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{{DISPLAYTITLE:''The Flintstones'' (TV series)}}
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{{Infobox_television|name = The Flintstones|image = The Flintstones 1960 title screen.png|caption1 = The title screen during seasons 1 and 2 and a few episodes of season 3.|genre = Sitcom<br>Animation|creator = [[William Hanna]]<br>[[Joseph Barbera]]|developer = William Hanna<br>Joseph Barbera|writer = William Hanna<br>Joseph Barbera|director = William Hanna<br>Joseph Barbera|voices = [[Alan Reed]]<br>[[Jean Vander Pyl]]<br>[[Mel Blanc]]<br>[[Bea Benaderet]] (1960–64)<br>[[Gerry Johnson]] (1964–66)<br>[[Don Messick]]<br>[[John Stephenson]]<br>[[Harvey Korman]]|theme_music_composer = [[Hoyt Curtin]]|opentheme = "Rise and Shine" (instrumental) (first two seasons and the first two episodes of season 3)
'''''The Flintstones''''' is the name of two shows:
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"[[Meet the Flintstones]]" (remainder of the show's run)|endtheme = "Rise and Shine" (instrumental) (first two seasons and the first two episodes of season 3)<br>
*[[The Flintstones (1960 TV series)|''The Flintstones'' (1960)]]
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"[[Meet the Flintstones]]" (rest of the show's run)<br>"[[Open Up Your Heart (And Let the Sunshine In)]]" (some episodes on season 6)|composer = [[Hoyt Curtin]]|country = United States|language = English|num_seasons = 6|num_episodes = 166|producer = William Hanna<br>Joseph Barbera|editor = Kenneth Spears<br>Donald A. Douglas<br>Joseph Ruby<br>Warner Leighton<br>Greg Watson|runtime = 25 minutes|studio = [[Hanna-Barbera Productions]]|distributor = Screen Gems (1960–1967)<br>Columbia Pictures Television (1974–1987)<br>
*[[The Flintstones (2013 TV series)|''The Flintstones'' (2013)]]
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The Program Exchange (1987-1994)<br>Turner Program Services (1995–98)<br>Warner Bros. Television Distribution (1998–present)|channel = ABC|picture_format = 480i|audio_format = Monaural|release = September 30, 1960 – April 1, 1966|followed_by = ''[[The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show]]''|related = ''[[Cave Kids]]'' (spin-off)}}'''The Flintstones''' is an American animated sitcom produced by [[Hanna-Barbera Productions|Hanna-Barbera]]. It was originally broadcast on ABC from September 30, 1960, until April 1, 1966, as the first animated series to hold a prime time slot and also the first prime-time animated series geared for adults, while also watchable for kids, too, having been repeated on [[Wikipedia:Cartoon Network|Cartoon Network]] and [[Boomerang]].
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==Overview==
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The show is set in the Stone Age town of [[Bedrock]] and follows the activities of the titular family, the Flintstones, and their next-door neighbors, the Rubbles (who are also their best friends). (In some of the earlier episodes, it was also referred to as "Rockville"). In this fantasy version of the past, dinosaurs, saber-toothed tigers, woolly mammoths, and other long-extinct animals co-exist with barefoot cavemen.
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Like their 20th-century peers, these cavemen listen to records, live in split-level (cookie-cutter) homes, and eat out at restaurants, yet their technology is made entirely from pre-industrial materials and largely powered through the use of various animals. For example, the cars are made out of stone, wood, and animal skins, and powered by the passengers' feet. ("Through the courtesy of Fred's two feet" comprises part of the lyrics that many people have not been able to decipher over the decades that have passed when they listen to the theme song, "''[[Meet the Flintstones]]''" for example.)
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==History and production==
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The idea of ''The Flintstones'' started after Hanna-Barbera produced ''[[Wikipedia:The Huckleberry Hound Show|The Huckleberry Hound Show]]'' and ''[[Wikipedia:The Quick Draw McGraw Show|The Quick Draw McGraw]]''. Although these programs were successful, they did not have the same wide audience appeal as their previous theatrical cartoon series ''[[w:c:tom-jerry:Tom and Jerry|Tom and Jerry]]'', which entertained both children and the adults who accompanied them. However, since children did not need their parents' supervision to watch television, Hanna-Barbera's output became labeled "kids only". Barbera and Hanna wanted to recapture the adult audience with an animated situation comedy.
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Barbera and Hanna experimented with hillbillies (a hillbilly theme was later incorporated into two ''Flintstones'' episodes, "''[[The Bedrock Hillbillies]]''" and "''[[The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes]]''"), [[Wikipedia:Ancient Rome|Romans]] (Hanna-Barbera eventually created ''[[Wikipedia:The Roman Holidays|The Roman Holidays]]''), pilgrims, and [[Wikipedia:Native Americans in the United States|Indians]] as the settings for the two families before deciding on the Stone Age. According to Barbera, they settled on that because "you could take anything that was current, and convert it to stone-age".
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Under the working title ''The Flagstones'', the family originally consisted of Fred, Wilma, and their son, Fred, Jr. A brief demonstration film was also created to sell the idea of a "modern stone-age family" to sponsors and the network. Animator [[Kenneth Muse]], who worked on the ''Tom and Jerry'' cartoons, also worked on the early seasons of ''The Flintstones''.
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The show imitated and spoofed ''The Honeymooners'', although the early voice characterization for Barney was that of Lou Costello. [[William Hanna]] admitted that "At that time, ''The Honeymooners'' was the most popular show on the air, and for my bill, it was the funniest show on the air. The characters, I thought, were terrific. Now, that influenced greatly what we did with ''The Flintstones'' ... ''The Honeymooners'' was there, and we used that as a kind of basis for the concept." However, [[Joseph Barbera]] disavowed these claims in a separate interview, stating that, "I don't remember mentioning ''The Honeymooners'' when I sold the show. But if people want to compare ''The Flintstones'' to ''The Honeymooners'', then great. It's a total compliment. ''The Honeymooners'' was one of the greatest shows ever written."
