Harlem Globetrotters (TV series)

Harlem Globetrotters
Country of origin USA
No. of episodes 22
Producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Taft Broadcasting
Original network CBS
Original release September 12, 1970 (1970-09-12) – September 2, 1972 (1972-09-02)
Followed by The Super Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotters (called Harlem Globe Trotters in the opening titles) is a Saturday morning cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera and CBS Productions, featuring animated versions of players from the famous basketball team, Harlem Globetrotters.

Broadcast from September 12, 1970 to September 2, 1972 on CBS, and later re-run on NBC as The Go-Go Globetrotters, the show featured cartoon versions of George "Meadowlark" Lemon, Freddie "Curly" Neal, Hubert "Geese" Ausbie, J.C. "Gip" Gipson, Bobby Joe Mason, and Paul "Pablo" Robertson, alongside their fictional bus driver and manager, Granny, and their dog mascot, Dribbles. (Guard Leon Hillard was originally planned to be on the series, but was cut out of the cast prior to the start of production.)

The series worked to a formula where the team travels somewhere and typically get involved in a local conflict that leads to one of the Globetrotters proposing a basketball game to settle the issue. To ensure the Globetrotters' defeat, the villains rig the contest; however, before the second half of the contest, the team always finds a way to even the odds, become all but invincible, and win the game.


22 episodes of Harlem Globetrotters were eventually produced: 16 for the 1970-71 season, and six more for the 1971-72 season. Harlem Globetrotters has a place in history as being the first Saturday morning cartoon to feature a predominately African-American cast; Filmation's The Hardy Boys had been the first to feature an African-American character the previous year. Another Hanna-Barbera series, Josie and the Pussycats, premiered 30 minutes earlier than Harlem Globetrotters on the same day and network, and was the first Saturday morning cartoon to feature an African-American female character. Like many other Saturday morning cartoons of the era, the first season episodes utilized a laugh track. By Season Two, the full laugh track was replaced by an inferior version created by the studio.

After cancellation the animated Globetrotters made three appearances on Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies in 1972 and 1973. Dribbles, who did not appear on the show, was in the theme song sequence; several references were also made to Granny who also did not appear as well. Hanna-Barbera produced a second animated series starring the Globetrotters in 1979 called The Super Globetrotters, this time featuring the players as superheroes. In spring 1999, TV Land aired repeats of Harlem Globetrotters on Saturday mornings as part of its TV Land Super Retrovision Saturdaze lineup. The series has not been rerun since.

The series was a co-production of Hanna-Barbera and CBS Productions (only one of few animated TV series that CBS directly produced). Syndication rights were originally held by Viacom Enterprises and later Paramount Domestic Television, formerly owned by CBS as its syndication arm. They are currently held by CBS Television Distribution. CBS Home Entertainment has no plans to release the series on DVD, needing approval from the Globetrotters franchise).

Gold Key Comics series

In April 1972, Gold Key Comics launched a comic adaptation of the Harlem Globetrotters animated series; their first comic book appearance was in issue #8 of Gold Key's Hanna-Barbera Fun-In published in July 1971. Several stories in early issues were based on episodes of the TV show. The comic series lasted for 4 years and 12 issues through January 1975.

Soundtrack LP

A soundtrack album, The Globetrotters, was produced by Jeff Barry and released in 1970 by Kirshner Records (Kirshner #KES-106, distributed by RCA Records), which featured tunes heard in episodes of the series (during the basketball game sequences). Don Kirshner served as music supervisor for both the series and the record. Two singles were generated from this onetime release, a cover of the Neil Sedaka tune "Rainy Day Bells" with former Cadillac J.R. Bailey on lead vocals, followed by three non-album singles. Jimmy Radcliffe produced, with Wally Gold, and provided the vocals on "Duke Of Earl", "Everybody's Got Hot Pants" from the first non-album single and co-wrote and produced "Everybody Needs Love" from the second as well providing a number of songs and recordings for the series.

