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The Jetsons is a prime-time animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. The original incarnation of the series aired on Sunday nights on ABC from September 23, 1962 to March 3, 1963. It was Hanna-Barbera’s space age counterpart to The Flintstones. Like this, it is a half-hour family sitcom projecting contemporary American culture and lifestyle into another time period[1]. While the Flintstones live in a world with machines powered by birds and dinosaurs, the Jetsons live in a futuristic utopia of elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions.

The original series, comprising 24 episodes, was produced between 1962 and 1963 and was re-run on Saturday morning for decades. Its continuing popularity led to further episodes being produced for syndication between 1985 and 1987. The series was extensively merchandised and followed by two made for-TV movies and two theatrical feature films.

George Jetson works 3 hours a day and 3 days a week for his short, tyrannical boss named Mr. Cosmo Spacely, owner of the company Spacely Space Sprockets. Typical episodes involve Mr. Spacely firing and rehiring or promoting and demoting George Jetson. Mr. Spacely has a competitor, H.G. Cogswell, owner of the rival company Cogswell Cogs. All homes and businesses are raised high above the ground on adjustable columns, in a style reflective of the architecture of Seattle’s Space Needle and the distinct Theme Building of the Los Angeles International Airport. George commutes to work in an aerocar that resembles a flying saucer with a transparent top. Daily life is characterized as being comically leisurely because of the incredible sophistication and number of labor saving devices, which occasionally break down with humorous results. George’s work day consists of pressing a single computer button. Despite this, characters often complain of exhausting hard labor and difficulties of living with the remaining inconveniences.

Other Jetson family members include Jane Jetson, the wife and homemaker; teenage daughter Judy and genius preteen son Elroy. Housekeeping is seen to by a robot maid, Rosie; she only appears in two episodes of the original 1960s show, excluding her appearance in the closing credits, but makes many appearances on the 1980s show.

The family dog Astro can mumble and say his words beginning with R’s. Astro’s catch phrases are “Ruh-roh!” and “Right, Reorge!” or “Rats Rall Right Reorge!” Later Hanna-Barbera cartoon dogs including Scooby-Doo and Muttley would use speech as well; voice actor Don Messick played all three. In the first episode of the ’80s show, an alien named Orbity joined the family.

Names of locations, events, and devices are often puns or derivatives of contemporary analogs with explicit futuristic or space-age twists. The same technique was used in The Flintstones with archaic or stone-age twists.

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