Josie and the Pussycats (TV series)

Josie and the Pussycats
Created by Dan DeCarlo
Richard Goldwater
Based on Josie and the Pussycats
by Dan DeCarlo
Richard Goldwater
Developed by Joe Ruby
Ken Spears
Voices of Janet Waldo
Sherry Alberoni
Casey Kasem
Jackie Joseph
Jerry Dexter
Barbara Pariot
Don Messick
Cathy Dougher
Cherie Moor
Patrice Holloway
Theme music composer Hoyt Curtin
William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 16
Producer(s) Joseph Barbera
William Hanna
Running time 21 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Taft Broadcasting (original)
Worldvision Enterprises (former)
Great American Broadcasting (former)
Turner Entertainment(former)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (current)
Original network CBS
Original release September 12, 1970 – January 2, 1971

Josie and the Pussycats (formatted as Josie and the Pussy Cats in the opening titles) is an American animated television series, based upon the Archie Comics comic book series of the same name created by Dan DeCarlo. Produced for Saturday morning television by Hanna-Barbera Productions, sixteen episodes of Josie and the Pussycats aired on CBS during the 1970–71 television season, and were rerun during the 1971–72 season. In 1972, the show was re-conceptualized as Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, sixteen episodes of which aired on CBS during the 1972–73 season and were rerun the following season. Reruns of the original series alternated between CBS, ABC, and NBC from 1974 through 1976.[1] This brought its national Saturday morning TV run on three networks to six years.

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. On the small-screen, the group consisted of level-headed lead singer and guitarist Josie, intelligent tambourinist Valerie, and air-headed blonde drummer Melody. Other characters included their cowardly manager Alexander Cabot III, his conniving sister Alexandra, her cat Sebastian, and muscular roadie Alan.

The show, more similar to Hanna-Barbera's successful Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! 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 Valerie as the first regularly appearing female black character in a Saturday morning cartoon show.[2] Each episode featured a Josie and the Pussycats song played over a chase scene, which, in a similar fashion to The Monkees, featured the group running after and from a selection of haplessly villainous characters.[1]

Creation and development


During the 1968-69 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 and Hanna-Barbera collaborated to adapt Archie's Josie comic book into a music-based property about a teenage music band, adding new characters (Alan M. and Valerie) while dismissing others.[3]

A scene from episode#14, "Spy School Spoof." From left to right: Melody, Josie, Valerie, Alan, Alexandra and Alexander.

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 of songs to be used both as radio singles and in the TV series.

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; early plans, which did not come to fruition, called for a live-action Pussycats segment at the end of each episode.[4] After interviewing over 500 finalists, settled upon casting Kathleen Dougherty (Cathy Dougher) as Josie, Cherie Moor (later known as 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. 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 had been conceived as African-American and was already appearing as such in Arche's revamped Josie and the Pussycats 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.[5] The Valerie character was the first African-American female character on a regular Saturday morning cartoon series. The Hardy Boys drummer Pete Jones had been the first African-American male to appear on Saturday mornings a year earlier.

Theme song

The show's theme song, titled "Josie and the Pussycats", was written by Hoyt Curtin, William Hanna (under the pseudonym "Denby Williams"), and Joseph Barbera (under the pseudonym "Joseph Roland"). Patrice Holloway, the singing voice of Valerie, sings the lead vocal on the recording. The theme song was based on melodies from an incidental tune played on various Hanna-Barbera cartoons since The Jetsons.

A cover of "Josie and the Pussycats" performed by Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly is included on the 1995 tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, produced by Ralph Sall for MCA Records.[6]

Series 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 was originally broadcast with a laugh track. Later home video and DVD releases omit the laugh track. Cartoon Network and Boomerang, however, have aired the original episodes with the laugh track intact.


Every episode of the show would find the Pussycats and crew en route to perform a gig or record a song in some exotic location. Somehow, often 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. Eventually, the Pussycats would formulate a plan to destroy the villain's plans and bring them to justice, which result in a final chase sequence set to a Pussycats song.

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 interfere with/put an end to The Pussycats' performance and/or steal Alan away from Josie, which would always backfire on her.


Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space

Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space
Developed by Bill Lutz
Art Davis
Brad Case
Starring Janet Waldo
Sherry Alberoni
Casey Kasem
Jackie Joseph
Jerry Dexter
Barbara Pariot
Don Messick
Country of origin U.S.
No. of episodes 16
Running time 21 minutes
Original network CBS
Original release September 9 – December 23, 1972

In September 1972, a spin-off series titled Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space debuted on CBS. This version of the series launched the characters into outer space; the opening credits sequence shows the group taking a promotional photo at the launch site of a new spaceship and a jealous Alexandra elbowing the cast aside to steal the spotlight from Josie. However, Alexandra is jerked inside as well and triggers the launch sequence, sending them and the ship into deep space. Every episode centered on the Pussycats encountering a strange new world, where they would encounter and often be kidnapped by various alien races before escaping and attempting to return home.

