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Saban Entertainment, Inc. (along with Saban International, which operated outside the United States; current legal name is BVS Entertainment, Inc.) was 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|
Buena Vista Studios
|Defunct||October 1, 2002|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Haim Saban (Chairman/CEO)|
Shuki Levy (President/CFO/CCO)
|Owner||The Walt Disney Company|
|Parent||ABC Family Worldwide|
(Walt Disney Television)
|Subsidiaries||Saban International N.V. (later BVS International N.V.)|
Saban International Services, Inc. (later BVS International Services, Inc.)
Saban International Paris (Sold off in 2002)
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 Enterprises library of children's programming from DIC's parent DIC Animation City, 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 Stan Golden from Horizon International TV to head their Saban International distribution arm. 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. Around this time, they also began distributing the film library of New World Pictures (which had been sold by New World to Trans-Atlantic Films, composed of ex-New World employees) to television stations. Ironically, one of New World's other subsidiaries would play a large role in the company's future.
Partnership with Marvel Entertainment Group and News Corporation
1992 saw Saban partner with the Marvel Entertainment Group to produce an animated series based off of Marvel's comic-book heroes the X-Men. The series was a smash success and ran until 1997. This further propelled the fledgling Fox Kids Network, vindicating network head Margaret Loesch's years of effort in getting an X-Men cartoon off the ground. In 1993, Saban brought another hit to the Fox Kids lineup, the wildly successful Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, an adaptation of the Japanese Super Sentai franchise. At different times in the 1980s, both Loesch and Saban had attempted adaptations of these shows, but had found themselves repeatedly rejected by other networks.
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 S. Rollman was promoted from senior vice president production to executive vice president of Saban Animation.
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/Fox Kids 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 (Buena Vista Studios) 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 (Saban created the series and produced only pre-production, following the acquisition of Saban Entertainment and Fox Family Worldwide/Fox Kids Worldwide, the show was copyrighted to Disney and was distributed by BVS, although the show was produced by MMPR Productions, the producer of the Power Rangers series during the Saban era).
Haim Saban left Saban International Paris in the same year and was eventually split and sold off from Saban Entertainment to become an independent studio. Disney would eventually purchase a 49% minority stake in this division, which on October 1, 2002 was renamed to SIP Animation, which continued producing content until 2009.
Since Saban Capital Group purchased back the rights to Power Rangers and Digimon, BVS Entertainment became dormant, and iss the current copyright holder for the ex-Saban and ex-Fox Kids/Fox Children's Productions shows that Disney currently owns.
One portion of Saban Entertainment was renamed to Sensation Animation in 2002; this had been Saban's division for ADR production and post-production services for anime, and was created so that Disney could continue dubbing Digimon (the second half of Digimon Tamers and Digimon Frontier) episodes. This division ceased operations in 2003 after Disney lost the rights to dub Digimon. Disney however would go on to dub and distribute the previously un-dubbed four Digimon movies; Revenge of Diaboromon (DA02), Battle of Adventurers (DT), Runaway Locomon (DT) and Island of the Lost Digimon (DF) in 2005 and the fifth TV season, Digimon Data Squad in 2007, but this time the dubbing was handled by post-production studio Studiopolis. The majority of the previous cast members returned sans some actors, like Joshua Seth.
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
Animated TV series
- Kidd Video (1984–1985) (co-production with DIC Enterprises)
- Lazer Tag Academy (1986–1987)
- My Favorite Fairy Tales (1986) (co-production with Toei Animation)
- ALF: The Animated Series (1987–1989) (co-production with DIC Enterprises for Alien Productions)
- The New Archies (1987) (co-production with DIC Enterprises)
- Kissyfur (1988) (season 2 only; co-production with DIC Enterprises for NBC Productions)
- ALF Tales (1988–1989) (co-production with DIC Enterprises for Alien Productions)
- The Karate Kid (1989) (co-production with DIC Enterprises for Columbia Pictures Television)
- Camp Candy (1989–1992) (seasons 1 & 2 co-produced with DIC Enterprises)
- Kid 'n Play (1990–1991)
- Video Power (1990–1992)
- Little Shop (1991)
- X-Men (1992–1997) (co-production with Graz Entertainment, Marvel Entertainment Group and in Association with Genesis Entertainment)
- Jin Jin and the Panda Patrol (1994)
- BattleTech: The Animated Series (1994) (co-production with Worldwide Sports and Entertainment)
- Creepy Crawlers (1994–1996) (co-production with Abrams/Gentile Entertainment)
- Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic (1995–1996)
- Little Mouse on the Prairie (1996)
- Bureau of Alien Detectors (1996–1997)
- The Mouse and the Monster (1996–1997)
- Silver Surfer (1998) (co-production with Marvel Studios)
- Bad Dog (1998–1999) (co-production with CinéGroupe)
- Monster Farm (1998–1999)
- The Secret Files of the Spy Dogs (1998–1999)
- Mad Jack the Pirate (1998–1999)
- The Avengers: United They Stand (1999–2000) (co-production with Marvel Studios)
- The Kids from Room 402 (1999–2000) (co-production with CinéGroupe)
- Xyber 9: New Dawn (1999–2000)
- NASCAR Racers (1999–2001)
- Spider-Man Unlimited (1999–2001) (co-production with Marvel Studios)
- Action Man (2000–2002)
- Pigs Next Door (2000)
- What's with Andy? (season 1) (2001-2002) (co-production with CinéGroupe) 
- Titeuf (season 1) (2001-2002)
- Barbapapa (co-production with RTL Television)
Saban International Paris
Some of the shows featured the "Saban's" corporate bug in their title. Saban Entertainment itself is not 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, Société Radio-Canada, Ventura Film Distributors B.V. and TF1)
- Saban's Diabolik (2000–2001, co-production with M6, Ashi Productions and Mediaset S.p.A.)
