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    Sesame Street

    Sesame Street

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    PBS
    Sesame Street is a widely recognized and perpetually daring experiment in educational children's programming. This show has taken popular-culture and turned it upside-down. The fast-paced advertisements that had parents of the new era worrying for their children were the basis for the original format of this show. The show has often satirized pop culture, and made itself easier for parents to watch along too. And thus, the positive impact this show has had on modern society is beyond another. No show is more recognized the world over by as many generations and walks of life. Shown in its original format or with changes to reflect a regional education focus, Sesame Street is now seen in over 140 countries. The show that Entertainment Weekly named the "20th Best Ever Show" has changed the education scene to focus on "entertainment." This has turned out to be a valuable theory that not only helps the medicinal learning go down easier, but it also increases the effectiveness of the information being taught. In an almost backwards sense, the show stays fresh by recycling programming ideas every three years, by which time a new group of kids is watching. Unlike most PBS Kids shows, which have an original run, then go into continuous repeats until getting dropped by PBS or sold to another network, Sesame Street has created many new episodes every season since its debut Nov. 10, 1969. American teachers now expect children to arrive on the first day of school knowing the basics about letters, numbers, and language. "Kindergarten now does what first grade used to do," creator Joan Ganz Cooney has said, "and I think that's directly due to Sesame Street." International versions have changed Sesame Street to be more relevant to their culture and environments. They adjust the unique American inner city, with a cast made up mainly of Muppets, African-Americans, Spaniards and Chinese to reflect their own lifestyles. For example, Canada's Sesame Park features a small suburban town inhabited by folks like an otter and a bear, a bush pilot, a disabled child in a wheel-chair and her cat and Russia's Ulitsa Sesame set in a Russian dvor (courtyard) has a 9-foot tall tree spirit who has his joyous and problem-solving Muppet friends. No show can help in tumultuous or troubled times like Sesame Street. For example: • The Israelis and the Palestinians have now merged their independent spin-offs, to help teach the fighting cultures to accept each other for who they are, not what they have done in the past. • The original American Sesame Street helped children deal with the incidents of 9-11 • On the week of October 4-8, 2004, Sesame Workshop actually dug up reruns of Sesame Street episodes from its 32nd season, in which a hurricane plundered the neighborhood. This move was to come to grips with those disabused by the four hurricanes that struck Florida in a six-week span the previous August and September. It also sent a message about the news' propensity for covering violent acts. • The current South African government has not taken much action on the matters of HIV and AIDS, so in 2003, the South African version of Sesame Street added in a 5-year-old girl monster who manages to go about daily life with ease, even though she intercepted HIV through a blood transfusion shortly after birth. This led to an American backlash, even though her exposure in the States has always been restricted to sesameworkshop.org. Undoubtedly, she is the hardest-edged Muppet since Jim Henson's ill-fated "Creatures from the Planet Gorch" on Saturday Night Live's first season. • No other puppet than a Muppet, namely Elmo, could be taken seriously when asking America's congressional Education Appropriations Subcommittee for more funding to school music programs, so that "when Elmo goes to school, there will be the instruments to play." (Unfortunately, Newt Gingrich's Congress chose instead to divert to Sesame Street production funds from other PBS series. Among the casualties was one of Sesame Street's godchildren, Ghostwriter.) •In the mid-70s, they introduced Linda Bove, a deaf actress playing a deaf librarian that lives a life equal to all the rest of the area's inhabitants. Please note that Sesame Street's air time varies between various PBS stations in America. In recent years, a few PBS stations have dropped the show (including WNYE in New York, whose last airing was in June 2003). sesame street even had a touring show, SESAME STREET LIVE,which has just recently celebrated 25 years of performing. Characters Cookie Monster Cookie Monster has always had a passion for cookies, gobbling them up whenever he can. However, in order to promote healthy eating habits, Cookie Monster recently learned that cookies are a "sometime" food. So now, Cookie Monster also eats fruits and vegetables in addition to his trademark snack. Elmo Elmo is a cute little red monster, who wants to know more about the world he is growing up in. Oscar the Grouch Oscar lives in a dustbin, sure its not the most hygienic of places, but Oscar isn't the most hygienic of creatures. He likes to cause mischief but also enjoys learning. Ernie and Bert Best friends and room-mates, both showing us how people get along with each other and how sometimes you may even fall-out with your best friend. The Count The Count, would teaches us to count, whether it be really difficult numbers or easy numbers, the Counts thing is maths and counting, and he sure is good at it. Big Bird A huge yellow bird, who's everyone's friend. No matter what species, color or race you are.moreless
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    The Andy Griffith Show

    The Andy Griffith Show

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    CBS (ended 1968)
    The Andy Griffith Show is definitely a TV classic. It ran from 1960 to 1968, producing 249 episodes.

