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Sun, Apr 8, 2018 2:18 AM

"Rocky and His Friends" and "The Bullwinkle Show"

Why Is Rocky and His Friends listed as running from 1959 to 2000? The date of the last episode on IMDb is June 1961.

The series was followed by The Bullwinkle Show, which is listed as running from 1960 to 1964. But the first episode on IMDb is dated September 1961 and the last is dated July 1963.

Responses

Champion

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2 years ago

Hello, J. 

That is really weird. Maybe it is a result of something similar to what was with "ALF", which, for a while was 1986-2004 due to unaired pilot released in 2004 on DVD?.. It still lists unaired pilot with that date, but the main series dates were corrected... 

Employee

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2 years ago

Hi J. -

I was unable to locate any episode listing attached to the series for an episodes from "2000", therefore, the title year has been adjusted accordingly.  Cheers!

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Thanks. I believe The Bullwinkle Show also needs to be adjusted. It should be 1961-1963.

Employee

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Hi J. -

Thanks for the additional report, the title year has also now been corrected for this TV Series.  Cheers!

2 Messages

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172 Points

Shouldn't the separate pages for "Rocky and His Friends" and "The Bullwinkle Show" be merged? Does a network switch justify two different pages for what is essentially the same show?

Champion

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Ed: The issue is whether "Rocky and His Friends" and "The Bullwinkle Show" are really the same series that happened to change its title between the second and third season.  There are other series which are considered the same by IMDb notwithstanding a change of title and network -- "Disneyland" (1954) is an example. In this case, I would support merging  "Rocky and His Friends" and "The Bullwinkle Show" into one entry; the network and title change didn't result in changes in the characters or the cast. The factual information of the title change can be addressed in the Alternate Titles section.

Champion

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2 years ago

Ed: I personally haven't seen the legal contract whereby NBC acquired the broadcast rights to "Rocky and His Friends", so I don't know if the network was legally required to change the name of the show or did so voluntarily due to the popularity of the Bullwinkle character and thus chose the name "The Bullwinkle Show".

In any event, it is not IMDb's job to worry about the brand name identification of "The Bullwinkle Show" that NBC happened to adopt 58 years ago. In fact, the current brand identification of this show is neither "Rocky and His Friends" nor 'The Bullwinkle Show", but "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends".

Champion

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Ed: I remember when someone tried to combine the Looney Tunes shorts into a television series, which was a problem because those were short films made for theatrical release, not a TV series. So in that case, consolidation was completely wrong.

However, that does not mean that every example of consolidation is incorrect. Sometimes it can be a judgment call as to whether two related TV series should be considered the same TV series or should have two different entries. In this case I think that "The Bullwinkle Show" should be considered a continuation of "Rocky and His Friends" rather than a separate show, although some may disagree with that idea.

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Gromit, you made reference to a television encyclopedia a few days ago, one you presumably own. Does the encyclopedia list this series, and if so, is it listed as one series or two?

2 Messages

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172 Points

Speaking of Looney Tunes, I have the same questions about The Bugs Bunny Show and its five different IMDb pages: The Bugs Bunny Show, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show, The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour, and The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show. Wikipedia considers it one four-decade long show, albeit one which switched networks and running length multiple times.

Champion

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J.: I don't think I made a reference to a television encyclopedia recently, but I mentioned The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows by Brooks and Marsh in a thread that was responded to recently: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/lassie

I don't own the book but was able to find the entry for "The Bullwinkle Show" there via Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=w8KztFy6QYwC&pg=PA762&dq=brooks+marsh+lassie&hl=en&...

The book only covers prime time series, and so only the 1961-62 season of "The Bullwinkle Show" is listed there; "Rocky and His Friends" is mentioned, but it didn't run in prime time so it's outside the book's scope (as are the 1962-63 and 1963-64 seasons of "The Bullwinkle Show").


Employee

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2 years ago

Hi All -

When determining whether the separate titles should be combined to a single series verses being listed separately, this is dependent on if the new title/network change was a continuation of the existing series or re-branded as a separate series.  If anyone has any online sources to help verify these details, please post them here so our staff can take a look.

Champion

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Thanks, Michelle. I will post some sources when I get a chance.

Champion

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Michelle: Here are some sources to support the idea that "The Bullwinkle Show" was a continuation of "Rocky and His Friends" rather than a separate show.

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/11/26/rocky.bullwinkle.anniversary/index.html):
The show was originally named "Rocky and his Friends," but was renamed "The Bullwinkle Show" when the program went from ABC to NBC.
The New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/1989/05/07/movies/television-rocky-and-bullwinkle-brave-the-comeback-trail.h...):
That awareness of youngsters - here was a program that didn't talk down to them - gave the series (originally called ''Rocky and His Friends,'' later ''The Bullwinkle Show'') much of its charm.
Los Angeles Times (http://articles.latimes.com/1992-04-12/news/tv-511_1_bullwinkle-show):
Created by Jay Ward of "Crusader Rabbit" fame, Bullwinkle, Rocky and Co. were first introduced on the animated 1959 ABC weekday series "Rocky and His Friends." A precursor of "The Simpsons," the richly satirical show also had plenty of slapstick humor for the kids. Retitled "The Bullwinkle Show," the series moved to NBC and prime time for a season in the fall of 1961.
Chicago Tribune (https://www.chicagotribune.com/zap-chrishaywardobit-story.html):
There was no such thing as a bad pun on "Rocky and His Friends," which premiered on ABC in 1959 and was renamed "The Bullwinkle Show" when it moved to NBC in 1961. 
Variety (https://variety.com/2017/tv/people-news/june-foray-dead-dies-rocky-natasha-bullwinkle-1202508180/):
But her greatest fame came with Jay Ward’s satirical “Rocky and His Friends,” which would later become “The Bullwinkle Show,” eventually known collectively as “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show,” which ran from 1959 through 1964.
Lincoln Journal-Star (https://journalstar.com/entertainment/hokey-smoke-rocky-bullwinkle-mark-years/article_850c3126-d499-...):
The first episode of "Rocky and His Friends" debuted on ABC on the afternoon of Nov. 19, 1959.  ... The Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons bounced around after their initial ABC airing. Moving to NBC in 1961 and changing its name to "The Bullwinkle Show," the series become one of the first prime-time cartoons, adding another set of memorable characters in "Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties."
Entertainment Weekly (https://ew.com/article/2010/10/25/rocky-bullwinkle-alex-anderson/):
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show aired under a variety of titles, including Rocky and his Friends and The Bullwinkle Show.
Mentalfloss.com (http://mentalfloss.com/article/23320/11-things-you-should-know-about-rocky-bullwinkle):
An animated television series called Rocky and His Friends debuted on ABC at 5:30 pm on November 19, 1959. In 1961, the show moved to NBC, where it was renamed The Bullwinkle Show and ran until 1964.
I am not going to say that this is the only possible perspective on this question, but I think at least there is a strong case to be made that "Rocky and His Friends" and "The Bullwinkle Show" should be considered the same TV series which happened to change its title along the way.

Employee

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Thanks gromit82, these sources are very helpful!

Employee

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2 years ago

Hi All -

Thanks for your feedback, I have raised a ticket with our editorial team to review the plausibility of combining these separate titles to a single series.  As soon as I have an update on the status I will post the details here.

Employee

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a year ago

Hi All -

Apologies for the delay in replying, I can confirm that the separate series and episodes under "Rocky and His Friends" has been merged into "The Bullwinkle Show" as season 5 here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052507/


Cheers!