Most of these shows were Hanna-Barbera action cartoons such as Space Ghost and The Herculoids, and virtually all of them were canceled by 1969 because of pressure from the parent groups. Members of these watchgroups served as advisers to Hanna-Barbera and other animation studios to ensure that their new programs would be safe for children.
Fred Silverman, executive in charge of children's programming for the CBS network at the time, was looking for a show that would revitalize his Saturday morning line-up and please the watchgroups at the same time. The result was The Archie Show, based upon Bob Montana's teenage humor comic book Archie. Also successful were the musical numbers The Archies performed during each program (one of which, "Sugar, Sugar", was the most successful Billboard number-one hit of 1969). Silverman was eager to expand upon this success, and contacted producers William Hanna and Joseph Barbera about possibly creating another show based around a teenage rock group, but with an extra element: the kids would solve mysteries in between their gigs. Silverman envisioned the show as a cross between the popular I Love a Mystery radio serials of the 1940s and the popular early 1960s TV show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
Takamoto consulted a studio colleague who happened to be a breeder of Great Danes. After learning the characteristics of a prize-winning Great Dane from her, Takamoto proceeded to break most of the rules and designed Too Much with overly bowed legs, a double chin, and a sloped back, among other abnormalities.
By the time the show was ready for presentation by Silverman, a few more things had changed: Geoff and Mike were merged into one character called "Ronnie" (later renamed "Fred", at Silverman's behest), Kelly was renamed to "Daphne", Linda was now called "Velma", and Shaggy (formerly "W.W.") was no longer her brother. Also, Silverman – not being very fond of the name Mysteries Five – had rechristened the show Who's S-S-Scared? Using storyboards, presentation boards, and a short completed animation sequence, Silverman presented Who's S-S-Scared? to the CBS executives as the centerpiece for the upcoming 1969–1970 season's Saturday morning cartoon block. The executives felt that the presentation artwork was far too frightening for young viewers and, thinking the show would be the same, decided to pass on it.
Now without a centerpiece for the upcoming season's programming,
Silverman turned to Ruby and Spears, who reworked the show to
make it more comedic and less frightening. They dropped the rock
band element, and began to focus more attention on Shaggy and
Too Much. According to Ruby and Spears, Silverman was inspired
by the ad-lib "doo-be-doo-be-doo" he heard at the end
of Frank Sinatra's interpretation of Bert Kaempfert's song "Strangers
in the Night" on the way out to one of their meetings, and
decided to rename the dog "Scooby-Doo" and re-rechristen
the show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The revised show was re-presented
to CBS executives, who approved it for production.
Scooby-Doo television series
The CBS years
The influences of I Love a Mystery and Dobie Gillis were especially apparent in these early episodes; Mark Evanier, who would write Scooby-Doo teleplays and comic book scripts in the 1970s and 1980s, identified each of the four teenagers with their corresponding Dobie Gillis character: "Fred was based on Dobie, Velma on Zelda, Daphne on Thalia and Shaggy on Maynard." The similarities between Shaggy and Maynard are the most noticeable; both characters share the same beatnik-style goatee, similar hairstyles, and demeanours. The roles of each character are strongly defined in the series: Fred is the leader and the determined detective, Velma is the intelligent analyst, Daphne is danger-prone and vain, and Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are cowardly types more motivated by hunger than any desire to solve mysteries. Later versions of the show would make slight changes to the characters' established roles, most notably in the character of Daphne, shown in 1990s and 2000s Scooby-Doo productions as knowing many forms of karate and being able to defend herself.
The plot of each Scooby-Doo episode followed a formula that would serve as a template for many of the later incarnations of the series. At the beginning of the episode, the Mystery, Inc. gang bump into some type of evil ghost or monster, which they learn has been terrorizing the local populace. The teens offer to help solve the mystery behind the creature, but while looking for clues and suspects, the gang (and in particular Shaggy and Scooby) run into the monster, who always gives chase. However, after analyzing the clues they have found, the gang determines that this monster is simply a mere mortal in disguise. They capture the monster, often with the use of a Rube Goldberg-type contraption built by Fred - and bring him to the police. Upon learning the villain's true identity, the fiendish plot is fully explained, and the apprehended criminal would utter the famous catchphrase, or a variation thereof: "And I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!"
