Sunday, September 26, 2010

Celebrity Toons: Partridge Family 2200 AD (1974)

The story goes that Joe Barbera had pitched a revival of his 1962 series, The Jetsons, to CBS, which at one time during the late 60's aired repeats of the series. However, network suits didn't want The Jetsons, though they were willing to try another domestic sitcom set in the far future. The Partridge Family was available after ending its prime-time run on ABC, and some of the kids from the show, including Susan Dey (Laurie) & Danny Bonaduce (Danny), had joined the cast of another H-B show, Goober & the Ghost Chasers, halfway through its one and only season. The end result was Partridge Family 2200 AD, which, like Goober, was cancelled after 1 season. Here's the opening, which shows how the cityscape of Earth in the year 2200 resembled the world of The Jetsons:

This was one of the last series to be blacked out in mid-morning in favor of syndicated programming, as my memory serves. Most of us will recall how the show was included in the Fred Flintstone & Friends syndicated package that came out in 1977, with the episodes split into two parts. From what I saw, trying to substitute the Partridges for the Jetsons ranks as one of the worst ideas in cartoon history. Luckily for H-B, they would get that Jetsons revival after all, when a weekday version of the series went into syndication in 1985.

Rating: C.


magicdog said...

There are days when you wish you could be a fly on the wall when this show got pitched!!

If I'm not mistaken, the show was supposed to be the Jetsons about a decade or so after the orginal series. We were supposed to see Judy & Elroy grown (Elroy a HS student, Judy working as a reporter) and Jane and George getting closer to retirement. In fact the look of the Partridge's manager, "Rueben" was an early design for an older George Jetson!

It's hard to say if the original idea for the show would have flown since the Pebbles & Bamm Bamm show didn't do so well, but I think I would have rather had that than the Partridges!

hobbyfan said...

Methinks H-B pitched the Jetson revival to the wrong network.

It's another case of someone being unwilling to let characters age forward. Take Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm for example. Depending on who's working on them, they're either teens, adults, or reverting to toddlers (cereal commercials, Cave Kids). Studio suits get it into their heads that the general public doesn't want to move away from the iconic look initially created, so that begs to ask, who's really afraid of making changes?