Globetrotter frontman Meadowlark Lemon was the only member of the team to be actually involved with the project, adding occasional background vocals to some tracks.

Track list for The Globetrotters

(side 1)

  1. The Globetrotter's Theme (Jeff Barry) – 0:41
  2. Globetrottin' (Barry) – 2:19
  3. Bouncin' All Over the World (Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield) – 3:01
  4. Sneaky Pete (Rudy Clark, J.R. Bailey, and K. Williams) – 2:45
  5. Marathon Mary (Sedaka and Greenfield) – 3:06
  6. River Queen (Sedaka and Greenfield) – 3:06
  7. House Party (Clark, Bailey, and Williams) – 3:00

(side 2)

  1. Gravy (Clark, Bailey, and Williams) – 3:19
  2. Meadowlark (Sedaka and Greenfield) – 2:22
  3. Lillia Peabody (Clark, Bailey, and Williams) – 2:56
  4. Put a Little Meat On Your Bones, Lucinda (Sedaka and Greenfield) – 3:00
  5. Rainy Day Bells (Sedaka and Greenfield) – 3:02
  6. Cheer Me Up (Jeff Barry, Ron Dante, and J. Carr) – 2:22

Commercial singles (1970)

Non-album singles (1971)


Scooby Doo Season 1 (1970–1971)

Episode #Episode titleOriginal airdateSynopsis
HG-1 The Great Geese Goof-Up September 12, 1970 When Geese gets hurt and goes to the hospital the other Globetrotters think he was turned into a kangaroo at a magic show. The kangaroo was actually an unknowing accomplice in a jewelry theft. The Globetrotters must find the real Geese and stop the criminals if they can.
HG-2 Football Zeros September 19, 1970 When a charity football game gets cancelled, the Globetrotters fill in for the missing team to raise money for underprivileged kids. The under-equipped and undersized Globetrotters initially get flattened by their opponents, the Mashers. However, after employing their basketball trickery, the Globetrotters get back in the game. After stumbling upon a robbery of the charity money at halftime, the team chases down the crooks on borrowed bikes. Posing as vacuum cleaner salesmen, the team gets the money back, and returns for the second half. In the end, the Globetrotters recover the money for the kids, catch the bad guys, and win the game.
HG-3 Hold That Hillbilly September 26, 1970 A game against the Hillbilly Hill-Stars gets called off amidst an ongoing feud between the Flatfields and the Coys. The Globetrotters intervene and try to set up a marriage between the families to end the dispute. The team arranges the Annual Hillbilly Picnic, which leads to a game between the Globetrotters and the Flatfields to settle the marriage. After much cheating and chicanery by the Flatfields, Meadowlark decides to use the Flatfields cheating ways against them to stage a massive comeback, winning 304-102. When Rock Flatfield refuses to marry Cora Coy despite the win, a chase ensues. Granny gives Cora a mudpack beauty treatment, Cora becomes beautiful, and the two families become kin.
HG-4 Bad News Cruise October 3, 1970
HG-5 Rodeo Duds October 10, 1970
HG-6 Double Dribble Double October 17, 1970
HG-7 Heir Loons October 24, 1970
HG-8 From Scoop to Nuts October 31, 1970
HG-9 What a Day For a Birthday November 7, 1970
HG-10 It's Snow Vacation November 14, 1970
HG-11 The Great Ouch Doors November 21, 1970
HG-12 Hooray For Hollywood November 28, 1970
HG-13 Shook Up Sheriff December 5, 1970
HG-14 Gone To The Dogs December 12, 1970
HG-15 The Wild Blue Yonder December 19, 1970
HG-16 Long Gone Gip January 2, 1971

Season 2 (1971–1972)

HG-17. A Pearl of a Game (9/11/1971)
HG-18. Nothing to Moon About (9/18/1971)
HG-19. Pardon My Magic (9/25/1971)
HG-20. Granny's Royal Ruckus (10/2/1971)
HG-21. Soccer to Me (10/9/1971)
HG-22. Jungle Jitters (10/16/1971)

Voice cast

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