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  • 1
    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
  • 2
    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
  • 3
    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
  • 4
    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
  • 5
    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 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
  • 7
    Jonny Quest

    Jonny Quest

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    ABC (ended 1965)
    Jonny Quest chronicles the globe-trotting adventures of 10-year-old Jonny Quest and his father the scientific genius Dr. Benton Quest. Along for the derring-do are the multi-faceted Roger "Race" Bannon, the mystical Hadji, and Jonny's dog, the irrepressible Bandit. The Quest team uses science, space-age gadgetry, and old-fashioned fisticuffs to solve mysteries and try to thwart the evil doings of Dr. Zin and other diabolical madmen. When Jonny Quest ended its original run in 1965, it was far from finished. A new version of the show went into syndication in 1986 for a short 13 episode stay as The New Adventures of Jonny Quest (1986). Another version, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, emerged on the Cartoon Network with 2 full seasons of new and exciting adventures with an adolescent Jonny, Hadji, and Race's young daughter Jessie in 1996. Jonny Quest has successfully run three series since the 1960's and is still a well-known and loved classic today. The original series (with period commercials for the show!) is currently available on DVD through Warner Bros.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
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    The Bugs Bunny Show

    The Bugs Bunny Show

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    ABC (ended 1972)
    The Bugs Bunny Show was ABC's second prime-time animated series, along with The Flintstones and aired at 7:30 pm on Sundays. Not only was it one of the earliest broadcasts of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies on televsion, it was popular for kids since it was a cartoon. Each episode was directed by a handful of senior Warner staffers, including, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Robert McKimson, and Maurice Noble. The show would open with Bugs and Daffy marching out on stage singing "This Is It" which became an instint musical hit among animation and television fans. Then Bugs would introduce a theme or a special guest host. Three cartoons would run and segments were placed between each one. After the second segment a commerical would run. The commerical would exclusively feature one or more of Warner cartoon star which was usually Bugs adverising either Kool-Aid, Tang, or Post Cereals. At the end "Coming Attractions" would be viewed as a sort of "sneak preview" of next week's show. The show was compised of exclusively post-1948 Warner cartoons since it was ownership of the shorts was divided-which Guild Films had owned most of the black and white cartoons while A.A.P. owned all the pre-1948 color shorts-and the 1931-1933 black and white Merrie Melodies. ABC stopped running The Bugs Bunny Show and soon CBC in Canada started showing an/the entire 3rd season in the early 70s, since ABC had cancelled The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour for "Welcome Back, Kotter". These "new" episodes were actually just color version of the older episodes-with the three cartoons changed. With this additional 3rd "cheater" season, there were 78 episodes total. Today The Bugs Bunny Show remains one of the best and most memorable programs in television history. MORE INFORMATION Until 1966 all 52 episodes were originally shown in black and white. Later all 52 episodes were put into color. In September, 1971, the half-hour Bugs Bunny Show reappeared, on Saturday mornings.moreless
  • 10
    The Nightlife

    The Nightlife

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    ABC (ended 1965)
    Short-lived, late-night talk show hosted by Les Crane; in fact, the show was called "The Les Crane Show" for the first four months of existence.
  • 11
    Space Patrol (1962)

    Space Patrol (1962)

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    ABC (ended 1964)
    The year is 2100, New York is the headquarters of Space Patrol and men from Earth, Mars and Venus live and work there as guardians of peace. The series mainly follows the exploits of the crew of Galasphere 347 under the command of the heroic Captain Larry Dart and his crew members, Slim and Husky, whose courage and daring make the universe safe for us all.moreless