One of America’s most famous fictional futuristic families, The Jetsons, celebrated their 50th anniversary yesterday. The show first premiered on ABC September 23, 1962 at the height of the Space Race when the US and Soviet Union fought competed to land on the moon first.
At 7:30pm on ABC’s Sunday night schedule, the first episode of The Jetsons debuted opposite The Wonderful World of Disney on NBC and the live-action Dennis the Menace sitcom on CBS. It was ABC’s first color show, even though most viewers could still only watch in black and white.
While the show only lasted for one season with a total of 24 episodes, Saturday morning re-runs that began in the fall of 1963, introduced the space-age family to a whole new generation of cartoon fans. During the two years between 1985 and 1987, 51 new episodes were syndicated due to the popularity of the series and an animated movie opend in theatres in 1990.
The Smithsonian magazine blog recently named the show, ”the single most important piece of 20th century futurism … that helped define the future for so many Americans today.”
While we might not have flying cars that can fold into briefcases or cities that float just yet, some of the writers’ creations on the show aren’t that far off. Video chat is now a common reality in our world and all-knowing computers like RUDI are not far off (Siri anyone?)
The Jetsons shaped our view of the future and will continue to entertain cartoon fans who still wake up early for Saturday morning cartoons. Happy 50th!