If there was an American equivalent to England's Gerry Anderson, it'd have to be Jim Henson.
The legendary creator of the Muppets had experimented with science fiction in the past, with the HBO series, Fraggle Rock (after all, the Fraggles lived underground), and its animated spin-off, which lasted 1 season on NBC in the 80's. The Jim Henson Company's last Saturday morning entry was another sci-fi series, but didn't get any love from Kids' WB!, which pulled the plug on Brats of the Lost Nebula after just 3 weeks, claiming low ratings.
The Brats claimed to be orphans, but technically weren't. Their parents were missing, so that oft-used trope was in play. The series used a combination of puppets created by Henson's Creature Shop and CGI animation, and, had it been on another network, like, maybe, Fox, it probably would've gone further than it did. I cannot rightfully say, since I never saw the show.
On the other hand, you can judge for yourself with this sample clip: