J is for Julia, the Jeffersons, Jake & the Fatman and the Jetsons #atozchallenge

J

STATEMENT THAT APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL A-Z 2016 PAGES:

Welcome to the A-Z Classic TV Shows Theme Songs and Intros! Last year I did an A-Z Musical Tour of My Life and featured tons of classic rock music. I had so much fun with it that this year I decided to present classic television shows theme songs and intros. These are shows that I remember from my youth during the 60s and 70s…with an occasional 80s show thrown in. Each show is introduced with information (gathered primarily from my favorite go-to for info, Wikipedia) or associated memories, followed by a video of the TV show’s theme song intro. At first glance, the posts may seem long because of the number of videos included but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, watch or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and go back in time with all the fun theme song intros you’ll find here. Please leave a comment and share your favorite classic TV shows. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! I hope you enjoy my collection. Now, let’s get started with…

J is for Julia:

Julia is an American sitcom notable for being one of the first weekly series to depict an African American woman in a non-stereotypical role. Previous television series featured African American lead characters, but the characters were usually servants. The show stars actress and singer Diahann Carroll, and ran for 86 episodes on NBC from September 17, 1968 to March 23, 1971. The series was produced by Savannah Productions, Inc., Hanncarr Productions, Inc., and 20th Century-Fox Television.

In Julia, Carroll played widowed single mother Julia Baker (her husband, Army Capt. Baker, an O-1 Bird Dog artillery spotter pilot had been shot down in Vietnam) who was a nurse in a doctor’s office. The doctor, Morton Chegley, was played by Lloyd Nolan, and Julia’s romantic interests by Paul Winfield and Fred Williamson. Julia’s son, Corey (Marc Copage) was approximately six to nine years old during the series run. He had barely known his father before he died. Corey’s best friend is Earl J. Waggedorn (called by that precise full name each and every time). The Waggedorns lived downstairs in the same apartment building, with Len (Hank Brandt), Marie (Betty Beaird), son Earl J. Waggedorn (Michael Link) and infant son.

 

J is for the Jeffersons:

The Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through July 2, 1985, lasting 11 seasons and a total of 253 episodes. The show was produced by the T.A.T. Communications Company from 1975 to 1982 and by Embassy Television from 1982 to 1985. The Jeffersons is one of the longest-running sitcoms in the history of American television.

The show focuses on George and Louise Jefferson, an affluent African-American couple living in New York City. The show was launched as the second spin-off of All in the Family, on which the Jeffersons had been the neighbors of Archie and Edith Bunker.

The show was the creation of prolific television producer Norman Lear. However, it was less sharply political in tone than some of his other shows. The Jeffersons eventually evolved into more of a traditional sitcom, relying more on the characters’ interactions with one another than on explicitly political dialogue or storylines. It did, however, tackle a few controversial topics, including racism, suicide, gun control and adult illiteracy.

 

J is for Jake & the Fatman:

This one is much later than most of my showcased programs but I thought I’d feature it anyway. Besides, it’s a legal drama and you know how I love cop and detective shows!

Jake and the Fatman is a television crime drama starring William Conrad as prosecutor J. L. (Jason Lochinvar) “Fatman” McCabe and Joe Penny as investigator Jake Styles. The series ran on CBS for five seasons from 1987 to 1992. Diagnosis: Murder was a spin-off of this series.

J. L. “Fatman” McCabe is a Hawaii-born, tough former HPD officer turned Los Angeles district attorney. He is teamed with a handsome, happy-go-lucky special investigator named Jake Styles. They often clash due to their different styles and personalities. “Fatman” hardly travels anywhere without his companion Max, his pet bulldog.

What does Matlock have to do with this show? It originated there! William Conrad guest starred as an aging prosecutor in a two-part episode of Matlock during its first season on NBC. Executive producers Fred Silverman and Dean Hargrove decided to use this character as a model for one of the main characters in a new show they were creating for CBS. Joe Penny also guest starred in these episodes, but his character was not on the same side as Conrad’s character in the storyline’s legal case. Interesting bit of trivia there!

 

J is for the Jetsons: I was always fascinated by the Jetsons and over the years have found it to be quite coincidental in how their far-fetched technology actually came to be. Foresight? Indeed!

The Jetsons is an American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera, originally airing in primetime from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963, then later in syndication, with new episodes in 1985 to 1987 as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera block. It was Hanna-Barbera’s Space Age counterpart to The Flintstones.

