Saban Entertainment, Inc. (along with Saban International, which operated outside the US; current legal name is BVS Entertainment, Inc.) is a worldwide-served independent American-Israeli television production company formed in 1980 by music and television producers Haim Saban and Shuki Levy as "Saban Productions".
|Saban Productions, Inc. (1980–1988)|
Saban Entertainment, Inc. (1988–2001)
|Fate||Acquired by The Walt Disney Company|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Parent||ABC Family Worldwide|
(Disney–ABC Television Group)
|Subsidiaries||Saban International N.V. (later BVS International N.V.)|
Saban International Services, Inc. (later BVS International Services, Inc.)
Saban International Paris
This company was known for importing, dubbing, and adapting several Japanese series such as Maple Town (...Stories), Noozles (Fushigi na Koala Blinky and Pinky), Funky Fables (Video Anime Ehonkan Sekai Meisaku Dowa), Samurai Pizza Cats (Kyatto Ninden Teyande) and the first three Digimon series to North America and international markets for syndication, including both animation and live action shows. Saban is also notable for their various toku adapts of several shows from Toei Company, which include the massively-popular Power Rangers (based on the Super Sentai series), Big Bad Beetleborgs (based on Juukou B-Fighter), VR Troopers (featuring elements of Metal Hero series like Space Sheriff Shaider, Jikuu Senshi Spielban and Choujinki Metalder), and Masked Rider (an original interpretation using scenes from the Japanese Kamen Rider Black RX).
Saban was involved in the co-production of French/American animated shows created by Jean Chalopin for DIC Entertainment. Some of these early 1980s co-productions were Camp Candy, Ulysses 31, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, and The Mysterious Cities of Gold (the third of which was a Japanese co-production).
Saban Entertainment was formed in 1980 as "Saban Productions". The first Saban logo depicted a Saturn-like planet with the word "Saban", in a Pac-Man style font, going across the planet's ring. The planet had five lines under the word "Productions". Several years later, the company created Saban International), for international distribution of its shows (note: though used interchangeably with "Saban International Paris", they were technically two different entities).
In 1986, Saban Productions bought the foreign rights to the DIC Entertainment library of children's programming, and then sold the rights to Jean Chalopin's C&D. DIC then sued Saban for damages and in 1991, DIC and Saban reached a settlement.
In 1988, the company renamed itself Saban Entertainment. As the company grew additional executive were hired as to push into new areas like prime time programming. Saban hired, to head Saban International distribution arm, Stan Golden from Horizon International TV. Then in August 1989, Tom Palmieri came from MTM Enterprises to become Saban president. By January 2, 1990, Saban formed Saban/Scherick Productions division for production done with Edgar Scherick, primarily miniseries and made-for-TV movies.
Partnership with Marvel Entertainment Group
In July 1996, Fox Children's Network secured rights from Marvel Entertainment Group for Captain America, Daredevil and Silver Surfer and additional characters to be developed into four series and 52 episodes over seven years. Also in July, Saban formed a new division, Saban Enterprises International, to handle international licensing, merchandising and promotional activities under president Michael Welter. Oliver Spiner, senior vice president of Saban International, takes over operational duties previously handled by Welter. Eric Rollman was promoted from senior vice president production to executive vice president of Saban Animation.
Saban and ARD TV Network of Germany agreed in August 1996 to a three-year, $50 million co-production and library program licensing agreement. Six co-produced children's series totaling 182 from German author Michael Ende with two new shows, Jim Button and Night of the Wishes. Also, a part of the agreement 390 half-hour episodes of existing children's TV programs and 30 telefilms were acquired by ARD.
Marvel was developing a Captain America animated series with Saban Entertainment for Fox Kids to premiere in fall 1998. However, due to Marvel's bankruptcy the series was canceled before the premiere. Both Marvel and Saban would become parts of The Walt Disney Company; Saban (renamed BVS Entertainment) in 2002 and Marvel by the end of 2009. Then in 2010, Haim Saban founded a new company, Saban Capital Group (SCG), they produced shows under the name Saban Brands such as all Power Rangers seasons starting with Power Rangers Samurai and Glitter Force.
On July 23, 2001, it was announced that the group would be sold to The Walt Disney Company as part of the sale of Fox Family Worldwide (now ABC Family Worldwide) by Haim Saban and News Corporation, and on October 24, 2001, the sale was completed and the group was renamed BVS Entertainment. The last official program and fully produced and distributed by Saban Entertainment was Power Rangers Time Force. However, Power Rangers Wild Force was the last series created by Saban and the latest which had a collaboration (Saban created the series and produced only pre-production, following the acquisition of Fox Family Worldwide, the show belongs to copyright of Disney and was distributed by BVS, although the show was produced by MMPR Productions, the producer of the Power Rangers during the Saban era).
