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?

  • 5
    Do you only mean Western TV?
    – Walt
    Aug 8, 2014 at 18:55
  • Scooby Doo might count, started 1969 & still going, but I have absolutely no clue what defines "prime time" for US TV [not being from the US].
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 29, 2021 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


"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".

  • This is correct.
    – Ben Plont
    Aug 8, 2014 at 20:33
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    Great answer, but could you please add your sources as links simply for the sake of proper citation and research? That and so people can read more about The Flintstones and their legacy if they wish.
    – MattD
    Aug 14, 2014 at 13:08
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    Further research shows that The Bugs Bunny Show started in prime-time in 1960. It ran in prime time for 2 seasons, then was moved to Saturday morning where it ran until 1999. It was a prime-time show and ran for 39 years - 33 years longer than the Flintstones.
    – Ben Plont
    Aug 14, 2014 at 22:27
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    @BenPlont IIRC, the "bugs bunny show" was essentially perpetual re-runs as it wasn't showing new animation, but rather simply showing cartoons from the Warner Brother's archive each week.
    – DA.
    Sep 21, 2015 at 0:02

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