Seth MacFarlane Rebooting THE FLINTSTONES

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Sure, he’s had cut away jokes in Family Guy referencing everyone’s favorite Stone Age family, but now Seth MacFarlane is giving his full attention to The Flintstones. Deadline reports the animation master is set to reboot the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon series as both a TV and film property. Apparently the project has been in the works for sometime now, but there was a lot of red tape to work through, not to mention the fact that the rightholders to the prehistoric cartoon were worried as to how MacFarlane’s bold and sometimes raunchy and controversial brand of humor would be applied to the series reboot. It’s still unclear just how this new cartoon series is going to work, and no broadcast date is set, but the project will be set up at Fox. Honestly, this seems like a risky move, but I’m wholly interested in seeing what a guy like MacFarlane can do with such an iconic property.

[Update: We've been sent the press release with full details on the project, as well as quotes from MacFarlane. Hit the jump for more]

the_flintstones-showIn the full press release from Fox, it’s revealed that MacFarlane’s take will be updated to the 21st century. His series will focus on “the lives of the Flintstones and the Rubbles, two hard-working middle-class families living with contemporary conveniences in the dinosaur-era town of Bedrock.” Dan Palladino (Gilmore Girls) and Kara Vallow (Family Guy) on onboard as executive producers, and the show is scheduled to go into production this fall with a TV debut set for 2013.

MacFarlane himself had this to say regarding the project:

“The very first cartoon character I drew at age two was Fred Flintstone. So it’s appropriate that events have come full circle, allowing me to produce the newest incarnation of this great franchise. Plus, I think America is finally ready for an animated sitcom about a fat, stupid guy with a wife who’s too good for him.”

Lest you worry that the MacFarlane’s revamped version replaces any of Hannah-Barbera’s beloved characters, Fred, Wilma and Pebbles Flintstone, as well as Barney Betty and Bamm-Bamm Rubble. And yes, Dino’s mentioned too.

Here’s the full press release:

FLINTSTONES! MEET “THE FLINTSTONES” ON FOX

Modern Stone-Age Family Returns to Television in

New Animated Series from Seth MacFarlane,

20th Century Fox Television and Warner Bros. Television

Yabba dabba doo! FOX has picked up THE FLINTSTONES, a 21st century version of the classic animated comedy from executive producer Seth MacFarlane. In a cross-studio collaboration, THE FLINTSTONES will be produced jointly by 20th Century Fox Television and Warner Bros. Television. Warner Bros. is home to THE FLINTSTONES via its ownership of the Hanna-Barbera collection of animated titles. Dan Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) and Kara Vallow (FAMILY GUY) will also serve as executive producers. THE FLINTSTONES will begin production in fall 2011 and will be set in stone on the FOX schedule in 2013.

“The very first cartoon character I drew at age two was Fred Flintstone,” said MacFarlane. “So it’s appropriate that events have come full circle, allowing me to produce the newest incarnation of this great franchise. Plus, I think America is finally ready for an animated sitcom about a fat, stupid guy with a wife who’s too good for him.”

“The Flintstones are among the funniest and most beloved characters in television history, and we can’t wait to introduce them to a whole new generation on FOX,” said Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “FOX has long been home to iconic families like the Simpsons and the Griffins, so I have no doubt that the Flintstones and the Rubbles are going to fit right in on our air.”

The (pre)historic return of THE FLINTSTONES will feature MacFarlane’s modern-day take on the lives of the Flintstones and the Rubbles, two hard-working middle-class families living with contemporary conveniences in the dinosaur-era town of Bedrock. The series centers on hard-headed patriarch FRED FLINTSTONE and best friend and sidekick BARNEY RUBBLE. Fred’s Stone-Age clan includes wife WILMA, daughter PEBBLES and pet dinosaur DINO, while Barney’s brood consists of wife BETTY and son BAMM-BAMM.

MacFarlane’s lineup of animated series continues to dominate Sunday nights. Everyone’s favorite families from Quahog, Langley Falls and Stoolbend will be back for more laughs as FAMILY GUY, AMERICAN DAD and THE CLEVELAND SHOW were recently renewed for a 10th, seventh and fourth seasons, respectively.

THE FLINTSTONES will be co-produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Warner Bros. Television. MacFarlane and Palladino serve as executive producers of the series and co-writers on the pilot. Vallow will serve as executive producer on the series.  Voice actors for the series will be announced. THE FLINTSTONES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of © Hanna-Barbera.




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  • Billy

    THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA.

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  • Miles Bennett Dyson

    if Fred utters the lines “remember that time…”

    I’ll never watch that show.

  • Nick

    NO. enough with this reboot madness. I don’t want Fred Flintstone making sex jokes. go away.

    • lame_duck

      my thoughts exactly. Why not just make a show about cavemen with modern day humor, or something that pays homage to the Flintstones.

  • Boo!!

    What?! This IS a TERRIBLE idea. How could the rights holders let this happen (well, they DID greenlight that ‘Rock Vegas’ movie)?! This just has awful written all over it. Prepare for a Bedrock full of gay and racial stereotypes and bottom-of-the-barrel pop culture references. Damn, McFarlane sucks. I still don’t get why anyone would watch his shows.

