Spinning off from the box office mega-hit Ghostbusters (1984), the animated series The Real Ghostbusters debuted on ABC in September 1986 to tremendous ratings, critical acclaim, and an audience that ranged from kids to adults. The series functioned as a direct sequel to the movie, following New York’s paranormal investigator team — Dr. Peter Venkman (voice of Lorenzo Music, later Dave Coulier), Dr. Egon Spengler (Maurice LaMarche), Winston Zeddemore (Arsenio Hall, later Buster Jones), Dr. Ray Stantz (Frank Welker), their secretary Janine Melnitz (Laura Summer, later Kath Soucie) and their gooey green mascot Slimer (Frank Welker) — as they faced ghosts, goblins, trolls, demons, monsters, and even the Boogeyman! In 1987, a syndicated version of The Real Ghostbusters aired Monday-Friday afternoons, while ABC continued to produce the Saturday-morning show.
The Real Ghostbusters eventually garnered a primetime special — which was nominated for an Emmy® award — and switched to a one-hour format in 1989, titled Slimer! and The Real Ghostbusters. This later version added a series of Slimer! short cartoons, aimed at a younger audience, but wacky and clever enough to still appeal to older viewers. By the time the series finally completed its run in 1991, 134 episodes had been created. The Real Ghostbusters was a hit in worldwide syndication, and also led to hugely successful toy lines, multiple comic book series, and fan clubs and web pages that keep the ghostbusting spirit alive — or undead — today.
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