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Will Fox Reboot Of 'The Flintstones' Cause Audiences To Yell 'Yabba Dabba Doo'?

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Will Fox Reboot Of 'The Flintstones' Cause Audiences To Yell 'Yabba Dabba Doo'?

Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOX) is developing a belated sequel to the 1960s animated television series “The Flintstones.”

What Happened: The network is teaming with actress Elizabeth Banks, whose company Brownstone Productions has been working with Warner Bros. Animation, an AT&T (NYSE: T) subsidiary, on the project, according to a report in Deadline.

The series, called “Bedrock,” takes place two decades after the conclusion of “The Flintstones” and finds Fred on the cusp of retiring while his twentysomething daughter Pebbles is starting her own professional life.

A pilot script is being written by Lindsay Kerns, author of “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous” and “DC Super Hero Girls.” Banks will the voice actor for Pebbles and serve as executive producer.

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Will It Work? “The Flintstones” was a Hanna-Barbera production that gained notability as the first prime-time animated series, debuting on ABC in September 1960 and running for 166 episodes across five seasons. The success of the original show spawned films, spinoff series, television specials including a pair of Christmas productions – though it was never explained how the prehistoric characters were cognizant of the holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus – and a wave of merchandising including breakfast cereals and children’s vitamins. Even Detroit Edison (NYSE: DTE) recognized the value of the animated characters by casting Fred and Wilma Flintstone in a 1977 educational film “Energy: A National Issue.”

Efforts to reboot “The Flintstones” for a contemporary audience never took root. A 2001 Cartoon Network production “The Flintstones: On the Rocks” was so poorly received that it was never broadcast again after its premiere. Seth McFarlane announced plans for his own version of “The Flintstones,” but the project never got made.

Nonetheless, Fox is voicing confidence that audiences will embrace an elderly Fred and grown-up Pebbles.

“Long before the Simpsons and Springfield, the Griffins and Quahog or even when the Belchers started serving burgers on Ocean Avenue, there were the Flintstones and Bedrock,” said Michael Thorn, president for entertainment at Fox Entertainment. “Their imprint on the animation universe is undeniable and the idea of adapting it for today’s audience is a challenge we here at Fox are very much looking forward to taking on with Warner Bros., Elizabeth and Lindsay. No pressure whatsoever, really.”

(Fred Flintstone (voiced by Alan Reed) meets Ann-Margrock (voiced by Ann-Margret) in "The Flintstones." Photo courtesy of Cinema Crazed.)

 

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