Musical numbers and chase sequences set to newly recorded songs were featured in this spin-off series as with the original. Josie in Outer Space also added the character of Bleep, a pet-sized fluffy alien adopted by Melody, who was the only one who could understand the creature (who only says "Bleep") and numerous other alien animals encountered.

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. Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space contained a laugh track as well, but utilized an inferior version created by the studio.

After cancellation

Josie and The Pussycats made a final appearance as animated characters in a guest shot on the September 22, 1973 episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, "The Haunted Showboat". Early production art for Hanna-Barbera's 1977 "all-star" Battle of the Network Stars spoof Laff-A-Lympics featured Alexandra, Sebastian, Alexander and Melody among other Hanna-Barbera characters as members of the "Scooby Doobies" team, but legal problems prevented their inclusion in the final program.

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.

The original Josie and the Pussycats series 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, were on board USA Network's Cartoon Express; they would next appear on Cartoon Network in 1992, where all 32 episodes were run in the same timeslot. Both programs, as of 2014, are in the library of Boomerang (Turner Broadcasting's archive cartoon channel).


Josie and the Pussycats: 1970-1971

No. Title Original airdate Production
1"The Nemo's a No-No Affair"September 12, 1970 (1970-09-12)51-1
The gang run afoul of a latter-day Captain Nemo while on their way to a musical gig on Pago Pago Island. Loosely based on Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
2"A Greenthumb Is Not a Goldfinger"September 19, 1970 (1970-09-19)51-2
Thanks to Alexandra's scheming, the gang, thinking that they are headed to Nashville for a gig, end up in the Amazon jungle, where they encounter an evil botanist named Dr. Greenthumb, his man-eating plants, and headhunters.
3"The Secret Six Secret"September 26, 1970 (1970-09-26)51-3
While in Bombay, the gang mistakenly enters the lair of a sinister organization called the Secret Six, which plans to replace an Indian leader with one of their number with the use of a potion that can manipulate facial structure.
4"Swap Plot Flop"October 3, 1970 (1970-10-03)51-6
Valerie bears an uncanny resemblance to an abducted Arabian princess and becomes involved in a plan to catch her kidnapper, a hypnotist known as the Evil Eye.
5"Midas Mix-Up"October 10, 1970 (1970-10-10)51-5
While skiing in the Alps, the gang ends up in the clutches of a baron calling himself Dr. Midas, who plans to destroy the world's entire supply of gold unless half of it is given to him.
6"X Marks the Spot"October 17, 1970 (1970-10-17)51-7
During a trip to England, the gang meets Professor Isaac Belfour, who has created an invisibility potion. Professor Belfour's former science partner, who stole the potion and used it on himself to embark on a life of crime, now calls himself Mr. X and is intent on stopping Professor Belfour from developing an antidote to the invisibility potion. Loosely based on The Invisible Man
7"Chili Today and Hot Tamale"October 24, 1970 (1970-10-24)51-4
While in Mexico, nuclear capsules are slipped into Melody's bass drum during a fuel stop. When the henchmen for a power-mad nuclear engineer called the Scorpion snatch the drum, the gang rush to recover the instrument and become entangled in the Scorpion's scheme to rule the world with his weather control device.
8"Never Mind a Master Mind"October 31, 1970 (1970-10-31)51-8
Melody innocently buys new shoes in Holland, unaware that they contain a message for a spy sent to stop the faceless Mastermind, a master of disguise. Loosely based on Mission Impossible
9"Plateau of the Apes Plot"November 7, 1970 (1970-11-07)51-9
The gang's plane scheduled for Puerto Rico makes an emergency landing in a Caribbean jungle inhabited by dinosaurs and bipedal apes, all of which are under the control of a mad scientist named Dr. Madro who can change humans into animals. Alexander Cabot is turned into a chicken and then a ape while Sebastian cat is turned into a dog! Loosely based on The Island of Doctor Moreau and Planet of the Apes
10"Strangemoon Over Miami"November 14, 1970 (1970-11-14)51-11
The gang's hot air balloon is set loose and ends up on the island of Dr. Strangemoon, a mad scientist who plans to launch missiles that will devastate the Earth's atmosphere.
11"All Wong in Hong Kong"November 21, 1970 (1970-11-21)51-10
Melody comes into possession of a strange ancient coin during the gang's trip to Hong Kong. The Serpent, a mad toymaker, pursues the gang in order to obtain the coin, which is key to his plans for Asian conquest.
12"Melody Memory Mix-Up"November 28, 1970 (1970-11-28)51-13
While on a relaxing gig in Hawaii, the gang is pursued by a criminal known as the Hawk when confidential information is transferred from a tape recorder to Melody's memory.
13"The Great Pussycat Chase"December 5, 1970 (1970-12-05)51-12
While in Paris, the gang is entrusted with a mysterious black box by an agent and are told to protect it from a mysterious criminal called the Shadow. When the Shadow discovers that the gang has the black box, he and his henchmen embark on an around-the-world chase to steal it. Loosely based on Around the World in Eighty Days and The Great Race
14"Spy School Spoof"December 12, 1970 (1970-12-12)51-14
The Pussycats are in New York City for a recording session. A mix-up in the mail brings them plans for a top-secret device that can deactivate the world's technology. The Pussycats' sheet music, meanwhile, ends up in the clutches of a mad criminal calling himself the Laser, who is hellbent on getting his hands on the plans that the gang now have. It is now up to the gang to hitch-hike to the Laser's hideout in the Grand Canyon and foil the fiend's plans.
15"The Jumpin' Jupiter Affair"December 19, 1970 (1970-12-19)51-15
The gang encounters an alien spaceship in Peru led by a ruthless alien named Zor, who forces the gang and the local natives to work in a diamond mine.
16"Don't Count on a Countess"January 2, 1971 (1971-01-02)51-16
It seems the Pussycats have actually got the big gig when the gang is invited by an eccentric countess to play a private performance on her secluded Mediterranean island, where they discover too late that the invitation was a ruse to obtain young test subjects for her rapid aging mist. Will our heros end up collecting Social Security at age 25?

Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space: 1972

No. Title Original airdate Production
JPO-1"Where's Josie?"September 9, 1972 (1972-09-09)60-1
Finding themselves lost in space aboard a space ship, the Pussycats land on planetoid Zelc and encounter a creature named Bleep. At the same time, Josie is kidnapped by an alien named Karnak, a deposed ruler who is intent on reconquering the populace of Zelc.
JPO-2"Make Way for the Multi-Men"September 16, 1972 (1972-09-16)60-2
The Pussycats land on a planet of cat people and soon learn that their queen is being held prisoner by the robot Menton. Can the Pussycats save the queen from the robot's clutches?
JPO-3"The Sleeping Planet"September 23, 1972 (1972-09-23)60-3
The Pussycats land on the planet Arcobia, where they try to help expose the corrupt Prime Minister Rulo as the true thief of a device that is very important to the planet.
JPO-4"Alien Alan"September 30, 1972 (1972-09-30)60-4
The Pussycats encounter a planet where the populace depends heavily on the power of magnets. Alan is captured and brainwashed to serve the ruler, Magno.
JPO-5"The Water Planet"October 7, 1972 (1972-10-07)60-5
On a water planet, the Pussycats' ship is hijacked by locals intent on conquering Earth with a water-controlling device.
JPO-6"The Sun Haters"October 14, 1972 (1972-10-14)60-6
Josie and the gang encounter a race of giants on a planet that has developed a fluid capable of extinguishing the sun completely. Can the Pussycats stop them from carrying out their plan?
JPO-7"The Mini-Man Menace"October 21, 1972 (1972-10-21)60-7
The Pussycats are shanghaied by robots and forced to journey to a planet ruled by the ambitious villain Mitchko.
JPO-8"The Space Pirates"October 28, 1972 (1972-10-28)60-8
The Pussycats' ship is seized by robot space pirates under the command of Captain Braggo. Braggo intends to use the ship as a vessel in his pirate fleet to loot and plunder ships and planets he comes across.
JPO-9"Anything You Can Zoo"November 4, 1972 (1972-11-04)60-9
The ship containing the Pussycats lands on the planet Kalex. Josie and the gang quickly find themselves unwilling participants in a circus run by the frog-men of Kalex. The ruler, Throg, plans an attack on Earth; can Josie and her friends can stop him?
JPO-10"Now You See Them, Now You Don't"November 11, 1972 (1972-11-11)60-10
The Pussycats encounter aliens who can seemingly become invisible at will. Josie and the others are baffled as to how to outsmart and escape the aliens until Melody inadvertently acquires the power of invisibility.
JPO-11"The Four-Eyed Dragon of Cygnon"November 18, 1972 (1972-11-18)60-11
The Pussycats encounter two aliens, who attempt to convince Josie and the gang into helping them against a dragon that is menacing them. Can the Pussycats figure out who is the true menace before it's too late?
JPO-12"The Forward Backward People of Xarock"November 25, 1972 (1972-11-25)60-12
Josie and the gang meet Tyran, whose weapon causes everything it zaps to go backwards.
JPO-13"The Hollow Planet"December 2, 1972 (1972-12-02)60-13
Aliens that reside on a ship that resembles a planet plan to enslave others by using a ray that turns the victims into children. Can Josie and the Pussycats stop them?
JPO-14"All Hail Goddess Melody"December 9, 1972 (1972-12-09)60-14
On the planet Gezzner, Melody is found to resemble the goddess that the planet's populace worships.
JPO-15"Outer Space Ark"December 16, 1972 (1972-12-16)60-15
The group thwarts a power plot by the mad scientist Arkapus, who, by means of a sonic transmitter, has trained the local animals for conquest.
JPO-16"Warrior Women of Amazonia"December 30, 1972 (1972-12-30)60-16
Josie and the gang are captured by Merla and her Amazon warriors on a planet where the women rule and the men are subjugated. After freeing themselves from captivity, the boys find their escape complicated by the fact that Merla has brainwased the girls into joining her man-hating forces.