    The main character, Andy (Andy Griffith), was a widowed father of a polite little boy named Opie (Ron Howard) and is a sheriff, who works with nervous and very suspecting Barney Fife (Don Knotts). They all live in the nice southern town of Mayberry. But, Mayberry can get a little dangerous when the town drunk, Otis Campbell (Hal Smith), is on the loose. Thelma Lou (Betty Lynn) is Barney's sweetheart, although Andy had to help him describe his feelings to her. Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) is the very loving and caring but stern housekeeper for Andy and Opie. Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors) is a bone-headed, thoughtless, but humorous character. He is a gas attendant. Goober Pyle (George Lindsey) is Gomer Pyle's cousin. They are very alike, you could say, and arrive in Mayberry when Gomer decides to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. The show had two spin-offs: Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. and Mayberry R.F.D.

    Top 20 Ratings: 1960-1961 - #4 1961-1962 - #7 1962-1963 - #6 1963-1964 - #5 1964-1965 - #4 1965-1966 - #6 1966-1967 - #3 1967-1968 - #1

    Awards for The Andy Griffith Show: Don Knotts won five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy: 1961, 1962, 1963, 1966, and 1967.

    Frances Bavier won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Comedy in 1967.moreless
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    Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

    Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

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    PBS (ended 2001)
    "In a little toy neighborhood, a tiny trolley rolls past a house at the end of a street. Welcome toMister Rogers' Neighborhood." In the annals of children's TV, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood ranks among the longest-lasting and beloved shows. Upon its conclusion, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was the longest-running series in PBS history (a record eclipsed by Sesame Street in 2003). Host Fred Rogers (known to millions as simply "Mister Rogers") used his gentle charm and mannerisms to communicate with his audience of children. Topics centered on nearly every inconceivable matter of concern to children, ranging from everyday fears related to going to sleep, getting immunizations and disappointment about not getting one's way to losing a loved one to death and physical handicaps. Rogers used simple songs and, on nearly every show, segments from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe (NOM) to make his point. A scale-model trolley was often (but not always) used to segue into the Make-Believe segments, said neighborhood being inhabited by puppet characters including King Friday XIII, Lady Elaine Fairchild and Daniel Striped Tiger. Many shows also featured visits from cast members – most often Mr. McFeely (tagline: "Speedy Delivery"), Robert Trow, Joe Negri and Chef Brockett (the local baker). Many times, Rogers also visited the neighborhood shops of both the regulars and guests. Each show began and ended with a camera panning over a scale neighborhood (said to represent the town where Rogers lived). Production History While today's longer-running PBS Kids shows reinvent themselves every five years, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood achieved, throughout its 31 seasons, that rarest of elements: consistency. It is a legacy that can all be traced through every aspect of Fred Rogers' television career. Some of the characters in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, both real and imagined, had appeared in two of Fred Rogers' earlier programs, The Children's Corner for Pittsburgh's WQED in 1954 and the CBC's Misterogers in 1963. It was for Misterogers that Fred first appeared on-camera. Rogers returned to WQED in Pittsburgh to begin writing and hosting Mister Rogers' Neighborhood May 22, 1967. Several other public television stations from Chicago to Boston carried the show on a trial basis that year. Beginning February 19, 1968, the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood program that we know today, began airing nationwide on National Educational Television (NET), the predecessor to PBS. This was also the year David Newell, returned from Europe, began work for Rogers. He was in charge of the production as well as the neighborhood's Speedy Delivery service. (AN ASIDE: Rogers wanted to call the delivery man Mr. McCurdy after the man at the Sears-Roebuck Foundation, whose support launched Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. But the people at Sears-Roebuck called Rogers and said "Mr. McCurdy" was too self-serving. Thus Rogers went to his roots to rename Newell's deliveryman. "McFeely" was Rogers' middle name and the last name of his maternal grandfather.) Shows were produced as a daily strip from 1968 to 1976, at which time production was suspended. Counting black-and-white episodes, 590 shows were produced in that span. Production resumed at the beginning of the remote video age in 1979. Rogers went on location more, supervising videos of how people make things (a precursor to the TVO series Here's How!). Other characters would be introduced in the subsequent two decades. In all, 305 new programs were taped from 1979 through 2001. Of that volume, the most notable shows came in 1991, with Rogers focusing on calming children's fears during the first U.S. war with Iraq. PBS gradually narrowed the window for the 460 "pre-79" episodes with each new season from 1980 onward. When the number of "post-75" episodes was enough to cover entire years, the classic shows were retired, last airing on PBS in the summer of 1995. Despite the production stoppage and the subsequent passing of Fred Rogers on February 27, 2003, PBS continues to repeat Mister Roger's Neighborhood in all its original glory–an accomplishment unique among all PBS Kids shows.moreless
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    The Flintstones