Haim Saban left Saban International Paris in the same year and was eventually split and sold off from Saban Entertainment and was sold off to become independent. Disney would eventually purchase a 49% minorty stake in this division, which on October 1st, 2002 was renamed to SIP Animation, which continued producing content until 2009.
One portion of Saban Entertainment was renamed to Sensation Animation in 2002 so Disney could continue dubbing Digimon (the second half of Digimon Tamers and Digimon Frontier) episodes. It ceased in 2003 after Disney lost the rights to dub Digimon.
Since Saban Capital Group purchased back the rights to Power Rangers and Digimon, BVS became dormant.
Saban International Paris
Saban International Paris, later SIP Animation, was a television production company based in France that operated from 1977 to 2009.
Saban International Paris was founded in France by Haim Saban and Jacqueline Tordjman in 1977 as a record company. In 1989, Saban International Paris moved into the animation field. The studio would go on to produce many animated series for Fox Kids Europe in the 1990s and 2000s. Haim Saban departed the company in 2001 with the purchase of Fox Family Worldwide, which was followed by The Walt Disney Company taking a stake in the company and a name change to SIP Animation on October 1, 2002. SIP continued to co-produce animated series with Jetix Europe (previously Fox Kids Europe) during the 2000s. SIP Animation was closed in 2009.
List of television series and films
Animation TV series
Saban Entertainment animated TV series
- Camp Candy (NBC)
- BattleTech: The Animated Series (1994)
- Creepy Crawlers (1994–1996)
- Saban's Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic (1995)
- Kid 'n Play (1990–1991)
- Little Shop (1991)
- X-Men (1992–1997) Fox Kids with Graz Entertainment
- Iron Man (1994–1996)
- Fantastic Four (1994–1996)
- Spider-Man (1994–1998) Fox Kids
- The Incredible Hulk (1996–1997) UPN Kids
- Silver Surfer (1998) Fox Kids
- The Avengers: United They Stand (1999–2000)
- Spider-Man Unlimited (1999–2001)
With DIC Entertainment
- Kidd Video (1984–1985) NBC
- Care Bears (1985–1986) DiC episodes, international distribution
- Kissyfur (1986–1990)
- ALF: The Animated Series (1987–1989)
- The New Archies (1987–1988)
- Barbie and the Rockers: Out of this World (1987)
- Barbie and The Sensations: Rockin' Back to Earth (1987)
- ALF Tales (1988–1989) NBC
- The Karate Kid (1989)
- The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! (1989–1990, international distribution)
- Eek! The Cat/The Terrible Thunderlizards (1992–1997) (rights to the series held by Saban and Fox Kids Worldwide prior to 2001)
- Bad Dog (1998–1999)
- The Kids from Room 402 (1999–2000)
- What's with Andy? (2001–2002) (season 1 only)
- Lazer Tag Academy (1986–1987)
- Zazoo U (1990–1991)
- Mad Scientist Toon Club (1993–1994)
- The Tick (1994) (distribution only)
- Bureau of Alien Detectors (1996–1997) UPN Kids
- The Mouse and the Monster (1996–1997) UPN Kids
- Little Mouse on the Prairie (1997–1998) Fox Family Channel: Morning Scramble block
- Mad Jack the Pirate (1998–1999) Fox Kids
- The Secret Files of the Spy Dogs (1998–1999) Fox Kids
- Monster Farm (1998–1999)
- NASCAR Racers (1999–2001)
- Xyber 9: New Dawn (1999, 2007)
- Action Man (2000–2002)
- Pigs Next Door (2000)
- Tootuff (2002)
Saban International Paris' animated TV series
Some of the shows featured the "Saban's" corporate bug in their title. Saban Entertainment themselves won't be listed.
- Saban's Adventures of the Little Mermaid (1991, co-production with Antenne 2, Hexatel, Fuji TV and Fuji Eight Co., Ltd.)
- Saban's Around the World in 80 Dreams (1992-1993, co-production with Antenne 2)
- Saban’s Gulliver’s Travels (1992–1993, co-production with Antenne 2)
- Journey to the Heart of the World (1993–1994, co-production with Media Films TV, Dargaud Films and Belvision Studios)
- Space Strikers (1995–1996, co-production with M6 and Montana, in association with Seoul Broadcasting System Productions)
- Saban's Iznogoud (1995, co-production with P.I.A. S.A., France 2, BBC and RTL 4 S.A.)
