|Betty Boop's Misguided Tours|
Betty Boop's Misguided Tours
In 1998 one of Hollywood's oldest stars, Betty Boop, was expected to star in her own animated TV series following a deal between Warner Bros. Int'l Television Production and Fleischer Studios, Daily Variety reported today (Wednesday). According to the trade paper, the series, Betty Boop's Misguided Tours, will feature the character as a tour-bus guide in episodes set all over the world. (WBITP was reportedly originally set up to develop projects that can attract European backers.) The series will be exec produced by famed director Richard Fleischer whose father, Max Fleischer and uncle, Dave Fleischer created the Betty Boop character.
The deal was put together by Catherine Malatesta, senior VP of WBITP, and Richard Fleischer, president of Fleischer Studios. The series will be titled "Betty Boop's Misguided Tours" and will feature Betty as a perky and lovable tour bus guide who has comic misadventures in various countries all over the world. The partners have a firm commitment for the first 26 half-hours. Malatesta told Daily Variety that there's never been a TV series about the sexy Betty Boop, but that she had had her eye on the character for several years. Richard Fleischer, son of the creator of the Betty Boop character Max Fleischer, developed the concept for the TV series and will be its exec producer. "After all those years of being bottled up, we're delighted to once again let Betty Boop 'out of the inkwell' and let her stretch those beautiful legs," Richard Fleischer said. Betty Boop ran as a cartoon series in movie houses from 1930-40. Except for an appearance in two CBS half-hour specials in the '80s, the irrepressible character has essentially been in retirement since the '40s. The five-year-old WBITP, a unit of the studio's international TV division, has as its mandate the creation of projects which will attract key European co-production partners. "Betty will definitely be a Euro-content production," Malatesta said, adding that co-finance partners would soon be signed in the U.K., France and Germany. Because the new Betty Boop will be teen-oriented, "sexy and edgy without being gross," as Malatesta put it, she is pitching it to cable outlets in the U.S. like HBO and MTV. Two other animated projects have been produced by Malatesta's division -- "The Fantastic Voyage of Sinbad" for the Cartoon Network and "The New Adventures of Zorro," which was nationally syndicated. Both had international co-production partners. Fleischer Studios maintains and exploits the rights to its properties and characters including Betty Boop, KoKo the Klown, Bimbo and Pudgy the Dog in all media worldwide. It also maintains numerous merchandising licenses through its exclusive representation and partnership with King Features Syndicate, a division of the Hearst Corp.
- Warner Bros. International Television Production had a deal with the Fleischer Studios to create a 26 half-hour animated series.
- The feature project was eventually put into turnaround and died.
- Betty Boop's Misguided Tours was scrapped, the show was pitched to channels such as MTV and HBO.