After originating in George's Gately's daily comic strip in 1973, Heathcliff made his way to television in 1980 as a segment on Heathcliff and Dingbat. The show lasted for a single, thirteen episode season, in which two Dingbat and the Creeps and two Heathcliff segments filled out each half-hour show.
Heathcliff was a brash and trouble-prone cat who ruled the streets of his neighborhood. Whether he was causing mischief all-around, the orange tabby nary broke a sweat while making short work of his adversaries. Heathcliff had the good favor of his elderly owner penthouse pussycat Sonja. But of course, their meetings were never without distraction, because mayhem stubbornly followed Heathcliff wherever he went.
Dingbat and the Creeps were a trio of misfit monsters stayed financially afloat by finding work through their temp agency, Odd Jobs, Inc. Appropriately named, the oddball hires were unusual in more than just appearance. The group was led by a jack-o-lantern of all trades named Nobody. He was joined by the vampire dog Dingbat, who turned into a bat-sized version of himself in order to fly, and by the skeleton Sparerib, who had the ability to rearrange his bones into the form of almost any useful object, such as a floor lamp, bridge, or jackhammer More hindrance than help, disaster followed the Creeps wherever they went. It's little wonder they never got a callback after finishing a job!
Ruby-Spears Productions continued to create Heathcliff episodes for the 1981 broadcast season, but as part of a new series called Heathcliff & Marmaduke. A single Heathcliff segment played alongside two Marmaduke segments during each half-hour show. That series also lasted for a single season, but Heathcliff again returned a few years later as part of the 1984, DiC Entertainment series, Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats.