Harlem Globetrotters (TV series)
Title card for Hanna-Barbera's animated Harlem Globetrotters series.
|Starring||Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original run||September 12, 1970– October 16, 1971|
|Followed by||The Super Globetrotters|
Harlem Globetrotters (called Harlem Globe Trotters in the opening titles) is a Saturday morning cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera and CBS Productions, featuring animated versions of players from the famous basketball team, Harlem Globetrotters.
Broadcast from September 12, 1970 to September 2, 1972 on CBS, and later re-run on NBC as The Go-Go Globetrotters, the show featured cartoon versions of George "Meadowlark" Lemon, Freddie "Curly" Neal, Hubert "Geese" Ausbie, J.C. "Gip" Gipson, Bobby Joe Mason, and Pablo Robertson, alongside their fictional bus driver and manager, Granny, and their dog mascot, Dribbles.
The series worked to a formula where the team travels somewhere and typically get involved in a local conflict that leads to one of the Globetrotters proposing a basketball game to settle the issue. To ensure the Globetrotters' defeat, the villains rig the contest; however, before the second half of the contest, the team always finds a way to even the odds, become all but invincible, and win the game.
Twenty-two episodes of Harlem Globetrotters were eventually produced: 16 for the 1970-71 season, and six more for the 1971-72 season. Harlem Globetrotters has a place in history as being the first Saturday morning cartoon to feature a predominately African-American cast; Filmation's The Hardy Boys had been the first to feature an African-American character the previous year. Another Hanna-Barbera series, Josie and the Pussycats, premiered 30 minutes earlier than Harlem Globetrotters on the same day and network, and was the first Saturday morning cartoon to feature an African-American female character. Like many other Saturday morning cartoons of the era, the first season episodes of the series featured a laugh track.
After the show was canceled, the animated Globetrotters made three appearances on Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies in 1972 and 1973. Oddly enough, Dribbles, who didn't appear on the show was in the theme song sequence and several references were made to Granny, who also didn't appear. Hanna-Barbera produced a second animated series starring the Globetrotters in 1979 called The Super Globetrotters, this time featuring the players as superheroes. In spring 1999, TV Land aired repeats of Harlem Globetrotters on Saturday mornings as part of its TV Land Super Retrovision Saturdaze lineup. The series has not been rerun since.
The series was a co-production of Hanna-Barbera and CBS Productions (only one of few animated TV series that CBS directly produced). Syndication rights were originally held by Viacom Enterprises, formerly owned by CBS as its syndication arm. They are now held by CBS Television Distribution. CBS Home Entertainment currently does not plan on releasing the series on DVD (in any event, they would need approval from the Globetrotters themselves).
Gold Key Comics series
In April 1972, Gold Key Comics launched a comic adaptation of the Harlem Globetrotters animated series; their first comic book appearance was in issue #8 of Gold Key's Hanna-Barbera Fun-In published in July 1971. Several stories in early issues were based on episodes of the TV show. The comic series lasted for 4 years and 12 issues through January 1975.
A soundtrack album, The Globetrotters, was produced by Jeff Barry and released in 1970 by Kirshner Records (Kirshner #KES-106, distributed by RCA Records), which featured tunes heard in episodes of the series (during the basketball game sequences). Don Kirshner served as music supervisor for both the series and the record. Two singles were generated from this onetime release, one of which (a cover of the Neil Sedaka tune "Rainy Day Bells" with former Cadillac J.R. Bailey on lead vocals) managed to crack the Top 100, followed by three non-album singles. Jimmy Radcliffe produced, with Wally Gold, and provided the vocals on "Duke Of Earl", "Everybody's Got Hot Pants" from the first non-album single and co-wrote and produced "Everybody Needs Love" from the second as well providing a number of songs and recordings for the series.
Globetrotter frontman Meadowlark Lemon was the only member of the team to be actually involved with the project, adding occasional background vocals to some tracks.
