The Muppet Show is a comedy-variety television series produced by puppeteer Jim Henson and featuring The Muppets. After two pilot episodes produced in 1974 and 1975 failed to get the attention of America’s network heads, Lew Grade approached Henson to produce the programme for his ATV Associated Television franchise in the UK. The show premiered on 5 September 1976, and five series were produced until 15 March 1981 at ATV’s Elstree Studio just north of London, lasting 120 episodes. The series shows a vaudeville or music hall-style song-and-dance variety show, as well as glimpses behind the scenes of such a show. Kermit the Frog stars as a showrunner who tries to keep control of the antics of the other Muppet characters, as well as keep the guest stars happy. The show was known for outrageous physical slapstick, sometimes absurdist comedy, and humorous parodies. Each episode also featured a human guest star. As the show’s popularity rose, many celebrities were eager to perform with the Muppets on television and in film.
Many of the puppeteers also worked on Sesame Street. Muppet performers over the course of the show include Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Fran Brill, Eren Ozker, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, Kathryn Mullen, Karen Prell, Brian Muehl, Bob Payne, and John Lovelady. Jerry Juhl and Jack Burns were two of the show writers.
The Transformers is the first animated television series in the Transformers franchise. The series depicts a war among giant robots that can transform into vehicles and other objects.
Cleopatra 2525 is an American science fiction television series that aired in syndication for two seasons, from January 2000 to March 2001. It appeared as the first part of the Back2Back Action Hour, followed by Jack of All Trades.
Superboy is a half-hour live-action television series based on the fictional DC Comics comic book character Kal-El’s early years as Superboy. The show ran from 1988–1992 in syndication. It was renamed The Adventures of Superboy at the start of the third season.
Friday the 13th: The Series is an American-Canadian horror television series that ran for three seasons, from October 3, 1987 to May 26, 1990 in first-run syndication. The series follows Micki and Ryan, owners of an antiques store, and their assistant, Jack Marshak, as they try to recover cursed antiques, to put them into safety in the store’s vault.
Originally, the series was to be titled The 13th Hour, but producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. thought this would turn away viewers and instead took the name Friday the 13th to deliberately draw in audiences. Despite this title, the series has no story connections to the film series of the same name, as Jason Voorhees does not make an appearance, nor does any character connected to the films. In the United Kingdom it was listed on TV schedules as Fridays Curse, though when going to advertisement breaks on ITV it would show as Friday the 13th: The series.
The two series have several cast and crew ties, however. The show’s producer, Frank Mancuso, Jr., was producer of the movie series from Friday the 13th Part 2 until the final installment distributed by Paramount. The show’s star, John D. LeMay, went on to star in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, guest star John Shepherd played Tommy Jarvis in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, and episode director David Cronenberg appeared in Jason X. Fred Mollin, Rob Hedden, and Tom McLoughlin worked behind the scenes of both series.
ThunderCats is an American animated television series that was produced by Rankin/Bass Productions debuting in 1985, based on the characters created by Tobin “Ted” Wolf. The series, for which Leonard Starr was the head writer, follows the adventures of a group of cat-like humanoid aliens. The animation was provided by Japanese animation company Pacific Animation Corporation whose artists later went on to join Studio Ghibli. Season 1 of the show aired in 1985, followed by a TV movie entitled ThunderCats – HO! in 1986. Seasons 2, 3, and 4 followed a new format of twenty episodes each, starting with a five-part story.
The series was originally distributed by Rankin-Bass Productions’ then-parent company Telepictures Corporation, which would later merge with Lorimar Productions in 1986. In 1989, Lorimar-Telepictures was purchased by and folded into Warner Bros., whose television syndication arm would eventually assume distribution of the show; Warner Bros. have had the rights to the series from that point on.
There were also several comic book series produced: Marvel Comics’ version, 1984 to 1988; and five series by Wildstorm, an imprint of DC Comics, beginning in 2003. Items of clothing featuring the ThunderCats logo and DVD boxsets of the original series have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as nostalgia for the former children’s favorite has grown.
Darkwing Duck is an American animated action-adventure television series produced by The Walt Disney Company that ran from 1991–1995 on both the syndicated programming block The Disney Afternoon and Saturday mornings on ABC. It featured the eponymous anthropomorphic duck superhero whose alter ego is mild-mannered single quacker Drake Mallard. It is the only direct spin-off of DuckTales.
Tales from the Darkside is an anthology horror TV series created by George A. Romero; it was released in 1984. Similar to Amazing Stories, The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, The Outer Limits, Tales From The Crypt, and Lee Martin’s The Midnight Hour, each episode was an individual short story that ended with a plot twist. The series’ episodes spanned the genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, and some episodes featured elements of black comedy or more lighthearted themes.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe.