  • Wiktoria

    They will probably cast two of the following recognisable actors with comedic experience as Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble:
    Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Ricky Gervais, Simon Pegg, Eddie Izzard, Owen Wilson, Jack Black, Rob Schneider, Jeremy Piven, Steve Coogan.

    • CastingCouch

      Uhhhh…McFarlane is just going to cast himself as Fred and Barney. And all ears will bleed.

  • Joe

    you guys are all a bunch of morons how do you know it will be terrible just because it is seth that is doing it how do you know it will have pop culture refearnces, why don’t you wait and see befor you make some judgement.

    • IllusionOfLife

      If you’ve only ever heard ducks quack then there’s no reason to expect that they’ll ever meow. Nothing’s impossible, but you’d be an idiot if you went to a duck park and expected to hear one meow.

      Seth McFarlane has several shows that are, for all intents and purposes, exactly the same, why should anyone expect The Flintstones to be any different?

  • The Ghost of Hanna Barbera

    Wait a minute What?!!!
    Are you kidding me? Since when is this guy a master animator?

    Can someone else get a show in this bleeping town?!! For Crying out loud this talentless turd has 3! Count them! 3 shows going at once and they are exactly the same. Garbage!

    John Kricfalusi should be heading this project up. He’ll respect the source material and build on it. Mcfarlane will just take a huge dump on it. Mark my words. A huge steaming DUMP.

    There is no God.

    This is worse than the time I saw Seth Mcfarlane blowing Fox Executives at a Depeche Mode concert.

  • Alex H

    Seth MacFarlane has great respect for Flinstones and other classic cartoons. He’s a classy guy, and I’m sure won’t make the Flinstones an adult show. It’ll probably be his first kids’ show.

    • O.R.

      The thing is, the original show was also pitched at first towards an adult audience; Fred and Wilma could be seen smoking during some commercials for the show’s sponsors. There is no reason to suspect MacFarlane will switch towards a kid audience, as adult comedy is an area he is already confortable in. And it’s not like he likes to take risks and change things when formula works so well…

    • Matt Grayson

      How is he classy? His shows show him for what he is and it’s not classy.

  • Jake

    Fred: “Hey Wilma, remember that time Seth Macfarlane was funny?”

    Wilma: “No?…….”

  • Pol

    I walk a fine line with Seth McFarlane: I love American Dad but despise Family Guy, I understand that he is pretty damn talented but don’t really think his talent deserved three very similar (although in some ways different) shows.

    That said, this press release doesn’t really inspire much confidence…McFarlane made a joke about it but I think its not so much a joke as a valid point: does the guy need to make another animated sitcom about a big doof and his hot wife?

  • Dogg

    They should just give it a parody name like “The Bedrocks”. I’m all for another MacFarlane project, but stealing the Flintstone name itself? That’s just tacky. The Venture Brothers showed how it should be done.

  • Ryan

    Look, first and foremost: The Flintstones was an ADULT television show, and Seth will obviously stick to this premise. Secondly, there is no reason to believe that the show will be filled with cut-away gags, especially considering the fact that Seth’s two other shows, American Dad and The Cleveland Show, do not rely on cut-away gags.
    Seth is a classy guy, and clearly has great respect for The Flintstones and other Hanna-Barbera shows. Not only has Fred Flintstone been played on Family Guy by an impersonator who does a damn good job, but there was a gag on Family Guy parodying the opening to the Jetsons, and Seth and the Family Guy animators did an excellent job of capturing the same feel of the show’s look.

  • Zadoc Paet

    Yabba, dabba, do! I am so stoked to see this. I’m glad a new generation gets to enjoy it.
    Who know, maybe the Jestons will be next? What do you think?

    • Matt Grayson

      New generations can enjoy The Flintstones by watching the original series on DVD and multiple series after this. Yes, it was prime time fare at one time but it was also guaranteed the whole family could watch. In any case, this is like when a sequel (book) to Wizard of Oz came out (based on the musical not so much the original book) and had Dorothy’s granddaughter in a broken home and was depressed and needed to escape and found Oz. That is, it’s not something that needs updating or making it “modern day” when it’s a “classic”. If it must be rebooted, at least have it done by people guaranteed to make this family friendly and honor the creators vision. Still, what next, a reboot of “I Love Lucy”?

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  • Zod21

    Seth Macfarlane Only cares about money…

  • Jeff

    This is a bad idea for Fox because they are over saturating their network with Seth McFarlend. I’ve grown tired of Family Guy, never liked American Dad, and just never bothered with the Cleveland Show so why would I give this a chance?

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  • Rhyan W

    Soooooo sick and tired of Seth McFarlane “humor” (I use that term very loosely). Every one of his animated shows are exactly the same.

  • organizational

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  • Hodgekiss

    Seems like Seth is leveraging his massive success to pursue pet projects that may well end in disaster. I hope The Flintstones is a success, but I don’t think it will be, based on the available information, which is not that much to begin with.

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