While the Flintstones live in a world with machines powered by birds and dinosaurs, the Jetsons live in a futuristicutopia of elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions; The original series comprised 24 episodes and aired on Sunday nights on ABC beginning September 23, 1962, with primetime reruns continuing through September 22, 1963. It debuted as the first program broadcast in color on ABC-TV. (Only a handful of ABC-TV stations were capable of broadcasting in color in the early 1960s.) In contrast, The Flintstones, while always produced in color, was broadcast in black-and-white for its first two seasons.
Following its primetime run, the show aired on Saturday mornings for decades, starting on ABC for the 1963–64 season and then on CBS and NBC. New episodes were produced for syndication from 1985 to 1987. No further specials or episodes of the show were produced after 1989 due to the deaths of stars George O'Hanlon and Mel Blanc. The 1990 film Jetsons: The Movie serves as the series finale to the television show.
The series aired on Boomerang from April 1, 2000 until April 6, 2014, when it and Camp Lazlo were replaced by The Looney Tunes Show. It returned on July 2, 2016, but was removed again on July 31, 2016, when it was replaced by The Smurfs. It returned for one night only in October 2016 as part of Halloween 2016. The series returned on Febuary 6, 2017 as part of Cartoon Network Retro, replacing Captain Planet and the Planeteers. It was removed on March 6, 2017, with The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy taking its place.
The Jetsons are a family residing in Orbit City. The city's architecture is rendered in the Googie style, and all homes and businesses are raised high above the ground on adjustable columns. George Jetson lives with his family in the Skypad Apartments: his wife Jane is a homemaker, their teenage daughter Judy attends Orbit High School, and their early-childhood son Elroy attends Little Dipper School. Housekeeping is seen to by a robot maid, Rosie, which handles chores not otherwise rendered trivial by the home's numerous push-button Space Age-envisioned conveniences. The family has a dog named Astro, that talks with an initial consonant mutation in which every word begins with an "R", as if speaking with a growl.
George Jetson's workweek is typical of his era: an hour a day, two days a week. His boss is Cosmo Spacely, the bombastic owner of Spacely Space Sprockets. Spacely has a competitor, Mr. Cogswell, owner of the rival company Cogswell Cogs (sometimes known as Cogswell's Cosmic Cogs). Jetson commutes to work in an aerocar that resembles a flying saucer with a transparent bubble top. Daily life is leisurely, assisted by numerous labor-saving devices, which occasionally break down with humorous results. Despite this, everyone complains of exhausting hard labor and difficulties living with the remaining inconveniences.