a pilot for a Saturday morning series that was ultimately
shelved by Hanna-Barbera. Very weird, guess they decided to do 'Josie
and the Pussycats in Outer Space' instead - it was basically the
same show. Clever character designs by Alex Toth made it watchable.
Other new features this season:
'Nanny and the Professor and the Phantom of the Circus', basically
a Scooby episode with different characters. The original cast of
a much-loved primetime series (Nanny and the Professor,
1970-71) is reunited in cartoon
form for a second time (see last year).
'Luvcast, USA', a 'Love American
Style' cartoon-style with three segments about love potions and
feminist werewolves. Now that's scary!
Another year of Dick Clark
and the nation's teenagers dancing and rating records. Guest
this year included: Redbone, William DeVaughn.
Commercial for McDonalds:
Lidsville / NBC
Show moves to NBC, now all re-runs in the third and last season.
All of the NBC shows this year get shuffled around mid-season.
Private Eye / NBC
A cartoon about a one-inch high 'Maxwell Smart' clone working for
the Finkerton Agency. Annoying.
Cartoon version of the sitcom with Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester)
and Ted Cassidy (Lurch) providing their original voices. A Hanna-Barbera
production, a young Jodie Foster provides the voice of Pugsly.
In the cartoon, the Addams have sold the house and are travelling
the country in a spooky RV. Along for the ride: Octo the family
Octopus. In the first episode, the family buys Central Park.
Plus Four / NBC
Cartoon version of the hot NBC drama that's drawing big ratings
on Saturday nights in 1973. Four kids join Roy DeSoto and John Gage
(Kevin Tighe and Randolph Mantooth, who provide their own character's
voices) as they fight fires and perform dangerous rescues.
Butch Cassidy and
the Sundance Kids/ NBC
About a rock group on tour headed by a guy named Butch Cassidy who
are actually government agents. Mickey Dolenz provides one of the
Star Trek / NBC
Animated series with the continuing journeys of Capt. Kirk, Mr.
Spock and the whole gang.
All of the regulars from the 1966-69
series provided their voices for this show, and the scripts were
often excellent science-fiction - going places the live action show
couldn't because of budget constraints.
This cartoon is better than the original
in many respect.
Sigmund and the
Sea Monsters / NBC
Sid and Marty Krofft live action show with Billy Barty as Sigmund,
a lost sea monster who is kept hidden by two brothers (Johnny 'Family
Affair' Whitaker and Scott Kolden) in their clubhouse. Lucy show's
semi-regular Mary Wickes also stars.
Pink Panther / NBC
Pink Panther cartoons were more expensive to animate than the others
because they were all action - there was no distracting dialogue to
take up time.
"Back in the fall of 1973, NBC had comedian Lenny Schultz
host the Pink Panther show for a few weeks. I do remember seeing
these, but can't remember much beyond Lenny and some kids playing
games between the cartoon segments. After a few weeks, the Pink
Panther was still there, but no Lenny. Was he fired, or was this
an experiment that failed? I've always wondered." - Tom Stillabower
Jetsons / NBC
Hanna-Barbera classic that originally only ran one prime-time season,
this is the third year of reruns on Saturday morning.
Commercial from 1973 for Freakies
Go / NBC
Takes kids to real life places and visits with everyday people.
The opening episode focused on the New York City Police department,
future episodes featured: behind the scenes on a movie set, a World
War I air battle recreation, National Scout Jamboree in Moraine
State Park, driving a race car and life in the air with an airline
Narrated this year by Greg Morris ('Mission Impossible'), the show
moved to Sundays for a period of time, then back to Saturdays in