The Jetsons (TV series)
- This article is about the TV series. For other uses, see The Jetsons.
On-screen title card.
|Created by:||William Hanna|
|Original release:||September 23, 1962—March 17, 1963; September 16, 1985—November 12, 1987|
|Run time:||22 minutes|
Jean Vander Pyl
|Executive producer(s):||William Hanna|
|Music composed by:||Hoyt Curtin|
Gordon Hunt (voices)
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The Jetsons is an American animated sci-fi sitcom television series produced by Hanna-Barbera (H-B) for ABC. It originally ran from 1962 to 1963, for 24 episodes that spanned one season. It was the third prime-time sitcom geared towards adults, after The Flintstones and Top Cat. The series was revived between 1985 to 1987, with 51 other episodes that spanned another two seasons, but aired as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera programming block in syndication.
It is often described as the Space-Age counterpart to The Flintstones, who lived in the Stone-Age, where technology and life was assisted by dinosaurs and birds. The Jetsons, by contrast, is set in a far-off future utopia, with robots and other fantastical gadgets being used as support. In spite of its different setting, the humor was still focused on the basic struggles of life, much like its precursor.
The series is largely about the middle-class George Jetson dealing with the everyday complicated problems of his loud boss, Mr. Spacely, despite his actual job being a mundane routine of pushing a button to get Spacely's factory working. He also deals with family life, having to fulfill the needs and expectations of his wife, Jane, teenage daughter, Judy, and preadolescent son, Elroy, along with an overly affectionate pet dog, Astro, and a snappy robot maid, Rosie. In the second season, an alien named Orbitty was added to the family.
The music was composed and conducted by Hoyt Curtin, who also composed and arranged the theme song, with lyrics written by Joseph Barbera and William Hanna. The music was directed by Paul DeKorte for the second season, then Joanne Miller was the director of music supervision for the third season, according to the credits.
- Theme song lyrics:
Meet George Jetson
His boy, Elroy
Jane, his wife
- George O'Hanlon as George Jetson
- Penny Singleton as Jane Jetson
- Daws Butler as Elroy Jetson
- Janet Waldo as Judy Jetson
- Jean Vander Pyl as Rosie
- Don Messick as Astro
- Mel Blanc as Mr. Spacely
- Frank Welker as Orbitty
|Title||Number||Original air date|
|The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones||1||November 15, 1987|
|Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law: "Back to the Present"||2||May 9, 2004|
Between 1963 and 1985, Hanna-Barbera's first attempt in reviving the series was in the form of a sequel that would have aged Judy and Elroy by ten years. It was pitched to CBS in 1974, but the network rejected it and had Hanna-Barbera retool it as Partridge Family 2200 A.D.
Soon after this new version ended, two TV movies followed, which were The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones and Rockin' with Judy Jetson, followed by a seemingly de facto series finale in Jetsons: The Movie, a theatrically released film by Universal Pictures in 1990. 27 years later in 2017 (with Hanna-Barbera having been absorbed into Time Warner in the late 1990s), Warner Bros. Animation produced the first and only direct-to-video film, The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania.
A live-action film has also been in the works since the 1980s. In 2017, a live-action TV series was announced to be executive produced by Gary Janetti, Jack Rapke, and Robert Zemeckis, and written by Janetti for ABC. With a name as big as Zemeckis, things will surely get moving quickly... Not. Nothing has been announced since.
In 2015, Deadline reported that Warner Bros. Pictures had plans for a new animated feature film. Matt Lieberman, who would go on to write Scoob!, was announced as the film's writer. In 2017, Sausage Party director Conrad Vernon was hired to develop the movie and potentially direct, but later revealed in a 2021 interview with ComingSoon that he would not be directing. Despite this, Vernon affirmed that the film was "plugging along" and that he would continue to be involved in the project as a consultant. Warner Animation Group will handle the production of the movie.
