History of The Jetsons

The iconic and groundbreaking series began entertaining television audiences on September 23rd, 1962. Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, it was produced by their legendary animation studio, Hanna-Barbera. Arriving hot on the heels of the studio’s prominent cartoon hit “The Flintstones,” this follow-up took the primetime animated series concept into the far future – one hundred years to be exact – to the year 2062. Join WatchMojo.com as we explore the history of “The Jetsons.”
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History of The Jetsons


They are television’s most recognizable family of the future! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be exploring the history of “The Jetsons.”

The iconic and groundbreaking series “The Jetsons” began entertaining television audiences on September 23rd, 1962. Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, it was produced by their legendary animation studio, Hanna-Barbera.

Arriving hot on the heels of the studio’s prominent cartoon hit “The Flintstones,” this follow-up took the primetime animated series concept into the far future – one hundred years to be exact – to the year 2062.

“The Jetsons” lived in the Skypad Apartments of Orbit City, a town lifted high above the clouds, basically on stilts. In the America of the future, the simple push of a button could make anything possible, and life consisted of misadventures and leisure activities, as the fulltime workweek was only nine hours long!

The head of the family was the loving, yet constantly wrong father George Jetson, who worked as a “digital index operator” at Spacely’s Space Sprockets. With him was the devoted housewife Jane, their hip stereotypical teenage daughter Judy, the fun-loving six-and-a-half-year-old boy genius Elroy, their loyal talking dog Astro and the outdated robotic housekeeper Rosey.

Living with “The Jetsons” in Orbit City was a cast of supporting characters that included George’s short, hotheaded and tyrannical boss, Cosmo G. Spacely, his nagging wife Mrs. Stella Spacely, her mother Mrs. Meltdown, their Boy Scout son Arthur, Sprocket competitor Spencer Cogswell, and George’s work computer and best friend R.U.D.I.

“The Jetsons” captured the imagination of audiences by introducing hilarious and lovable characters, and by showcasing incredible futuristic vistas and outlandish devices. These included robot servants, automatic food dispensers, moving sidewalks and domed saucer-like Aerocars.

Incredibly, the original “Jetsons” series only ran on ABC for only one season of 24 episodes, as it failed to compete against existing prime time programming. Fortunately, it later built a large following and moved to CBS as a syndicated Saturday morning cartoon show.

After two decades of re-runs, the show was finally revived in 1984 for three new seasons. This newfound popularity then resulted in the memorable TV crossover special, “The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones.”

The series was then adapted into a 1990 theatrical feature called “The Jetsons: The Movie.” Produced by Hanna-Barbera, it was based primarily on the 1980s version of the series, although several members of the original voice cast reprised their roles. Unfortunately, legendary actors George O’Hanlon and Mel Blanc, the voices behind George Jetson and Mr. Spacely respectively, both passed away prior to the film’s release.

“The Jetsons: The Movie” cleverly tackled themes like ethical business practices and environmental protectionism, going so far as to imply the destruction of the that the Earth’s surface had become uninhabitable due to pollution. In the film, George and family relocated to a mining colony on a far off asteroid, where they were forced to confront acts of sabotage. Unfortunately, poor reviews caused the franchise to take another long break. Eventually, rumors surfaced about a 2014 live action reboot starring major Hollywood stars like Mark Wahlberg and Emma Stone.

Even after half a century, and the demise of the Hanna-Barbera production studio, “The Jetsons” continue to entertain audiences as a satirical cartoon bustling with timeless slapstick and an undeniably cool interpretation of the future.

Are you a Jetsons fan? Are you looking forward to the franchise’s big screen return? For more television retrospectives, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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