- Saban's The Why Why Family (1995–1998, co-production with France 3 and ARD/Degeto)
- Saban's Adventures of Oliver Twist (1996–1997)
- Saban's Princess Sissi (1997–1998, co-production with CinéGroupe, France 3, RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, Ventura Film Distributors B.V. and Créativité et Développement)
- Walter Melon (1998–1999, co-production with France 2, ARD/Degeto and Scottish Television Enterprises)
- Wunschpunsch (2000, co-production with CinéGroupe, Ventura Film Distributors B.V. and TF1)
- Saban's Diabolik (2000–2001, co-production with M6 and Mediaset S.p.A.)
- Jim Button (2000–2001, co-production with CinéGroupe, Ventura Film Distributors B.V., TF1, ARD/Degeto and Thomas Haffa/EM.TV & Merchandising AG)
- Jason and the Heroes of Mount Olympus (2001–2002, co-production with Night Storms Productions) (continued work as SIP)
- Gadget & the Gadgetinis (2002–2003, co-production with Fox Kids Europe, DIC Entertainment Corp., M6, Channel Five and Mediatrade S.P.A.) (taken over from Saban)
Other foreign animated TV series
Saban Entertainment dubbed the following foreign animated TV series in English:
- The Mysterious Cities of Gold [a.k.a. Les Mystérieuses Cités d'or] (1982–1983)
- Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea [a.k.a. Les Mondes Engloutis (The Englufed Worlds)] (1985–1987)
- Jin Jin and the Panda Patrol (1994)
Saban Entertainment dubbed and or distributed the following anime television series in English:
- Macron 1 (1985–1986)
- Bumpety Boo (1985–1986)
- Maple Town (1986–1987)
- My Favorite Fairy Tales (1986) (video series)
- Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics (1987–1989)
- Ox Tales (1987–1988)
- Noozles (1988–1993)
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1988)
- Tales of Little Women (1988)
- Wowser (1988–1989), (1998–) Fox Family Channel: Morning Scramble block
- Dragon Warrior (1989–1991)
- Peter Pan: The Animated Series (1989)
- Tic Tac Toons (1990–1992) (anthology series consists of The Wacky World of Tic & Tac and Eggzavier the Eggasaurus)
- Samurai Pizza Cats (dubbed in 1991; released during 1993–1996) syndication
- Jungle Tales (1991)
- The Littl' Bits (1991–1995)
- Honeybee Hutch (1991–1992)
- Bob in a Bottle (1992)
- Funky Fables (1992) (episodes aimed at a young female audience were released on home video under "Sugar & Spice: Special Stories for Little Girs.")
- Huckleberry Finn (1992)
- Rock 'n Cop (1992)
- Three Little Ghosts "Afraid of the Dark" (1992)
- Pinocchio: The Series (1992)
- Button Nose (1994)
- Super Pig (1994–1995)
- Teknoman (1995–1996)
- Eagle Riders (1996–1997) Syndication
- Bit the Cupid (1998–) Fox Family Channel: Morning Scramble block
- Dragon Ball Z (1996–1998) (TV distributor for the syndicated Funimation-Ocean Productions dub of the first two seasons, and composer of the dub's theme song "Rock the Dragon". The background score was also handled by ex-Saban composer Ron Wasserman.)
- Digimon: Digital Monsters series (1999–2002):
- Cybersix (1999–2000)
- Hello Kitty's Paradise (1999–2000)
- Flint the Time Detective (2000)
- Shinzo (dubbed in 2000; released during 2002–2005)
- DinoZaurs: The Series (2000)
- Escaflowne (2000)
- Mon Colle Knights (2001–2002)
- Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2001–2002)
Live-action TV series
Saban Entertainment produced and or distributed the following live action TV series:
- I'm Telling! (1987–1988)
- Treasure Mall (1988)
- Couch Potatoes (1989)
- Video Power (1990–1992)
- Scorch (1992)
- The Hallo Spencer Show (1993–1994)
- Power Rangers series (1993–2002):
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993–1996)
- Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers (1996)
- Power Rangers Zeo (1996)
- Power Rangers Turbo (1997)
- Power Rangers in Space (1998)
- Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999)
- Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000)
- Power Rangers Time Force (2001)
- Power Rangers Wild Force (2002) (only pre-production) 
- VR Troopers (1994–1996)
- Sweet Valley High (1994–1997)
- Goosebumps (1995–1998) (International distribution only)
- Masked Rider (1995–1996)
- Big Bad Beetleborgs (1996–1998)
- Breaker High (1997–1998)
- Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation (1997–1998)
- The All New Captain Kangaroo (1997–1998) (season 1 only)
- Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog (1998–1999)
- The New Addams Family (1998–1999)
- Los Luchadores (2001)
- Rescue Me (1988)
- Heathers (1989)
- A Perfect Little Murder (1990)
- Prey of the Chameleon (1992)
- Round Trip to Heaven (1992)
- Black Ice (1992)
- Revenge on the Highway (1992)
- Blind Vision (1992)
- Till Death Us Do Part (1992)
- Anything for Love (1993)
