The Jetsons live-action revival pilot (with Robert Zemeckis) lands at ABC

JetsonsThe Jetsons may be coming to television — albeit in a very different sort of way than you’ve seen them before!

Today, ABC confirmed that they have effectively ordered a pilot for a live-action version of the classic Hanna-Barbara cartoon, which was set in the 1960’s and became a cultural phenomenon. It was considered in some ways the sister show of The Flintstones, and has been the subject of revival speculation for years.

The network’s logline gives you a sense of just what you can expect here: “Based on the classic cartoon, this multi-camera sitcom set 100 years in the future looks at America’s favorite future family through a modern filter.”

Legendary filmmaker Robert Zemeckis has boarded the project already as an executive producer; beyond that, we’re also going to be getting Family Guy writer Gary Janetti working on the pilot. (There’s an interesting Hanna-Barbara connection here — Family Guy guru Seth MacFarlane at one point attempted to revive The Flintstones for Fox many years ago.)

We don’t know if we’ve said this enough on CarterMatt over the years: We love The Jetsons. We think it’s one of the most important animated series of all time, and there is something magical about bringing it back to life. However, the problem that ABC needs to be aware of is that it’s not going to be enough to slap a fresh coat of paint on this show and call it “new.” The future setting is a great visual gimmick, but it’s no substitute for actual story.

This needs to be a show about humanity, and about the ineffectiveness of technology to change human condition. Through laughter, this show needs to prove that we’re all the same and humans have the same basic struggles no matter what’s around them. Maybe it gets realistic here and there and shows that technology can be a bad thing at times. We’d like to see it delve into some social commentary. We certainly don’t think that it needs to be political, but it can find ways to translate modern-day stories and topics and push them forward a century.

The success of this show will also be based heavily on the cast — remember here that you need to find a George Jetson who is bumbling, but somehow still sweet and sincere and can handle vulnerability. We almost think of him as John Lithgow of 3rd Rock from the Sun meets Steve Carell from The Office. Somewhere in the middle of this is the perfect George.

One thing to remember

Just because we’re getting a Jetsons pilot made does not necessarily guarantee that there is going to be a series. There are a lot of different hoops that the show needs to jump through. One of the best things the show has going for it is that it’s at ABC, a place that knows a lot about crafting great family comedies these days.

What do you think about The Jetsons heading over to ABC, and do you have any casting suggestions? Share below! (Photo: ABC.)

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