Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Synopsis of Saturday Morning Show

"Heroes in a half shell... Turtle Power!"

The four title turtle teens, each named for a famous Italian artist, started out as a black and white cult comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. It was first brought to television in 1987 as a syndicated show. Three years later, the reptiles, in live-action form, graced the silver screen and the world would never be the same. Following the film’s great success, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were welcomed to CBS in 1990, as a prime-time special, immediately followed by the Saturday morning hit.

As the pizza-loving foursome made their way out of obscurity, the underground, satirical tone of the comic book was replaced by a more broadly comic approach. Nonetheless, the show did follow the original concept: A group of four New York City sewer-dwelling turtles were exposed to a radioactive mutagen and transformed into walking, talking, butt-kicking crime-fighters.

Taught martial arts by Splinter, the sushi-eating mutant rat, each turtle fought the evil ninja Shredder with his own unique talent. Leonardo, the leader, was an expert swordsman. Michelangelo, the "party dude" of the group, used nunchucks. The technical whiz of the quartet, Donatello, used a staff. Raphael was a jokester who used a pair of sais.

In all their incarnations, including the 1991 prime-time special, Planet of the Turtleoids, the Ninjas were assisted by April O' Neil, a savvy TV news reporter. Shredder had his own share of cohorts, including mutant thugs BeBop and Rocksteady and the baddies' otherworldly master, the blobby pink Krang.

The Saturday morning Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ran concurrently with the daily syndicated show, dominating the ratings in both fields. Two movie sequels followed, along with innumerable toys, video games, fashion accessories, and so on as the Turtles turned into one of animation's most successful creations.

Release History

1987 syndicated
9/8/90 - 1997 CBS

TV Sub Categories


TV Studio

Murakami Wolf

Television Cast

Leonardo Cam Clarke
Raphael Rob Paulsen
Donatello Barry Gordon
Michaelangelo Townsend Coleman
Splinter Peter Renaday
Shredder James Avery
Krang Pat Fraley
Rocksteady Cam Clarke
Bebop Barry Gordon
April Renae Jacobs
Irma Jennifer Darling
Vernon Peter Renaday
Burne Pat Fraley
Rat King Townsend Coleman
Baxter Pat Fraley
Leatherhead Jim Cummings
Casey Pat Fraley
Zach Rob Paulson
Gen. Traag Peter Renaday
Slash Pat Fraley
Lord Dregg Tony Jay
Hi-Tech Rob Paulson
Mung Cam Clarke
Titanus Pat Fraley
Overdrive Cam Clarke
High-Beam Rob Paulson
Amok Rob Paulson
Raptor Pat Fraley
Magma Pat Fraley
Seisure Barry Gorden
'The Ram' Barry Gorden

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