The Bugs Bunny Show premiered on network television prime time on the ABC Network at 7:30 p.m. on October 11, 1960. Today marks the 60th anniversary of that date.

”BugsBunnyShow1.JPG” <br />
”BugsBunnyShow18.JPG” <br />
”BugsBunnyShow9.JPG”

In the 1950s, television stations discovered that older theatrical cartoons could find a new life with viewers at home. Decades of theatrical cartoons found new audiences on weekday afternoons, and it was only a matter of time until animation went to prime time. ABC premiered Walt Disney’s Disneyland in 1954 to great success, in an anthology that included a lot of live action footage, in addition to animation, and followed that up with The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, which also padded its episodes with theatrical shorts. The closure of the theatrical cartoon unit at MGM led William Hanna and Joe Barbera to begin producing original limited animation for television with series like Ruff and Reddy, The Huckleberry Hound Show, and many others. ABC had some success with repackaged animation with The Woody Woodpecker Show in 1957 and with original limited animation with The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends beginning in 1959. In 1960, the network doubled down on animation with premieres of The Flintstones from Hanna-Barbera, and The Bugs Bunny Show from Warner Brothers.

”BugsBunnyShow7.JPG” <br />
”BugsBunnyShow5.JPG” <br />
”BugsBunnyShow15.JPG”

The Bugs Bunny Show had a show within a show as its premise. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts from 1948 through 1958 were repackaged with original bridging animation created specifically for the show. Many of the major Looney Tunes characters had a role on this show within a show, and Daffy Duck’s desire to eclipse Bugs Bunny was a running theme in many episodes. This premise had its roots in “Show Biz Bugs”, a 1957 theatrical short written by Warren Foster(Quick Draw McGraw, The Flintstones) and directed by veteran animator Friz Freleng. Daffy and Bugs are appearing together on stage in a theater, and Bugs is given star billing to the chagrin of envious Daffy. Hijinks ensue as Daffy sets out to prove that he has higher drawing power with the audience than Bugs. This concept was repeated to great effect in the bridging sequences created for The Bugs Bunny Show. (The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Muppet Show, The Larry Sanders Show, and countless others have also used this same formula to great success.)<br />
”BugsBunnyShow8.JPG” <br />
”BugsBunnyShow16.JPG” <br />
”BugsBunnyShow6.JPG” <br />
”BugsBunnyShow4.JPG” <br />
The Bugs Bunny Show was produced for television during the waning days of the Warner Brothers theatrical cartoon unit. Fortunately, many of the great directors and animators from the Golden Age of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were still working in the studio and had a hand in producing the original animation for the show. Directors Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, and Robert McKimson all participated in creating the original interstitial sequences for the show, which featured many characters meeting for the first time, and Mel Blanc continued to perform as almost all of the cast. Speedy Gonzales first appeared as a foil for Daffy Duck in the fifth episode aired on November 9, 1960, prior to the characters appearing together later in multiple cartoons in the 1960s. On any given episode, you might see Pepe LePew give Yosemite Sam a run for his money, or Mac and Tosh sharing the screen with Bugs Bunny, in various combinations of personalities that had been unseen and unimagined in the theatrical shorts.

”BugsBunnyShow3.JPG” <br />
”BugsBunnyShow14.JPG”

The Bugs Bunny Show ran in prime time on ABC for 2 seasons of 52 episodes, before finding a home on weekend mornings during the remainder of the 1960s. Eventually, it was combined with The Road Runner Show and became The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show on Saturday mornings. The brilliant original bridging sequences were cut up and modified to fit into the new hour-long show.

”BugsBunnyShow17.JPG”

Unfortunately, the original color negatives were snipped up by the networks when the bridging animation was reconfigured for use in later shows. The original footage was viewed as dispensable filler and not archived in the best way possible. Warner Brothers reportedly retains complete black and white film prints of the original episodes with original network bumpers and commercials intact. Although the original network version was only received primarily on black and white televisions, the original animation produced for the show was created in color. In later years, this animation was actually broadcasted in color on Saturday mornings. There is much color animation of these bridging sequences that has been spread across the globe and continues to exist in some form in places from Canada to Germany to Japan.<br />
”BugsBunnyShow10.JPG” <br />
”BugsBunnyShow11.JPG”

This year is the 80th birthday for Bugs Bunny, in addition to being the 60th anniversary of the premiere of his network television show. It is unfortunate that this anniversary is not being marked with a release of all 52 episodes of The Bugs Bunny Show.