    The Flintstones

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    ABC (ended 2001)
    The Flintstones was a parody on modern suburban life, set in the Stone Age. The characters in the cartoon series all behaved and spoke in a contemporary manner, though they lived in the prehistoric city of Bedrock. Fred worked as operator of a dinosaur-powered crane at Rock Hard & Quarry Cave Construction Co. (slogan: "Own Your Own Cave and Be Secure"). Around their split-level cave the Flintstones enjoyed such conveniences as Wilma's Stoneway piano, a hi-fi on which Fred could play his "rock" music (it consisted of a turntable and a bird with a long beak to serve as a needle), a vacuum cleaner (a baby elephant with a long trunk), and an automatic garbage disposal unit (a famished buzzard stashed under the sink). Their car, which sported tail fins, also came equipped with steamroller wheels--to smooth out the rocky road. Then one day in 1963 they were blessed with a baby daughter, whom they named Pebbles. Not to be outdone, their neighbors the Rubbles adopted an orphan boy named Bamm Bamm. (The two kids later had a Saturday morning cartoon series of their own, Pebbles and Bamm Bamm.) The Flintstones was always as much adult satire as children's fun. In many respects it resembled Jackie Gleason's popular Honeymooners, especially in the relationships of the principals. A wide range of caricatures passed through the stories: Lollobrickida, a pretty cook; Ann-Margrock, whose voice was supplied by Ann-Margret; attorney Perry Masonry (he never lost a case); Ed Sullystone, a TV host; Eppy Brianstone, a teenage impresario; and Weirdly and Creepella Gruesome, the strange couple who with their son Goblin moved into a cave nearby (this was a parody on The Addams Family and The Munsters, then popular). The Gruesomes thought that they were normal, and everyone else in Bedrock was odd. The Flintstones and its spin-offs had a highly successful run on Saturday mornings--on NBC from January 1967-September 1970, on CBS from September 1972-January 1974, back on NBC from February 1979-September 1984, and on ABC with The Flintstone Kids from September 1986-September 1989. This series has also many movies and specials (about 10 specials). Some of them are:"A Flintstones Christmas Carol", a flintstones version of the famous Charles Dickens book, "A Flintstones Christmas" where Fred replaces Santa Claus (Pebbles and Bamm Bamm are speaking now), "I Yabba Dabba Do" where Pebbles and Bamm Bamm are grown up and get married, and "Holly-Rock-a-bye Baby" where Pebbles gives birth.moreless
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    Looney Tunes

    Looney Tunes

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    Cartoon Network
    Looney Tunes is a show that reruns classic cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Sylvester, Pepe le Pew, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Foghorn Leghorn and more. These classic characters were featured in 1000+ theatrical cartoons and many prime-time specials made for TV as well as numerous classic cartoon excerpts. Looney Tunes was originally aimed at an adult audience when it aired for the first time in 1955, but unfortunately it was censored. It eventually became a show for children known as The Bugs Bunny Show in 1960, which aired on ABC. Looney Tunes made it's way to Nickelodeon along with numerous Warner Bros. classic cartoons including some of their oldest black-and-whites and almost their complete canon of '60s cartoons. This show started in 1988 and ended in 1999. Now, the Boomerang block on Cartoon Network is the only place in the US where you can still see these timeless classic characters and their animated antics.moreless
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    Leave It to Beaver

    Leave It to Beaver

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    ABC (ended 1963)
    Leave It to Beaver portrayed the iconic postwar American family: June the perfect housewife, Ward the dad (what did he do for a living, anyway? And why did he always wear a suit to dinner?), big brother Wally, and of course Theodore ("The Beaver"), the good-hearted kid whose adventures propelled the show. Leave It to Beaver debuted in October of 1957 on CBS. In the fall of 1958, CBS dropped the series. ABC picked it up and ran it for an additional 5 years. Few people know that Leave it to Beaver was the first American television show broadcast behind the Iron Curtain -- perhaps part of the reason for so many references to God, Sunday School, Breaking Bread, etc. In several episodes, there are subtle references to the Soviet Union. In episode #31 ( New doctor ): Wally, has a model plane. Look close, it,s a Russian bomber. With, the red star decals. In episode #119 ( Beaver's House Guest ), the two boys are wearing their camp sweatshirts. With the name Camp Chekov on it. Propaganda? Maybe. What the average American family was like in the 1950's? I don't think so. What ever, I guess it worked. The series focuses on Theodore Cleaver (Beaver). Beaver (who was 7 when the series began) is your basic everyday little boy who had a knack of getting himself into trouble at every turn. His older brother Wally, is just entering his teen years and often wonders out loud how Beaver could be so dumb to get himself into stupid situations. (Examples: getting himself locked in the principals office, letting the bathtub overflow, letting the washing machine overflow, getting his head stuck in a fence at the park, constantly losing things (cats, change, etc.) His parents are your everyday 1950's parents, June and Ward Cleaver, who do their best to understand and support Beaver and Wally as they grew up. Other characters were mostly friends of Wally and Beaver. Wally's friends included Lumpy Rutherford and the two-faced Eddie Haskell. Eddie was courteous to June and Ward but when the grown ups weren't around he was a bully to Beaver and his friends. Beaver's friends include Whitey Whitney, Gilbert Gates/Bates/Harrison (inconsistent last name), Larry Mondello and Richard Rickover. Beaver's teachers, Miss Canfield and later Miss Landers were seen frequently as well as Lumpy's father, played by Richard Deacon known for his role on The Dick Van Dyke Show. While most people lump in Leave it to Beaver with other family sitcoms, such as Father Knows Best, and The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, this series was truly an original, and very much ahead of its time. It showed the world through the eyes of a young boy, and sometimes dealt with rather controversial subjects. One episode ("Beaver and Andy") dealt frankly with the subject of alcoholism. Another episode ("Beaver's House Guest") showed how divorce can affect a child. In 1985, Leave It to Beaver was in a full blown revival after a 1983 reunion movie, Still the Beaver, when a spin-off series, with the title of the reunion movie, was proposed. It later begin airing in syndication under the title, The New Leave It to Beaver and starred all of the original cast members except Hugh Beaumont who died on May 14, 1982. First Telecast: October 4, 1957 Last Telecast: September 12, 1963 Episodes: 234 B&W Episodes +1 Unaired B&W Pilot Theme Song: "The Toy Parade" Written by: Melvyn Leonard, Mort Greene & Dave Kahn Spin-offs: The New Leave It to Beaver NOTE: All air dates have now been verified through TV Guide. CBS Broadcast History October 1957-March 1958----Fridays----7:30 p.m. March-September 1958----Wednesdays----8:00 p.m. ABC Broadcast History October 1958-June 1959----Thursdays----7:30 p.m. July-September 1959----Thursdays----9:00 p.m. October 1959-September 1962----Saturdays----8:30 p.m. September 1962-September 1963----Thursdays----8:30 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) Never hit the top 30moreless
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    Tom and Jerry