- Jim Button (2000–2001, co-production with CinéGroupe, WDR, 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)
Foreign television series
Saban Entertainment dubbed and or distributed the following foreign television series in English:
- Macron 1 (1985–1986)
- Bumpety Boo (1985–1986)
- Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea (1985–1987)
- Maple Town (1986–1987)
- Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics (1987–1989)
- Noozles (1988)
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1988)
- Tales of Little Women (1988–1989)
- The Hallo Spencer Show (1989)
- Ox Tales (1989)
- Wowser (1989)
- Maya the Bee (1989–1990)
- Peter Pan: The Animated Series (1990)
- Pinocchio: The Series (1990)
- Dragon Warrior (1990)
- The Littl' Bits (1990)
- Tic Tac Toons (1990–1992) (anthology series consists of The Wacky World of Tic & Tac and Eggzavier the Eggasaurus)
- Elves of the Forest (1991) (combined episodes to make a one-hour special called A Christmas Adventure; co-distributed with DIC Entertainment)
- Funky Fables/Sugar and Spice (1991)
- Samurai Pizza Cats (1991)
- Bob in a Bottle (1992)
- Jungle Tales (1992)
- Rock 'n Cop (1992)
- Three Little Ghosts "Afraid of the Dark" (1992)
- Huckleberry Finn (1993)
- Shuke and Beita (1993)
- Button Nose (1994)
- Honeybee Hutch (1995–1996)
- Teknoman (1995–1996)
- Eagle Riders (1996–1997)
- Dragon Ball Z (1996–1998) (TV distributor and musical composer for the Funimation-Ocean Productions dub of the first two seasons)
- Super Pig (1997)
- Willow Town (1997)
- Bit the Cupid (1998)
- Digimon Adventure (1999–2000)
- Cybersix (1999–2000)
- Hello Kitty's Paradise (1999-2000)
- Dinozaurs (2000)
- Escaflowne (2000)
- Flint the Time Detective (2000)
- Digimon Adventure 02 (2000–2001)
- Shinzo (2000-2001)
- Hatsumei Boy Kanipan (2000-2001)
- Digimon Tamers (2001–2002)
- Slayers (2001) (unaired edited version)
- Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2001–2002)
- Mon Colle Knights (2001–2002)
Live-action TV series
Saban Entertainment produced and or distributed the following live action TV series:
- Bio-Man (1986) (unaired pilot)
- I'm Telling! (1987–1988) (co-production with DIC Enterprises)
- 2 Hip 4 TV (1988)
- Treasure Mall (1988)
- Offshore Television (1988–1989) (co-production with King World R&D Network)
- Couch Potatoes (1989)
- Video Power (1990–1992)
- Scorch (1992) (co-production with Allan Katz Productions and Honeyland Productions for Lorimar Television)
- Power Rangers series (1993–2002):
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993–1995)
- 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) 
- Mad Scientist Toon Club (1993–1994)
- 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)
- Alphy's Hollywood Power Party (1987; TV special)
- Rescue Me (1988)
- The Phantom of the Opera (1990) (produced by Saban/Scherick Productions, Hexatel, Starcom, TF1, Reteitalia, and Beta Film)
- The Secret Life of Ian Fleming (1990) (produced by Saban/Scherick Productions for TNT)
- A Perfect Little Murder (1990) (co-production with MollyBen Productions for Gary Hoffman Productions)
- Blind Vision (1991)
- Till Death Us Do Part (1991) (produced by Saban/Scherick Productions)
- Prey of the Chameleon (1992)
- Round Trip to Heaven (1992)
- Black Ice (1992)
- Revenge on the Highway (1992)
- Nightmare in the Daylight (1992) (produced by Saban/Scherick Productions and Smith/Richmond Productions)
- 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; two TV specials)
- 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)
- Michael Jordan: An American Hero (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)
- Barbie and the Rockers: Out of this World (1987) (co-production with DIC Entertainment and Mattel)
- Barbie and The Sensations: Rockin' Back to Earth (1987) (co-production with DIC Entertainment and Mattel)
- A Christmas Adventure (1987)
- Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might (1997) (TV distributor and musical composer for the 1997 Funimation-Ocean Productions dub)
- Digimon: The Movie (2000)
- 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 five 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 Fox Kids/Saban Entertainment library today is mostly owned by The Walt Disney Company, with a few exceptions:
- The Power Rangers franchise and other PR-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 was also purchased back by Saban in September 2012. All of the Power Rangers franchise and the PR-related shows are now owned by Hasbro through Allspark, which acquired the assets of Saban Brands in 2018, while Digimon has reverted to Toei Animation.
- 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 the US digital rights and some international rights to the series (Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand and Quebec).
- Dargaud owns the rights to Wowser.
- Splash Entertainment owns the distribution rights to Bobby's World, under license from series creator Howie Mandel.
- The international distribution rights to the pre-1990 DiC Entertainment library reverted to DiC in the 2000s. This library is now owned by WildBrain through Cookie Jar Entertainment.
- Saban only distributed the first season of Totally Spies!. The series is owned by Zodiak Kids, which merged with De Agostini's Marathon Media in 2008.
- Goosebumps is owned by Scholastic Entertainment, with distribution handled by 9 Story Media Group.
- Many of Saban's anime licenses, such as Macron 1, Noozles, Flint the Time Detective, The Littl' Bits and Saban's The Adventures of Pinocchio expired in the 2000s.
- CinéGroupe owns the series that it co-produced with Saban and SIP, including What's with Andy? and The Kids from Room 402. These series are distributed through partner company HG Distribution.
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