Short lived animated spin off of the television series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The animated series is a prequel which features Sabrina as a pre-teen girl with small witch powers. Also ... See full summary »
Sabrina is half-witch and half-human, and all super hero as she leads two vastly different lives; one disguised as a normal, klutzy high school student and the other as the top sorcery ... See full summary »
Tabitha St. Germain,
Sabrina The Teenage Witch-The Animated Series From the 1970's
Premiering on the day before "The Archies" on September 13,1969,the spin-off to one of the most successful animated Saturday Morning shows ever produced,"Sabrina,The Teenage Witch",cast a potent spell for CBS,not only her intended juvenile audience,but over the rival networks as well. Utilizing the prime-time practice of integrating,promoting, and spinning off new characters from a hit show,the head of daytime programming over at CBS,Fred Silverman carefully planned the debut of the sixteen-year-old sorceress on "The Archies". Introduced in 1969-1970 on "The Archie Comedy Hour",Sabrina was an apprentice wonder-worker who struggled to concealed her magical powers in order just to be a member of the Riverdale High School gang. The perky teenager was patterned after the winsome witch from the hit Emmy winning ABC-TV Comedy Series,"Bewitched",played by Elizabeth Montgomery,and was targeted to headline her own Saturday Morning cartoon show during the hiatus of the show. To be more informative,"Sabrina,The Teenage Witch" will be the only character out of "The Archies" to make the jump from animation to live-action with a series based on the characters which starred Melissa Joan Hart,a show that ran on ABC and The WB for several seasons by the way.
Getting back to the animated cartoon series which was executive produced by Lou Scheimer and Norm Prescott under the company Filmation Productions and directed by Hal Sutherland and Rudy Larriva and Bill Reed. Only 49 episodes were made of the series and it ran on CBS from September 11,1971 until August 31,1974. Then the series made the transition over to NBC where it ran from September 10,1977 until the last episode of the series(it repeats)on January 28,1978. In the hour long comedy-variety format,Sabrina appeared with the Riverdale regulars, Archie,Reggie,Jughead,Betty,Veronica,Moose,their shaggy companion,Hot Dog,a Latino character and a African-American character,in two of the four eleven-minute cartoons. In some of her comedies,the young sorceress was supported by a pair of spell-casting aunts,Hilda and Zelda,a warlock cousin,Ambrose,and a cat named Salem(voice by Mel Blanc) that could also summon up an uncanny trick or two. Several of the cartoons were very psychedelic but little on the fun side. Sabrina also appeared as a member of the bubblegum rock group,The Archies,which presented a big-beat dance tune and dance-of-the-week between segments.
In 1970-1971,two episodes were coupled with "The Groovie Ghoulies", a new series featured a group of merry monsters which consisted of a hippie looking Wolfman character,a Frankenstein character,and a psychedelic Dracula character who were also musicians with a bubblegum type sound as well. These were tied together with vignettes in a new format titled "Sabrina And The Groovie Ghoulies". In new comedies made for the 1971-1972 season,the teenage sorceress starred in her own half-hour show for more than three years,one of the most successful Saturday Morning series ever,which was under "The Archies" title. Under the title of "The Archies" this was the highest-rated children's programming in its premiere season,receiving a 54 percent audience share. The 1973-1974 season would be fatal. Sabrina spelled a death knell for its highly touted educational competition as well and other shows,which clobbered it in the ratings. The 1973-1974 season,Sabrina had competition against "The Curiosity Shop",which was on ABC,and NBC's "Take A Giant Step"....also to boot other programs as well would send it downhill too...The animated series "Star Trek" on NBC and the animated series "The Jackson Five",which was on ABC would prove fatal for Sabrina as well. It ended its association with CBS in August of 1974.
When the series moved to NBC,it tried to bolster its sagging 1977-1978 ratings with thirteen repeated episodes,intitally titled "The New Archie Sabrina Hour",and two months later with the teenager renamed "Superwitch" but the spell was long broken and when the series ended it association with NBC on January 28,1978 it left the air without a whisper never to be heard from again.
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