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".
The logo used from 1996–2001.
|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)
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.
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). After Saban Capital bought Power Rangers and Digimon back, it appears that BVS is inactive.
Saban International Paris
Saban International Paris, later SIP Animation, was a television production company based in France that operated from 1977 to 2008.
Saban International Paris was found in France by Haim Saban and Jacqueline Tordjman in 1977 as a television production company. In 1983, 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 2008.
Sensation Animation was a renamed portion of Saban Entertainment to continue dubbing Digimon (the second half of Digimon Tamers and Digimon Frontier) episodes from 2002 to 2003 after Disney bought the company. It ceased in 2003 after Disney lost the rights to dub Digimon.
List of television series and films
Animation TV series
Saban Entertainment animated TV series
- Camp Candy (NBC)
- 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)
- 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 or most series had all but featured the "Saban's" corporate bug in their title.
- Diplodos (1987–1988)
- Saban's Around the World in 80 Dreams (1992–1993)
- Saban’s Gulliver’s Travels (1992–1993)
- The Bots Master (1993–1994)
- Journey to the Heart of the World (1993–1994)
- BattleTech: The Animated Series (1994)
- Creepy Crawlers (1994–1996)
- Space Strikers (1995–1996)
- Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic (1995–1996)
- Iznogoud (1995)
- The Why Why Family (1995–1998) syndication
- Saban's Adventures of Oliver Twist (1996–1997) syndication, Fox Family Channel: Tic Tac Toons (1998–1999)
- Princess Sissi (1997–1998)
- Space Goofs (1997–2000) (season 1 only)
- Walter Melon (1998–1999)
- Wunschpunsch (2000)
- Diabolik (2000–2001)
- Jim Button (2000–2001)
- Gadget & the Gadgetinis (2001–2003)
- What's with Andy? (2003–2004) (season 2 only)
- W.I.T.C.H. (2004–2006) Jetix
- The Tofus (2004–2007)
- A.T.O.M. (2005–2006)
- Combo Ninos (2008)
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)
- Saban's Adventures of the Little Mermaid (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):
- 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 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.
Although most of Saban's library is currently owned by The Walt Disney Company, there are a few exceptions: The Power Rangers franchise, which was purchased by Haim Saban from Disney for $43 million on May 12, 2010 and the Digimon franchise, which Saban re-acquired in September 2012.
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