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Was There Almost a 'Black Flintstones' Spinoff During the 1970s?

TV URBAN LEGEND: Hanna-Barbera nearly had a Flintstones spinoff in the 1970s (and 1990s) based on black family like the Flintstones.

In 1960, Hanna-Barbera made history with the Flintstones, a hit prime time animated sitcom that ran for six seasons...

The show was based on the Jackie Gleason sitcom, The Honeymooners...

After the show ended, Hanna-Barbera tried different spinoffs, like a separate show starring teenage versions of Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm...

and later, in the 1970s, there were shows like the New Fred and Barney Show and Fred and Barney Meet the Thing, Fred and Barney Meet the Schmoo, Fred and Barney Meet the Ayatollah, or whatever...

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However, in the 1970s, there were a number of successful sitcoms about black families like The Jeffersons...

and Good Times...

and so Joe Barbera decided that they should do a spinoff of the Flintstones starring a black family, called the Blackstones. Here's the concept art for the series by the legendary Hanna-Barbera artist, Iwao Takamoto...

Barbera was asked about the idea, which flopped in the 1970s (and it also didn't work when he tried it again in the 1990s), and he argued for it, "I thought when I got the idea, [the networks] were going to jump on it with open arms, but I was a little ahead of myself. Nobody bit on it."

What an interesting concept. I don't know if it would have been any good, but it's at least an interesting concept.

The legend is...

STATUS: True

Be sure to check out my archive of TV Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of TV. Click here for more legends specifically about animated shows.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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