    Tom and Jerry

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    CBS (ended 1980)
    Tom and Jerry was originally the very first, and earliest of the Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. It went through many phases and took place from anywhere from inside a house, to anywhere in outer space. The show was of course, about a cat and a mouse, and several other characters. The two never really talked, even though they do sing, yell, gasp, laugh, count, or say "Aha!!"; and that several other characters spoke more often. They would later end up in several TV series, and also in a few movies, however many would say that they didn't like the way the movies turned out. All of the episodes were distributed by MGM. Here's more info about the show in general: Pilot Episodes: The Pilot Episode was called "Puss Gets The Boot" and was also the first one with Mammy in it. Tom looked very different and was called Jasper. It was produced by Harman-Ising Productions. Fred Quimby: Fred Quimby was the Producer of Tom & Jerry for many years. He is also the Producer of Tex Avery's Cartoons. Tom's fur would eventually become blue. CinemaScope: These cartoons had more people in them. There were narrators, and many conversations between the adults. Lewis Marshall became an Animation Director, and Hanna-Barbera were the Producers. Rembrandt: Only seeing the older Tom & Jerry cartoons, and not having enough information on the show, Ted Pierce, Gene Deich, and William L. Snyder and the rest of the crew had trouble in producing their episodes of Tom & Jerry. Sib Tower 12 Incorporated: One of the last producers of Tom & Jerry, this version has the famous opening with the yellow background and the red letters (except for the 5 letters O and J) where Tom hisses and Jerry waves. The producer was Chuck Jones, and the cartoons look ahead of their time. There were several new characters, including a yellow bulldog, and Tom's Girlfriend, The Shark, Jerry's Dog, and several robots where Tom was a security operator at a cheese mine. Other people that worked on the show were Les Goldman, Maurice Noble, Michael Maltese, Tom Ray, Earl Jonas, Lewis Marshall, Eugene Poddany, Bill Lava, Dean Elliott, Carl Brandt, Mel Blanc, June Foray, Abe Levitow, Ben Washam, Don Foster, and Walter Bien. They would later do several Dr. Seuss cartoons along with Depatie-Freeling Entertainment, the Cricket seties, Duck Dodgers, and many other Award Winning shows. Filmation: Many years later, Filmation attempted to produce Tom & Jerry. It was a TV show called The Tom & Jerry Comedy Show. It seemed to look like all the Tom & Jerry cartoons in the 1950s and 1960s. They also aired and produced some other MGM cartoons, like the ones that are directed by Tex Avery. The episodes of The Tom & Jerry Comedy Show are mentioned here. TV: The New Tom and Jerry Show and The Tom and Jerry Kids Show: HB's TV versions. Neither lasted long, but several people still remember Them. They weren't that violent either. They were about the characters trying to solve everyday problems. Tom & Jerry Kids had other charachers as kids that were also produced by Fred Quimby, Including Tex Avery's Cartoon Characters. Now: Tom & Jerry was recently produced by AOL Time Warner and Turner Home Entertainment. They aren't the best cartoons. Tom and Jerry is currently airing on Cartoon Network! Check your local listings! Every episode of Tom & Jerry can be seen on Cartoon Network and Boomerang for one hour, and also The Sib Tower 12 Inc Cartoons can be seen with The Chuck Jones Show.moreless
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    Huckleberry Hound

