Many Western cartoon series have had original runs lasting 65 episodes, because 65 episodes equals 13 weeks (or three months) of material to syndicate at one episode per weekday.
This was typical with cartoons produced for first-run syndication
, and adopted as policy by the Disney Channel
(which has a similar 65-episode cutoff for its live-action Kid Coms
) and Kids' WB!
, although some syndicated shows did air weekly originally. Nowadays, it is increasingly difficult for cartoons to achieve even this length. This shift is due to a combination of the demise of traditional syndication around the turn of the century, the fact that most networks airing animation order episodes in much smaller numbers due to the increasing fragmentation of television leading to much smaller viewership (and thus lower ad revenue), as well as the poor economy leaving everyone with less money to do anything.
It should also be noted that this trope really only applies to cartoons aimed towards children, rather than Adult cartoons – The Simpsons
and its imitators are treated like standard American sitcoms.
See also Twelve Episode Anime
and British Brevity
, both of which should remind fans of any of the shows listed here of how lucky actually they are. For some shows that went well past 65, see Milestone Celebration
Retired at 65:
Renewed after the original 65 episodes:
- Aladdin: The Animated Series originally ran for 65 episodes on the Disney Afternoon Block. When picked up for the CBS Saturday morning block it was given an additional 21 episodes.
- The first 65 episodes of Animaniacs ran on Fox Kids, as did four more episodes cobbled together out of unused segments. Then came the Channel Hop to The WB. The show ended with 99 episodes.
- The Babar cartoon is counted as being Un-Cancelled despite the sixth season being produced nine years after the fifth season brought it to 65 episodes.
- The original Batman The Animated Series season was 65 episodes long. It was continued by a 20 episode second season (under the title The Adventures of Batman & Robin) and two seasons of The New Batman Adventures.
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
- Dennis The Menace (US) had a 65 episode season airing in syndication in 1986. It later got a 13-episode season season for CBS Saturday Morning in 1988, bringing the total to 78 episodes.
- DuckTales had 65 episodes for its first season (including the Five-Episode Pilot), then was renewed for two more seasons of 22 and 13 episodes respectively, bringing the total to 100.
- Darkwing Duck also had episodes that ran independent of its The Disney Afternoon syndication.
- The first two seasons of Gargoyles had 65 episodes in all. The third season, retitled Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles, suffered from Seasonal Rot and wound up in Canon Discontinuity.
- G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
- Goof Troop
- Heathcliff And The Catillac Cats did 65 episodes in its first season and 21 in its second.
- He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe originally had 65 episodes, but was successful enough to merit another 65 for a total of 130.
- Inspector Gadget did 65 episodes and was then renewed for an additional 21. The second season replaced the voice cast (Except for Gadget, Brain, and Dr. Claw) due to voice recording moving to Hollywood after being outsourced to Toronto for Season 1 (the characters mentioned were already having their voices recorded in Hollywood).
- Johnny Test, renewed for a fifth (and later sixth) season after the first 4 seasons brought the episode total to 65.
- Kim Possible, though it had to be Un-Canceled to get a fourth season after reaching 65 episodes. Its final total (not counting the movie) is 87 episodes.
- M.A.S.K. had 65 episodes in its first series, which was followed by the short and very different racing series.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic had its 26-episodes per season format halved in season 3 in order to precisely reach the 65 episodes milestone. It was later renewed for a fourth season with the usual 26-episode lineup, bringing the (current) total to 91.
- Phineas And Ferb – at least 100 episodes and counting.
- Pinky And The Brain had 65 episodes, not counting a few compilations of their Animaniacs segments. However, it was continued as Pinky, Elmyra & The Brain for 5 episodes, though just about everyone would like to forget that. Including the writers.
- Recess is a strange case. The series ended with 65 episodes (as per Disney's Rule), but had made four additional episodes that never aired. The missing episodes were released to DVD two years after the show ended.
- The original 1991-93 run of Rugrats lasted 65 episodes, however before they were deciding on what to do with it, they aired the specials between 1995 and 1996, completing the 65 episode run. However, the specials did so successfully, that they considered actually renewing it, instead of cancelling it. Only for it to be officially cancelled in 2004.
- Sabrina: The Animated Series lasted one season of 65 episodes from 1999 to 2000 (like a number of Saturday morning cartoons) but got a spin-off, Sabrina's Secret Life, in 2003, with twenty-something episodes. Fans like to forget that series, though.
- The original North American dub of Sailor Moon stalled for two years in the middle of Sailor Moon R because DiC had dubbed exactly 65 episodes and stopped. Other companies stepped in and dubbed more, eventually localizing 160 episodes.
- The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon Channel Hopped to CBS after producing 65 episodes for syndication. The final episode count is 193.
- Tenchi Muyo! originally had 65 episodes (not counting the movies and special) comprising the original Tenchi OVAs (13 eps), Tenchi Universe (26 eps), and Tenchi in Tokyo (26 eps). It was shown on American TV because of this. However a sequel to the original OVAs was made years later bringing the count to 72 (73 with the Mihoshi special). If you count the spinoffs, the episode count is now at 112.
- Tiny Toon Adventures followed its first syndicated season of 65 episodes with 13 more episodes in syndication and 20 episodes on Fox Kids.
- The Transformers