Cartoons airing in primetime television slots are pretty commonplace these days, but it wasn’t always that way. Can you name the first cartoon to air in primetime?
It was none other than The Flintstones, a show produced by Hanna-Barbera for ABC that helped set the gold standard for basically every cartoon sitcom that came after it. The original show aired from September 30, 1960 to April 1, 1966, and followed the exploits of the titular Flintstone family. The family consisted of patriarch Fred, his wife Wilma, their daughter Pebbles, and their loyal pet Dino. The Flintstones live next door to the Rubble family, consisting of Barney (Fred’s best pal), his wife Betty, and their son Bamm-Bamm. Typical to many sitcoms, most of the stories were self-contained in the episodic format and didn’t feature much in the way of multi-arc stories. Many of the show’s gags relied on the seemingly modern issues set against the prehistoric setting.
The show was Hanna-Barbera’s follow up to Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw; the studio sought to attract a more adult audience than those shows, and took inspiration from The Honeymooners primarily when drawing up the characters and concepts that would become The Flintstones. After the original run ended, the show could be seen in syndication on a variety of channels, including TBS and Cartoon Network, well into the ’90s. Most recently, it could be seen on Cartoon Network’s Boomerang subsidiary.
The original show also saw a number of follow-up series, mostly one season shows, including The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, The Flintstone Comedy Hour, The New Fred and Barney Show, Cave Kids, and others. There were also more than a dozen television specials and films made between 1973 and 2001. Two live-action films were also made, The Flintstones in 1994 and Viva Rock Vegas in 2000.
Fans of the series can currently head to Hake’s Americana, which has a number of unique Flintstones toys in their auction. One such toy is a mechanical hopping Barney Rubble, which comes with the box and still functions correctly. There’s also a Fred Flintstone “Flintstones Pals on Dino” wind-up toy, featuring Fred riding Dino. This comes with the original cardboard box and the toy still works well. Fred fans can also get their hands on a Hanna-Barbera Flintstone Car, with a toy of Fred in a car; this also comes with the box and still works.
Fans of other Hanna-Barbera properties can head over to Hake’s for the full lineup of listings, which includes toys from Huckleberry Hound and The Jetsons, among others. interested parties should get bids in soon, as the auction will close on November 14-16, 2017.