    Huckleberry Hound

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    CBS (ended 1962)
    Huckleberry Hound is a blue-haired Southern dog with a fondness for the song, "My Darling, Clementine", and is a jack-of-all-trades cartoon star, appearing as a scientist (trying to neutralize a gigantic, thinking potato), a Scotland Yard detective (chasing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Victorian London or investigating reports of a mad scientist's Frankenstein-like weiner monster in early-1900s rural England), a Foreign Legion soldier (foiling a renegade Frenchman-turned-Arab), or a modern policeman (trying to subdue an impish ape named Wee Willie). Episodes of this television series begin and end with a Huckleberry cartoon. Sandwiched between them is a cartoon with two mischievous mice, Pixie and Dixie and a cantankerous cat named Mr. Jinks. Sometimes appearing in their stead in the middle cartoon was a free-spirited Hokey Wolf or the "smarter than the average" Yogi Bear.moreless
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    Lassie

    Lassie

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    CBS (ended 1973)
    Lassie currently airs on Discovery Kids @ 12:00/12:30 P.M. and 4:00/4:30 A.M. weekdays. Awards & Nominations 1959 - Emmy Awards - Nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series - to June Lockhart 1956 - Emmy Awards - Won Best Children's Series 1955 - Emmy Awards - Won Best Children's Seriesmoreless
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    Charlie Brown

    Charlie Brown

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    CBS
    Charles Schulz's classic comic strip Peanuts started in 1950. Fifteen years later, A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted. When The Little Christmas Special that Could proved to be an unexpected success, the stage was set for successive television specials. To date, over forty have been made. The Charlie Brown specials focus on one round-headed kid, his goofy but intelligent beagle, and their vast array of friends. Each has distinctive qualities: Lucy, the crabby, self-proclaimed psychiatrist; Linus, the blanket-toting theologian; Schroeder, the Beethoven worshiper whose black piano keys are only painted on; Peppermint Patty, the tomboy whose affections toward "Chuck" are only outweighed by her sports abilities; and so on. The wit, the charm, the pleasantness of these specials make them appropriate not just for children, but for the whole family.moreless
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    The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet

    The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet

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    ABC (ended 1966)
    Welcome to The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet guide at TV.com. The real-life Nelson family - Ozzie, his wife Harriet and their sons David and Ricky - played themselves in this long-running sitcom, where Ricky got his start as a teen idol. When the Nelson boys grew up and married their sweethearts, Kris and June, their real-life wives played their TV wives. The series began as a radio program in 1944. At that time David and Ricky were played by actors. It wasn't until 1949, when radio personality Bing Crosby's sons began to play themselves on Bing's show that the real David and Ricky decided to join the Nelson family radio show. The "adventures" the family experienced every week involved very little conflict or friction. Problems and misunderstandings were solved quickly and with a shared laugh over the silliness of it all.moreless
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    Dennis the Menace

    Dennis the Menace

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    CBS (ended 1963)
    This is the 1959 CBS live-action situation comedy based on the comic strip by Hank Ketcham. Dennis is portrayed as the helpful menace that always seemed to cause chaos. Dennis Mitchell lived at 627 Elm Street with his parents, Henry and Alice. Next door was his best friend, Mr. Wilson (though the feeling was, certainly, not mutual). Dennis always was around to help Mr. Wilson whether he wanted the help or not. The allure of the series was to see how Dennis would unintentionally mess things up for Mr. Wilson. The series lasted four seasons, but, perhaps, could have lasted longer. Joseph Kearns, the actor who portrayed Mr. George Wilson, died during the show's third season. This left a huge void that even veteran actor Gale Gordon (Mr. John Wilson) couldn't fill. He was introduced toward the end of the third season, and the series was cancelled the following year. Main Title Theme Song "Dennis the Menace" by Irving Friedman CBS Broadcast History October 4, 1959 - September 22, 1963 ---- Sundays ---- 7:30 - 8:00 P.M. Nielsen Ratings - Top 30 Season 1 (1959-60) 16 (26.0) Season 2 (1960-61) 11 (26.1) Season 3 (1961-62) 17 (23.8) Season 4 (1962-63) Not In Top 30 First Telecast: October 4, 1959 Last Telecast: July 7, 1963 Episodes: 146 black-and-white episodesmoreless
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    The Jetsons

    The Jetsons

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    ABC (ended 1987)
    With the success of The Flintstones, the modern Stone Age family, Hanna-Barbera decided to make a similar family cartoon, but set in their vision of the Space Age in the 21st century. This new series that debuted September 23, 1962 became The Jetsons. Set mainly in sky-high Orbit City, the show featured the family of George Jetson, Jane, his wife, their daughter Judy, and son Elroy living the average life in the future with flying space cars, instant transport tubes, and various robots and gadgets than can get their work done for them in a matter of seconds.

    George brought in the family income by working at Spacely Space Sprockets, run by his stocky, ill-tempered boss Cosmo Spacely, who's usually quick to fire George for any reason he could find. But somehow, he always managed to get his job back and continue supporting his family. He works as an indexer and is teamed with his helpful computer R.U.D.I. Other than the threats of firing by Spacely, George would also have to worry about any schemes carried out by Mr. Spacely's top business rival W.C. Cogswell, owner and president of Cogswell Cogs. If there's a dispute between the two businessmen, it's almost certain George would wind up in the middle of it. Most times, though, things always worked out in the end.