”BugsBunnyShow2.JPG” <br />
”BugsBunnyShow12.JPG” <br />
There is no question that the original Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies should be preserved in their original format and unedited as seen in movie theaters, and that preservation has already occurred to a large extent. It is unfortunate that the wonderful bridging animation created for The Bugs Bunny Show by the likes of Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, and Robert McKimson has not also been preserved and saved for future generations to enjoy. It is not too late since the studio has complete black and white versions of the episodes, and many collectors own 16mm prints in color and black and white of complete episodes. Complete broadcast masters or videotape versions of many episodes in color may still exist in various broadcast archives. I would even settle for a complete release of The Bugs Bunny Show with the interstitial sequences in black and white if color animation is not possible. I would wager that many collectors still own prints of complete episodes of The Bugs Bunny Show in color or black and white. I would love to hear from anyone who has any of this footage. Who else would like to see this great show released on DVD or Blu-ray?
Post Disclaimer

Some of our content may contain marketing links, which means we will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. In our editorial content, these affiliate links appear automatically, and our editorial teams are not influenced by our affiliate partnerships. We work with several providers (currently Skimlinks and Amazon) to manage our affiliate relationships. You can find out more about their services by visiting their sites.

Published by

Timothy E

editor,member,author

ClassicTVMan1981X

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
1,342
Location
Milwaukie, OR, US
Real Name
Benjamin
The Bugs Bunny Show premiered on network television prime time on the ABC Network at 7:30 p.m. on October 11, 1960. Today marks the 60th anniversary of that date.

View attachment 79953
View attachment 79954
View attachment 79955

In the 1950s, television stations discovered that older theatrical cartoons could find a new life with viewers at home. Decades of theatrical cartoons found new audiences on weekday afternoons, and it was only a matter of time until animation went to prime time. ABC premiered Walt Disney’s Disneyland in 1954 to great success, in an anthology that included a lot of live action footage, in addition to animation, and followed that up with The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, which also padded its episodes with theatrical shorts. The closure of the theatrical cartoon unit at MGM led William Hanna and Joe Barbera to begin producing original limited animation for television with series like Ruff and Reddy, The Huckleberry Hound Show, and many others. ABC had some success with repackaged animation with The Woody Woodpecker Show in 1957 and with original limited animation with The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends beginning in 1959. In 1960, the network doubled down on animation with premieres of The Flintstones from Hanna-Barbera, and The Bugs Bunny Show from Warner Brothers.

View attachment 79956
View attachment 79957
View attachment 79958

The Bugs Bunny Show had a show within a show as its premise. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts from 1948 through 1958 were repackaged with original bridging animation created specifically for the show. Many of the major Looney Tunes characters had a role on this show within a show, and Daffy Duck’s desire to eclipse Bugs Bunny was a running theme in many episodes. This premise had its roots in “Show Biz Bugs”, a 1957 theatrical short written by Warren Foster(Quick Draw McGraw, The Flintstones) and directed by veteran animator Friz Freleng. Daffy and Bugs are appearing together on stage in a theater, and Bugs is given star billing to the chagrin of envious Daffy. Hijinks ensue as Daffy sets out to prove that he has higher drawing power with the audience than Bugs. This concept was repeated to great effect in the bridging sequences created for The Bugs Bunny Show. (The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Muppet Show, The Larry Sanders Show, and countless others have also used this same formula to great success.)
View attachment 79962
View attachment 79959
View attachment 79960
View attachment 79961
The Bugs Bunny Show was produced for television during the waning days of the Warner Brothers theatrical cartoon unit. Fortunately, many of the great directors and animators from the Golden Age of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were still working in the studio and had a hand in producing the original animation for the show. Directors Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, and Robert McKimson all participated in creating the original interstitial sequences for the show, which featured many characters meeting for the first time, and Mel Blanc continued to perform as almost all of the cast. Speedy Gonzales first appeared as a foil for Daffy Duck in the fifth episode aired on November 9, 1960, prior to the characters appearing together later in multiple cartoons in the 1960s. On any given episode, you might see Pepe LePew give Yosemite Sam a run for his money, or Mac and Tosh sharing the screen with Bugs Bunny, in various combinations of personalities that had been unseen and unimagined in the theatrical shorts.