Speaking Voices

Singing Voices

Band Members Only

Home video releases

A VHS videocassette of Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space containing 3 episodes was issued by Worldvision Home Video in 1980. 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 the laugh tracks, were released by Warner Home Video (Hanna-Barbera had been sold to Turner Broadcasting in 1991, with Turner merging with Time Warner six years later) on April 10, 2001 to coincide with the release of the live-action film. A Josie in Outer Space episode, "Warriors Women of Amazonia", was featured in a clip/episode collection of Hanna-Barbera on VHS, released in the UK.

A Josie and the Pussycats: The Complete Series two-DVD box set was released in Region 1 (the United States, Canada, and Japan) on September 18, 2007.[7] All sixteen episodes, again minus the laugh tracks, were included, as well as a half-hour documentary on the life and career of Dan DeCarlo. The first episode of the 1970 series, "The Nemo's A No No Affair", is featured on the DVD compilation Saturday Morning Cartoons: the 1970s Volume 1 released on May 26, 2009.

On October 19, 2010, Warner Archive released Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection of Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases. Josie in Outer Space is available exclusively through Warner's online store and[8]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Josie and the Pussycats: The Complete Series 16 September 18, 2007
Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space: The Complete Series 16 October 19, 2010


Laff-a-Lympics early model sheet showing Alexander, Melody, Alexandra and Sebastian the Cat from the Josie and the Pussycats series as members of the "Scooby Doobies" team.

Josie and the Pussycats was named the 100th best animated series by entertainment website IGN, which referred to Josie as an amusing show for how it combined elements from The Archie Show and Scooby-Doo.[9]

Spin-offs and spoofs

In 2001, Cartoon Network began airing a Josie and the Pussycats short, called "Musical Evolution", featured the Pussycats performing their theme song through the various eras of popular music, including pop, disco, punk, Kiss-like heavy metal, country and techno dance. Different animation styles are used for each era. The same year, Josie and the Pussycats was adapted into a live-action motion picture. The film, produced by Universal Pictures, featured a punk rock cover of the theme song during the end credits.

The 2004–2007 Comedy Central animated TV series Drawn Together featured a character named Foxxy Love. An African-American mystery-solving musician, she was a direct parody of the Josie and the Pussycats character Valerie Brown.[10]

Several episodes of Speed Buggy, a later Hanna-Barbera show, had similar plots to Josie and the Pussycats episodes, specifically A Greenthumb is Not a Goldfinger (Island of the Giant Plants), X Marks the Spot (Out of Sight), and the Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space episode Warrior Women of Amazonia (called The Hidden Valley of Amazonia in Speed Buggy).

In 2016, Josie and the Pussycats was rebooted as a comic book. This update features the origins of the band. Originally, Josie was a struggling musician who merely played an emptied bar while heckled by her former friend, Alexandra. After talking with her roommate, Melody and bringing a stray cat to the vets, they meet Valerie, a veterinarian. The trio decided to play for the Animal Shelter Fundraiser. Despite Alexandra's attempts, the trio are a success and decided to call themselves Josie and The Pussycats, were they meet the producer Alan M.


  1. 1 2 CD liner notes: Saturday Mornings: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits, 1995 MCA Records
  2. Charles, Don. Long Tails and Ears for Hats: The Story of Josie and The Pussy Cats.
  3. Shirley, Ian (2005). Can Rock and Roll Save the World? A History of Music and Comics. SAF Publishing Ltd. pg. 39
  4. Sue Sheridan. "Sue Sheridan liner notes". Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  5. Liner notes from Josie and the Pussycats: Stop Look and Listen: The Capitol Recordings [CD Set]. Burbank: Rhino Handmade. Text available at
  6. CD liner notes: Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, 1995 MCA Records
  7. "Josie and the Pussycats DVD news: Announcement for Josie and the Pussycats - The Complete Series". Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  8. "Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space - Blasting Off on Another Chase: Complete Series Date, Details, Box Art!".
  9. "100, Josie and the Pussycats". IGN. 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
  10. M. Keith Booker (2006). Drawn to television: prime-time animation from the Flintstones to Family guy. Westort, CT: Praeger Publishers/Greenwood Publishing Group. Pg. 158

See also


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