The Jetsons

For the 1980's band, see The Jetzons. For the film, see Jetsons: The Movie.
The Jetsons
Genre Animated
Comic science fiction
Directed by William Hanna (1962–63)
Joseph Barbera (1962–63)
Ray Patterson (Supervising, 1985–87)
Arthur Davis (1985–87)
Oscar Dufau (1985–87)
Carl Urbano (1985)
Rudy Zamora (1985)
Alan Zaslove (1985)
Paul Sommer (1987)
Charlie Downs (1987)
Voices of George O'Hanlon
Penny Singleton
Janet Waldo
Daws Butler
Mel Blanc
Don Messick
Jean Vander Pyl
Howard Morris
Theme music composer Hoyt Curtin
Composer(s) Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 75 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) William Hanna (1985–87)
Joseph Barbera (1985–87)
William L. Hendricks (1962-87)
Herbert Klynn (1985–87)
Producer(s) William Hanna (1962–63)
Joseph Barbera (1962–63)
Bob Hathcock (1985)
Berny Wolf (1987)
Jeff Hall (1987)
Running time 22–30 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Screen Gems (1962-63) (Season 1)
Distributor Worldvision Enterprises (1985-87) (Seasons 2-3)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (current)
Original network ABC (first season, 1962–1963)[1]
Syndication (second and third seasons, 1985–1987)
Audio format Mono
Original release Original series:
September 23, 1962 (1962-09-23)
March 17, 1963 (1963-03-17)
Revival series:
September 16, 1985 (1985-09-16) – November 12, 1987 (1987-11-12)

The Jetsons is an American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera, originally airing in primetime from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963, then later in syndication, with new episodes in 1985 to 1987 as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera block. It was Hanna-Barbera's Space Age counterpart to The Flintstones.[2]

George O'Hanlon provided the voice of George Jetson

While the Flintstones live in a world with machines powered by birds and dinosaurs, the Jetsons live in a futuristic utopia of elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions;[3][4] 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.[5] (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.[6]

Following its primetime run, the show aired on Saturday mornings for decades, starting on ABC for the 1963–64 season and then on CBS and NBC.[7] New episodes were produced for syndication from 1985 to 1987. No further specials or episodes of the show were produced after 1989 due to the deaths of stars George O'Hanlon and Mel Blanc. The 1990 film Jetsons: The Movie serves as the series finale to the television show.


The Jetsons are a family residing in Orbit City.[8][9] 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, that 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.[10] His boss is Cosmo Spacely, the 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.

Penny Singleton was the voice of Jane Jetson


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

Recurring characters

Voice cast

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.


The first season for the series was produced and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, When the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio closed in May 1961, several of its animators, including Gerry Chiniquy and Ken Harris, also joined Hanna-Barbera to work on the first season.

Morey Amsterdam and Pat Carroll controversy

In 1963, Morey Amsterdam and Pat Carroll filed a $12,000 suit each, against Hanna-Barbera for breach of contract.[17][18] 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.[17] 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.[19][20] The case had been closed by early 1965.[21] In a 2013 interview, Pat Carroll indicated that the court had ruled in favor of Hanna-Barbera.[17]


Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 24 September 23, 1962 (1962-09-23) March 17, 1963 (1963-03-17)
2 41 September 16, 1985 (1985-09-16) December 13, 1985 (1985-12-13)
3 10 October 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, and, as was standard practice at the time, contained a laugh track.

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 morning or late afternoon time slots in 80 U.S. media markets, including the 30 largest.[22] 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.[22] During 1987, 10 additional "season 3" episodes were also made available for syndication.[23]

Broadcast history

Following its primetime cancellation, ABC placed reruns of The Jetsons on its Saturday morning schedule for the 1963–1964 season. The program would spend the next two decades on Saturday mornings, with subsequent runs on CBS (1964–65 and 1969–71) and NBC (1965–67; 1971–76; 1979–81 and 1982–83). Beginning in the late 1960s, The Jetsons also began airing simultaneously in syndication. Along with fellow Hanna-Barbera production Jonny Quest and Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes shorts, The Jetsons is one of the few series to have aired on each of the Big Three television networks in the United States.

Theme song

The series' theme song, by composer Hoyt Curtin, became a pop hit in 1986.[24]

Science fiction themes

Animation historian Christopher P. Lehman considers that the series shares its main science fiction theme with Funderful Suburbia (1962), a Modern Madcaps animated short. Both feature white people involved in space colonization. However there is a key difference in the nature of the colonization. In Funderful Suburbia, the white people colonize outer space in order to escape the problems of planet Earth. The Jetsons live in an era where space colonization is already established. Life in outer space is depicted as a fact of life, while the reasons behind humanity's take over of outer space are never explained. [25]

Lehman argues that the series offers no explanation for its science fiction premise and does not directly satirize the social problems of any era. The futuristic setting is combined with standard sitcom elements, which serve as the series' main focus. [25]


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";[9] 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."[26]

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."[27] 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."[28]

Differences between versions

Added characters:

Other differences include the following:

Specials and film adaptations

Television films

Television specials

Theatrical releases

Direct-to-video films

Planned film

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.[30] 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 November 2001, screenwriting duo Paul Foley and Dan Forman were brought onboard to revise a screenplay, with Rob Minkoff attached as director and Denise Di Novi as producer.[31]

On March 18, 2003, it was announced that the script was again being reworked,[32] with Adam Shankman entering negotiations to direct and co-write the film.[33] In June 2004, with Shankman still onboard as director, Di Novi confirmed that the latest draft was penned by Sam Harper.[34] By May 2006, the project was re-launched with Adam F. Goldberg confirmed as the new screenwriter, and Donald De Line was added as producer alongside Di Novi.[35]