View attachment 79963
View attachment 79964

The Bugs Bunny Show ran in prime time on ABC for 2 seasons of 52 episodes, before finding a home on weekend mornings during the remainder of the 1960s. Eventually, it was combined with The Road Runner Show and became The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show on Saturday mornings. The brilliant original bridging sequences were cut up and modified to fit into the new hour-long show.

View attachment 79965

Unfortunately, the original color negatives were snipped up by the networks when the bridging animation was reconfigured for use in later shows. The original footage was viewed as dispensable filler and not archived in the best way possible. Warner Brothers reputedly retains complete black and white film prints of the original episodes with original network bumpers and commercials intact. Although the original network version was only received primarily on black and white televisions, the original animation produced for the show was created in color. In later years, this animation was actually broadcasted in color on Saturday mornings. There is much color animation of these bridging sequences that has been spread across the globe and continues to exist in some form in places from Canada to Germany to Japan.
View attachment 79969
View attachment 79966

This year is the 80th birthday for Bugs Bunny, in addition to being the 60th anniversary of the premiere of his network television show. It is unfortunate that this anniversary is not being marked with a release of all 52 episodes of The Bugs Bunny Show.

View attachment 79967
View attachment 79968
There is no question that the original Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies should be preserved in their original format and unedited as seen in movie theaters, and that preservation has already occurred to a large extent. It is unfortunate that the wonderful bridging animation created for The Bugs Bunny Show by the likes of Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, and Robert McKimson has not also been preserved and saved for future generations to enjoy. It is not too late since the studio has complete black and white versions of the episodes, and many collectors own 16mm prints in color and black and white of complete episodes. Complete broadcast masters or videotape versions of many episodes in color may still exist in various broadcast archives. I would even settle for a complete release of The Bugs Bunny Show with the interstitial sequences in black and white if color animation is not possible. I would wager that many collectors still own prints of complete episodes of The Bugs Bunny Show in color or black and white. I would love to hear from anyone who has any of this footage. Who else would like to see this great show released on DVD or Blu-ray?
Yes, and I would also hope that they will be able to dig up complete broadcasts of the later extended shows such as:
* The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour (1968-71 and 1975-77)
* The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show (90-minute update of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, 1977-85)
* The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour (1985-86)

During the short-lived February 5 to September 10, 1983 run of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show, when it was seen as two non-consecutive 1-hour blocks, the second of these had the updated opening and closing credits that would carry over to the 1983-84 season run (the last season we'd hear the "This Is It" theme on CBS). Part of these updated opening credits I mention, with Bugs and Daffy dressed in black tuxedos and top hats, was seen on the 1988-92 run of The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show.

And also these spinoff series:
* The Sylvester and Tweety Show (1976-77)
* The Daffy Duck Show (1978-81) / The Daffy-Speedy Show (1981-82)
* The Sylvester & Tweety, Daffy, and Speedy Show (1982-83)

~Ben
 
Last edited:

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
7,118
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
Nope. Sorry. Even as a kid (when The Bugs Bunny Show originally aired) I much preferred the original cartoons and thought the bridging material was mostly lame. It felt and played like what it was - filler. Sure, I watched it as it was "Bugs Bunny" cartoons in *Prime Time* and we just didn't have that many opportunities as later generations to watch cartoons, much less at night.

Considering that most, if not all, of the cartoons which were shown in this series have already been released on DVD and/or BR I'd absolutely pass on such a release. IIRC some were edited for those prime time showings.

Now if they want to release more "new to disc" Looney Tunes (and not a bunch of previously released with a smattering of new ones) I'd be on that in a heartbeat.
 

Paintbeanie

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 7, 2015
Messages
67
Location
Illinois
Real Name
Peter
I am more interested in the unedited original cartoons but would still like to see some of the episodes and original bridging sequences. The Looney Tunes Golden Collection contains a few as bonus features but they are fairly short and cut up as I recall.
 
  • Like
Reactions: phillyrobt

JoeDoakes

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
2,978
Real Name
Ray
I'd be happy to purchase it. I also think it would be an attractive addition to Boomerang. I doubt if Warner would do this for DVD. They also don't seem to like dealing with collectors for source material.
 