The Spümcø tributes
Former Hanna-Barbera animator John Kricfalusi, better known as John K., started up his own animation studio Spümcø in 1989, which created the revered The Ren & Stimpy Show for Nickelodeon in 1991. In 1999, Cartoon Network gave him his chance to show his "love" for old Hanna-Barbera cartoons by creating a short called "Boo Boo Runs Wild." Other shorts followed periodically, which included his takes on The Jetsons. In 2001 and 2002, he created "Father & Son Day" and "The Best Son," respectively, for Cartoon Network's official website. After this, the world never had to see another one of John K.'s so-called tributes again.
In popular culture
- In the film The Terminator, Sarah wears a Jetsons t-shirt while getting ready for her date.
- In the Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures episode "Don't Touch That Dial," Mighty Mouse is being watched by a kid on TV, who gets bored, and flips the channel causing Mighty Mouse to jump to what the kid is watching, which includes a mashup between The Flintstones and The Jetsons called The Jetstones. There is a George lookalike who drives his saucer car, but it's made of stone and is foot powered, and there is a house made of stone his wife comes out from, but the front doors slide open. He also has a friend who looks similar to Barney.
- Matt Groening was inspired by Hoyt Curtin's theme music for The Jetsons when creating the theme music for The Simpsons TV series.
- In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode "Did the Earth Move for You?," Vivian is having a hard time keeping up with all the new gadgets in the house, saying she wanted to keep up with the Joneses, not the Jetsons.
- In the film Demolition Man, Spartan calls Dr. Cocteau "Spacely Sprockets" after he first meets him.
- In the Moesha episode "The Ditch Party," Hakeem calls the Mitchell family the Jetsons, as part of the recurring joke of him referring to the family as popular families, whether they be fake or real. His reason for calling them the Jetsons, is because Frank has the same haircut as George.
- In the Malcolm in the Middle episode "Malcolm Babysits," Malcolm is told he can't have a robotics kit by his mom because it is too expensive, but also because of his dad's fear of fictional robots such as "[Rosie] the creepy maid from The Jetsons."
- In The Fairly OddParents special "Channel Chasers," Timmy zaps himself into the world of The Futurellis, which is about a futuristic Italian-American family who are a parody of the Jetsons family as well as the mafia family Sopranos from HBO's The Sopranos. Timmy's entrance is similar to both the opening and closing theme songs, with Timmy (dressed like Elroy) driving a flying car shaped like a saucer just like George does in the opening. All the characters are supposed to be robots (although Timmy is unaffected by this fact). Along the way, he meets Tony Futurelli taking his dog for a walk on a treadmill shaped like a pizza, just as George took Astro for a walk on a treadmill in the closing credits. Tony mocks Timmy's ride, and then his dog sees a cat just like Astro saw a cat, but Tony's dog has beef with the cat because he owes the dog money. The dog chases the cat which causes Tony to fall and get dragged. Tony then shouts, "Maria! Get me off this crazy thing!" The dog and cat then jump on the balcony to watch Tony continue to spin around.
- In the Baby Looney Tunes episode "The Wheel Deal," Bugs and his friends take their bikes apart to make a new one for Tweety, with the first choice being one that resembled a Jetsons space car, accompanied by a jingle of the theme song, but Bugs commentated that it was "too new."
- In the Gilmore Girls episode "Introducing Lorelei Planetarium," Lorelei quipped that Christopher's new flat screen TV is something out of The Jetsons, even adding, "Meet George Jetson, his boy Elroy," from the theme song.
- In the Wander Over Yonder episode "The Cartoon," Dominator watches a cartoon called The Mystery Kids Mysteries, which is a crossover between Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and Gravity Falls, with their outfits, their flying car, and Googie architecture based on The Jetsons.
- For the 2021 Halloween special of Live with Kelly and Ryan, the hosts and two executives dressed up as some of the family, which included Ryan Seacrest as George, Kelly Ripa as Jane, Michael Gelman as Elroy, and Art Moore as Astro.
- "Bumbi's Mom:" Slappy Squirrel points out that Vina Walleen (the actress who played Bumbi's mom) dated with George Jetson.
- "Space-Probed:" an alien resembling Jane shows up when one of the aliens ends up getting caught in a treadmill, similar to George's running gag in the end credits of the show.
- "Suffragette City:" George Jetson appears as one of the activists in Dot's campaign to have cartoon characters the right to vote.