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Jackie Gleason, creator of ''The Honeymooners'', considered suing Hanna-Barbera Productions, but decided that he did not want to be known as "the guy who yanked Fred Flintstone off the air".
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Another influence was noted during Hanna-Barbera's tenure at [[Wikipedia:MGM|MGM]], where they were in a friendly competition with fellow cartoon director [[Wikipedia:Tex Avery|Tex Avery]]. In 1955, Avery directed a cartoon entitled "[[Wikipedia:The First Bad Man|The First Bad Man]]" (narrated by cowboy legend Tex Ritter). The cartoon concerned the rowdy antics of a bank robber in stone-age Dallas. Many of the visual jokes antedated by many years similar ones used by Hanna-Barbera in the ''Flintstones'' series. Many students of American animation point to this cartoon as a progenitive seed of the Flintstones.
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The concept was also predated by the ''Stone Age Cartoons'' series of 12 animated cartoons released from January 1940 to September 1940 by Fleischer Studios. These cartoons show stone-age people doing modern things with primitive means. One example is ''Granite Hotel'' including characters such as a newsboy, telephone operator, hotel clerk, and a spoof of [[Wikipedia:Edgar Bergen|Edgar Bergen]] and Charlie McCarthy.
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==Syndication==
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The first three seasons of ''The Flintstones'' aired Friday nights at 8:30 Eastern time on ABC, with the first two seasons in black-and-white. Beginning with the third season in 1962, ABC televised the ''Flintstones'' in color, one of the first programs in color on that network. Season four and part of season five aired Thursdays at 7:30. The rest of the series aired Fridays at 7:30.
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In the U.S., syndicated reruns of the series were offered to local stations until 1997, when [[Wikipedia:E/I|E/I]] regulations and changing tastes in the industry led to the show's move to cable television. From the time of [[Ted Turner]]'s purchase of Hanna-Barbera in 1992, [[[Wikipedia:TBS (U.S. TV channel)|TBS]], [[Wikipedia:TNT (U.S. TV network)|TNT]], and Cartoon Network aired the program. On April 1, 2000, the program moved to [[Boomerang]], where it aired until March 6, 2017 (in its last years on the channel, it had been relegated to a graveyard slot) and returned to the channel on July 30, 2018. Online, the series was made available on the In2TV service beginning in 2006, then the online version of Kids' WB until that service was discontinued in 2015. As of 2017, full episodes are only available in the U.S. on Boomerang's subscription video-on-demand service, with select clips made available on the official YouTube account tied to the revamped Kids' WB website. In 2019, MeTV acquired rerun rights to the series, returning the show to broadcast television for the first time in over 20 years.
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==Reception==
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The night after ''The Flintstones'' premiered, ''[[Wikipedia:Variety (magazine)|Variety]]'' magazine called it "a pen and ink disaster", and the series was among many that debuted in a "[[Wikipedia:Television and the Public Interest|vast wasteland]]" of a [[Wikipedia:1960–61 United States network television schedule|1960–61 television season]] considered one of the worst in television history up to that point. As late as the 1980s, highbrow critics derided the show's limited animation and derivative plots. Despite the mixed critical reviews at first, ''The Flintstones'' has generally been considered a television classic and was rerun continuously for five decades after its end.
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In 1961, ''The Flintstones'' became the first animated series to be nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, but lost out to ''The Jack Benny Program''. In January 2009, IGN named ''The Flintstones'' as the ninth-best in its "Top 100 Animated TV Shows".
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Comedian Steven Wright joked about ''The Flintstones'', underscoring its longevity and popularity. "The 'Stones, I can't believe they're still doing it after all these years; I catch 'em every chance I get..." The audience assumes Wright is referring to the Rolling Stones until he adds, "...Fred and Barney."
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==Characters==
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* [[Fred Flintstone]] – [[Alan Reed]]
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* [[Wilma Flintstone]]/[[Pebbles Flintstone]] – [[Jean Vander Pyl]]
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* [[Barney Rubble]] – [[Mel Blanc]]; [[Daws Butler]] (season 2; episodes 1, 2, 5, 6, and 9 only)
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* [[Betty Rubble]] – [[Bea Benaderet]] (seasons 1–4); [[Gerry Johnson]] (seasons 5–6)
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* [[Bamm-Bamm Rubble]]/Hoppy/Arnold – [[Don Messick]]
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* [[Dino]] – [[Mel Blanc]]
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* [[Mr. Slate]] – [[John Stephenson (actor)|John Stephenson]]
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* [[Pearl Slaghoople|Mrs. Slaghoople]] – [[Verna Felton]] and [[Janet Waldo]]
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* [[The Great Gazoo]] – [[Harvey Korman]]
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==Episodes==
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{{Main|List of The Flintstones episodes}}
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[[Category:Television series]]