In May 2007, director Robert Rodriguez entered talks with Universal Studios and Warner Bros. to film a CGI 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 Goldberg was further along in development.[36]

In January 2012, recording artist Kanye West was mistakenly reported as creative director over the project, though West clarified on social media that "I was just discussing becoming the creative director for the Jetson [sic] movie and someone on the call yelled out.. you should do a Jetsons tour!"[37] Longtime producer Denise Di Novi denied the confirmed involvement stating negotiations with West via conference call was merely "preliminary and exploratory and introductory".[38] In February 2012, Warner Bros. hired Van Robichaux and Evan Susser to rewrite the script.[39][40]

On January 23, 2015, it was announced that Warner Bros. planned a new animated Jetsons feature film, with Matt Lieberman to provide the screenplay.[41][42]

Further appearances

Hanna-Barbera related

Other projects


Video games

Home video releases

On June 28, 1990, Hanna-Barbera released six episodes from the show on home video. 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."[45]

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."[46] Season 1 was released on DVD in Region 4 on July 5, 2006.[47] Season Two, Volume 1 was released on DVD almost three years later, on June 2, 2009 for Region 1.[48]

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[49] Warner Archive followed up by releasing Season 3 in the same way on May 13, 2014.[50]

DVD Name Ep # Release date
Season 1 24 October 15, 2004
Season 2, Volume 1 21 June 2, 2009
Season 2, Volume 2 20 November 8, 2011
Season 3 10 May 13, 2014


See also


  1. 1 2 "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.
  5. 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. 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.
  6. "Jetsons, The — Season 2, Volume 1 Review". Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  7. Alex McNeil (1980). Total Television. Penguin Books.
  8. "The Jetsons: Did you Know...?". Gemstone Publishing. May 16, 2003. Archived from the original on June 4, 2003. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
  9. 1 2 "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.
  10. Episode "The Vacation", original airdate November 7, 1985
  11. 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!
  12. Episode 1, "Rosey the Robot", at 2:28: "Don't be smart. You know I'm only 33
  13. 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."
  14. Episode 1, "Rosey the Robot", at 22:09: "Boy, if I wasn't 6½, I'd...I'd cry."
  15. Season 2, Episode 23, "A Jetson Christmas Carol"
  17. 1 2 3 Kliph Nesteroff (2013-10-26). "Classic Television Showbiz: An Interview with Pat Carroll – Part Two". Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  18. Yowp (2010-01-27). "Yowp: Meet George Jetson — The Other One". Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  19. 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.
  21. TV Firm Sued By Two, Oxnard Press-Courier, January 25, 1965
  22. 1 2 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.
  23. Koch, David, ed. "The Jetsons TV Episode Guide". The Big Cartoon Database. p. 4. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  24. 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.
  25. 1 2 Lehman (2007), p. 25-26
  26. "Television: The New Season". Time. October 12, 1962. Archived from the original on March 6, 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  27. "The Nuclear Family Goes Boom!". Time. October 15, 1992. Archived from the original on October 30, 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  28. Tucker, Jeffrey (2011-03-29). "Pushing Buttons Like the Jetsons".
  29. "Jetsons WWE (2017)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  30. "Paramount's Future- from 1985". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  31. Dunkley, Cathy (November 27, 2001). "'Jetsons' finds rewrite pair". Variety. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  32. Dunkley, Cathy; Brodesser, Claude (March 18, 2003). "Shankman ready to meet 'Jetsons'". Variety. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  33. Kit, Zorianna (March 19, 2003). "Shankman in pilot chair for live 'Jetsons'." (Fee required). The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 9, 2015 via HighBeam Research.
  34. Stax (7 June 2004). "The Jetsons Update!". IGN. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  35. McClintock, Pamela (May 2, 2006). "'Jetsons' relaunched". Variety. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  36. 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.
  37. Dobbins, Amanda (January 5, 2012). "What We Learned From Kanye's Tremendous Late-Night Twitter Rant". Vulture. New York Magazine. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  38. Carlson, Eric (January 6, 2012). "Kanye West Is Not 'Creative Director' of Jetsons Movie, Says Producer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  39. Eisenberg, Eric (February 7, 2012). "Live-Action Jetsons Movie Still In The Works, New Writer Hired". Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  40. Gallagher, Brian (February 7, 2012). "'The Jetsons' Lands Writers Van Robichaux and Evan Susser". MovieWeb. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  41. Lesnik, Silas (January 23, 2015). "The Jetsons Planned as Animated Feature". CraveOnline. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  42. Fleming, Jr., Mike (January 23, 2015). "Warner Bros Plots 'The Jetsons' Animated Feature; Matt Lieberman Writing". Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  44. "Xtra Jetstream Commercial".
  45. James Poniewozik (May 17, 2004). "Meet George Jetson—Again". Technology. Time. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  46. Steve Daly (May 14, 2004). "Jetsons & Jonny". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  47. Philippa Hawker (July 5, 2006). "The Jetsons, season one". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  48. "The Jetsons DVD news: Box Art & Extras for The Jetsons — Season 2, Volume 1". 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  49. "The Jetsons – Tomorrow Sees Warner Archive's Release of 'Season 2, Volume 2'".
  50. "The Jetsons DVD news: Announcement for The Jetsons – Season 3". 2014-04-28. Retrieved 2014-06-05.
  51. Noer, Michael; Ewalt, David M. (December 10, 2007). "In Pictures: The 25 Largest Fictional Companies". Forbes. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  52. 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. 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

External links

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