Josie and the Pussycats (TV series)

Josie and the Pussycats (TV series)

infobox television
show_name = Josie and the Pussycats

format = Animation
runtime = 21 minutes
rating = TV-G
creator = Dan DeCarlo
Joe Ruby
Ken Spears
starring = Janet Waldo
Sherry Alberoni
Casey Kasem
Jackie Joseph
Jerry Dexter
Barbara Pariot
Don Messick
country = USA
network = CBS
first_aired = September 12, 1970
last_aired = January 2, 1971
num_episodes = 16
imdb_id = 0065307
tv_com_id = 2900

"Josie and the Pussycats" was an American animated television series produced for Saturday morning television by Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1970 for CBS. In 1972, Hanna-Barbera produced a spin-off called "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space," which ran until 1974. Based upon the Archie Comics series of the same name created by Dan DeCarlo, "Josie and the Pussycats" featured an all-girl pop music band that toured the world with their entourage, getting mixed up in strange adventures, spy capers, and mysteries. The show, more similar to Hanna-Barbera's "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" rather than the original "Josie" comic book, is famous for its music, the girls' leopard print leotards (replete with "long tails and ears for hats," as the theme song states), and for featuring the first regularly appearing black character in a Saturday morning cartoon show. [Charles, Don. Long Tails and Ears for Hats: The Story of Josie and The Pussy Cats.]


"See the Josie and the Pussycats comic book article for a detailed decription of each character"
* "Josie James" (speaking voice by Janet Waldo, singing voice by Cathy Dougher)
* "Melody Jones" (speaking voice by Jackie Joseph, singing voice by Cheryl Ladd [credited as Cherie Moor] )
* "Valerie Brown" (speaking voice by Barbara Pariot, singing voice by Patrice Holloway)
* "Alan M. Mayberry" (voiced by Jerry Dexter)
* "Alexander Cabot III" (voiced by Casey Kasem)
* "Alexandra Cabot" (voiced by Sherry Alberoni)
* "Sebastian" {cat} (voiced by Don Messick)
* "Bleep" (only in "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space", voiced by Don Messick)

Creation and development


During the 1968 - 1969 television season, the first "Archie"-based Saturday morning cartoon, "The Archie Show," was a huge success, not only in the ratings on CBS, but also on the Billboard charts: The Archies' song "Sugar, Sugar" hit the #1 spot on the Billboard charts in September 1969, becoming the number one song of the year. Animation studio Hanna-Barbera Productions wanted to duplicate the success their competitors Filmation were having with "The Archie Show". After a failed attempt at developing a teenage-music-band show of their own called "Mysteries Five" (which eventually became "Scooby-Doo, Where are You!"), they decided to go to the source and contacted Archie Comics about possibly adapting one of their remaining properties into a show similar to "The Archie Show." Archie Comics responded by offering to re-develop their comic Josie into a TV series about a teenage music band, allowing Hanna-Barbera to adapt it into a music-based Saturday morning show.

The music

In preparation for the upcoming cartoon series, Hanna-Barbera began working on putting together a real-life Josie and the Pussycats girl group, who would provide the singing voices of the girls in the cartoons and also record an album. Many of the songs on the album would be used in the cartoon as well.

The Josie and the Pussycats recordings were produced by La La Productions, run by Danny Janssen and Bobby Young. They held a talent search to find three girls who would match the three girls in the comic book in both looks and singing ability, and, after interviewing over 500 finalists, settled upon casting Kathleen Dougherty (Cathy Dougher) as Josie, Cherie Moor (actress Cheryl Ladd) as Melody, and Patrice Holloway as Valerie.

Janssen presented the newly formed band to William Hanna and Joseph Barbera to finalize the production deal, but was in for a surprise. Hanna-Barbera wanted Janssen to recast Patrice Holloway, because they had decided to portray "Josie and the Pussycats" as an all-white trio and had altered Valerie, who was African-American in the comic book, to make her white. Janssen refused to recast Holloway and threatened to walk away from the project. After a three-week-long stand-off between Janssen and Hanna-Barbera, Hanna-Barbera finally relented and allowed Janssen to keep Holloway, and changed Valerie back to being African-American.

