|W. Watts Biggers|
|Born||William Watts Biggers|
June 2, 1927
Avondale Estates, Georgia, U.S.
|Died|| February 10, 2013 85) (aged|
Manomet, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Occupation||Novelist, television writer, composer|
William Watts "Buck" Biggers (June 2, 1927 – February 10, 2013) was an American novelist and co-creator of the long-running animated television series Underdog .
Underdog is an American animated television series that debuted October 3, 1964, on the NBC network under the primary sponsorship of General Mills, and continued in syndication until 1973, for a run of 124 episodes.
Born in Avondale Estates, Georgia, Biggers went to Avondale High where he was member of a debating team which won the state championship. Skipping his senior year of high school, he edited the school newspaper at North Georgia Military College and went on to Emory University Law School. At age 20, he headed for New York City where he struggled unsuccessfully as a pianist and vocalist, singing his own original songs. At the advertising agency Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, he began as a mailroom trainee and rose to the position of VP Account Supervisor on General Mills and Corn Products/Best Foods accounts, handling millions in billing.
Avondale Estates is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,960 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area and is near Decatur.
Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States. It began as a British colony in 1733, the last and southernmost of the original Thirteen Colonies to be established. Named after King George II of Great Britain, the Province of Georgia covered the area from South Carolina south to Spanish Florida and west to French Louisiana at the Mississippi River. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. In 1802–1804, western Georgia was split to the Mississippi Territory, which later split to form Alabama with part of former West Florida in 1819. Georgia declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 24th largest and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city. Atlanta's metropolitan area contains about 55% of the population of the entire state.
Emory University is a private research university in Atlanta, in the U.S. state of Georgia. The university was founded as Emory College in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia, by the Methodist Episcopal Church and was named in honor of Methodist bishop John Emory. In 1915, Emory College moved to its present location in Druid Hills and was rechartered as Emory University. Emory maintained a presence in Oxford that eventually became Oxford College, a residential liberal arts college for the first two years of the Emory baccalaureate degree. The university is the second-oldest private institution of higher education in Georgia and among the fifty oldest private universities in the United States.
At Dancer Fitzgerald Sample in 1960, Biggers teamed with Chester Stover, Treadwell D. Covington and artist Joseph Harris to create TV animation in formats devised to sell General Mills breakfast cereals. Leaving Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, Biggers relocated to Cape Cod to form his company, Total Television (TTV), with animation produced at Gamma Studios in Mexico. TTV created and produced a variety of animated TV series, including The King and Odie (the studio's first program),The Hunter, Tooter Turtle , Tennessee Tuxedo , Go Go Gophers , The World of Commander McBragg , Klondike Kat and Underdog. For these series, Biggers co-wrote more than 500 scripts and composed all theme songs, words and music. The highly successful Underdog originally was telecast on NBC from 1964 to 1966, followed by a run on CBS (1966–68) and a return to NBC (1968–70 and 1972–73).
Cape Cod is a geographic cape extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts, in the northeastern United States. Its historic, maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism during the summer months.
Total Television was founded in 1959 by Buck Biggers, Chester "Chet" Stover, Joe Harris, and Treadwell D. Covington. They were executives in the advertising agency Dancer Fitzgerald Sample who had the account for the General Mills food corporation. Total was formed to create cartoon characters encouraging children to buy General Mills breakfast cereals and other products.
Tooter Turtle is a cartoon about a turtle that first appeared on TV in 1960, as a segment, along with The Hunter a detective dog, as part of the King Leonardo and His Short Subjects program. "Tooter Turtle" debuted on NBC, on Saturday, October 15, 1960, and ran for 39 original episodes through July 22, 1961. These episodes were later rerun as backups on other cartoon shows, but no more original episodes were made.
Total TeleVision folded when General Mills dropped out as the sponsor in 1969. Biggers moved back to New York as VP Promotion and Creative Services for NBC, heading a 90-person department for five years. He returned to Cape Cod for a 12-year career as a freelance writer, contributing to TV Guide, Family Circle and Reader's Digest. Biggers and Stover collaborated on the television news column, TV Tinderbox, which ran in 200 newspapers, syndicated by the Chicago Tribune-New York Daily News and later by Dallas' Tel-Aire Syndicate and King Features Syndicate.
In 1995, Biggers, Stover, Covington and Harris sold their creations to Lorne Michaels, who sold the rights to Little Golden Books, which published Underdog and the Disappearing Ice Cream. For BearManor Media, Biggers co-authored How Underdog Was Born (2005).
King Features Syndicate, Inc. is a print syndication company owned by Hearst Communications that distributes about 150 comic strips, newspaper columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles, and games to nearly 5,000 newspapers worldwide. King Features Syndicate is a unit of Hearst Holdings, Inc., which combines the Hearst Corporation's cable-network partnerships, television programming and distribution activities, and syndication companies. King Features' affiliate syndicates are North America Syndicate and Cowles Syndicate. Each week, Reed Brennan Media Associates, a unit of Hearst, edits and distributes more than 200 features for King Features.
Lorne Michaels,, is a Canadian-American television producer, writer, actor and comedian best known for creating and producing Saturday Night Live and producing the Late Night series, The Kids in the Hall and The Tonight Show.
Little Golden Books is a popular series of children's books. The eighth book in the series, The Poky Little Puppy, is the top-selling children's book of all time. Many of the Little Golden Books have become bestsellers, including The Poky Little Puppy, Tootle, Scuffy the Tugboat, and The Little Red Hen. Several of the illustrators for the Little Golden Books later became key figures within the children's book industry, including Corinne Malvern, Tibor Gergely, Gustaf Tenggren, Feodor Rojankovsky, Richard Scarry, Eloise Wilkin, and Garth Williams.
In 1968, Ballantine Books published Biggers' The Man Inside as an original paperback. At the time, because of the author's name and the tale of a quest for higher consciousness, some readers believed the novel had been written under a pseudonym by Alan Watts. Along with a description of the characters, the story was only briefly described on the back cover as "Strange, hallucinatory, following its own inner logic down unexpected paths, The Man Inside is a novel of startling originality, a journey towards wisdom—like Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf —that culminates in revelation." However, the opening page blurb elaborated:
Ballantine Books is a major book publisher located in the United States, founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine with his wife, Betty Ballantine. It was acquired by Random House in 1973, which in turn was acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998 and remains part of that company today. Ballantine's logo is a pair of mirrored letter Bs back to back. The firm's early editors were Stanley Kauffmann and Bernard Shir-Cliff.
The Man Inside is a dream-like allegorical novel by W. Watts Biggers, published in 1968 by Ballantine Books as a paperback original.
Higher consciousness is the consciousness of a higher Self, transcendental reality, or God. It is "the part of the human being that is capable of transcending animal instincts". The concept was significantly developed in German Idealism, and is a central notion in contemporary popular spirituality. However, it has ancient roots, dating back to the Bhagavad Gita and Indian Vedas.
In 1999, it was reissued by Bamberger Books as a hardcover.It was optioned as a feature film by One Brick Films. His novel Hold Back the Tide concerns a lovelorn police chief who wants a hypnotist to eliminate his obsessions so he can continue solving crimes. It was published February, 2001, as a 1st Books Library ebook.
Biggers was vice-president and co-founder of the Boston-based Victory over Violence "dedicated to creating a positive force in the media to offset the cynicism and negativity, which create a climate of violence," and has used Underdog to promote the organization.
Biggers created a new episode of Underdog in 1999 as a half-hour radio show, narrated by Tom Ellis. In it, Simon Bar Sinister develops a Switchpitch baseball to turn positive people negative. His attempt to become king of Boston is foiled by Underdog and Sweet Polly Purebred.
Biggers died of a heart attack at his home in Manomet, Massachusetts on February 10, 2013.
Michael Hammer is a fictional character created by the American author Mickey Spillane in the 1947 book I, the Jury. Hammer is a no-holds-barred private investigator who carries a .45 Colt M1911A1 in a shoulder harness under his left arm. His love for his secretary Velda is outweighed only by his willingness to kill a killer. Hammer's best friend is Pat Chambers, Captain of Homicide NYPD. Hammer was a World War II army veteran who spent two years fighting jungle warfare in the Pacific theatre against Japan.
The Man with the Golden Gun is the twelfth novel of Ian Fleming's James Bond series. It was first published by Jonathan Cape in the UK on 1 April 1965, eight months after the author's death. The novel was not as detailed or polished as the others in the series, leading to poor but polite reviews. Despite that, the book was a best-seller.
Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence is an American stand-up comedian, actor, producer, talk show host, and writer. Lawrence came to fame during the 1990s, establishing a Hollywood career as a leading actor, most notably in the Fox television sitcom Martin and the films House Party, Boomerang, Bad Boys, Wild Hogs, Nothing to Lose, Blue Streak, Life, Big Momma's House and A Thin Line Between Love & Hate.
Wallace Maynard Cox was an American actor and comedian, particularly associated with the early years of television in the United States. He appeared in the U.S. television series Mister Peepers from 1952 to 1955, plus several other popular shows, and as a character actor in over 20 films. Cox was the voice of the animated canine superhero Underdog of the TV show of the same name. Although often cast as meek, he was actually quite athletic, as well as a military veteran. He married three times.