    Jane is the housewife who tends to the home, but loves to shop for the latest fashions and various items that can be a help to the family, like new gadgets that can help them in new ways. She's assisted by the family's robot maid Rosey (which can also be spelled Rosie). She's one of the older-fashioned models compared to most of the advanced robot maids of the future, but the Jetsons love her and regard her as a member of the family.

    Judy is the Jetsons' teenage daughter who attends Orbit High School and goes for the latest teen fashions, trends, and music, and seems to have a different boyfriend in most episodes. If she's lucky, she can even wind up dating a celebrity, like her favorite rock star Jet Screamer, much to her father's chagrin.

    Elroy is the Jetsons' genius son who attends Little Dipper Elementary School and is a straight-A student. He's a part-time inventor and can make new creations in hope to make a better future, and if fortunate, a little money on the side. But most times, he likes to be an average boy by playing various sports, and with his faithful companion, the family's dog Astro, who at times is overly affectionate, and can annoy George at times. But like Rosey, he's regarded as a member of the family.

    The Jetsons reside at the Skypad Apartments, which are properly cared for by superintendant Henry Orbit, who like Elroy is a mechanical genius. At times, he can invent gadgets that can help him with his maintenance work. His greatest accomplishment is his robot assistant Mac, who can get his work at the Skypad Apartments done in half the time. But he does have feelings for Rosey as the two are occasionally seen as a couple, but are mainly friends.

    Other recurring characters in this series include Mr. Spacely's family, particularly his wife Stella (sometimes called Petunia, likely her nickname), one of few people who can actually put a scare in him if he rubs her the wrong way. And they have a young son close to Elroy's age named Arthur. Common characters at Spacely Sprockets are Uniblab, an underling robot who at times is a stool pigeon for Mr. Spacely to George's dismay, as well as Spacely's secretary Miss Galaxy. Cogswell also had a few subordinates of his own. Among them were his assistant Harlan and his scientist Moonstone.

    The Jetsons ran for only one season on ABC, but the series was more successful in syndication. This led to a revival in 1985 with new episodes with more advanced animation that was richer in color and made the series even more futuristic than the 1960's version of the 21st century. New characters were introduced as well, including a new alien gremlin pet for the Jetsons, named Orbitty, who has springlike legs and suction cup feet, enabling him to hang upside down. He could also tinker with machines and change color in accordance to emotion. Another new animal for the revival was a robot dog for Cogwell named Sentro, who served as a guard dog and a spy often used against Mr. Spacely in efforts to beat him to the punch on his latest projects.

    These episodes aired in syndication, which generated the same level of success as the originals when they went in that direction. This led to 10 more episodes to finalize the series in 1987, as well as two TV movies, the music-themed Rockin' with Judy Jetson, which was preceded by the epic crossover The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, which brought the Space Age and the Stone Age together as Hanna-Barbera's most famous families had a grand adventure spanning two eras. The Jetsons had its true finale when Jetsons: The Movie hit the theaters in 1990, as this would be among the last voice work for actors George O'Hanlon (George Jetson) and Mel Blanc (Mr. Spacely) for they both had died just prior to the movie's release.

    Overall, The Jetsons may not have had the supreme popularity of The Flintstones, but it did have a wide appeal for families of any generation and certainly had a place in the heart for those who would turn on and watch the series.

    The Jetsons, like many Hanna-Barbera series, can be seen on Boomerang from Cartoon Network. Check your local listings. And the majority of the series can be seen on DVD, so it would be a good means to build your cartoon collection.moreless
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    Davey and Goliath

    Davey and Goliath

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    (ended 1975)
    This classic series is about the adventures of a boy and his dog. This classic kids show, created by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America provided entertainment, comedy, and moral lessons for young children. Although the scripts for this show were written by the Lutheran church of America, the team Art and Gloria Clokey (best known for their hit "Gumby") did all the claymation. Art and Gloria were thrilled to do this especially because they felt that it would be their way of contributing what children need to hear. This is a gem, and in 2003/2004 it is scheduled to return with all new shows.moreless
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    The Woody Woodpecker Show