Valerie was actually the very first African-American cast member on a regular Saturday morning cartoon. (In 1969, Bill Cosby's Fat Albert appeared in a one-shot animated prime-time special, but would not get his own show until 1971. During the summer of 1970, CBS aired the Hanna-Barbera animated sitcom "Where's Huddles?" in prime time; this show featured the first African-American character to appear on a regular original animated TV program.) Valerie holds this position in history thanks to the CBS scheduling department: "Josie and the Pussycats" debuted at 9:30 a.m. EST on September 12 1970, while another new Hanna-Barbera show, "Harlem Globetrotters" (on which all but one of its major human characters were African-American) debuted on the same day — but at 10:00 AM.

eries overview

"Josie and the Pussycats" debuted on the CBS Saturday morning lineup on September 12, 1970, with the episode "The Nemo's a No-No Affair." The animated version of "Josie" was an amalgam of plot devices, villain types, settings, moods, and tones from other Hanna-Barbera shows such as "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!", "Jonny Quest", "Space Ghost", and "Shazzan".

Like "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!", "Josie and the Pussycats" contained a laugh track.


Every episode of the show would find the Pussycats (along with Josie's boyfriend and band roadie Alan, their cowardly manager Alexander, Alexander's crusty and scheming sister Alexandra, and the equally scheming pet Sebastian the cat) en route to perform a gig or record a song in some exotic location. Somehow (more often than not due to something Alexandra did) they would accidentally find themselves mixed up in an adventure/mystery. The antagonist was always a diabolical mad scientist, spy, or criminal who wanted to take over the world using some hi-tech device. The Pussycats would usually find themselves in possession of the plans for an invention, an item of interest to the villains, a secret spy message, etc., and the villains would give chase.

Towards the end of the episode, the villain would succeed in capturing the Pussycats and would begin executing their diabolical plan to take over the world. The gang would break free (usually thanks to Sebastian), and would proceed to "disconboomerate" (their word) the device/lab and capture the bad guys. This would result in a final chase sequence, set to one of the songs recorded for the Capitol Records releases.

The Pussycats would succeed in capturing the villain and get back to their gig/recording session/etc. The final gag always centered around one of Alexandra's attempts to (a) interfere with/put an end to The Pussycats' performance, (b) steal Alan away from Josie, or (c) achieve both at the same time. More often than not, she would enlist Sebastian to carry out her dirty work, and Sebastian would always bumble the job in some way, which would result in Alexandra getting in trouble and/or being made a fool of. Alexandra and Sebastian cat parallel another set of comic relief villains-Dick Dastardly and Muttley from Hanna-Barbera's "Wacky Races". Sebastian even had the same laugh as Muttley, supplied by Don Messick.

At least two of the 1970-1972 plots were based on H.G. Wells stories: "The Invisible Man" and the "The Island of Doctor Moreau".

tyle and similarites

The art styling for the show was a cross between Dan DeCarlo's artwork and Hanna-Barbera's late-1960s adventure shows such as "Scooby-Doo", "Space Ghost", and "The Herculoids".

"Josie and the Pussycats" was somewhat less realistic and more cartoony than "Scooby-Doo," from which much of its tone, laugh track, pacing, and plot elements were derived. Both shows also feature the same Ted Nichols background score cues, sound effects and Casey Kasem in the voice cast. Compared to the mysteries in "Scooby-Doo," Josie and friends found themselves in life or death situations more regularly. The villains encountered were potentially much deadlier (sometimes using guns) and willing to murder than the relatively tame (only wanting to frighten) villains encountered by the Scooby gang (although no one ever got killed on the "Josie and the Pussycats").

"Josie and the Pussycats" was a ratings success for the 1970-1971 TV season. Sixteen episodes were produced, and the series was rerun for the 1971-1972 season.


:JP-1: "The Nemo's A No No Affair" (prod. #51-1, 9/12/70) :JP-2: "A Greenthumb is Not A Goldfinger" (prod. #51-2, 9/19/70) :JP-3: "The Secret Six" (prod. #51-3, 9/26/70):JP-4: "Swap Plot Flop" (prod. #51-6, 10/3/70) :JP-5: "Midas Mix-Up" (prod. #51-5, 10/10/70) :JP-6: "X Marks The Spot" (prod. #51-7, 10/17/70):JP-7: "Chili Today and Hot Tamale" (prod. #51-4, 10/24/70) :JP-8: "Never Mind a Master Mind" (prod. #No. 51-8, 10/31/70):JP-9: "Plateau of the Apes Plot" (prod. #51-9, 11/7/70):JP-10: "Strangemoon Over Miami" (prod. #51-11, 11/14/70):JP-11: "All Wong in Hong Kong" (prod. #51-10, 11/21/70):JP-12: "Melody Memory Mix-Up" (prod. #51-13, 11/28/70):JP-13: "The Great Pussycat Chase" (prod. #51-12, 12/5/70):JP-14: "Spy School Spoof" (prod. #51-14, 12/12/70):JP-15: "Jumpin' Jupiter Affair" (prod. #51-15, 12/19/70):JP-16: "Don't Count On a Countess" (prod. #51-16, 1/2/71)

"Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space"

infobox television
show_name = Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space

caption =
format = Animation
runtime = 21 minutes
rating = TV-G
creator = Dan DeCarlo
Bill Lutz
Art Davis
Brad Case
starring = Janet Waldo
Sherry Alberoni
Casey Kasem
Jackie Joseph
Jerry Dexter
Barbara Pariot
Don Messick
country = USA
network = CBS
first_aired = September 9, 1972
last_aired = December 23, 1972
num_episodes = 16
imdb_id = 0068088
tv_com_id = 7865
In September 1972, a spin-off series called "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space" debuted on CBS. The gang was lost in space (thanks--no surprise--to Alexandra's bumbling) and were trying to return back to Earth. A typical plot would involve the gang encountering some alien race, being kidnapped by said alien race, escaping, solving the problems the aliens are having (while performing a musical number or two), and then be sent on their way back to Earth by the thankful aliens. Inevitably, however, Alexandra would find a way (unintentionally) to have them go off-course again. This series introduced a new character called Bleep (voiced by Don Messick), an alien creature that speaks in sentences in which he says "bleep" over and over again; Melody, it seems, is the only one who can understand what Bleep is saying. The 16 episodes of "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space" were re-run for the 1973-1974 season until January 26 1974, when CBS canceled it and ordered no more new "Josie" episodes from Hanna-Barbera.


:JPO-1. Where's Josie? (prod. #60-1, 9 Sep 1972):JPO-2. Make Way for the Multi-men (prod. #60-2, 16 Sep 1972):JPO-3. The Sleeping Planet (prod. #60-3, 23 Sep 1972):JPO-4. Alien Alan (prod. #60-4, 30 Sep 1972):JPO-5. The Water Planet (prod. #60-5, 7 Oct 1972):JPO-6. The Sun Haters (prod. #60-6, 14 Oct 1972) :JPO-7. The Mini-man Menace (prod. #60-7, 21 Oct 1972):JPO-8. The Space Pirates (prod. #60-8, 28 Oct 1972):JPO-9. Anything You Can Zoo (prod. #60-9, 4 Nov 1972):JPO-10. Now You See Them, Now You Don't (prod. #60-10, 11 Nov 1972):JPO-11. The Four-Eyed Dragon of Cygnon (prod. #60-11, 18 Nov 1972):JPO-12. The Forward Backward People of Xarock (prod. #60-12, 25 Nov 1972):JPO-13. The Hollow Planet (prod. #60-13, 2 Dec 1972):JPO-14. All Hail Goddess Melody (prod. #60-14, 9 Dec 1972):JPO-15. Outer Space Ark (prod. #60-15, 16 Dec 1972):JPO-16. Warrior Women of Amazonia (prod. #60-16, 30 Dec 1972)


Josie and The Pussycats made one last hurrah as animated characters in a guest shot on the September 22, 1973 installment of " The New Scooby-Doo Movies", "The Haunted Showboat." Early production art for 1977's "Laff-A-Lympics" featured Josie and The Pussycats and Jeannie (from the 1973-75 CBS series "Jeannie") as members of the "Scooby Doobies" team, but last-minute legal problems prevented it.