  • Like
Reactions: phillyrobt

Chris55

Auditioning
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
6
Real Name
chris
The Bugs Bunny Show premiered on network television prime time on the ABC Network at 7:30 p.m. on October 11, 1960. Today marks the 60th anniversary of that date.

View attachment 79953
View attachment 79954
View attachment 79955

In the 1950s, television stations discovered that older theatrical cartoons could find a new life with viewers at home. Decades of theatrical cartoons found new audiences on weekday afternoons, and it was only a matter of time until animation went to prime time. ABC premiered Walt Disney’s Disneyland in 1954 to great success, in an anthology that included a lot of live action footage, in addition to animation, and followed that up with The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, which also padded its episodes with theatrical shorts. The closure of the theatrical cartoon unit at MGM led William Hanna and Joe Barbera to begin producing original limited animation for television with series like Ruff and Reddy, The Huckleberry Hound Show, and many others. ABC had some success with repackaged animation with The Woody Woodpecker Show in 1957 and with original limited animation with The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends beginning in 1959. In 1960, the network doubled down on animation with premieres of The Flintstones from Hanna-Barbera, and The Bugs Bunny Show from Warner Brothers.

View attachment 79956
View attachment 79957
View attachment 79958

The Bugs Bunny Show had a show within a show as its premise. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts from 1948 through 1958 were repackaged with original bridging animation created specifically for the show. Many of the major Looney Tunes characters had a role on this show within a show, and Daffy Duck’s desire to eclipse Bugs Bunny was a running theme in many episodes. This premise had its roots in “Show Biz Bugs”, a 1957 theatrical short written by Warren Foster(Quick Draw McGraw, The Flintstones) and directed by veteran animator Friz Freleng. Daffy and Bugs are appearing together on stage in a theater, and Bugs is given star billing to the chagrin of envious Daffy. Hijinks ensue as Daffy sets out to prove that he has higher drawing power with the audience than Bugs. This concept was repeated to great effect in the bridging sequences created for The Bugs Bunny Show. (The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Muppet Show, The Larry Sanders Show, and countless others have also used this same formula to great success.)
View attachment 79962
View attachment 79959
View attachment 79960
View attachment 79961
The Bugs Bunny Show was produced for television during the waning days of the Warner Brothers theatrical cartoon unit. Fortunately, many of the great directors and animators from the Golden Age of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were still working in the studio and had a hand in producing the original animation for the show. Directors Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, and Robert McKimson all participated in creating the original interstitial sequences for the show, which featured many characters meeting for the first time, and Mel Blanc continued to perform as almost all of the cast. Speedy Gonzales first appeared as a foil for Daffy Duck in the fifth episode aired on November 9, 1960, prior to the characters appearing together later in multiple cartoons in the 1960s. On any given episode, you might see Pepe LePew give Yosemite Sam a run for his money, or Mac and Tosh sharing the screen with Bugs Bunny, in various combinations of personalities that had been unseen and unimagined in the theatrical shorts.

View attachment 79963
View attachment 79964

The Bugs Bunny Show ran in prime time on ABC for 2 seasons of 52 episodes, before finding a home on weekend mornings during the remainder of the 1960s. Eventually, it was combined with The Road Runner Show and became The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show on Saturday mornings. The brilliant original bridging sequences were cut up and modified to fit into the new hour-long show.

View attachment 79965

Unfortunately, the original color negatives were snipped up by the networks when the bridging animation was reconfigured for use in later shows. The original footage was viewed as dispensable filler and not archived in the best way possible. Warner Brothers reportedly retains complete black and white film prints of the original episodes with original network bumpers and commercials intact. Although the original network version was only received primarily on black and white televisions, the original animation produced for the show was created in color. In later years, this animation was actually broadcasted in color on Saturday mornings. There is much color animation of these bridging sequences that has been spread across the globe and continues to exist in some form in places from Canada to Germany to Japan.
View attachment 79969
View attachment 79966

This year is the 80th birthday for Bugs Bunny, in addition to being the 60th anniversary of the premiere of his network television show. It is unfortunate that this anniversary is not being marked with a release of all 52 episodes of The Bugs Bunny Show.