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! was a major ratings success for CBS, and they renewed it for a second season in 1970. The eight 1970 episodes of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! differed slightly from the first-season episodes in their uses of more slapstick humor, Archie Show-like "chase songs" during climactic sequences, Heather North performing the voice of Daphne in place of Christopherson, and a re-recorded theme song. Both seasons contained a laugh track, which was the standard practice for U.S. cartoon series during the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1972, after 25 half-hour episodes, the program was doubled
to a full hour and called The New Scooby-Doo Movies, each episode
of which featured a different guest star helping the gang solve
mysteries. Among the most notable of these guest stars were the
Harlem Globetrotters, the Three Stooges, Don Knotts, Sonny & Cher
and Batman & Robin, each of whom appeared at least twice
on the show. After two seasons and 24 episodes of the New Movies
format from 1972 to 1974, the show went to reruns of the original
series until Scooby moved to ABC in 1976.
The Scooby clones
Later cartoons such as The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan (1972); Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Speed Buggy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, and Inch High, Private Eye (all 1973); Clue Club and Jabberjaw (both 1976); Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels (1977); Buford and the Galloping Ghost (1978); and the Pebbles, Dino, and Bamm-Bamm segments of The Flintstone Comedy Show (1980) would all involve groups of teenagers solving mysteries or fighting crime in the same vein as Scooby-Doo, usually with the help of a wacky animal, ghost, etc. For example, Speed Buggy featured three teens and a talking dune buggy in the role of "Scooby", while Jabberjaw used four teens and a talking shark in a futuristic underwater environment. Some of these shows even used the same voice actors and score cues. Even outside studios got in on the act: when Joe Ruby and Ken Spears left H-B in 1977 and started Ruby-Spears Productions, their first cartoon was Fangface, yet another mystery-solving Scooby clone.
During the 1970s, the imitating programs successfully coexisted
alongside Scooby on Saturday mornings. Most of the mystery-solving
Hanna-Barbera shows made before 1975 were featured on CBS, and
when Fred Silverman moved from CBS to ABC in 1975, the mystery-solving
shows, including Scooby-Doo, followed him.
The ABC years
New Scooby episodes, in the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! format, were produced for each of these three seasons. Four of these episodes featured Scooby's dim-witted country cousin Scooby-Dum as a semi-regular character. The Scooby-Doo episodes produced during these three seasons were later packaged together for syndication as The Scooby-Doo Show, under which title they continue to air. For the Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics and Scooby's All-Stars programming blocks, Scooby-Doo was packaged alongside Laff-A-Lympics, a new Hanna-Barbera cartoon featuring many of its characters in parodies of Olympic sporting events. Scooby-Doo appeared on the show as the team captain of the "Scooby Doobies" team, with Shaggy and Scooby-Dum among his teammates.
In 1979, Scooby's tiny nephew Scrappy-Doo was added to both the series and the billing, in an attempt to boost Scooby-Doo's slipping ratings. The 1979–1980 episodes, aired under the title Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, succeeded in regenerating interest in the show, and as a result the entire show was overhauled in 1980 to focus more upon Scrappy-Doo. Fred, Daphne, and Velma were dropped from the series, and the new Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo format was now comprised of three seven-minute comedic adventures starring Scooby, Scrappy, and Shaggy instead of one half-hour mystery. This version of Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo aired as part of The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show from 1980 to 1982, and as part of The Scooby-Doo/Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour from 1982 to 1983. Most of the supernatural villains in the seven-minute Scooby and Scrappy cartoons, who in previous Scooby series had been revealed to be human criminals in costume, were now "real" within the context of the series.
Daphne returned to the cast for The All-New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show in 1983, which comprised two 11-minute episodes in a format reminiscent of the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! mysteries. This version of the show lasted for two seasons, with the second season airing under the title The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries and featuring semi-regular appearances from Fred and Velma.
1985 saw the debut of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, which featured Daphne, Shaggy, Scooby, Scrappy, and new characters Flim-Flam and Vincent Van Ghoul (based upon and voiced by Vincent Price) traveling the globe to capture "thirteen of the most terrifying ghosts and ghouls on the face of the earth." The final first-run episode of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo aired in March 1986, and no new Scooby series aired on the network for the next two years. Reruns of previous Scooby episodes, however, continued to air, both as part of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Funhouse package and under the New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show banner.
