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Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. (pronounced /ˌhænə bɑrˈbɛrə/) was an American animation studio that dominated North American television animation during the second half of the 20th century. The company was originally formed in 1957 by former Metro Goldwyn Mayer animation directors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera in partnership with Columbia Pictures' Screen Gems television division, as H-B Enterprises, Inc.[1]

Established after MGM shut down its animation studio and ended production of its animated short subjects, H-B Enterprises, Inc. was renamed Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. in 1959. Over the next three decades, the studio produced many successful animated television shows, including The Flintstones (1960-66), Scooby-Doo (1969-91), Yogi Bear (1961-92), The Jetsons (1962-87), Jonny Quest (1964-87), The Huckleberry Hound Show (1958-62), Top Cat (1961-62), Wacky Races (1968-70), The Quick Draw McGraw Show (1959-62), Space Ghost (1966-68), The Magilla Gorilla Show (1963-64) and The Smurfs (1981-89), among others. The studio also produced several animated features and theatrical shorts and a number of television specials and telefilms, both animated and live-action. Hanna-Barbera's television productions have earned the company eight Emmys.[2] and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the mid-1980s, the company's fortunes declined somewhat after the profitability of Saturday morning cartoons was eclipsed by weekday afternoon syndication. In 1991, the company was purchased by Turner Broadcasting System, who began using much of the H-B back catalog to program the Cartoon Network the following year.[3] [4]

Both Hanna and Barbera went into semi-retirement after Turner purchased the company, continuing to serve as ceremonial figureheads for and sporadic artistic contributors to the studio. In 1994, the company was renamed Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, and in 1996, Turner merged with Time Warner. By the time of the merger, Turner had turned Hanna-Barbera towards primarily producing new material for Cartoon Network, including successful Cartoon Cartoons shows such as Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, and The Powerpuff Girls.

With William Hanna's death in 2001, Hanna-Barbera was absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation, and Cartoon Network Studios assumed production of Cartoon Network output. Joseph Barbera remained with Warner Bros. Animation until his death in 2006. The Hanna-Barbera name and studio is today used only to market properties and productions associated with Hanna-Barbera's "classic" works such as The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo and Yogi Bear.

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