The Jetsons

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The Jetsons
Jetsonslogo640x480.jpg
GenreAnimated comic science fiction
Sitcom
FormatAnimated comedy series
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
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
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, 1962–1963)
Worldvision Enterprises (1985–1987)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelABC Season 1 (1962–1963)[1]
Syndication Seasons 2–3 (1985–1987)
Children's BBC (UK)
Audio formatMono
Original runSeptember 23, 1962 – December 23, 1987
 
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The Jetsons
Jetsonslogo640x480.jpg
GenreAnimated comic science fiction
Sitcom
FormatAnimated comedy series
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
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
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, 1962–1963)
Worldvision Enterprises (1985–1987)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelABC Season 1 (1962–1963)[1]
Syndication Seasons 2–3 (1985–1987)
Children's BBC (UK)
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 1962-1963, 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. (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.[4] 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.[5] New further episodes were produced for syndication from 1985 to 1987 as one the original lineup of the weekday/weekend morning programming block known as The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. The show was sponsored by General Mills.[citation needed]

Premise[edit]

The Jetsons are a family residing in Orbit City in the year 2062.[6][7] 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.[8] 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.

Episodes[edit]

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.[15] 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.[15] During 1987, 10 additional "season 3" episodes were also made available for syndication.[16]

Theme song[edit]

The series' theme song, by composer Hoyt Curtin, became a pop hit in 1986.[17]

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";[7] 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."[18]

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."[19] 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."[20]

Differences between versions[edit]

Added Characters:

Other differences include the following:

Production Credits[edit]

1962-63

2004 DVD Version

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.[21] 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.[22]

The film, to be produced by Denise Di Novi alongside Donald De Line with Universal and Warner Bros. was set for a 2012 release.[23][24] The film was placed on hiatus for the last time by Rodriguez due to the production and subsequent release of Rodriguez's other own film, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.[25]

On February 7, 2012, it was announced that Van Robichaux and Evan Susser were to rewrite the script.[26]

In June 2013, musician Kanye West, who is an avid Jetsons fan, announced that he will be the creative director of the Jetsons movie reboot.[27] There is also a possibility of Kanye West and Warner Bros. enter negotiations with Robert Rodriguez, which is currently focused in the production of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, but West and WB does not rule out other directors like Brad Bird, currently attached to direct the 2014 Disney film Tomorrowland and Mike Mitchell, best known for directing Surviving Christmas and Shrek Forever After.

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."[29]

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."[30] Season 1 was released on DVD in Region 4 on July 5, 2006.[31] Season Two, Volume 1 was released on DVD almost three years later, on June 2, 2009 for Region 1.[32]

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.[33] It was announced on March 25, 2014 on the Warner Archive Podcast that the Warner Archive would be releasing the complete 3rd season of The Jetson's on MOD DVD in the coming weeks.

DVD NameEp #Release date
The Complete First Season24October 15, 2004
Season 2, Volume 121June 2, 2009
Season 2, Volume 220November 8, 2011
The Complete Third Season10TBA

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. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  4. ^ "Jetsons, The — Season 2, Volume 1 Review". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  5. ^ Alex McNeil (1980). Total Television. Penguin Books. 
  6. ^ "The Jetsons: Did you Know...?". Gemstone Publishing. May 16, 2003. Archived from the original on June 4, 2003. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  7. ^ 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." 
  8. ^ Episode "The Vacation", original airdate November 7, 1985
  9. ^ 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!
  10. ^ Episode 1, "Rosey the Robot", at 2:28: "Don't be smart. You know I'm only 33
  11. ^ 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."
  12. ^ Episode 1, "Rosey the Robot", at 22:09: "Boy, if I wasn't 6½, I'd...I'd cry."
  13. ^ Season 2, Episode 23, "A Jetson Christmas Carol"
  14. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055683/
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ Koch, David, ed. "The Jetsons TV Episode Guide". The Big Cartoon Database. p. 4. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ "Television: The New Season". Time. October 12, 1962. Archived from the original on March 6, 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  19. ^ "The Nuclear Family Goes Boom!". Time. October 15, 1992. Archived from the original on October 30, 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  20. ^ Tucker, Jeffrey (2011-03-29). "Pushing Buttons Like the Jetsons". LewRockwell.com. 
  21. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD3XK2CCJKg
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ "Strike Watch: Possible Delays". IGN. 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  24. ^ "Tooning Into Hollywood". IGN. 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  25. ^ Interview: 'Predators' Creators Robert Rodriguez And Nimrod Antal
  26. ^ Abrams, Rachel; McNary, Dave (February 7, 2012). "WB sets rewrite of 'Jetsons' script". Variety. Retrieved February 20, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Kanye West 'Still on Board' for The Jetsons movie reboot". Entertainmentwise. July 25, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Xtra Jetstream Commercial". 
  29. ^ James Poniewozik (May 17, 2004). "Meet George Jetson—Again". Technology (Time). Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  30. ^ Steve Daly (May 14, 2004). "Jetsons & Jonny". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  31. ^ Philippa Hawker (July 5, 2006). "The Jetsons, season one". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  32. ^ "The Jetsons DVD news: Box Art & Extras for The Jetsons — Season 2, Volume 1". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  33. ^ "The Jetsons - Tomorrow Sees Warner Archive's Release of 'Season 2, Volume 2'". 
  34. ^ Noer, Michael; Ewalt, David M. "In Pictures: The 25 Largest Fictional Companies". Forbes. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]