The show is set in the Milky Way galaxy, in the years 2369 – 2375. Unlike the other Star Trek TV shows, it takes place on a space station instead of a starship, so as not to have two series with starships at the same time. This made continuing story arcs and the appearance of recurring characters much more feasible. The show is noted for its well-developed characters and its original, complex plots. The series depended on darker themes, less physical exploration of space, and an emphasis on many aspects of war.
DS9 premiered in 1993 and ran for seven seasons, ending in 1999. Rooted in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek universe, it was the first Trek spin-off created without direct involvement from Roddenberry, although he did give his blessing to the concept shortly before his death in 1991. The series was created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller, at the request of Brandon Tartikoff, and produced by Paramount Television. Key writers, in addition to Berman and Piller, included showrunner Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Ronald D. Moore, Peter Allan Fields, Bradley Thompson, David Weddle, Hans Beimler, and René Echevarria.
When Adam, Prince of the planet Eternia, raises his magic sword he transforms into He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe). With his allies and friends, he battles the evil Skeletor and his minions to protect the secrets of Castle Greyskull.
The adventures of woodsman Richard Cypher, who discovers that he was born to fulfill a prophecy of becoming a guardian hero to oppressed people. With the help of a mysterious woman named Kahlan and a wise old wizard named Zedd, he must stop a ruthless and bloodthirsty tyrant from unleashing an ancient evil and enslaving the world.
The series is a dramatization of the Duck universe comic series created by Carl Barks. The viewer follows the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his three grandnephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Important secondary characters, that often take part in the adventures, include Donald Duck, Scrooge’s pilot Launchpad McQuack and butler Duckworth, the inventor Gyro Gearloose, and the nanny Mrs. Beakley and her granddaughter Webby.
Quack Pack is an animated television series made by The Walt Disney Company, featuring Donald Duck and his nephews. The show debuted on September 3, 1996 as a part of the Disney Afternoon programming block. The series ran one season with 39 episodes.
Xena: Warrior Princess is an American–New Zealand supernatural fantasy adventure series that aired in syndication from September 4, 1995 until June 18, 2001.
The series was created in 1995 by writer-director-producer Robert Tapert under his production tag, Renaissance Pictures with later executive producers being R. J. Stewart and Sam Raimi. The series narrative follows Xena, as an infamous warrior on a quest to seek redemption for her past sins against the innocent by using her formidable fighting skills to now, help those who are unable to defend themselves. Xena is accompanied by Gabrielle, who during the series changes from a simple farm girl into an Amazon warrior and Xena’s comrade-in-arms; her initial naïveté helps to balance Xena and assists her in recognizing and pursuing the “greater good”.
The show is a spin-off of the television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; the saga began with three episodes in Hercules where Xena was a recurring character originally scheduled to die in her third appearance. Aware that the character of Xena had been very successful among the public, the producers of the series decided to create a spin-off series based on her adventures. Xena was a successful show which has aired in more than 108 countries around the world since 1998. In 2004 and 2007, it was ranked #9 and #10 on TV Guide’s Top Cult Shows Ever and the title character was ranked #100 on Bravo’s 100 Greatest TV Characters. Xena’s success has led to hundreds of tie-in products, including, comics, books, video games and conventions, realized annually since 1998 in Pasadena, California and London.
Aladdin is an animated television series made by Walt Disney Television which aired from 1994 to 1995, based on the original 1992 feature. It was animated at the Slightly Offbeat Productions Studios in Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand. Coming on the heels of the direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar, the series picked up where that installment left off, with Aladdin now living in the palace, engaged to beautiful and spunky Princess Jasmine. “Al” and Jasmine went together into peril among sorcerers, monsters, thieves, and more. Monkey sidekick Abu, the animated Magic Carpet, and the fast-talking, shape-shifting Genie came along to help, as did sassy, complaining parrot Iago, formerly Jafar’s pet but now an antihero. Jafar, having previously been destroyed in the second movie, returns in only one episode which also serves as a crossover with Hercules: The Animated Series.
Many of the films’ stars provided the voices of their TV counterparts, with the notable exception of Dan Castellaneta filling in for Robin Williams in the Genie role. Unlike The Little Mermaid spinoff series, this series does not feature any musical numbers.
The series originally aired concurrently on the syndicated The Disney Afternoon block and on Saturday mornings on CBS. Disney Channel reran the series in the late-1990s until it was replaced by their pre-teen lineup. The show was later shown on Toon Disney, but has since been removed.