Scooby-Doo is an animated television series which premiered in 1969. The animated series was created for Hanna-Barbara Productions by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. After having success with “The Archie Show” in 1968 Fred Silverman, in charge of CBS’s children programs, contacted Hanna and Barbara to create a show with mystery solving teenage group.The show was initially titled “Mysteries Five” and had five teenagers, all part of a rock band, rather than present four. The show has “Scooby-Doo”, a dog that can talk and four teenagers: Fred “Freddie” Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Norville “Shaggy” Rogers. The five characters of the show are referred to as “Mystery, Inc.” and solve mystery cases, most of which involve ghosts.
For transportation purpose they use a van named “Mystery Machine”. While designing the dog Takamoto, designer of the Scooby-Doo, used unconventional design by giving the dog double-chin, sloped back and bowed legs. Silverman didn’t like the name “Mysteries Five” and gave the title “Who’s S-S-Scared?” to the show. After the show was rejected by CBS executives on the grounds that it was too scary and not fit for young children, Silverman asked Ruby and Spears to rework the show and shift the basic theme to comedy than horror. Ruby and Spears did away with the rock band and paid more attention to Shaggy and the dog, then named Too Much. After listening to Frank Sinatra’s song “Strangers in the Night”, Silverman decided to rename “Too Much” as “Scooby-Doo” and the show as “Scooby-Doo, Where are You!”. CBS executives approved the show when it was shown to them in its revised form.
“Scooby-Doo, Where are You!” debuted on CBS when its first episode “What a Night for a Knight” was aired on September 13, 1969. Don Messick voiced Scooby-Doo, Casey Kasem voiced Shaggy, Frank Welker voiced Fred, Nicole Jaffe voiced Velma and Stefanianna Christopherson voiced Daphne. In the first run, the teenage group was shown as trying to solve mysteries behind ghosts and monsters. Inadvertently Scooby and Shaggy would run into the monster and would be chased by the monster.
Due to the immense popularity and success of “Scooby-Doo, Where are You!” it was renewed for a second season in 1970. The program was called “The New Scooby-Doo movies” when its duration was doubled to one full hour. It now featured a guest star who used to help the teenagers solve mysteries. Batman & Robin, Don Knotts, The Three Stooges and others appeared on the show. After 1974 reruns of the show were telecast till 1976 when the show moved to ABC.
While on ABC, the format of the show was changed almost every year. When Scooby-Doo’s ratings began to slip Scrappy-Doo, Scooby’s small nephew, was added to the show and the show was titled “Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo”. When the formula worked, Fred, Daphne and Velma were dropped from the show in 1980 and the show’s format was changed. Instead of having one half hour mystery the show had three different mysteries each seven minute long. When the how’s format changed again in 1983, Daphne made a comeback to the show, now titled “The All-New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo show”. The new format of the show now had two eleven minute adventures and ran for two seasons. The second season was again renamed as “The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries” and occasionally featured Velma and Fred.
In 1985 “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo” debuted with Daphne, Shaggy, Scooby, Scrappy and two new characters Flim-Flam and Vincent Van Ghoul. Vincent van was based on and voiced by Vincent Price. In this series all of them travel around the world to capture the thirteen most terrifying ghosts and ghouls of the world. After the last episode of this series aired in 1986 no new episode was aired for next two years though reruns of previous episodes were telecast. The cast of Scooby-Doo is shown as high school students in “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo”. The show which debuted in 1988 on ABC was a success and it ran till 1991.
“What’s New, Scooby-Doo” was aired on Kids WB in 2002 after seeing the success of reruns of Scooby-Doo series on Cartoon Network. In the new series the teenage gang was updated so as to make them in sync with the modern time. The show was produced at Warner Bros. Television Animations as Hanna-Barbara was bought by Warner Bros. in 2001. The show ran for three seasons and was replaced by “Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!” in September 2006. In the present series Shaggy, who has inherited money along with a mansion from an uncle, along with Scooby are the central characters with Fred, Velma and Daphne making an occasional appearance to help them.