Revision as of 23:32, January 2, 2020

The Flintstones is an American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera. It was originally broadcast on ABC from September 30, 1960, until April 1, 1966, as the first animated series to hold a prime time slot and also the first prime-time animated series geared for adults, while also watchable for kids, too, having been repeated on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

Overview

The show is set in the Stone Age town of Bedrock and follows the activities of the titular family, the Flintstones, and their next-door neighbors, the Rubbles (who are also their best friends). (In some of the earlier episodes, it was also referred to as "Rockville"). In this fantasy version of the past, dinosaurs, saber-toothed tigers, woolly mammoths, and other long-extinct animals co-exist with barefoot cavemen.

Like their 20th-century peers, these cavemen listen to records, live in split-level (cookie-cutter) homes, and eat out at restaurants, yet their technology is made entirely from pre-industrial materials and largely powered through the use of various animals. For example, the cars are made out of stone, wood, and animal skins, and powered by the passengers' feet. ("Through the courtesy of Fred's two feet" comprises part of the lyrics that many people have not been able to decipher over the decades that have passed when they listen to the theme song, "Meet the Flintstones" for example.)

History and production

The idea of The Flintstones started after Hanna-Barbera produced The Huckleberry Hound Show and The Quick Draw McGraw. Although these programs were successful, they did not have the same wide audience appeal as their previous theatrical cartoon series Tom and Jerry, which entertained both children and the adults who accompanied them. However, since children did not need their parents' supervision to watch television, Hanna-Barbera's output became labeled "kids only". Barbera and Hanna wanted to recapture the adult audience with an animated situation comedy.

Barbera and Hanna experimented with hillbillies (a hillbilly theme was later incorporated into two Flintstones episodes, "The Bedrock Hillbillies" and "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes"), Romans (Hanna-Barbera eventually created The Roman Holidays), pilgrims, and Indians as the settings for the two families before deciding on the Stone Age. According to Barbera, they settled on that because "you could take anything that was current, and convert it to stone-age".