While the Flintstones live in a world with machines powered by birds and dinosaurs, the Jetsons live in a futuristic utopia of elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions; The original series comprised 24 episodes and aired on Sunday nights on ABC beginning September 23, 1962, with primetime reruns continuing through September 22, 1963. It debuted as the first program broadcast in color on ABC-TV. (Only a handful of ABC-TV stations were capable of broadcasting in color in the early 1960s.) In contrast, The Flintstones, while always produced in color, was broadcast in black-and-white for its first two seasons.

Following its primetime run, the show aired on Saturday mornings for decades, starting on ABC for the 1963–64 season and then on CBS and NBC. New episodes were produced for syndication from 1985 to 1987. No further specials or episodes of the show were produced after 1989 due to the deaths of stars George O’Hanlon and Mel Blanc. The 1990 film Jetsons: The Movie serves as the series finale to the television show.

The show premise: The Jetsons are a family residing in Orbit City. The city’s architecture is rendered in the Googie style, and all homes and businesses are raised high above the ground on adjustable columns. George Jetson lives with his family in the Skypad Apartments: his wife Jane is a homemaker, their teenage daughter Judy attends Orbit High School, and their early-childhood son Elroy attends Little Dipper School. Housekeeping is seen to by a robot maid, Rosie, which handles chores not otherwise rendered trivial by the home’s numerous push-button Space Age-envisioned conveniences. The family has a dog named Astro, that talks with an initial consonant mutation in which every word begins with an “R”, as if speaking with a growl.

George Jetson’s workweek is typical of his era: an hour a day, two days a week.[10] His boss is Cosmo Spacely, the bombastic owner of Spacely Space Sprockets. Spacely has a competitor, Mr. Cogswell, owner of the rival company Cogswell Cogs (sometimes known as Cogswell’s Cosmic Cogs). Jetson commutes to work in an aerocar that resembles a flying saucer with a transparent bubble top. Daily life is leisurely, assisted by numerous labor-saving devices, which occasionally break down with humorous results. Despite this, everyone complains of exhausting hard labor and difficulties living with the remaining inconveniences.

Characters:

Jetsons

George Jetson: age 40, is the main character and protagonist of the series. He is a loving family man who always seems to make the wrong decisions. He works at Spacely’s Sprockets turning the Referential Universal Digital Indexer (R.U.D.I.) on and off. He is married to Jane and together they have two kids, Judy and Elroy.

Jane Jetson: age 33, is George’s wife, mother of their two children, and a homemaker (although it is Rosie who does most of the work). Jane is obsessed with fashion and new gadgetry. Her favorite store is Mooning Dales. She is a dutiful wife who always tries to make life as pleasant as possible for her family. Outside of the home, she is a member of the Galaxy Women Historical Society and is a fan of Leonardo de Venus and Picasso Pia.

Judy Jetson: age 15, is the elder child in the Jetson family. A student at Orbit High School, she is a stereotypical teenage girl whose interests include clothes, hanging out with boys, and revealing secrets to her digital diary.

Elroy Jetson: age 6½, is the younger of the two children in the Jetson family. He is highly intelligent and an expert in all space sciences. A mild-mannered and good child, Elroy attends Little Dipper School, where he studies space history, astrophysics, and star geometry. Elroy loves his dog Astro and is always there to support him when George loses his patience with the family pet.

Rosie: Rosie is the Jetsons’ household robot. She’s an outdated model but the Jetsons love her and would never trade her for a newer model. Rosie does all the housework and some of the parenting. She is a strong authoritarian and occasionally dispenses pills to the family. Excluding a scene from the closing credits, Rosie appears in only two episodes of the original 1960s show, but makes many appearances on the 1980s show.

Astro: Astro is the Jetsons’ family dog. Prior to being a Jetson his name was Tralfaz and he belonged to the fabulously rich Mr. J.P. Gottrockets. Astro is one of George’s best friends (next to his work computer, R.U.D.I.) as well as Elroy’s best buddy. He is able to speak in a rough sounding English resembling dog barks and growls, a manner of speaking which voice actor Don Messick would later reuse for the role of Scooby-Doo.

Orbitty: is an alien with spring-like legs who was the second pet of the Jetson family. He has the ability to express his emotions by changing color. This character was introduced in the 1980s version of the series, but didn’t appear for the third season (except for one cameo) or any of the movies.

Mr. Spacely: is George’s boss and owner of Spacely Space Sprockets. His company was founded in Newfoundland in 1937, where it continued to prosper until massive surface pollution necessitated a move to the elevated platforms seen in the series. He is a small man with thinning black hair and a bad temper, and is the main antagonist of the series. Spacely always comes up with ideas to bring in more business, but they backfire. George, whom Spacely has known since childhood,[15] gets blamed for most things that go wrong. A series’ running gag involves his kicking George out of his office shouting, “Jetson! You’re fired!”, however Spacely would later give George his job back in the end of the episode, and if he was very happy with George, promote him to vice-president of the company. Mr. Spacely is sometimes helped out by Uniblab, the company’s robot assistant.

