Best Animated Films, Manjit Jhita

First Prime Time Animated Series

Manjit Jhita personal post yesterday about Where’s Huddles? led to a discussion about just what points to a prime time cartoon series. The Flintstones is generally said to be the first animated series to air in excellent time but it certainly wasn’t the first example of a network demonstrating animated fare. In 1956, for example, there was CBS Cartoon Theater, published by Dick Van Fag, which presented a variety of Terrytoons theatrical short circuits, featuring characters like Heckle and Jeckle, Gandy Goose and Dinky Duck. The half-hour series premiered on premiered on Wednesday, Summer 13th, running from six: 30-8PM. It was off of the air in less than four months.


On Saturday, December 16th, 1956, CBS TELEVISION STUDIOS premiered The Gerald McBoing-Boing Show (also known as The Boing-Boing Show). That aired from 5: 30-6PM, however, which was outside the house of prime time, and was which has removed by April 1957. Repeats were shown on Fridays from May 30th to October 3rd, 1958 and these broadcasts were shown during prime time from 7: 30-8PM. Then, in September 1960, came The Flintstones, which would finally run for six months. It had been a sitcom in animated form, complete half-hour stories with a chuckle track, as well as its success contributed to a brief burst open of prime time cartoon series: Top Cat (ABC, 1961-1962), The Alvin Exhibit (CBS, 1961-1962), The Bullwinkle Show (NBC, 1961-1962), Calvin and the Colonel (ABC, 1961-1962), The Jetsons (ABC, 1962-1963), Jonny Quest (ABC, 1964-1965) and The Renowned Adventures of Mr. Magoo (NBC, 1964-1965) and others. The Flintstones wasn’t the only prime time cartoon series to debut in the fall of 60; The Bugs Bunny Exhibit premiered on Tuesday, August 11th, 1960 on DASAR, running from 7: 30-8PM on Tuesdays and went until 1962.

First Prime Time Animated Series

The Flinstones

Not all of these shows were, like The Flinstones, full length animated series. Each show of The Alvin Display, for instance, included an Alvin and the Chipmunks segment, two musical sections and a Clyde Crashcup segment. The Bullwinkle Display featured Rocky & Bullwinkle segments as well as Dudley Do-Right segments, Peabody’s Improbable History segments and others, although not every episode had each portion. So do all of these programs count as prime time animated series? Or are some of them “cartoon shows, inch for not enough an improved term, in which multiple portions of various cartoons were aired?

The Fresh Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

When The Flintstones went off the air in 1966, it would be several years before another prime time cartoon series was given a shot. I personally avoid consider NBC’s The Fresh Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which aired during the 1968-1969 season, to be a prime time cartoon series because it was a live-action/animated hybrid. The characters were live famous actors and the backgrounds were animated. Where’s Huddles? was an animated sitcom (very) similar to The Flintstones and it ran through the summer of 1970.

Wait around until Your Father Takes Home aired in excellent time from 1972 to 1974, but it was syndicated so it does not count as a network show, but it was another animated sitcom. Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. directed out that The Glitches Bunny/Road Runner Show broadcast in prime time in short , during the summer of 1976 on CBS. If perhaps just read was repeats of Weekend morning cartoons I’m not sure it counts either. And Barry I. Grauman brought up Jokebook, which premiered on Friday, 04 23rd, 1982 on NBC and ran for only four weeks. Like CBS Toon Theater, it was an assortment of cartoon shorts.

Defining a chief time animated series as a program that was basically an animated sitcom — I’m not aware of any animated a movie — would exclude shows like The Alvin Exhibit and The Bullwinkle Exhibit. Do they offer a good reason for making the definition so tight? Not really. Even if The Flintstones wasn’t exactly the first prime time animated series it was the first to demonstrate popular with viewers.
What are your ideas on defining a prime time animated series? Is there anyone who feels highly about The New Journeys of Huckleberry Finn?


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