Under the working title The Flagstones, the family originally consisted of Fred, Wilma, and their son, Fred, Jr. A brief demonstration film was also created to sell the idea of a "modern stone-age family" to sponsors and the network. Animator Kenneth Muse, who worked on the Tom and Jerry cartoons, also worked on the early seasons of The Flintstones.

The show imitated and spoofed The Honeymooners, although the early voice characterization for Barney was that of Lou Costello. William Hanna admitted that "At that time, The Honeymooners was the most popular show on the air, and for my bill, it was the funniest show on the air. The characters, I thought, were terrific. Now, that influenced greatly what we did with The Flintstones ... The Honeymooners was there, and we used that as a kind of basis for the concept." However, Joseph Barbera disavowed these claims in a separate interview, stating that, "I don't remember mentioning The Honeymooners when I sold the show. But if people want to compare The Flintstones to The Honeymooners, then great. It's a total compliment. The Honeymooners was one of the greatest shows ever written."

Jackie Gleason, creator of The Honeymooners, considered suing Hanna-Barbera Productions, but decided that he did not want to be known as "the guy who yanked Fred Flintstone off the air".

Another influence was noted during Hanna-Barbera's tenure at MGM, where they were in a friendly competition with fellow cartoon director Tex Avery. In 1955, Avery directed a cartoon entitled "The First Bad Man" (narrated by cowboy legend Tex Ritter). The cartoon concerned the rowdy antics of a bank robber in stone-age Dallas. Many of the visual jokes antedated by many years similar ones used by Hanna-Barbera in the Flintstones series. Many students of American animation point to this cartoon as a progenitive seed of the Flintstones.

The concept was also predated by the Stone Age Cartoons series of 12 animated cartoons released from January 1940 to September 1940 by Fleischer Studios. These cartoons show stone-age people doing modern things with primitive means. One example is Granite Hotel including characters such as a newsboy, telephone operator, hotel clerk, and a spoof of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.

Syndication

The first three seasons of The Flintstones aired Friday nights at 8:30 Eastern time on ABC, with the first two seasons in black-and-white. Beginning with the third season in 1962, ABC televised the Flintstones in color, one of the first programs in color on that network. Season four and part of season five aired Thursdays at 7:30. The rest of the series aired Fridays at 7:30.

In the U.S., syndicated reruns of the series were offered to local stations until 1997, when E/I regulations and changing tastes in the industry led to the show's move to cable television. From the time of Ted Turner's purchase of Hanna-Barbera in 1992, [[[Wikipedia:TBS (U.S. TV channel)|TBS]], TNT, and Cartoon Network aired the program. On April 1, 2000, the program moved to Boomerang, where it aired until March 6, 2017 (in its last years on the channel, it had been relegated to a graveyard slot) and returned to the channel on July 30, 2018. Online, the series was made available on the In2TV service beginning in 2006, then the online version of Kids' WB until that service was discontinued in 2015. As of 2017, full episodes are only available in the U.S. on Boomerang's subscription video-on-demand service, with select clips made available on the official YouTube account tied to the revamped Kids' WB website. In 2019, MeTV acquired rerun rights to the series, returning the show to broadcast television for the first time in over 20 years.

Reception

The night after The Flintstones premiered, Variety magazine called it "a pen and ink disaster", and the series was among many that debuted in a "vast wasteland" of a 1960–61 television season considered one of the worst in television history up to that point. As late as the 1980s, highbrow critics derided the show's limited animation and derivative plots. Despite the mixed critical reviews at first, The Flintstones has generally been considered a television classic and was rerun continuously for five decades after its end.

In 1961, The Flintstones became the first animated series to be nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, but lost out to The Jack Benny Program. In January 2009, IGN named The Flintstones as the ninth-best in its "Top 100 Animated TV Shows".

Comedian Steven Wright joked about The Flintstones, underscoring its longevity and popularity. "The 'Stones, I can't believe they're still doing it after all these years; I catch 'em every chance I get..." The audience assumes Wright is referring to the Rolling Stones until he adds, "...Fred and Barney."

Characters

Episodes

Main article: List of The Flintstones episodes
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