The original pilot presented to ABC for The Flintstones, running a mere two minutes, had Daws Butler voicing Fred and Barney and was immediately paralleled to Jackie Gleason's show The Honeymooners. In fact, upon seeing the finished product, Gleason threatened to sue Hanna-Barbera for plagiarism.
Taking place in the small community of Bedrock, Fred Flintstone is your average nine-to-five guy working at a rock quarry. His wife, Wilma, can be loving and understanding one moment and then nagging and cuckolding the next. The Rubbles, their next door neighbors, are comprised of happy-go-lucky Barney and his wife Betty. Early episodes had Fred and Barney coming up with schemes to either go out for a night on the town without their wives' suspecting or Fred's cockeyed schemes to make a fortune.
The show rose as high as 25th in the ratings, and during this peak time, it was decided to make Fred and Wilma a father and mother. In the 1963 season, Wilma announced to Fred she was pregnant (the word not actually being used) and several weeks later, Wilma gave birth to Pebbles, their daughter. This broke the usual mold in cartoons where a stork delivers babies. Later that season, the show broke more ground dealing with adoption--a bundle is left on the Rubbles' doorstep and within was a baby boy with the strength of a wooly mammoth. He was named Bamm-Bamm, and the Rubbles had to go to court to fight for him when social services found a party more fit to raise him. Bamm-Bamm was awarded to the Rubbles anyway as the other litigant announced his own wife was expecting.
In the final season, a new semi-regular cast member was introduced. The Great Gazoo was a futuristic alien exiled to Earth. In order to return to his home planet, he had to show he could use his powers to help others on other worlds, and he would be the subservient of Fred and Barney (who are the only people who could see Gazoo).
The Flintstones was originally produced in color but for two years was telecast in black and white as ABC did not have color telecines. In 1962, episodes of The Flintstones and sibling H-B show The Jetsons were delivered to NBC where they were transmitted in color to ABC who then broadcast the episodes to affiliates.
The year The Flintstones left prime time, a theatrical animated feature was released by Columbia Pictures, The Man Called Flintstone. The original series would concurrently run in replays on NBC's Saturday morning line-up and in syndication.
On September 30, 2010, Boomerang (Cartoon Network's sibling channel) screened the very first episode, "The Flintstone Flyer" at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, 50 years to the date and time of the show's debut on ABC.
Hanna-Barbera produced The Flintstones in association with Screen Gems, which also originally syndicated the series. Distribution later passed through Worldvision Enterprises, Turner Program Services (following Turner Broadcasting's 1991 purchase of Hanna-Barbera) and then Telepictures Distribution (when Time Warner purchased Turner in 1996) before landing with current rights owner Warner Bros. Television in 2003.
|Alan Reed||Fred Flintstone||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|Mel Blanc||Barney Rubble||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|Jean Vander Pyl||Wilma Flintstone||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|Bea Benaderet||Betty Rubble||1||2||3||4|
|Daws Butler||Additional voices||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|Don Messick||Additional voices||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|Hal Smith||Additional voices||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|John Stephenson||Additional voices||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|Jerry Mann||Additional voices||1||2|
|Doug Young||Additional voices||3||4||5||6|
|Howard Morris||Additional voices||3||4||5|
|Janet Waldo||Additional voices||3||4||6|
|Allan Melvin||Additional voices||4||5||6|
|Henry Corden||Additional voices||5||6|
|Season One||September 30, 1960||April 7, 1961||28|
|Season Two||September 15, 1961||April 27, 1962||32|
|Season Three||September 14, 1962||April 5, 1963||28|
|Season Four||September 19, 1963||March 12, 1964||26|
|Season Five||September 17, 1964||March 12, 1965||26|
|Season Six||September 17, 1965||April 1, 1966||26|
|The Man Called Flintstone||August 3, 1966|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
|October 28, 2008||24||
|March 16, 2004||4||
|December 7, 2004||4||
|March 22, 2005||4||
|November 15, 2005||4||
|March 7, 2006||4||
|September 5, 2006||4||
|December 2, 2008||1||
|Episode Collections - Various Series|
|1960s Volume 1||May 26, 2009||2|
|The Flintstones Franchise|
The Flintstones • The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show • The Flintstone Comedy Hour • The Flintstone Comedy Show • Fred Flintstone and Friends • The New Fred and Barney Show • Fred and Barney Meet the Thing • Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo • The Flintstone Comedy Show • The Flintstone Funnies • The Flintstone Kids • Cave Kids • Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs
The Man Called Flintstone • The Flintstones (live-action) • The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (live-action)