The police procedural, or police crime drama, is a subgenre of detective fiction that emphasizes the investigative procedure of a police officer or department as the protagonist(s), as contrasted with other genres that focus on a private investigator or amateur detective. Unlike traditional mysteries, which conceal the criminal's identity until the police solve the crime in the narrative climax, police procedurals often reveal the perpetrator's identity to the audience early in the narrative, making it an inverted detective story or "howcatchem". Police procedurals attempt to accurately depict such police-related topics as forensic science, autopsies, gathering evidence, search warrants, interrogation and adherence to legal restrictions and procedure.
The Pretender is an American action television series that aired on NBC from September 19, 1996 to May 13, 2000. It was part of NBC's action programming block, Thrillogy.
Trix is a brand of breakfast cereal made by General Mills in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the North American market and by Cereal Partners elsewhere in the world. The cereal consists of fruit-flavored, sweetened, ground-corn pieces.
Inside Edition is an American television newsmagazine that is distributed in first-run syndication by CBS Television Distribution. Having premiered on January 9, 1989, it is the longest-running syndicated-newsmagazine program that is not strictly focused on entertainment news. The program features a mix of hard news stories, entertainment news and gossip, scandals, true-crime stories and lifestyle features.
Bob Stewart was an American television game show producer. He was active in the TV industry from 1956 until his retirement in 1991.
Charlaine Harris Schulz is an American New York Times bestselling author who has been writing mysteries for over thirty years. She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area of the United States. She now lives in Texas with her husband and enjoys visits from her three grown children and her grandchildren. Though her early work consisted largely of poems about ghosts and, later, teenage angst, she began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She began to write books a few years later. Her later books have been in the urban fantasy genre. She is best known for The Southern Vampire Mysteries series, which HBO later adapted for its dramatic series entitled True Blood.
Matt Cimber is an American producer, director, and writer of film, television, and theatre. He is known for directing diverse genre films The Candy Tangerine Man, The Witch Who Came from the Sea, and Hundra, and the controversial 1982 drama Butterfly. He was the co-creator and director of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) professional wrestling promotion and syndicated television series. Cimber was the last husband of actress Jayne Mansfield, and directed her on stage and in the 1968 film Single Room Furnished.
Leave It to the Girls is an American radio and television talk show, created by Martha Rountree, and broadcast, in various forms, from the 1940s through the 1980s.
Snip is a 1976 comedy starring David Brenner about a hairdresser living in Cape Cod, Massachusetts who has his ex-wife, daughter and former aunt living with him in his apartment. He and his ex-wife are both in the same hairdressing business under their boss and friend who's an openly gay man. It was a take-off of the movie Shampoo and was created by James Komack, the creator of Chico and the Man and Welcome Back Kotter.
Jay Bennett was an American author and two-time winner of the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Bennett won the Edgar for Best Juvenile novel in 1974 and 1975, for The Long Black Coat and The Dangling Witness, respectively. He was the first author to win an Edgar in consecutive years. A third book, The Skeleton Man, was nominated in 1987. Bennett is best known among English teachers and young adults for these and other juvenile mysteries, like Deathman, Do Not Follow Me (Scholastic).
Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales is an animated cartoon TV series that originally aired on CBS from 1963 to 1966. It was produced by Total Television, the same company that produced the earlier King Leonardo and the later Underdog, and primarily sponsored by General Mills. The title is a play on the “tuxedo” dinner jacket worn as formal wear.
Witt/Thomas Productions is an American television and movie production company run by TV producers Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas. The company was consistently productive between its founding in 1975 and 1999, but is still active, producing the occasional film and TV series project. It has produced more than 25 American primetime television series, mostly half-hour sitcoms. Witt/Thomas is perhaps best known for producing the popular sitcoms Soap, Benson, It's a Living, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, Blossom and Brotherly Love. Witt and Thomas have also produced many cinematic works, including the 1989 box office success Dead Poets Society.
Joseph Benjamin Harris III was an American illustrator and storyboard artist. He is best known for creating the Trix Rabbit, the cartoon mascot for General Mills' Trix breakfast cereal, who debuted in 1959. He also penned the Trix rabbit's memorable commercial tagline, "Silly rabbit! Trix are for kids", which is still utilized in General Mills' advertising campaign, as of 2017. Additionally, in 1959 Harris, Chet Stover, and W. Watts Biggers co-founded Total Television, which produced Saturday morning cartoons. Harris created some of Total Television's best known characters and series, including King Leonardo and His Short Subjects (1960–1963), Klondike Kat (1963–1965), and Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (1963–1966). His best known character creation was Underdog, the canine star of the animated series, Underdog, from 1964 to 1967.