On September 30, 1960, Hanna-Barbera introduced America to the first-ever prime time, animated half-hour series, The Flintstones, which ran for six seasons on ABC Television. In celebration of this landmark series, Cartoon Network’s classic network Boomerang airing the original first episode, The Flintstone Flyer, followed by an evening of dedicated programming — and a full 24-hour marathon on Saturday, October 2, of the 50 greatest Flintstone episodes! Full details and a new 50th anniversary family portrait can be seen here:
Day-and-Date Anniversary Premiere Followed by 24-Hour Marathon Spotlighting 50 Greatest Episodes
CartoonNetwork.com to Showcase “Bedrock Bowling” Game Sept. 20 – Oct. 3
Boomerang, Cartoon Network’s 24-hour commercial-free classic animation network, will suspend its normal programming schedule later this month to mark the 50th Anniversary of prime time television’s first-ever animated series: THE FLINTSTONES. On Thursday, Sept. 30, the network will present the first full episode of THE FLINTSTONES (1960-1966) ever enjoyed by viewing families—“The Flintstone Flyer”—at 8:30 p.m. (ET), 50 years exactly to the date and hour of the original series premiere in 1960 on ABC network television.
This will be followed immediately by two additional landmark episodes, “The Hot Piano” (9 p.m.) and “The Blessed Event” (9:30 p.m.) and the Columbia Pictures animated feature film, The Man Called Flintstone (10 p.m.). Then on Saturday, Oct. 2, Boomerang will launch a 24-hour marathon starting at 6 a.m. (ET) that will feature 50 of the greatest, most beloved episodes hand-selected by the Cartoon Network/Boomerang programmers. Additionally, CartoonNetwork.com will showcase a free online game, Bedrock Bowling, which challenges players to help Fred improve his game and earn a perfect score.
“I don’t think anyone would argue that THE FLINTSTONES stand as a true milestone in the development of animation for television,” said Stacy Isenhower, senior vice president of programming for Cartoon Network and Boomerang. “The ‘Modern Stone-Age Family’ setting and characters are just as indelible today as they were when they first appeared in prime time in the ‘60s. You still see them every day on cereal boxes and vitamin jars—even the theme song remains one of the most-recognized around the world. It’s an honor to pay tribute to Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera’s first half-hour animated series. We trust families all over the country will appreciate seeing their favorite episodes across this special anniversary celebration.”
THE FLINTSTONES, created by Hanna-Barbera for ABC television on Friday nights, introduced the world to pre-historic Fred and Wilma Flintstone who live and work in the thriving town of Bedrock (circa 1 million B.C.). Along with their next-door neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble, they enjoy all the modern conveniences of average Stone Age family life that frequently runs amuck when the boys get involved in one harebrained scheme after another.
Critics and fans alike agree that the series was an animated homage to The Honeymooners, with rock puns and animal-powered gadgets thrown in. Earning an Emmy nomination in 1961 for Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Humor, THE FLINTSTONES aired during an era when color television was becoming popular in America; its popularity also rested heavily on the juxtaposition of modern-day concerns in a Stone Age setting. The original series presented 166 half-hour episodes, and inspired multiple animated series spinoffs, TV movies and specials, as well as two live-action feature films:
Following are key programming highlights that cover the uninterrupted 50th Anniversary presentation on Boomerang:
• “The Flintstone Flyer” (1960) — Fred learns that Barney is inventing a flying machine, but Fred has doubts whether this thing really works. After seeing Barney successfully riding the machine, he promptly names it The Flintstone Flyer. Afterwards, Wilma reminds Fred that this is Opera night—but Fred wants to go bowling! He devises a plan to stay home by pretending to be sick and Barney offers to stay with him. Free from the girls, Fred opts to fly to the Bowling Alley with the Flintstone Flyer. It works alright, but little does he know the Bowling alley is next to the Opera House…
• “The Hot Piano” (1961) — For their wedding anniversary, Fred wants to give Wilma something other than the usual bouquet of flowers: a baby grand piano. Going to the music shop, he is interested in a genuine, but pricey “Stoneway” piano. A strange character named “88 fingers Louie” offers him the same piano for just 50 bucks. Not knowing that this is a “stolen piano,” Fred seals the deal and asks Barney to help with the piano. But installing the piano overnight without Wilma knowing it is quite a challenge, especially when a suspicious cop gets in the way…
• “The Blessed Event” (1963) — In the series’ most famous and highest-rated episode, Fred stages several “dress rehearsals” for the arrival of his and Wilma’s baby. But when the time comes, virtually all of Fred’s meticulously planned preparations go wrong…and it looks as though Wilma is going to give birth several miles from the Rockopedic Hospital. A quickie spoof of the 1960s medical series Ben Casey precedes the episode’s unforgettable climax, in which viewers meet baby Pebbles for the very first time.
• The Man Called Flintstone (1966) –– In a spoof on 1960s spy films, Fred fills in for a wounded American spy, Rock Slag, and draws the Flintstone family into a dangerous game of prehistoric espionage. Asked to capture the villainous spymaster, Green Goose, and his seductive accomplice, Tanya, Fred quickly discovers that being a spy is far more difficult than his day job at the rock quarry. Luckily, the real Rock Slag recovers in time to zip to Fred’s aid. In true James Bond fashion, The Man Called Flintstone contains a number of original songs, such as Louis Prima’s “Pensate Amore,” that complement the madcap action.
• “Ann-Margrock Presents” (1963) Saturday, Oct. 2, 9:30 a.m. — Fred and Barney learn that local talent is being sought for the Bedrock Bowl’s premiere event, a television special starring Ann-Margrock (voiced by Ann-Margret). The boys go home and prepare for an audition, and are aided by Ann-Margrock herself (whom they fail to recognize), who comes in to the Flintstones’ home to use the phone after her car breaks down. While there, she gets attached to baby Pebbles, and determines to help the guys with their musical act. Later that night, they are stunned to learn they’ve been assisted by the “real” Ann-Margrock.
• “Little Bamm-Bamm” (1963) Saturday, Oct. 2, 11:30 p.m. — Fred gets tired of Barney and Betty coming over every night to entertain Pebbles. As he throws them out of the house, Wilma is infuriated and reminds Fred that the Rubbles don’t have a child of their own. Fred apologizes to them, however, Betty and Barney still wish upon a shooting star. The next morning, Barney stumbles into a basket containing a little boy, whom they name Bamm-Bamm. The Rubbles want to adopt the toddler, however, the Bedrock Adoption Agency has another person on the list to adopt Bamm-Bamm: the ultra-rich Mr.Rockerfeather.
Boomerang is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s (TBS, Inc.) 24-hour cable/satellite network offering the best in classic animated entertainment. In partnership with Cartoon Network, the service boasts 75 percent unduplicated programming and is available to cable/satellite operators and their customers in Spanish. Boomerang’s official Web site is located at http://Boomerang.CartoonNetwork.com.
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in more than 97 million U.S. homes and 166 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for kids and families. Nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation and live-action programming for young adults 18-34.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.