The Jetsons

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The Jetsons
Jetsonslogo640x480.jpg
GenreAnimated comic science fiction
Sitcom
Directed byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices ofGeorge O'Hanlon
Penny Singleton
Janet Waldo
Daws Butler
Mel Blanc
Don Messick
Jean Vander Pyl
Theme music composerHoyt Curtin
Composer(s)Hoyt Curtin
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes75 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time22–30 minutes
Production company(s)Hanna-Barbera Productions
DistributorScreen Gems (original, 1962–1984)
Worldvision Enterprises (1985–1987)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelABC Season 1 (1962–1963)[1]
Syndication Seasons 2–3 (1985–1987)
Audio formatMono
Original runSeptember 23, 1962  – December 23, 1987
 
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For the 1980s band, see The Jetzons.
The Jetsons
Jetsonslogo640x480.jpg
GenreAnimated comic science fiction
Sitcom
Directed byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices ofGeorge O'Hanlon
Penny Singleton
Janet Waldo
Daws Butler
Mel Blanc
Don Messick
Jean Vander Pyl
Theme music composerHoyt Curtin
Composer(s)Hoyt Curtin
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes75 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time22–30 minutes
Production company(s)Hanna-Barbera Productions
DistributorScreen Gems (original, 1962–1984)
Worldvision Enterprises (1985–1987)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelABC Season 1 (1962–1963)[1]
Syndication Seasons 2–3 (1985–1987)
Audio formatMono
Original runSeptember 23, 1962  – December 23, 1987

The Jetsons is an American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera, originally airing in primetime from 1962 to 1963, then later as part of the weekday/weekend morning programming block called The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera, until 1987. New episodes were produced from 1984–1987 as well. It was Hanna-Barbera's Space Age counterpart to The Flintstones.[2] Reruns can be seen frequently on Boomerang.

While the Flintstones live in a world with machines powered by birds and dinosaurs, the Jetsons live in the year 2062 in a futuristic utopia (100 years in the future at the time of the show's debut) of elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions.[3] The original series comprised 24 episodes and aired on Sunday nights on ABC beginning September 23, 1962, with primetime reruns continuing through September 22, 1963. It debuted as the first program broadcast in color on ABC-TV.[4] (Only a handful of ABC-TV stations were capable of broadcasting in color in the early 1960s.)

In contrast, The Flintstones, while always produced in color, was broadcast in black-and-white for its first two seasons.[5] Following its primetime run, the series aired on Saturday mornings for decades, starting on ABC for the 1963–64 season and then in future seasons on CBS and NBC.[6] New episodes were produced for syndication from 1985 to 1987 as part of the original lineup of the weekday/weekend morning programming block known as The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera.

Premise[edit]

The Jetsons are a family residing in Orbit City.[7][8] The city's architecture is rendered in the Googie style, and all homes and businesses are raised high above the ground on adjustable columns. George Jetson lives with his family in the Skypad Apartments: his wife Jane is a homemaker, their teenage daughter Judy attends Orbit High School, and their early-childhood son Elroy attends Little Dipper School. Housekeeping is seen to by a robot maid, Rosie, which handles chores not otherwise rendered trivial by the home's numerous push-button Space Age-envisioned conveniences. The family has a dog named Astro, which talks with an initial consonant mutation in which every word begins with an "R", as if speaking with a growl.

George Jetson's workweek is typical of his era: an hour a day, two days a week.[9] His boss is Cosmo Spacely, the diminutive yet bombastic owner of Spacely Space Sprockets. Spacely has a competitor, Mr. Cogswell, owner of the rival company Cogswell Cogs (sometimes known as Cogswell's Cosmic Cogs). Jetson commutes to work in an aerocar that resembles a flying saucer with a transparent bubble top. Daily life is leisurely, assisted by numerous labor-saving devices, which occasionally break down with humorous results. Despite this, everyone complains of exhausting hard labor and difficulties living with the remaining inconveniences.

Characters[edit]

The Jetson family (clockwise from upper left) — Rosie (robot), George, Jane, Judy, Elroy, and Astro the dog.

Recurring characters[edit]

Voice cast[edit]

In later productions, Jeff Bergman has voiced George, Elroy, and Mr. Spacely. Bergman completed voice work as George and Spacely for Jetsons: The Movie (1990) after George O'Hanlon and Mel Blanc died during production. Controversially, Janet Waldo was replaced—after recording all of her dialogue—by then-popular singer Tiffany for Jetsons: The Movie. Lori Frazier has provided the voice of Jane Jetson in television commercials for Radio Shack.