Hanna-Barbera reincarnated the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are
You! cast as junior high school students for A Pup Named Scooby-Doo,
which debuted on ABC in 1988. A Pup Named Scooby-Doo was an irreverent,
zany re-imagining of the series, heavily inspired by the classic
cartoons of Tex Avery and Bob Clampett, and eschewed the quasi-reality
of the original Scooby series for a more Looney Tunes-like style.
The retooled show was a success, and lasted until 1991.
Reruns and revival
In 2002, following the successes of the Cartoon Network reruns and four late-1990s direct-to-video Scooby-Doo releases, the original version of the gang was updated for the 21st century for What's New, Scooby-Doo?, which aired on Kids' WB from 2002 until 2005, with second-run episodes also appearing on Cartoon Network. Unlike previous Scooby series, the show was produced at Warner Bros. Animation, which had absorbed Hanna-Barbera in 2001. The show returned to the familiar format of the original series for the first time since 1978, with modern-day technology and culture added to the mix to give the series a more contemporary feel, along with new, digitally-recorded sound effects and music. With Don Messick having died in 1997, Frank Welker took over as Scooby's voice actor, while continuing to provide the voice of Fred as well, and Casey Kasem returned as Shaggy. Grey DeLisle provided the voice of Daphne (she first took the role on Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, replacing Mary Kay Bergman, who committed suicide shortly before the release of Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders) and former Facts of Life star Mindy Cohn voiced Velma.
After three seasons, What's New, Scooby-Doo was replaced in
September 2006 with Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, a major
revamping of the series which debuted on The CW's Kids' WB Saturday
morning programming block. The premise centers around Shaggy
inheriting money and a mansion from an uncle, an inventor who
has gone into hiding from villains trying to steal his secret
invention. The villains, led by "Dr. Phibes" (based
primarily upon Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers series), then
use different schemes to try to get the invention from Shaggy
and Scooby, who handle the plots alone. Fred, Daphne, and Velma
are normally absent, but do make appearances at times to help.
The characters were redesigned and the art style revised for
the new series.
Television specials, telefilms, and direct-to-video
From 1986 to 1988, Hanna-Barbera Productions produced Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10, a series of syndicated telefilms featuring their most popular characters, including Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones, and The Jetsons. Scooby-Doo, Scrappy-Doo, and Shaggy starred in three of these movies: Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987), Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988), and Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988). In addition, Scooby-Doo and Shaggy appeared as the narrators of the made-for-TV movie Arabian Nights, originally broadcast by TBS in 1994 and later released on video as Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights.
Starting in 1998, Warner Bros. Animation and Hanna-Barbera (by then a subsidiary of Warner Bros.), began producing one new Scooby-Doo direct-to-video movie a year. These movies featured a slightly older version of the original five-character cast from the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! days, and disregards the later Scrappy-Doo years as non-canonical. The movies include Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998), Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost (1999), Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000), and Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase (2001). Also in 2001, the Cartoon Network produced Night of the Living Doo, a half-hour parody of the New Scooby-Doo Movies format featuring "special guest stars" David Cross, Gary Coleman, Mark Hamill and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
The success of the direct-to-video movies led to Scooby's return to Saturday morning, What's New, Scooby-Doo?, and Hanna-Barbera based later entries in this series of Scooby movies on it rather than the previous editions. The series continued with Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire (2003), Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico (2003), Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster (2004), Aloha, Scooby-Doo! (2005), Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy? (2005) and Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! (2006).
A number of these Scooby-Doo telefilms and direct-to-video features,
as well as many of the early-1980s shows featuring Scrappy-Doo,
feature the gang encountering actual supernatural beings. In
Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988), Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy
sign up as gym teachers for Miss Grimwood's school for girls,
only to find it is actually a school for ghouls, where the trio
end up teaching the daughters of Frankenstein's monster, Dracula,
the Werewolf, The Mummy, and the stereotypical ghost monster
(Phantasma the Phantom). Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998) featured
the original 1969 gang, reunited after years of being apart,
battling voodoo-worshiping cat creatures in the Louisiana bayou.
Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost featured an author (Tim Curry)
returning to his home with the gang, to find out that an event
is being haunted by the author's dead grandmother; who was an
actual witch. The later What's New, Scooby-Doo-based entries
in the direct-to-video series returned to the original formula,
and are basically extended episodes of the What's New, Scooby-Doo
Live-action Warner Bros. feature films