Mr. Cogswell: is Spacely’s big competitor. He owns Cogswell Cogs company and causes a lot of trouble for Spacely and George. To a lesser extent Cogswell is another of the series’ antagonists. He and Spacely are always finding ways to bring each other’s businesses down. Cogswell has often tried to steal Spacely’s ideas and make them his own to gain an advantage (only for it to backfire on both bosses). He’s also not above firing his employees when any little thing goes wrong. Mr. Cogswell’s first name, “Spencer”, is revealed in the 1980s version of The Jetsons. Cogswell slightly resembles Mr. Slate of The Flintstones.

R.U.D.I.: is George’s work computer and one of his best friends, next to his dog, Astro. His name is an acronym for Referential Universal Differential Indexer. He has a human personality and is a member of the Society for Preventing Cruelty to Humans. [In the episode “Family Fallout” (originally aired September 22, 1985), the Jetsons win a TV game show after George Jetson correctly states what the initials “R.U.D.I.” stand for.]

Henry Orbit: is the Jetsons’ apartment’s building superintendent. He is always helpful and always in a good mood. He built a robot named Mac who has a crush on Rosie.

 

 

Have you watched any of these shows? Do you like cartoons? What are your favorite TV shows, past and present?

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44 thoughts on “J is for Julia, the Jeffersons, Jake & the Fatman and the Jetsons #atozchallenge

    • Oh how cool that they’re showing Jake & the Fatman reruns! I’d love to see that again. My cable company sucks! I’m really going to have to check into Dish or DirectTV…
      I’ve never heard of Jayce & the Wheeled Warriors cartoon. Will look for that one…

      Thanks Tasha

      Like

  1. Oddly, I thought we’d have many of the same today. Outside of the Jefferson’s (and I think that was a given), we picked different. I think it’s funny we both selected a cartoon. It seems we both tend to shy away from utilizing cartoons. I LOVE the theme you found for the Jetson’s with the addition of a commercial. I found a few of those myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jeffrey. It was odd that we chose entirely different shows (except the Jeffersons). I’m thinking we’re probably a decade apart in age which might have something to do with it. I was born in ’62. I’m assuming you were born in the 70s, is that right?
      Re: cartoons: Yeah, I only used a few of the wildly popular cartoons (The Archies, Flintstones, Jetsons and I can’t remember which other ones are coming up but there aren’t many…)
      Thanks for stopping by today!

      Like

  2. Good morning, One L Michele!

    I watched Julia and The Jeffersons. The two series were separated by only a few years, but those years made a huge difference in the style and content of TV sitcoms including these two with African Americans as the main characters. Diahann Carroll as Julia was a responsible, middle class single mother. Her character and the series came under criticism for being whitewashed and unrealistic. The same criticism has been leveled against Sidney Poitier’s depictions of “over-idealized” African American characters in movies. Sherman Hemsley’s portrayal of the flawed, streetwise, scheming George Jefferson, although a caricature, was more believable, and the series, spun off from All in the Family, dealt with more controversial topics and situations. Before he landed his role in Jake & the Fatman, I watched Joe Perry in the detective series Riptide. I faithfully watched the cartoon sitcom The Flintstones but, for some reason, avoided The Jetsons. I don’t know why.

    Thank you, dear friend Michele!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, there was a vast difference between the two, Julia and the Jeffersons. Good Times seemed to speak to the times too…

      I love to see Joe Penny act. He’s hot! 🙂

      Thanks for making time in your day to pop on over Shady. I appreciate that! Off to feed the pups now….

      Like

    • Tending bar is fun. Dealing with a bunch of drunks isn’t always…
      I used to own a bar and bartended often. It was fun for awhile but then it got old. Did you like it??
      Thanks for stopping by Kathleen!

      Like

  3. The only one I’ve watched is The Jeffersons. Check that. I watched The Jetsons as a kid. I’m just not all that fond of cartoons (even as a kid)… with a few exceptions.

    Notable J shows for me that are cancelled: Joan of Arcadia and Jericho. I think Justified might also have aired its last show. I watch that on DVD and am behind, so I’m not sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I loved Joan of Arcadia! That was such a great show. Jericho I never saw. And Justified I keep saying I’m going to have to get into. It looks like a great show.

      Thanks for coming by Robin!