Tracklist for The Globetrotters
- The Globetrotter's Theme (Jeff Barry) - 0:41
- Globetrottin' (Barry) - 2:19
- Bouncin' All Over the World (Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield) - 3:01
- Sneaky Pete (Rudy Clark, J.R. Bailey, and K. Williams) - 2:45
- Marathon Mary (Sedaka and Greenfield) - 3:06
- River Queen (Sedaka and Greenfield) - 3:06
- House Party (Clark, Bailey, and Williams) - 3:00
- Gravy (Clark, Bailey, and Williams) - 3:19
- Meadowlark (Sedaka and Greenfield) - 2:22
- Lillia Peabody (Clark, Bailey, and Williams) - 2:56
- Put a Little Meat On Your Bones, Lucinda (Sedaka and Greenfield) - 3:00
- Rainy Day Bells (Sedaka and Greenfield) - 3:02
- Cheer Me Up (Jeff Barry, Ron Dante, and J. Carr) - 2:22
Commercial singles (1970)
- "Cheer Me Up" b/w "Gravy" (Kirshner # 63-5006)
- "Rainy Day Bells" b/w "Meadowlark" (Kirshner #63-5008)
Non-album singles (1971)
- "Duke of Earl" b/w "Everybody's Got Hot Pants" (Kirshner #63-5012)
- "Everybody Needs Love" (Jimmy Radcliffe and Phil Stern) b/w "ESP" (Kirshner #63-5016)
- "Sweet Georgia Brown" b/w "Bye Bye Blues" (Harlem Globetrotters #45-HGT-300 A/B)
Season 1 (1970-1971)
|Episode #||Episode title||Original airdate||Synopsis|
|HG-1||The Great Geese Goof-Up||September 12, 1970||When Geese gets hurt and goes to the hospital the other Globetrotters think he was turned into a kangaroo at a magic show. The kangaroo was actually an unknowing accomplice in a jewelry theft. The Globetrotters must find the real Geese and stop the criminals if they can.|
|HG-2||Football Zeros||September 19, 1970|
|HG-3||Hold That Hillbilly||September 26, 1970|
|HG-4||Bad News Cruise||October 3, 1970|
|HG-5||Rodeo Duds||October 10, 1970|
|HG-6||Double Dribble Double||October 17, 1970|
|HG-7||Heir Loons||October 24, 1970|
|HG-8||From Scoop to Nuts||October 31, 1970|
|HG-9||What a Day For a Birthday||November 7, 1970|
|HG-10||It's Snow Vacation||November 14, 1970|
|HG-11||The Great Ouch Doors||November 21, 1970|
|HG-12||Hooray For Hollywood||November 28, 1970|
|HG-13||Shook Up Sheriff||December 5, 1970|
|HG-14||Gone To The Dogs||December 12, 1970|
|HG-15||The Wild Blue Yonder||December 19, 1970|
|HG-16||Long Gone Gip||January 2, 1971|
Season 2 (1971-1972)
- HG-17. A Pearl Of A Game (9/11/1971)
- HG-18. Nothing To Moon About (9/18/1971)
- HG-19. Pardon My Magic (9/25/1971)
- HG-20. Granny's Royal Ruckus (10/2/1971)
- HG-21. Soccer To Me (10/9/1971)
- HG-22. Jungle Jitters (10/16/1971)
- Scatman Crothers - George "Meadowlark" Lemon
- Stu Gilliam - Freddie "Curly" Neal
- Johnny Williams - Hubert "Geese" Ausbie
- Richard Elkins - J.C. "Gip" Gipson
- Eddie "Rochester" Anderson - Bobby Joe Mason
- Robert DoQui - Pablo Robertson
- Nancy Wible - "Granny"
- Rudy Clark - Additional voices
- Ken Williams[disambiguation needed] - Additional voices
- Daws Butler - Additional voices
- Henry Corden - Additional voices
- Don Messick - Additional voices
- John Stephenson - Additional voices
- Harlem Globetrotters at the Internet Movie Database
- Harlem Globetrotters at TV.com
- HB Shows.com - The Hanna-Barbera Super Center - The Harlem Globetrotters
- Harlem Globetrotters according to Wingnut
- Gold Key Hanna-Barbera Harlem Globetrotters comic book gallery
- CBS Television Distribution Syndication Bible - The Harlem Globetrotters