With the success of the Chipmunks, plans were made to produce the animated cartoon series. Herbert Klynn's Format Films was chosen as the animation studio and preliminary plans were made for the series. Format hit a snag during the development stage and ran into numerous delays and unsuccessful attempts to create visual counterparts of the Chipmunks. Format eventually came up with suitable renditions of the characters and farmed out some of the animation work to Jack Kinney Productions. This delay enabled The Nutty Squirrels, a Chipmunk imitator, to arrive on TV in animated form a full year before Bagdasarian's The Alvin Show. The 26 episodes eventually appeared October 14, 1961, as part of CBS-TV's Wednesday night line-up.
The series dealt with the animated adventures of Dave Seville, a song-writing bachelor, and his three musically inclined chipmunk charges. Alvin was the egotistical, baseball cap wearing leader of the sweatshirted trio; Theodore was the chubby, giggling member; and Simon was the brainy member. They were constantly getting into mischief, initiated by Alvin, and forever frustrating poor Dave. Dave usually showed his displeasure with the antics of Alvin by emitting a loud "Al-l-l Vin-n-n!" yell. Each episode also included a Chipmunk song, a sing-a-long segment, and the misadventures of the great inventer, Clyde Crashcup.
The series failed to find a sizeable audience in prime-time, and was cancelled after the first season. CBS reran the series on Saturday mornings from September 23, 1962 through September 18, 1965. It then went into syndication, first through CBS Films and eventually through Viacom. NBC-TV revived the original series on March 10, 1979, rerunning it on Saturday mornings until September 1, 1979.
Later aired on nick in the 90's.