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The Jetsons: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary

The Jetsons, ABC TV seriesLast night marked the 50th anniversary of The Jetsons, the first ABC TV series to be broadcast by the then-newbie network in color. George, Jane, Judy, Elroy and Astro only lasted one season in primetime before being cancelled — airing opposite the highly-rated Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color on NBC — but the original 24 episodes ended up being rerun over and over for many years.

In the 1980s, Hanna-Barbera produced new episodes for the syndication package but they were aimed at a very young audience. A live-action movie is supposedly still in the works.

In honor of the anniversary, several online outlets have published tributes to the first family of the future — including animation writer and historian Mark Evanier who recalls watching, and falling in love with, the very first episode.

How I Met George Jetson
Fifty years ago tonight, The Jetsons debuted on ABC. It has been a long time since I looked forward to any TV show the way I used to look forward to them when I was ten. Some of that is youthful enthusiasm. Some of it is that my world has grown a lot larger since so no broadcast — including those of programs I write — is that important to my life…

50 Years of the Jetsons: Why The Show Still Matters
It was 50 years ago this coming Sunday that the Jetson family first jetpacked their way into American homes. The show lasted just one season (24 episodes) after its debut on Sunday September 23, 1962, but today The Jetsons stands as the single most important piece of 20th century futurism. More episodes were later produced in the mid-1980s, but it’s that 24-episode first season that helped define the future for so many Americans today…

The Jetsons Turn Fifty
With the words, ‘Meet George Jetson, his boy Elroy, daughter Judy, Jane his wife’ and a hip jazzy soundtrack, viewers were introduced to America’s most famous futuristic family on Sept. 23. 1962 when The Jetsons premiered on ABC…

The Jetsons at 50: The future is now
Fifty years ago this month, we met George Jetson, daughter Judy, his boy Elroy and Jane, his wife — citizens of a 21st century filled with videophones, floating chairs, household robots (with British, French and Brooklyn accents, no less) and, of course, flying cars. It was set “one century in the future,” as Time magazine noted in 1962 — the show itself never specified a 21st century year…

What do you think? What are your favorite characters or inventions from The Jetsons?

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The Jetsons

The Jetsons

A futuristic animated sitcom in which humans ride in flying cars, use robot maids, eat encapsulated meals and travel easily between planets. The series primarily follows the misadventures of working stiff George Jetson (George O'Hanlon) and his family; wife Jane (Penny Singleton), daughter Judy (Janet Waldo), son Elroy (Daws Butler), dog Astro (Don Messick), and Rosie the Robot Maid (Jean Vander Pyl).
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