The Jetsons cast a futuristic spin on the American nuclear family, tapping into the Space Age optimism of the 1960s. The first program broadcast in color on ABC, it aired only one 24-episode season during its original 1962–63 run. Popularity in syndication led to a revival of new episode production in the 1980s and a film version in 1990.
Set a century in its future, The Jetsons presciently projected the world of 2062 as one rife with robot housekeepers and automated food dispensers, though as of 2012 it seems unlikely that its prediction of a largely sprocket-based economy will come to pass. -A.D.
Also on September 23:
1986: Following a pilot movie the previous spring, Matlock begins its regular run. Andy Griffith portrayed the eponymous genial lawyer for six seasons on NBC until 1992, followed by an additional three-season revival on ABC from 1992–1995.
2003: NCIS premieres on CBS. The action-drama starring Mark Harmon, entering its tenth season, has risen to be one of the most viewed programs of the 2010s and a major contributor to CBS’s continued supremacy as the top-rated network.
Today’s Birthdays: Jason Alexander, fake architect (53); Tom Lester, farmhand (74); Chi McBride, principal (51); Mary Kay Place, Mary Kay Place (65); Mickey Rooney, playhouse player (92).