The Jetsons (ABC, 1962-1963, syndication, 1985-1987)
Following on from The Flintstones which quickly became a big success, about two years later Hanna-Barbera decided to create another cartoon for ABC featuring a family that was at the opposite end of the timescale, many years (or indeed centuries) into the future. This was a show set in the Space Age. This was also shown in a primetime slot in America and presented as if it was an actual sitcom, canned laughter and everything. Would they succeed again?
I’m not sure if The Jetsons did end up being as fondly thought of by viewers as The Flintstones, but it still did well, and it has a rather memorable opening theme song. The show starred a family who lived in Orbit City. They have a fancy apartment, and they can also travel through the air in their car. The main character is George, who works at Spacely Space Sprockets.
Trying to get the technology working means that he runs into trouble with his boss Mr Spacely and he seems to get fired every other episode. Their main rivals are the neighbouring company Cogswell Cogs and their boss often interferes. George’s wife is Jane, who spends most of the money that he earns on groceries (well that’s what she always insisted anyway).
They have two children. The teenage daughter is Judy who attends Orbit High School and along with her friends is really into rock music. The son Elroy is eight years old who attends Little Dipper School, and he is very clever and well-behaved, sometimes. Also featuring were Astro The Dog, and Rosie The Robot who was a maid that liked to help out with the housework.
Almost six decades on, it is interesting seeing what they thought the future would look like. Would there really be colour televisions? Most episodes ended with George having something of a mishap whilst trying to use the latest of the technologies, which made him yell “stop this crazy thing!” (this was sampled on a hit single by Coldcut). The show was also parodied affectionately (well, probably) a few times by Family Guy.
There were 75 episodes of The Jetsons that were about 25 minutes long in three series, almost 100 fewer than The Flintstones. There were 24 in the original run in the 60s. Then, after a break of over two decades, rather surprisingly there was a revival in 1985 where another 51 were made. After this, there were a few one-off feature-length specials, the last of these being in 1990.
I was also rather surprised when I looked on the BBC Genome which insisted that The Jetsons was first shown on BBC1 in 1990, I thought it would’ve been much earlier than that. Several episodes from both runs along with the specials were shown throughout the 90s in various timeslots, mostly early morning ones, and I remember watching some of these. And of course, there were plenty of books, comics, computer games and so on, along with a few episodes released on DVD too.
One thought on “More TV Memories – The Jetsons.”
Hey there, i like The Jetsons which is by Hanna-Barbera which ran from 1962 to 1963 and new episodes being produced from 1985 to 1987 as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera block.
The show features the voices of George O’Hanlon, Penny Singleton, Janet Waldo, Daws Butler, Don Messick, Jean Vander Pyl and Mel Blanc as George Jetson, Jane Jetson, Judy Jetson, Elroy, Astro, Rosey the Robot Maid and Mr. Spacely.
There were also two Jetsons movies by Hanna-Barbera as part of the Superstars 10 series which include The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones (1987) and Rockin’ With Judy Jetson (1988) with the latter’s final Jetsons project to feature the entire original cast.
There’s also Jetsons: The Movie (1990) in which Jeff Bergman as the voices of George Jetson and Mr. Spacely in some scenes because George O’Hanlon and Mel Blanc died during production and the film is dedicated to the memory of both men. It also marks the final time Penny Singleton does the voice of Jane Jetson and the only one that pop singer Tiffany is the voice of Judy Jetson replacing Janet Waldo and Patric Zimmerman as the voice of Elroy.
Plus, there’s also The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania! (2017) which features the voices of Jeff Bergman as George Jetson and Mr. Spacely, Grey Delisle-Griffin as Jane Jetson, Trevor Devall as Elroy Jetson, Danica McKellar as Judy Jetson, Frank Welker as Astro and Tress MacNeille as Rosie the Robot Maid.
Plus, there’s also a Scooby-Doo! Team Up crossover with The Jetsons called Future Shocked, see here: https://scoobydoo.fandom.com/wiki/Future_Shocked
So what are your thoughts and memories of The Jetsons?