In 1976, Rand McNally published a children's book based on the "Josie" TV show, "Hanna-Barbera's Josie and The Pussycats: The Bag Factory Detour". It also came in #34 on Channel 4's 100 greatest cartoons.

"Josie and the Pussycats" (but not "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space") was re-run on NBC Saturday morning for the 1975-1976 season. In the mid-1980s, both series, along with a number of other 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoons (including "Jabberjaw", "Jeannie", and "Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch"), were shown on the USA Network's "USA Kids Club". They would next appear on Cartoon Network in 1992 (where all 32 episodes were run in the same timeslot). "Josie and the Pussycats" and "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space" are often seen today on Cartoon Network's spinoff channel Boomerang. A Cartoon Network bumper, called "Musical Evolution", featured the Pussycats performing their theme song through the various eras of pop music, including pop, disco, punk, Kiss-like heavy metal, country, and techno dance (this may have been an inspiration for the similar Red Hot Chili Peppers' video for "Dani California"). Different animation styles are used for each era.

In 2001 "Josie and the Pussycats" was adapted into a live action motion picture. The film, produced by Universal Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, was based more on the comic rather than the cartoon series, but a punk rock cover of the popular theme song from the series (written by D. Williams, J. Roland, and Hoyt Curtin) is featured during the end credits.

Home video releases

A VHS videocassette of "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space" containing 3 episodes was issued by Worldvision Home Video in the early 1980s, and a second videocassette, "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, Volume 2" was released in 1985. Two VHS volumes of "Josie and the Pussycats", each containing four episodes of the original 1970 series, minus their laugh tracks, was released by Warner Home Video (Hanna-Barbera had been sold to Turner Broadcasting in 1990, with Turner merging with Time Warner 6 years later) in 2001 to coincide with the release of the live-action film. And in 1997 a bumper edition video was released featuring 7 episodes.

A DVD box set of "Josie and the Pussycats" was released in Region 1 on September 18, 2007. [ [ Josie and the Pussycats DVD news: Announcement for Josie and the Pussycats - The Complete Series ] ] All sixteen episodes, again minus their laugh tracks, were included, as well as a half-hour documentary on the life and career of DanDeCarlo. There has been no announcement as to a DVD release of "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space".



* Burke, Timothy and Burke, Kevin (1999). Saturday Morning Fever: Growing Up With Cartoon Culture. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-16996-5.
* Charles, Don (March 2003). Long Tails and Ears for Hats: The Story of Josie and The Pussy Cats. "Cool & Strange Music" #28. Text available at [] .
* Josie and the Pussycats: Stop Look and Listen: The Capitol Recordings [CD Set] . Burbank: Rhino Handmade. Text available at [] .

ee also

*Josie and the Pussycats (the Archie comic)
*Josie and the Pussycats (the music group put together in conjunction with the show)
*Josie and the Pussycats (the live action movie)

External links

*imdb title|id=0065307 |title=Josie and the Pussycats
*imdb title|id=0068088 |title=Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space
* [ Archie Comics' Josie and the Pussycats homepage]
* [ Brad Nelson's Josie and the Pussycats Cartoons homepage]
* [ Josie and the Pussycats at]
* [ Josie and the Pussycats at Toonopedia]
* [ JOZINE: unofficial Josie/DeCarlo fan site]
* [ Big Cartoon DataBase (BCDb): Josie and the Pussycats]
* [ Big Cartoon DataBase (BCDb): Josie and the Pussycats In Outer Space]

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