Morey Amsterdam and Pat Carroll controversy[edit]

In 1963, Morey Amsterdam and Pat Carroll filed a $12,000 suit each, against Hanna-Barbera for breach of contract.[16][17] Both claimed they had been cast and signed to the roles of George Jetson and Jane Jetson respectively. Their contracts stipulated they would be paid US$500 an episode with a guarantee of 24 episodes' work (a full season). However, they recorded only one episode, after which they were replaced.[16] Several sources claimed the change had occurred as a result of sponsor conflict between Amsterdam's commitment to The Dick Van Dyke Show and Carroll's to Make Room For Daddy.[18][19] The case had been closed by early 1965.[20] In a 2013 interview, Pat Carroll indicated that the court had ruled in favor of Hanna-Barbera.[16]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
Season premiereSeason finale
124September 23, 1962 (1962-09-23)March 17, 1963 (1963-03-17)
241September 16, 1985 (1985-09-16)December 13, 1985 (1985-12-13)
310October 19, 1987 (1987-10-19)November 12, 1987 (1987-11-12)

The show's original run consisted of 24 episodes that first aired on ABC from September 23, 1962 to March 17, 1963. In 1984, Hanna-Barbera began producing new episodes specifically for syndication; by September 1985, the 24 episodes from the first season were combined with 41 new episodes and began airing in late afternoon time slots in 80 U.S. media markets, including the 30 largest.[21] The 41 new episodes were produced at a cost of $300,000 each, and featured all of the voice actors from the 1962–1963 show.[21] During 1987, 10 additional "season 3" episodes were also made available for syndication.[22]

Theme song[edit]

The series' theme song, by composer Hoyt Curtin, became a pop hit in 1986.[23]

Reception[edit]

After the announcement of the fall 1962 network television schedule Time magazine characterized The Jetsons as one of several new situation comedies (along with The Beverly Hillbillies, I'm Dickens... He's Fenster, and Our Man Higgins) that was "stretching further than ever for their situations";[8] after all the season's new shows had premiered—a season "responding to Minow's exhortations"—the magazine called the series "silly and unpretentious, corny and clever, now and then quite funny."[24]

Thirty years later, Time said: "In an age of working mothers, single parents and gay matrimony, George Jetson and his clan already seem quaint even to the baby boomers who grew up with them."[25] Conversely, Jeffrey Tucker of the Ludwig von Mises Institute has argued that "The whole scene—which anticipated so much of the technology we have today but, strangely, not email or texting—reflected the ethos of time: a love of progress and a vision of a future that stayed on course ... The Jetsons' world is our world: explosive technological advances, entrenched bourgeois culture, a culture of enterprise that is very fond of the good life."[26]

Differences between versions[edit]

Added Characters:

Other differences include the following:

Specials and film adaptations[edit]

Television films[edit]

Television specials[edit]

Theatrical releases[edit]

Live-action film[edit]

Paramount Pictures first tried to film a live-action version of The Jetsons in 1985, which was to be executive produced by Gary Nardino, but failed to do so.[27] In the late 1980s Universal Studios purchased the film rights for The Flintstones and The Jetsons from Hanna-Barbera Productions. The result was Jetsons: The Movie, which was released in 1990.

In May 2007, director Robert Rodriguez entered talks with Universal Studios and Warner Bros. to film a live action film adaptation of The Jetsons for a potential 2009 theatrical release, having at the time discussed directing a film adaptation of Land of the Lost with Universal. Rodriguez was uncertain which project he would pursue next, though the latest script draft for The Jetsons by assigned writer Adam F. Goldberg was further along in development.[28]

Further appearances[edit]

Hanna-Barbera related[edit]

Other projects[edit]

Comics[edit]

Video games[edit]

Home video releases[edit]

On June 28, 1990, Hanna-Barbera released six episodes from the show on home video.[citation needed] Warner Home Video released season 1 on DVD in Region 1 on May 11, 2004; upon its release, James Poniewozik wrote it's "as much about New Frontier 1962 as about the distant future. Its ditzy slapstick is like the peanut-butter-and-jelly mix Goober Grape—if you didn't love it as a kid, you're not going to acquire the taste as an adult—and the pop-culture gags ... have not aged well. But the animation is still a classic of gee-whiz atomic-age modernism."[30]

The review of the DVD release from Entertainment Weekly said the show "trots through surprisingly dated sitcom plots about blustery bosses, bad lady drivers, and Elvis Presleyesque teen idols, all greeted with laugh tracks" but points out "it's the appeal of the retro-prescient gadgets (recliner massagers, big-screen TVs, two-way monitors) that still carries the show."[31] Season 1 was released on DVD in Region 4 on July 5, 2006.[32] Season Two, Volume 1 was released on DVD almost three years later, on June 2, 2009 for Region 1.[33]

On November 8, 2011, Warner Archive released The Jetsons: Season 2, Volume 2 on DVD in Region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.[34] Warner Archive followed up by releasing Season 3 in the same way on May 13, 2014.[35]

DVD NameEp #Release date
Season 124October 15, 2004
Season 2, Volume 121June 2, 2009
Season 2, Volume 220November 8, 2011
Season 310May 13, 2014