View attachment 79967
View attachment 79968
There is no question that the original Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies should be preserved in their original format and unedited as seen in movie theaters, and that preservation has already occurred to a large extent. It is unfortunate that the wonderful bridging animation created for The Bugs Bunny Show by the likes of Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, and Robert McKimson has not also been preserved and saved for future generations to enjoy. It is not too late since the studio has complete black and white versions of the episodes, and many collectors own 16mm prints in color and black and white of complete episodes. Complete broadcast masters or videotape versions of many episodes in color may still exist in various broadcast archives. I would even settle for a complete release of The Bugs Bunny Show with the interstitial sequences in black and white if color animation is not possible. I would wager that many collectors still own prints of complete episodes of The Bugs Bunny Show in color or black and white. I would love to hear from anyone who has any of this footage. Who else would like to see this great show released on DVD or Blu-ray?
I would love to buy the shows if released on Blu Ray !
 
  • Like
Reactions: phillyrobt

darkrock17

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
1,782
Location
Alexandria, VA
Real Name
Andrew McClure
I hope some of these bridging segments will be available on the forthcoming set Bugs Bunny: 80th Anniversary!

~Ben
The 80th Anniversary does not included anything from The Bugs Bunny Show. It contains previous features such as commentaries and music only tracks.

Disc 3 has these new features.

Special Features
 
  • Like
Reactions: phillyrobt

Garysb

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2003
Messages
3,674
I remember wondering why Porky Pig wasn’t in the character march . Also Elmer, who is in the March , wasn’t in any of the new material. I realize his voice, Arthur Q Bryan , had died but Elmer did appear in the commercials for Post cereal with a different voice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: phillyrobt

Mark Y

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
1,093
I absolutely would be in line for this if it ever came out!

Some bits and pieces of it have made it to DVD -- five original episodes of The Bugs Bunny Show are on the Looney Tunes Golden Collections. A few episodes of the Porky Pig, Road Runner and Bugs Bunny shows, plus a composite Bugs Bunny/Road Runner show, are on the Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s/1970s sets.

Some bumper footage is on You Tube, but not a lot of it. There is one bumper on You Tube which is in full color where the DVD version is an edit of color and B&W footage. There is also one long compilation of stage scenes from the Bugs Bunny show, but unfortunately, most of it is redubbed in other languages.
 
  • Like
Reactions: phillyrobt

Joe Lugoff

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
2,221
Real Name
Joe
Has it been discussed why Porky Pig didn't seem to exist for this show? My theory is they might have been planning to give him his own show if this Bugs Bunny show had been more successful. There was a daytime Porky Pig Show later in the decade. I remember watching it before I went to school.
 

darkrock17

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
1,782
Location
Alexandria, VA
Real Name
Andrew McClure
Has it been discussed why Porky Pig didn't seem to exist for this show? My theory is they might have been planning to give him his own show if this Bugs Bunny show had been more successful. There was a daytime Porky Pig Show later in the decade. I remember watching it before I went to school.
This show ran for 2 seasons, 52 episodes and showed 156 classic shorts, I would say that's pretty successful.
 

Timothy E

Reviewer
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
1,181
Real Name
Timothy Ewanyshyn
Has it been discussed why Porky Pig didn't seem to exist for this show? My theory is they might have been planning to give him his own show if this Bugs Bunny show had been more successful. There was a daytime Porky Pig Show later in the decade. I remember watching it before I went to school.
I do not believe that Porky was ignored in The Bugs Bunny Show. Porky appeared in new bridging sequences created specifically for the show, and many shorts featuring Porky made from 1948 through 1957 were featured on The Bugs Bunny Show. Porky may have been ignored in the sense that he was not featured in the dance line in the opening sequence, but not every character was featured there. The studio was more prolific in releasing Porky cartoons from 1935 to 1945 than after that, and Porky was not appearing in many new theatrical shorts by 1960 at the time of premiere of the show. Many of the shorts created from 1948 through 1957 featured Porky as a foil to Daffy (and occasionally Sylvester), and manyof those shorts were featured on the show.

You are correct to observe that Porky had his own show a few years later, but it seems unlikely that this was planned from the beginning, as opposed to the studio realizing that it had control of many theatrical shorts that were never featured in The Bugs Bunny Show, which could be featured and sold for syndication to create more profits.