Forgotten Children’s TV Shows of the 50s, 60s and 70s
Every kid loves Saturday morning TV. But these classic kid’s TV shows from the 1950s, 60s and 70s truly stand out among the flock as some of the most beloved, influential shows ever.
Given the era, the shows on this list all had varied production budgets. and styles. For example, the hand-drawn animation of then is far different from the computer-generated like of Pixar today. Let’s see how many of these shows you still recognize!
Aired: 1962 – 1971
Starring: Mel Blanc, June Foray, Stan Freberg, Hal Smith
Budget: $750,000 per episode*
The Bugs Bunny Show was another animated hit from Warner Bros. It was composed of cartoons from two different canons: Merrie Melodies and Looney Toons. The show had a long run time, airing from 1948 until 1969. It debuted as a half-hour show on ABC before it was picked up for an hour-long special.
The show was best known for its Saturday morning runtime, which was its slot for nearly four decades in originals and reruns. The show was also broadcast on CBS, and it changed formats to The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show. It was canceled when Cartoon Network picked up the contract.
Starring: George O’Hanlon, Peggy Singleton, Janet Waldo, Daws Butler
Budget: $300,000 per episode*
Created by Hanna-Barbera, The Jetsons was the space-age counterpart to the company’s other popular show, The Flintstones. The space-age Jetsons lived in the far, far future. The show gave a comedic look at what writers in the sixties though life would be like now, with robots, aliens, crazy inventions, and holograms.
The original series had twenty-four episodes and had a Sunday night lineup spot. The reruns continued throughout the sixties. The Jetsons was a unique show because it was the first ABC-TV show to be broadcast in color. The Flintstones, while drawn in color, was broadcast in black and white.
Aired: 1961 – 1962
Starring: Daws Butler, Don Messick, Julie Bennett, Vance Colvig
Budget: $100,000 per episode*
The Yogi Bear Show is an animated series that ran from 1961 until 1962. The show centered around the adventures (or misadventures) of Yogi Bear, a bear who lived in Jellystone Park. The show also featured Boo-Boo Bear, his sidekick. The Yogi Bear Show also had two segments: Yakky Doodle and Snagglepuss.
Yogi Bear has gone one to be one of Hanna-Barbera’s greatest successes, even though its run-time was comparatively shorter than other shows. The show had several spinoffs and movie specials to its name, extending beyond the original two seasons and 33 episodes to which it was slotted initially.
Aired: 1965 – 1972
Budget: $50,000 per episode*
Tom and Jerry was another smash-hit for Hanna-Barbera. The show centered around two frenemies, a cat (Tom) and a mouse (Jerry). The show was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who created 161 theatrical short movies from it. The series first aired in 1940, and it was developed into a television show in the sixties and early seventies.
The show didn’t feature any voices. The directors varied, with six different people taking the helm. The show also had many different writers, which were spaced into various eras such as the Gene Deitch Era and the Chuck Jones Era. Regardless of the writer, the show was a hit.
Aired: 1960 – 1966
Starring: Mel Blanc, June Foray, Don Messick, John Stephenson, Jean Vander Pyl, Alan Reed
Budget: $350,000 per episode*
The Flintstones was one of the most popular cartoon television shows of all time. Next to The Simpsons and Family Guy, it was the first animated series to have a prime-time slot on ABC. The show featured cavepeople in the Stone Age who were still dealing with real-life concerns. The show would later have a space-age counterpart called The Jetsons.
The Flintstones was ranked by TV Guide as the second-greatest animated TV show of all time. It was created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and it starred the voices of animation greats such as June Foray, Mel Blanc, Don Messick, and more.