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|Headquarters||Burbank, California, USA|
Taft Broadcasting (1981-1987)
Great American Broadcasting (1987–1991)
RS Holdings (1991-present)
Ruby-Spears Productions (also known as Ruby-Spears Enterprises) is a Burbank, California-based entertainment production company that specializes in animation. The firm was founded in 1977 by veteran writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears.
Both Ruby and Spears started out as sound editors at Hanna-Barbera, and later branched out into writing stories for such programs as Space Ghost and The Herculoids. In 1968, they were assigned the task of developing a mystery-based cartoon series for Saturday morning, the end result of which was Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. They were also writers and producers for DePatie-Freleng Enterprises.
The firm's credits include the animated series Fangface, Fangface and Fangpuss, The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show, Thundarr the Barbarian, Rubik the Amazing Cube, the 1983 version of Alvin and the Chipmunks series, the 1988 Superman series, and the American Mega Man cartoon series.
One series, Piggsburg Pigs!, used Canadian voice talent rather than American voice talent like most of their shows. Ruby-Spears was also responsible for the animated sequence in the 1988 film Child's Play.
The Ruby-Spears studio was purchased in 1978 by Filmways Television and was sold in late 1981 to Taft Broadcasting, becoming a sister company to Hanna-Barbera Productions. In 1991, Ruby-Spears was spun off into RS Holdings while most of the original Ruby-Spears library (its pre-1991 library) was sold along with Hanna-Barbera to Turner Broadcasting System, which in turn merged with Time Warner in 1996. The Ruby-Spears studio continued with other projects such as Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa and Mega Man.
Ownership of properties
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- The animated version of Police Academy and the 1988 Superman series were always owned by Time Warner due to them being based on Warner Bros. properties.
- Shows based on Happy Days and its spin-offs, which were co-produced with Paramount Network Television, are now owned by CBS Corporation;
- Rambo and the Forces of Freedom is owned by StudioCanal (who owns the Rambo film series) as they are the successors to co-producers Carolco Pictures, with Lions Gate Entertainment handling DVD distribution and CBS Television Distribution handling TV distribution;
- After its original airing on NBC, Alvin and the Chipmunks was initially syndicated by Lorimar-Telepictures, then passed on to Warner Bros. Television following their acquisition of Lorimar-Telepictures. However, the rights to the series itself are owned by Bagdasarian Productions, who have licensed DVD distribution to Paramount Pictures.
- Lazer Tag Academy is owned by Disney (under the title Laser Patrol) due to its ownership of co-producer Saban Entertainment (now BVS Entertainment)
- Along these same lines, Piggsburg Pigs! was co-produced by Fox Children's Productions, and when Fox sold Fox Kids and its library to Disney, Piggsburg Pigs! was included.
- It's Punky Brewster is owned by NBCUniversal Television, producers of the live action sitcom Punky Brewster.
- Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa, which was animated at Ruby-Spears for its second season (1993–94), was co-produced by King World and Greengrass Productions, a unit of Capital Cities/ABC. The series was subsequently owned by The Walt Disney Company until the company spun-off DIC Entertainment in 2000. In 2008, DiC became a part of Cookie Jar Entertainment, which was purchased in 2012 by DHX Media, who is now the co-owner of the series with Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
- Ruby-Spears Productions (official site)