The wallaby, the fat cow heffer, spunky
The Flintstones was the first, and the longest running, animated situation comedy shown in prime-time television. Premiering on ABC on 30 September 1960, it gained high ratings in its first season, thus establishing animation as a viable prime time format. Produced by Hanna-Barbera (Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera), The Flintstones was patterned after Jackie Gleason's The Honeymooners. Designed as a program for the entire family, the program did not appear as "children's television" until its rebroadcast by NBC in 1967. Its popularity with teenagers in its 8:30 P.M. Friday time slot, however, presaged the late 1960s move to animation as the preeminent format for children's programming.
Fred and Wilma Flintstone and their best friends, Barney and Betty Rubble, lived in the prehistoric city of Bedrock but faced the problems of contemporary working-class life. After a day at the rock quarry, Fred and Barney arrived home in a vehicle with stone wheels and a fringe on top. Their lives revolved around their home, friends, and leisure activities: a world of drive-ins, bowling, and their "Water Buffalo" lodge. A baby dinosaur and a saber tooth tiger replaced the family dog and cat. In 1962 and 1963, Pebbles and Bamm Bamm appeared as the daughter and adopted son of the Flintstones and Rubbles respectively.
Aside from being the first animated series made for prime time, The Flintstones also broke new ground in that each episode contained only one story that lasted the ...