As of yesterday, the popular ABC Space Age cartoon sitcom “The Jetsons” premiered exactly 50 years ago.
For how often the show continues to be discussed, “The Jetsons” surprisingly only had one season on the air.
But that’s not the only interesting, little-known fact about the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter:
- The show premiered in 1962—at the height of the Space Race—as the United States and the Soviet Union competed to make it to the moon first.
- On Feb. 20, 1962, just seven months before “The Jetsons” debuted on TV, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth in the Friendship 7 space capsule.
- Though “The Jetsons” never specified exactly what year in the future the show took place, original press materials said it was set in 2062—a century in the future.
- It was the network’s first show to air in color, though only viewers in a few cities could actually see it in color.
“The Jetsons” theme song reached no. 9 on the Billboard charts in 1986.
- “Jetsons” was preceded by its Stone Age-set counterpart “The Flintstones” by two seasons–Both shows were produced by cartoon studio Hanna-Barbera, which was also responsible for Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Johnny Quest and Scooby-Doo.
- The original only lasted one season—a total of twenty-four episodes—but Saturday morning re-runs, which first started in the fall of 1963, introduced the show to generations of new fans.
- Fifty-one new episodes were produced for syndication between 1985 and 1987. An animated movie hit theaters in 1990.
- The theme song reached no. 9 on the Billboard charts in 1986.
- According to THR, “The Jetsons’ future included such things as flying cars that folded into briefcases, floating cities, video chat, an all-knowing computer called RUDI (short for Referential Universal Digital Indexer) and colonies on other planets. More influential than any particular prediction was the show’s iconic Space Age look and feel, which both reflected trends and influenced them going forward.”
- The Smithsonian magazine blog paleofuture called the show, “the single most important piece of 20th century futurism … that helped define the future for so many Americans today.”
- Watch the classic show opening below: