There’s a reason we call “Classic TV” by that very term, and Michael Coate’s remembrance of one of the most successful innovations in TV history (so successful that now, 60 years later, very few viewers understand how innovative it really was) is every bit as classic as its subject matter.
by Michael Coates
(LB’s NOTE: Our thanks to pal Herbie J Pilato for calling our attention to this “classic article.”)
“The Flintstones was the first animated sitcom in television history. They paved that gravel road and it’s been smooth traveling ever since.” — Steve Cox, author of Mining Bedrock: The Voices Behind Television’s First Animated Sitcom, The Flintstones
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of the broadcast premiere of The Flintstones, Hanna-Barbera’s animated series set in the Stone Age (but inspired by The Honeymooners and mid-20th Century suburban America) that introduced the world to Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Barney and Betty Rubble, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, Dino, Mr. Slate, The Great Gazoo, and a host of other memorable supporting characters.
The popular series (recently released on Blu-ray and reviewed here) originally ran in prime time on ABC from 1960 to 1966 and spawned numerous spin-offs, TV specials, movies and tie-in merchandise. It premiered 60 years ago this autumn, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with a trio of pop culture and animation historians who reflects on the series’ appeal six decades after its debut. [Read on here…]
The Q&A participants are (in alphabetical order)…
Jerry Beck is the author of over fifteen books on animation including The Flintstones: The Official Guide to the Classic Cartoon (Running Press, 2011). He teaches animation history at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and blogs at Animation Scoop and Cartoon Research.
Steve Cox is the author of over twenty books on pop culture including Mining Bedrock: The Voices Behind Television’s First Animated Sitcom, The Flintstones (forthcoming from BearManor Publishing). He has also written for TV Guide, The Hollywood Reporter, US, Los Angeles Times and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Herbie J Pilato is the author of a dozen books on classic television and is the host of Then Again with Herbie J Pilato, now streaming on Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime UK….