Therin of Andor wrote:
Contractually, it was also very common for an animated series to restart under a new name every few years, rather that have all the Season Three clauses kick in, such as big jumps in actor salaries. (eg. "The New Adventures of Gilligan" becoming "Gilligan's Planet", etc.)
Actually New Adventures
had been off the air (except in syndicated reruns as part of the Groovie Goolies and Friends
"wheel" package) for five years when Gilligan's Planet
came along. So that's not a workable example of that pattern. It was really more a Hanna-Barbera practice than a Filmation practice; Scooby-Doo
, for example, went through nine different incarnations between 1969 and 1985. The only times when Filmation renamed a series from season to season was when it added a new show to a package of multiple shows, usually consisting of reruns. CBS's Tarzan and the Super 7
had most of its segments (except Tarzan
and Jason of Star Command
repackaged as reruns on NBC as Batman and the Super 7
, and The Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour
(combining reruns of the former with the debut of the latter) expanded into The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour
when the third series was added the following year. Most Filmation shows didn't run long enough to go through the kind of sequential identity changes you're talking about. Except for Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
, and the only time that changed its name was when it moved to syndication in 1984, getting The Adventures of
prefixed to the title.
The best example of this strategy is the 80s and 90s "Batman" cartoons, which often underwent series title changes and visual revamps even if the voice talent stayed the same. Sadly for the actors, it was like starting a whole new series, and their salaries would be pegged to keep the budget in check. Young viewers barely noticed.
Again, that's not correct. First off, there were no Batman animated series per se between Filmation's The New Adventures of Batman
in 1977 and Warner Bros.' Batman: The Animated Series
in 1992, although he appeared in various incarnations of Superfriends
through 1986. Second, while B:TAS did undergo a title change to The New Batman and Robin Adventures
in 1994, that was just a repackaging of the last 3/4 of the already-produced second season when FOX moved the show to Saturday mornings; they hoped that adding Robin's name to the titles would help the show attract younger viewers. (The 20 episodes of season 2 were dribbled out over three broadcast seasons, with the first 5 aired under the B:TAS title and the other 15 under the TAoB&R title -- although that's not in production order.) The show was then cancelled, and it wasn't until it was revived three years later on The WB as part of The New Batman/Superman Adventures
that it underwent a "visual revamp" to streamline the character designs for easier animation and bring it more in line with the Superman
design style. They were able to reunite most of the cast, although some roles were recast.