    The Woody Woodpecker Show

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    ABC (ended 1958)
    Woody Woodpecker was a brash, high-strung woodpecker whose trademark was his staccato laugh, "ha-ha-ha-HA-ha". The character first appeared in the 1940 Andy Panda short, Knock Knock, voiced by Mel Blanc. When Blanc signed an exclusive contract with Warner Brothers, he was replaced by the man who originally designed Woody, Ben "Bugs" Hardaway, a former Schlesinger Studios animation director who had helped develop Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. Woody received a permanent voice in 1952, when Lantz's wife, actress Grace Stafford, anonymously auditioned for and was awarded the job. The theatrical cartoon business was losing money in the 1950's. By 1956 there were only seven animation producers in the short-subjects business, and by the end of the decade that number would dwindle down to three. Movie theater owners were finding that they could release features with reissued cartoons, or no cartoons at all, and the audiences would still come. Walter Lantz and his distributor, Universal Pictures, knew that the only way to subsidize the rising costs of new shorts was to release their product to television. Norman Gluck from Universal's short-subjects department made a deal with the Leo Burnett Agency to release some older Lantz product on television. Burnett handled the Kellogg's cereal account, and Lantz soon met with the Kellogg's people to sign the contract. Lantz complied his best films into a half-hour TV show which he hosted himself. Additional live action & animation segments were created, such as "Woody's Newsreel" and "Around The World with Woody". 30-minute animated escapades of the world-famous woodpecker and other Walter Lantz character, including Andy Panda and Chilly Willy. Host-producer Lantz intergrated new footage with his theatrical cartoons and appeared with informative looks at the animation process. The Woody Woodpecker Show originally ran on the ABC-TV network from October 3, 1957 through September 25, 1958. Sponsored by Kellogg's, each episode featured three theatrical cartoons, with new animated Woody wraparounds and live action hosting chores handled by Lantz himself. The live-action segments were directed by Jack Hannah. Hannah was fresh from the Disney Studio where he had done similar live-action/animation sequences for the Disney show. Woody also appeared in animated commercials for Kellogg's. The series was seen once a week, on Thursday afternoons, replacing the first half hour of the shortened Mickey Mouse Club. After the initial year on ABC, The Woody Woodpecker Show was syndicated until 1966. In 1970, it reappeared on network television, with 26 additional episodes assembled by Lantz for NBC-TV. The 1976 show featured cartoons (and additional cartoons) from the early days to the later days, all products of full animation that created the appearance of natural movement. Other characters featured were Buzz Buzzard, Gabby Gator, Space Mouse, Homer Pigeon, Charlie Beary, Charles Beary Jr., Sugarfoot, Cuddles, Smedley, and Knothead and Splinter. Voices were Grace Stafford(Mrs. Walter Lantz) as Woody, and Daws Butler, Walter Tetley, Dal McKennon, June Foray, and Paul Frees.moreless
  • 16
    Quick Draw MCGraw

    Quick Draw MCGraw

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    CBS (ended 1966)
    Quick Draw was usually depicted in his shorts (which were set in the American Old West) as a sheriff. Quick Draw was often accompanied by his deputy, a Mexican burro with a stereotypical Spanish accent named Baba Looey, who was also voiced by Butler. Quick Draw was depicted as a satire of the westerns that were popular among the American public at the time. His personality was well intentioned, but somewhat dim; oftentimes, Baba Looey would make a more accurate assessment of the problem at hand than Quick Draw would. Whenever that happened, Quick Draw would often utter his catchphrase: "Now hoooooold on thar, Baba Looey! I'll do the thinnin' [thinking] around here, and doooon't you forget it!" Quick Draw also spoke with a heavy drawl, as shown by his catchphrase. Although Quick Draw was himself a horse, this did not stop the show's producers from depicting him riding into town on a "real" horse, or, as seen in the show's opening credits, driving a stagecoach pulled by "real" horses into a town. This aspect was made light of in the 1980s made-for-television film The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound, which featured Quick Draw. In a series of episodes, Quick Draw would also assume the identity of the masked vigilante, "El Kabong" (a parody of Zorro). As El Kabong, Quick Draw would attack his foes by swooping down on a rope and hitting them on the head with an acoustic guitar, producing a distinctive kabong sound and destroying the guitar in the process. Quick Draw McGraw's supporting characters in The Quick Draw McGraw Show's two other segments were Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy, a father-and-son pair of dogs, and Snooper and Blabber, a pair of detectives who were a cat and a mouse.moreless
  • 17
    H.R. Pufnstuf

    H.R. Pufnstuf

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    NBC (ended 1971)
    This classic series begins with Jimmy, a young English boy, playing near the edge of a bay with his magical talking gold flute, Freddie. While at the edge of the bay, Jimmy climbs aboard a talking boat that beckons to him. As it drifts out to sea, an evil witch named Witchiepoo, seeking Freddie to add to her collection of magical possessions, casts a spell and makes the boat turn into an evil boat which attacks Jimmy (who then jumps overboard to save himself). Swimming to the shore of Living Island, Jimmy is rescued by its mayor, H. R. Pufnstuf, and his Rescue Racer crew (Kling and Klang) before Witchiepoo can get her hands on the boy or the magic flute. They befriend Jimmy, sheltering and protecting him from the kooky old witch. Everything on Living Island is alive. Books have faces, houses sneeze and trees can talk, not to mention the regular citizens who all look like an animal of some sort. Dr Blinky is an Owl, Ludicrous is a Lion and Judy Frog is; well she's a frog and the only character I didn't like as a child. And then there is the evil Witchiepoo. She continually tries to satisfy her obsession for the talking flute with the aid of her goofy henchmen Orson, Seymore, Stupid Bat, and her motorized broomstick, called the Vroom Broom. Each episode involves Jimmy attempting to escape from the island with the help of Pufnstuf and his friends, with flute intact of course. H.R. Pufnstuf was created by Sid and Marty Krofft.moreless
  • 18
    Top Cat