Comic Book Men
- "Stash Wars:" When the guys talk about the background of a cartoon they'd like to live in, Ming picks Jetsons.
- "To the Bat Cave:" Mike's favorite talking dog is Astro.
- Main article: Drawn Together
- "Hot Tub:" When Foxxy attacks Clara, a flying car flies overhead.
- "Foxxy vs the Board of Education:" A flying car is parked outside the church during Spanky's wedding.
- "A Tale of Two Cows:" As the gang passes by the Jetsons, Captain Hero yells, "We need to stop this crazy thing", the line famously said by George. Every member of the Jetson family except Rosie was killed.
- Main article: Family Guy
- "Brian in Love:" We get to see what happens after the closing titles, when George eventually finds his way back inside the house after being left screaming for Jane on the treadmill, with bruises and a torn shirt. He excuses Elroy to leave, so he can chastise Jane for not hearing his cries for help. Jane can only apologize, although she is not forgiven. Seth MacFarlane voices George and Elroy, while D.D. Howard voices Jane.
- "From Method to Madness:" Peter thinks it's fine for Stewie to go into acting at such a young age because he thinks Elroy turned out okay. But Elroy has grown up to become a poor drunk. He gets taken out of a bar by its bouncer and put into a taxi driven by another former child star Bamm-Bamm Rubble. The bouncer tells Bamm-Bamm to take Elroy home, but he wants to go to Astro's grave, instead. Elroy is voiced by MacFarlane.
- "Meet the Quagmires:" Peter and Brian's tampering with the timeline has caused them to get flying cars, which Brian attributes to Al Gore being in office. The scene then shifts to an authentic take in the opening theme song where George drops off everyone at their destinations, only this time George stops Jane from taking his wallet when she doesn't accept the money he gives her. She says she was just going to buy groceries, but George cries, "Bullcrap!" Immediately after when Peter and Brian discuss how to get Death's attention (who transported them into the past to begin with), Jane's body drops to the ground, with her money falling on top of her dead body and the sound of George's space car swooshing away. Jeff Bergman and Beth Littleford voice George and Jane, respectively.
- "Play It Again, Brian:" A caricaturist interprets Lois and Brian as Jane and Snoopy, respectively.
- "Something, Something, Something Dark Side:" Among the probes shot out of the Star Destroyer is Elroy in his pod on his way to Little Dipper School. This is accompanied by the "His boy, Elroy" part of the theme song.
- "Emmy-Winning Episode:" Peter hears the wooshing of the flying car in Dr. Hartman's office.
- Main article: Futurama
- "Space Pilot 3000:" In the audio commentary for the pilot episode, creator Matt Groening didn't want to be the future to be "bland and boring" like The Jetsons.
- "Assie Come Home:" Tarquin's boat is called Flotsam & Jetson, a reference to both the marine term "jetsam" and The Jetsons.
- There are also references to the characters, especially Rosie, in both the cartoon and the companion comic by Bongo Comics.
- Main article: Mad
- "Pooh Grit/Not a Fan a Montana:" In the segment "Not a Fan a Montana," Justin Beiber survives a destroyed Earth in a Jetsons-like spaceship.
- "Total Recall Me Baby/The Asgardians:" In "Total Recall Me Baby," Douglas Quaid/Hauser jumps across George's spaceship car when he escapes the barbers.
Teen Titans Go!
- Main article: Teen Titans Go!
- "Sandwich Thief:" In the future, when Nightwing opens his front door, it makes the same jingle as the doorbell from Jetsons.
- "Serious Business:" Mankind was primitive until the first toilet was made, with the worlds of Flintstones and Jetsons representing the before and after.
- Sennett, Ted (October 30, 1989). The Art of Hanna-Barbera, page 112. Viking Studio Books. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
- (January 23, 2015) "Warner Bros Plots ‘The Jetsons’ Animated Feature; Matt Lieberman Writing".Deadline. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
- (September 24, 2021) "Conrad Vernon No Longer Set to Direct The Jetsons Animated Movie". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
- McGowan, Dale (March 26, 2018). "The Real Inspiration for The Simpsons Theme - And No, It's Not 'Maria'". Retrieved April 25, 2023.