The Tom & Jerry Show
In 1975, everyone's favorite animated cat and mouse team were back on Saturday mornings, this time splitting the bill with a 40-foot tall purple gorilla. Hanna-Barbera's hour-long The New Tom & Jerry/Grape Ape Show debuted in the fall with one major difference from the original cartoon: Tom & Jerry were good friends!
As a response to a growing concern that cartoons were becoming too violent, the producers though it would be in the viewers' best interest (as well as their own) to have the former enemies make amends and be on the same team. The decision, surprising at first, nevertheless proved to be a winning formula and took nothing away from the brilliance of the series.
Making Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse (donning a red bow tie this time around) friends opened up new opportunities for comedy and adventure. In each episode, the two would appear in three seven-minute shorts, getting themselves into a variety of situations - from job-related mayhem to crime-solving to foiling the plots of evil villains. Now that they were working on the same side, Tom & Jerry were twice as effective.
Although all the other characters on the show had the power of speech - and sometimes even abused that power - Hanna-Barbera stuck to their guns when it came to giving a voice to their stars. Tom & Jerry remained mute.
In the show's second season, Mumbly was added to the lineup in his own segments and the show was re-titled The Tom & Jerry/Grape Ape/Mumbly Show. The new lineup lasted two months before Grape Ape became too big for the show and was spun off to his own series, leaving Tom & Jerry and Mumbly to carry the load. This prompted yet another named change, this time to Tom & Jerry/Mumbly Show; but the load proved too heavy to carry and the show was cancelled after that season. Grape Ape and Mumbly landed on their feet by securing jobs on Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics. However, Tom & Jerry later then returned to their own series on the Tom & Jerry Tales (2006), which became the seventh incarnation of the franchise and the series.
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