- In the Shadows, Someone's Watching (1993)
- Under Investigation (1993)
- Terminal Voyage (1994)
- Samurai Cowboy (1994)
- Shadow of Obsession (1994)
- Guns of Honor: Rebel Rousers (1994)
- Blindfold: Acts of Obsession (1994)
- Guns of Honor: Trigger Fast (1994)
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
- Virtual Seduction (1995)
- Christmas Reunion (1995)
- Chimp Lips Theater (1997)
- Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997)
- Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997)
- The Christmas List (1997)
- Gotcha (1998)
- Circles (1998)
- National Lampoon's Men in White (1998)
- Casper Meets Wendy (1998)
- Rusty: A Dog's Tale (1998)
- Addams Family Reunion (1998)
- Earthquake in New York (1998)
- Richie Rich's Christmas Wish (1998)
- The Christmas Takeover (1998)
- Men of Means (1999)
- Taken (1999)
- Don't Look Behind You (1999)
- Heaven's Fire (1999)
- Au Pair (1999)
- Ice Angel (2000)
- Au Pair II (2001)
- Oh, Baby! (2001)
- Three Days (2001)
- The Phantom of the Opera (1990) NBC miniseries starring Burt Lancaster and Charles Dance
- The Secret Life of Ian Fleming (1990) TNT TV movie
- Nightmare in the Daylight (1992) CBS-TV TV movie with Smith/Richmond Productions
- Most Saban Entertainment-owned media from the early 1990s made their way to VHS in most regions. However, from the late 1990s on, almost all Saban Entertainment-owned entities were only released as Australian and New Zealand Region 4 VHSes. And also, according to current North American rights holders, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment had (and still has) no plans to release these titles to DVD and Blu-ray, and as such, some of them instead aired on their sibling television channel, Disney XD and originally was on Toon Disney and ABC Family before the retirement of the Jetix branding in the United States. In most European countries, Fox Kids Europe (later Jetix Europe) had a sister channel called Fox Kids Play (later Jetix Play) which aired various Saban Entertainment programs and shows owned by Fox Kids Europe/Jetix Europe. Some shows were also released on DVD and VHS by various independent distributors, such as Maximum Entertainment in the United Kingdom.
- In Australia, Digimon: Digital Monsters seasons one and two was re-released by Madman Entertainment on August 17, 2011.
- In addition, the first four series was released on DVD in North America through New Video.
- In Germany they have released complete season box sets to every Power Rangers series, with the English Versions included up until season 6 due to problems with Disney. The series is available in the German Amazon.
- The first 17 seasons of Power Rangers have been licensed for DVD releases by Shout! Factory, which has released the first 17 seasons to DVD in Region 1.
- Saban and Lions Gate Entertainment produced a live-action reboot movie of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
The Saban Entertainment library today is mostly owned by The Walt Disney Company through BVS Entertainment, with a few exceptions:
- The Power Rangers franchise and other related shows (VR Troopers, Masked Rider, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation and Big Bad Beetleborgs), which were purchased back by Haim Saban from Disney for $43 million on May 12, 2010
- The Digimon franchise in the United States, purchased back by Saban in September 2012. Both Digimon and Power Rangers are now owned by Hasbro, which acquired the assets of Saban Brands in 2018.
- Pigs Next Door was a co-production with Fox Kids, EM.TV and Wavery B.V. Studio 100, which acquired EM.TV's children's library in 2008, owns some international rights to the series (Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand and Quebec).
- Bobby's World, originally a Fox Kids/Film Roman series, was acquired by MoonScoop Group before 2011.
- The DiC Entertainment library reverted to DiC in the 2000's. In 2008, DiC merged into Cookie Jar Entertainment, which was acquired by DHX Media in 2012.
- Saban only distributed season 1 of Totally Spies. The series is owned by Zodiak Kids, which merged with De Agostini's Marathon Media in 2008.
- Saban International Paris and their former assets from the Saban era are mostly owned by Disney, with The Walt Disney Company France acting as a contact point for them. See SIP Animation for details on ownership of later series.
- Shows co-produced with CinéGroupe (Saban and SIP) are part of their catalogue and are distributed through partner company HG Distribution.
- Many of the live action movies produced with 20th Century Fox (eg, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie) remain under the ownership of Fox.
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