      Like

  4. The Jetsons! That was one of my favourite cartoons as a kid. Love the opening and closing theme. 🙂 We moved back to Germany after that but returned in time for the last couple of seasons of Julia. I liked that show as well as The Jeffersons a few years later. Saw a few episodes of Jake and the Fatman, but never really got into it. You’re right about Joe Penny, though. Hot stuff! 🙂 One later “J” show I liked (late 90s- early 00s) was Just Shoot Me, starring Laura San Giacomo, George Segal and David Spade. You’re doing 60s-80s though, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not familiar with Just Shoot Me. I think I’ve heard of it but don’t know a thing about it.
      I’m doing primarily 60s and 70s shows and slip in an occasional 80s show. There were so many good shows in the 80s too and I’m only including a few of those. I was sticking with the ones that I watched when I was young. By the 80s I was already in college and then starting a career. I was young then too, but wanted to stick to the years when I had more time to really watch TV. 🙂

      Thanks for coming by Debbie! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that’s so cool that is was shown over in England! I didn’t know that. I’d love to see a few episodes today…
      Thanks for stopping by Catherine…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I regularly break out two of these theme songs (the Jeffersons and the Jetsons) while going about my life. I don’t think I ever watched much of the Jeffersons beyond its beginning (it came on after something I watched as a kid, likely in syndication), but I watched a lot of the Jetsons!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that you break out in theme song! 🙂
      The Jetsons rule! Love them…
      Coming by to see what you have Choppy dressed up as today…. 🙂

      Like

  6. Oh, man—brilliant. I loved The Jetsons, and you’re so right: their technology, which then seemed incredibly futuristic (and incredibly far-fetched), has come to pass. I remember having a “serious” discussion with my mom about the telephones with screens (I must’ve been around… oh, maybe 6 or 8), and reaching the conclusion that, as cool as it looked, it was probably not very practical. I mean, you’d never be able to answer the phone again in your pajamas, or straight out of the shower, or talk to someone as you were getting dressed, for instance… And then there was Skype 😀

    The Jeffersons brought back an onslaught of nostalgia… We didn’t have that show in Mexico, but I watched it (and All In The Family! Loved it!) when I lived in the US, between ’83 and ’85. Needless to say, I hadn’t seen or heard even the opening credits since then. Thanks for the memories, Michele. It was an unexpected gift 🙂
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

    Liked by 1 person

    • And remember how they’d put their food on a little conveyor belt and it would come out the other side all hot and ready? And then there was the microwave! I don’t know if there was some premonitions involved in the making of the Jetsons but some of it sure has come to pass. Now look, we have self-driving cars now! I just saw a Google self-driving car YESTERDAY in downtown Austin! Crazy!

      I’m glad these memories are gifts for you. That makes me happy!
      Thanks for stopping by…

      Like

    • Joe Penny is so hot! Hot hot hot!! yep, I had a crush too. 🙂
      I’m glad my posts are making you relive your youth. I love reminiscing!
      Thanks for stopping by Pamela….

      Like

    • Yes, Rosie was the robot maid. Here’s the excerpt from my post regarding Rosie:

      Rosie is the Jetsons’ household robot. She’s an outdated model but the Jetsons love her and would never trade her for a newer model. Rosie does all the housework and some of the parenting. She is a strong authoritarian and occasionally dispenses pills to the family. Excluding a scene from the closing credits, Rosie appears in only two episodes of the original 1960s show, but makes many appearances on the 1980s show.

      Gotta love those robots! 🙂

      Like

    • But it almost has! Think microwaves, Skype & FaceTime, and now the self-driving cars: I just saw a self-driving car the other day! Plus the drones that deliver packages, like amazon has started using. I find it fascinating. I don’t think we’ll have those cool little air-cars that the Jetsons had though… 🙂

      Like

    • The 80s was a decade for me that I didn’t watch a whole lot of TV, not like I did in the 60s and 70s: I was in college and if I wasn’t studying, I was partying. 🙂 I remember the show Joanie Loves Chachi but I don’t think I ever saw an episode.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I never watched Julia but I loved the Jefersons especially the maid played by Marla Gibbs. I watched the Jetsons also and felt they were the future to the Flinstones past which I also watched. I watched the Fat,an too and liked Joe Penny from Riptide

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really should be more familiar with Jake and the Fatman beyond title, but I’m not. Maybe if it were Jack and the Fatman? I dunno.

    Now The Jeffersons I watched quite often (and again as reruns), but can’t really remember many details about specific episodes.

    Jetsons I watched fairly religiously. Still kind of bummed we don’t have flying cars and such lol

    As a few people mentioned above, Jericho and Justified look good.

    Like

  9. Lol on “Jack and the Fatman”…
    The Jetsons: me too! I want those flying cars. I hate traffic!
    Justified is one of those shows that I want to check out…
    Good to see you here. 🙂

    Like

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