    Top Cat

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    ABC (ended 1962)
    The misadventures of a smart-aleck, street-wise alley cat name T.C., and his pals Benny, Choo Choo, Fancy, Brain and Spook; who get into many acts of trouble with Officer Charlie Dibble, and always have each other. Watch Top Cat on Boomerang. Like The Flintstones, Top Cat was another situation cartoon created by Hanna-Barbera Theme song lyrics: Top Cat The most effec-tu-al Top Cat Who's intellectual close friends get to call him T. C. Providing it's with dignity Top Cat The indisputable leader of the gang He's the boss He's the VIP He's a championship He's the most tip top - Top Cat Yes he's the chief He's the king, but above everything He's the most tip top - Top Cat!moreless
  • 19
    Spider-Man (1967)

    Spider-Man (1967)

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    ABC (ended 1970)
    The primary signature character for Marvel Comics, "Spider-Man," is the alter-ego of Peter Parker, science student at a New York City university. While witnessing a radiology experiment on one fateful day, Peter is bitten on his hand by a spider exposed to the radioactive field generated by the experiment and later finds that he has acquired the spider's wall-scaling, leaping, and extra-sensory abilities, in addition to increased endurance and strength. Peter knits for himself a red-and-blue costume and mask and produces a web-spinning fluid enabling him to swing from building to building above the streets of Manhattan. Peter's Uncle Ben is murdered by a burglar, a criminal who earlier ran past Peter at a television studio to which Peter had come to exhibit his spider-abilities. Peter selfishly declined to help the police to stop the fleeing malefactor and is to a significant extent responsible for the death of his uncle. Peter, in his Spiderman guise, finds, punches, and webs the murderer. Now aware that he has received his powers for a higher purpose than exhibition for monetary gain, Peter accepts his duty as a costumed fighter of crime, a responsibility that he vows never again to fail. To financially support his Aunt May, Ben's widow, Peter becomes a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle newspaper as an aside to his continued studies and his responsibility as Spiderman to the good people of New York City. Peter does not allow anyone, not even his aunt, to know that he is Spiderman. The Daily Bugle publisher, a cigar-smoking, self-righteous, blustery chauvinist named J. Jonah Jameson, has a jaundiced view of Spiderman's heroism and wields considerable influence with the city government and police force. So, Spidey must constantly be wary of the police whom he is helping, usually retaining the villains that he catches in a web for police to apprehend after he has left the capture scene, and attaching a note with an appropriate pun in regard to the crook and which says that the capture was courtesy of "Your Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman". Peter often uses his intimate involvement with his alter-ego's pursuit of villains to obtain exclusive photographs of the criminals, their evil deeds, and their capture, and provides the photographs to an incredulous Jameson, who, though he prints the pictures, usually manages to negatively spin-doctor Spiderman's involvement and magnify his own importance, much to Spidey's good-natured annoyance and the objection of Spidey's admirer and Peter's friend, Betty Brant, Jameson's feisty secretary. Meanwhile, in Peter's continued university life, he encounters eccentric professors whose unauthorized, dangerous experiments result in calamity that only Spiderman can remedy, and he experiences frustration with girl-friends who accuse him of cowardice every time that he must leave them in the midst of a dire situation so that he can privately change into Spiderman. Spiderman is the creation of Marvel Comics' founder Stan Lee and one of the earliest super-heroes to be featured in graphically illustrated magazines, or comic books, under the Marvel Comics name. Perhaps the most famous aspect to the 1967-1970 Spiderman is its opening and closing theme song, which was performed by a vocal group to lyrics written by Paul Francis Webster and quick-tempo instrumentals performed by Bob Harris, published by Buddah Music, Inc.. In May 2002, a live-action Spider-Man movie was released starring Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man, and the villian The Green Goblin. Due out in 2004, Spider-Man 2's villains include Doctor Octopus and The Lizard. Some information from: http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/kmccorry/spidey.html

    "Spiderman. Spiderman. Does whatever a spider can. Spins a web, any size. Catches thieves- just like flies. Look out! Here comes the Spiderman! Is he strong? Listen, bud. He's got radioactive blood. Can he swing, from a thread? Take a look overhead. Hey, there! There goes the Spiderman! In the chill of night, at the scene of a crime. Like a streak of light, he arrives just in time! Spiderman. Spiderman. Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman. Wealth and fame? He's ignored. Action is his reward. To him, life is a great big bang-up. Wherever there's a hang-up, you'll find the Spiderman!" moreless
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    The Archie Show

    The Archie Show

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    CBS (ended 1969)
    Dan Goldwater's famous red-headed teen from the comics comes to animated life in this series, via the Filmation cartoon studio. Some graphic liberties are taken, but for the most part, it was quite faithful to the comics.

    Two Archie cartoons are featured (in which Jughead gains a pet, a big, white sheepdog named Hot Dog). In between was a dance instruction segment (featuring movements no human could do without sustaining a traumatizing injury) followed by a song by the Archies. The show would beget a hit single in 1968, "Bang Shang-A-Lang," released by musical supervisor Don Kirschner on his self-labeled record company. Two bumpers featuring blackouts starring Jughead were also featured.

    The Archie show was so popular the first year that it would spawn a number of new versions, including The Archie Comedy Hour, Archie's Funhouse, Archie's TV Funnies and U.S. Of Archie.moreless
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