The Simpsons, which started as a series of shorts shown during The Tracy Ullman Show, has now been on the air for 25 years as its own full-length half-hour episodic cartoon. Its success spawned a number of other successful Primetime cartoons, notably The Critic, Futurama and Family Guy. However, prior to The Simpsons, what was the longest run for a Primetime cartoon in the U.S., if there ever was one?
"The Flintstones", a show which co-creator William Hanna admitted was influenced by the Jackie Gleason vehicle "The Honeymooners", ran in its original form for 6 seasons in Primetime from 1960 to 1966. The show so closely resembled "The Honeymooners" that Jackie Gleason once threatened to sue the studio, and then later retracted because he did not want to be known as "the guy who yanked Fred Flintstone off the air". "The Flintstones" was a Top 30 show in each of its first 3 seasons, and then failed to make the cut. In 1961, the show was nominated for an Outstanding Comedy Series Primetime Emmy Award. There have been several attempts to revive it, but none have lasted longer than 2 seasons. In January 2009, IGN named The Flintstones as the ninth best in its "Top 100 Animated TV Shows".