Legacy[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Top 100 animated series". IGN. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  2. ^ CD liner notes: Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, 1995 MCA Records
  3. ^ "Jetsons: The Complete First Season". DVD Talk. May 11, 2004. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  4. ^ O'Reilly, Terry (May 24, 1014). "21st Century Brands". Under the Influence. Season 3. Episode 21. Transcript of the original source. Event occurs at time 3:15. CBC Radio One. http://www.cbc.ca/undertheinfluence/season-3/2014/05/24/21st-century-brands-1/. Retrieved June 7, 2014. "The program was ahead of its time in more ways than one, as it was the first television series to be broadcast in colour on the ABC network, at a time when only 3% of the public had colour television sets."
  5. ^ "Jetsons, The — Season 2, Volume 1 Review". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  6. ^ Alex McNeil (1980). Total Television. Penguin Books. 
  7. ^ "The Jetsons: Did you Know...?". Gemstone Publishing. May 16, 2003. Archived from the original on June 4, 2003. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  8. ^ a b "Television: The Coming Season". Time. July 27, 1962. Archived from the original on February 19, 2011. Retrieved 2010-11-21. "The producers of The Flintstones have a new family called The Jetsons, who live one century in the future." 
  9. ^ Episode "The Vacation", original airdate November 7, 1985
  10. ^ Episode 14, "Test Pilot", at 21:17 (after being told that he should live to be 150) "Please Mr. Spacely, don't launch those missiles! I've got 110 good years ahead of me!
  11. ^ Episode 1, "Rosey the Robot", at 2:28: "Don't be smart. You know I'm only 33
  12. ^ Episode 1, "Rosey the Robot", at 2:49: Jane Jetson: "If I was only 15 again. In fact, if I was only 32-22-32 again."
  13. ^ Episode 1, "Rosey the Robot", at 22:09: "Boy, if I wasn't 6½, I'd...I'd cry."
  14. ^ Season 2, Episode 23, "A Jetson Christmas Carol"
  15. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055683/
  16. ^ a b c Kliph Nesteroff (2013-10-26). "Classic Television Showbiz: An Interview with Pat Carroll - Part Two". Classicshowbiz.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  17. ^ Yowp (2010-01-27). "Yowp: Meet George Jetson — The Other One". Yowpyowp.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  18. ^ The Evening Sentinel, June 1, 1962, Morey Amsterdam and Pat Carroll have been forced off as “voice” stars of ABC’s new animated “The Jetsons” cartoon series. Too many sponsor conflicts, what with Morey being a regular on the Dick Van Dyke Show and Pat likewise on the Danny Thomas Show.
  19. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1350&dat=19641214&id=VwhPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UgEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7330,3979925
  20. ^ TV Firm Sued By Two, Oxnard Press-Courier, January 25, 1965
  21. ^ a b Yockel, Michael (September 10, 1985). "Fresh Episodes Ending The Jetsons Suspended Animation". Chicago Tribune (ProQuest). Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  22. ^ Koch, David, ed. "The Jetsons TV Episode Guide". The Big Cartoon Database. p. 4. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  23. ^ Wharton, David (August 28, 1986). "'Jetsons' Revival Brings Limelight to Composer". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  24. ^ "Television: The New Season". Time. October 12, 1962. Archived from the original on March 6, 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  25. ^ "The Nuclear Family Goes Boom!". Time. October 15, 1992. Archived from the original on October 30, 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  26. ^ Tucker, Jeffrey (2011-03-29). "Pushing Buttons Like the Jetsons". LewRockwell.com. 
  27. ^ "Paramount's Future- from 1985". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  28. ^ Borys Kit (2007-05-09). "Future or past for Rodriguez?". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  29. ^ "Xtra Jetstream Commercial". 
  30. ^ James Poniewozik (May 17, 2004). "Meet George Jetson—Again". Technology (Time). Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  31. ^ Steve Daly (May 14, 2004). "Jetsons & Jonny". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  32. ^ Philippa Hawker (July 5, 2006). "The Jetsons, season one". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  33. ^ "The Jetsons DVD news: Box Art & Extras for The Jetsons — Season 2, Volume 1". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  34. ^ "The Jetsons - Tomorrow Sees Warner Archive's Release of 'Season 2, Volume 2'". 
  35. ^ "The Jetsons DVD news: Announcement for The Jetsons - Season 3". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2014-04-28. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  36. ^ Noer, Michael; Ewalt, David M. (December 10, 2007). "In Pictures: The 25 Largest Fictional Companies". Forbes. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  37. ^ O'Reilly, Terry (May 24, 1014). "21st Century Brands". Under the Influence. Season 3. Episode 21. Transcript of the original source. Event occurs at time 2:07. CBC Radio One. http://www.cbc.ca/undertheinfluence/season-3/2014/05/24/21st-century-brands-1/. Retrieved June 7, 2014. "The series had lots of interesting futuristic devices that marveled us back in the 60s. In episode one, we see wife Jane doing exercises in front of a flatscreen "3D" television. In another episode, we see George Jetson reading the newspaper on a screen. Can anyone say tablet? In another, Boss Spacely tells George to fix something called a "computer virus." Everyone on the show uses video chat, foreshadowing Skype and Face Time. There is a robot vacuum cleaner, foretelling the 2002 arrival of the iRobot Roomba vacuum. There was also a tanning bed used in an episode, a product that wasn't introduced to North America until 1979. And while flying space cars that have yet to land in our lives, the Jetsons show had moving sidewalks like we now have in airports, treadmills that didn't hit the consumer market until 1969, and they had a repairman who had a piece of technology called... Mac."

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]