Animation producers William Hanna and Joseph Barbera had hit paydirt with their 1960 primetime cartoon The Flintstones, which was essentially The Honeymooners in prehistoric times, with Fred Flintstone in place of Ralph Kramden and Barney Rubble subbing for Ed Norton. Seeking a follow-up, the duo decided that they would look to the future in the form of the then-distant 21st century, which resulted in The Jetsons, a cartoon about America's first space-age family. The focus is on George Jetson, an employee of Spacely Space Sprockets, and much of the comedy came from interactions with his wife, Jane; daughter Judy, his boy Elroy, and their mutt with a speech impediment (think Scooby-Doo), Astro. The other aspect of the show was its look at the evolution of technology, presenting a world where virtually everything is automated, flying cars fill the skies, we talk on large screen video phones, and have robot servants — in many (though not all) ways, not so different than the world we live in now.
The show originally aired from 1962-63 for a total of 24 episodes, but, failing to catch on the way that The Flintstones had, it was canceled. But the reruns never went away and the show continued to grow more popular over the years, resulting in a second season of 41 episodes in 1985, which saw the entire cast reprise their roles vocally. A final 10 episodes were produced for a third season, which aired in 1987. They were also featured in the animated films The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, Rockin' With Judy Jetson, 1990's big screen Jetsons: The Movie, and last year's The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-Wrestlemania!. Over the past few decades, there have been attempts to shoot a live-action movie version, but those plans have all fallen apart. As recently as 2015, Warner Bros announced their intention to make the film, but that hasn't happened, while ABC has announced plans for a live-action TV pilot that will be produced by Back to the Future's Robert Zemeckis.
Whatever does happen, there are still plenty of Jetson family adventures to enjoy, which is where this look back comes in. This is our guide to the show, the actors who played the characters, and, perhaps most fun, the technology featured on it that has actually been brought to life.