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Jetsons, The

1 9 6 2 – 1 9 6 3 (USA)
24 x 35 minute episodes
1 9 8 5 – 1 9 8 7 (USA)
51 x 35 minute episodes

In an attempt to recreate the success of The Flintstones, Hanna-Barbera studios reversed the formula and instead of a stone-age family gave us a futuristic space-age cartoon family.

The Jetsons lived at Skypad Apartments (which was raised and lowered according to the weather) in the year 3000 AD.

Father George Jetson worked as Digital Index Operator at the Spacely Space Age Sprockets plant. Shopaholic wife and mother, Jane, kept the apartment neat and looked after the children Judy and Elroy and their dog Astro.

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Judy was a model teenager – obsessed with shopping, boys, and getting tickets to the latest Martian rock concert. Son Elroy was a typically inquisitive six-year-old, master of the computer-operated gadgets that filled the Jetson household.

Their apartment was full of space ‘conveniences’; a hydraulic lift which kept the apartment clear of bad weather; the pneumatic tube which delivered Elroy to school; Rosie the robot maid (whose nasal, New York monotone made her a favourite with viewers) and the atomic-powered bubble car.

George worked only three hours a day, even if it was (according to George) three hours too many.

Hanna-Barbera “recycled” several of their stars; Rock and rolling teenager Judy was voiced by Janet Waldo (alias Penelope Pitstop) and Rosie and Mrs Spacely were characterised by Jean Vander Pyl (who also gave voice to Wilma Flintstone).

While most space shows were full of scary aliens and morbid existential concerns, The Jetsons was a reassuring fantasy of the future.

The series was originally presented as an evening programme but never attracted an audience. When it became apparent to network officials at ABC that the series was not appealing to adults the show was switched to daytime hours on Saturday and then Sunday, and almost immediately became one of the most-viewed children’s shows on the air.

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The series also proved extremely durable in syndication, and the family’s faithful dog Astro became so popular he was eventually given his own series, Astro and the Space Mutts. The speech-impaired pooch (“Rello, Reorge”) later became the inspiration for Scooby Doo, with Don Messick providing the voice for both characters.

In 1985, Hanna-Barbera decided to produce new versions of The Jetsons for syndication. Keeping the original style of the cartoons, but updating the humour to a more 80’s sensibility, these later episodes captured a whole new audience.

The only major change was the addition of Orbity, an alien pet whose springy legs and fuzzy appearance contributed to the quirky charm of the show.

George Jetson 
George O’Hanlon
Jane Jetson 

Penny Singleton
Judy Jetson 

Janet Waldo
Elroy Jetson 

Daws Butler
Cogswell 

Daws Butler
Rosie 

Jean Vander Pyl
Astro 

Don Messick
Mr Spacely 

Mel Blanc
Mrs Spacely 

Jean Vander Pyl
Henry 

Daws Butler
Orbity 

Frank Welker

Episodes (1962 – 1963)

Rosie the Robot | A Day with Jet Screamer | The Space Car | The coming of Astro | Jetsons night out | The good little scouts | The flying suit | Rosie’s boyfriend | Elroy’s TV show | Uniblab | Visit from Grandpa | Astro’s top secret | Elroy’s pal | Test pilot | Millionaire Astro | The little man Las Venus | Jane’s driving lesson | GI Jetson | Miss Solar System | TV or not TV | Private property | Dude Planet | Elroy’s mob

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