The Flintstones Promotional Spot

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Here’s a promotional spot for ABC’s The Flintstones, referencing the introduction of The Gruesomes during the show’s fifth season (they first appeared in the November 12th, 1964 episode). Although always produced in color, for its first two seasons (from 1960 to 1962) The Flintstones was broadcast in black and white. Thus, by the time this particular spot was shown the show had been aired in color for several years. Nevertheless, the copy I have is in black and white.

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6 Replies to “The Flintstones Promotional Spot”

  1. The series was filmed in color from the very beginning- Hanna-Barbera and their distributor, Screen Gems/Columbia, KNEW what the future of TV was going to be, and planned accordingly- but ABC had neither the resources or funding to telecast ANY color series when “THE FLINTSTONES” began in the fall of 1960. It was only fitting that the first regular series they began colorcasting in the fall of ’62 was that one, with “THE JETSONS” as their first new color show [and those were the ONLY series telecast in color on the network that season!]. By the fall of 1964, only TWO series were being colorcast every week: “THE FLINTSTONES” and “JONNY QUEST” [H-B’s last prime-time series for the network in that decade].

    Most people saw “THE FLINTSTONES” in black and white on ABC’s smaller affiliates because they didn’t have the facilities to transmit color shows during that period; a familiar TV GUIDE disclaimer at the end of an episode description often read, “Ch. 8 will not colorcast this program” [in this case, “Channel 8” was the ABC affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut]. Not until 1966 were most of the ABC stations finally equipped to broadcast color series.

  2. Incidentally, ‘The Gruesomes’ {Howard Morris & Naomi Lewis} appeared twice in the original series, and ONLY during this season; their only other appearance was in “The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes” (a follow-up to a January 1964 episode where ‘The Hatrocks’ were introduced, “The Bedrock Hillbillies”) on January 22, 1965.

    Michael Rye is the announcer for this spot; at :55, there’s space for a live announcer to add, “Thursday at 7:30, 6:30 Central Time, in color, over most of these stations”.

  3. The Gruesomes simply scream one-off gag rather than recurring characters. I’m actually surprised they appeared in a second episode.

  4. I don’t believe the Gruesomes were intended to be regular (or semi-regular) characters- their initial appearance was obviously a sly reference to ABC’s weekly “monster family” sitcom, “THE ADDAMS FAMILY”, which also premiered that fall. However, “THE MUNSTERS” premiered opposite “THE FLINTSTONES” on Thursdays in the fall of ’64, and their success possibly influenced ABC’s decision to ask H-B to feature them again. By the time that happened, “THE FLINTSTONES” had already swapped time periods with “JONNY QUEST”, moving to Fridays at the end of December, ensuring its renewal for another season (Jonny and his crew were no match for the “weird family” at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, and was cancelled at the end of the season).

    1. I won’t argue what you’re saying here-but from what I’ve seen/read. Quest was sacrificed in order to make sure that The Bedrock Bunch could make it to 100 episodes/syndication

  5. If you listen to the soundtrack of this promo very closely, you’ll hear, under the dialogue, a music cue of the show’s original theme, “Rise and Shine”, instead of the one used from 1962 through the end of the original series, “Meet the Flintstones”.

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