https://www.forbes.com/sites/robsal...mysteries-meddling-and-munchies/#7949ee192a6c Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a van full of teenagers breaks down on a foggy night. The hapless and hungry gang stops at the spooky old mansion down the road to call for help, only to discover it is haunted by the vengeful spirit of a miner/sea captain/monster of local legend. Hijinks ensue, a trap is sprung, and the kids eventually discover it was old man Higgins all along, trying to protect the secret of his hidden gold mine or stolen loot. That basic story, the framework to most of the classic Scooby-Doo cartoons, has entertained three generations of kids, and today, the franchise is celebrating 50 years since the first episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? aired on CBS, September 13, 1969. What started as a Saturday morning cartoon exploded into an enormously successful franchise encompassing multiple spin-off series, original animated and live action films, consumer products and much more. Warner Bros (part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia group), which owns Scooby Doo and all the other properties originally developed by Hanna-Barbera in the 60s and 70s, has been counting down “50 Days of Scooby” since late July, concluding today with the official anniversary. The promotion has included downloadable content, the re-release of the original series in a limited edition box set, the launch of a new Scooby series, Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? on the Boomerang network, and assorted other partnerships with licensees and consumer product companies. It’s a fitting celebration for one of WB’s biggest stars: a household name icon with proven cross-generation appeal. “Scooby is one of the most popular animation franchises in our kids and family portfolio with Scooby ranking #2 (just behind Batman) in both familiarity and product ownership with Kids 6-12,” says Maryellen Zarakas, senior vice president, franchise management and marketing, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Scooby ranks high with parents of young children as well; 4 out of 5 parents of kids 2-5 are extremely familiar with the brand. Part of Scooby’s appeal can be attributed to the fact that he appeals equally to boys and girls-with viewership split evenly (49% Male – 51% Female.)” 50 years – or 213 dog-years! – is quite a run for a series that began as an animated update of the old live-action TV comedy The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, mashed up with mysteries, rock and roll and a talking dog, to entertain the earliest GenXers, who were rugrats in the late 1960s. Fred Silverman, then head of daytime TV at CBS, approached animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbara with the project. They assigned it to writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, along with artist Iwao Takamoto. The original series ran three seasons, followed by numerous relaunches and spin-offs that saw the Scooby-Gang - straightlaced Fred and Daphne, clever and bookish Velma, munchie-ridden and befuddled Shaggy, and their somewhat verbal Great Dane Scooby-Doo - team up with TV stars and get into more trouble. Writer Mark Evanier, who wrote several episodes of Scooby-Doo including the one introducing controversial cast addition Scrappy-Doo, and adapted the series in comics published by Gold Key, Marvel and Archie, says that a couple of factors came together to make the show such a hit.