YABBA DABBA DOO! Seth MacFarlane Finally Gets Go-Ahead To Reboot ‘The Flintstones’

UPDATE 2:15 PM: TOLDJA! Fox just announced the deal at its upfront this afternoon. Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said production on the animated series will begin production in Fall 2011 for a 2013 premiere on the Fox schedule. In a cross-studio collaboration, The Flintstones will be produced jointly by 20th Century Fox Television and Warner Bros Television. Dan Palladino (Gilmore Girls) and Kara Vallow (Family Guy) will serve as executive producers with Seth MacFarlane who says the very first cartoon character he drew at age 2 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.” Added Reilly: “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.”  He hinted that the deal for the show closed just hours before the presentation today — just like I told you. In a video shown at the upfronts, MacFarlane shed some light on his plans for the remake: The characters will look the same but he’ll introduce new technology, like “What is the animal version of an iPad?”

EXCLUSIVE: Seth MacFarlane is one of the busiest creatives in show business — and he just got a lot busier. I’ve just learned that he’s finally realized one of his life’s ambitions: to reboot The Flintstones as a TV and film property. My scoop today follows years of very complicated negotiations between 20th Century Fox TV, where McFarlane is based, and Warner Bros Television, which owns the rights to the series after absorbing The Flintstones‘ famed producer Hanna-Barbera. Not only did the suits have a ton of deal points to work through, but I hear the “Yabba Dabba Doo” prehistoric family sitcom’s rightholders were somewhat concerned how the classic series would be interpreted given MacFarlane’s brand of raunchy comedies like Family Guy. (But, if you ask me, Universal’s dreadful Flintstones films were the real abomination …) So here are all the Hollywood players who had to unentangle this mess: MacFarlane’s attorney Jim Jackoway, WME’s Ari Emanuel and Greg Hodes; 20th Century Fox TV’s Gary Newman, Ira Kurghan, and Howard Kurtzman; and Warner Bros Television’s Peter Roth, Brett Paul and even Bruce Rosenblum. There’s no broadcast date as of yet, but the reboot will air on Fox.

Comments (116)

  • A lot of people only associate McFarlane with raunchy humor, but they forget he started out on Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken and Dexter’s Laboratory.Those were kids’ shows, but with adult sensibilities.

    I am anxious to see what he will do with The Flintstones.

    Comment by cindercity — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 12:20pm PDT  
    • you know you are talkin bullsh*t, right?

      Comment by bub — Thursday June 23, 2011 @ 9:06am PDT  
      • actually he is right….MacFarlane worked on them…u should look it up.

        Comment by relliKinGrunge — Wednesday August 10, 2011 @ 9:51am PDT  
    • If they don’t use the current models it will suck!!! Kellman and Benedict were the greatest!

      Comment by Darrell — Thursday October 18, 2012 @ 6:55am PDT  
  • “…the “Yabba Dabba Doo” prehistoric family sitcom’s rightholders were somewhat concerned how the classic series would be interpreted given MacFarlane’s brand of raunchy comedies…” They should have been more concerned about how awful the previous film interpretations have been! They damn near killed the brand for me and while the series is a classic, it’s stuck, well, in the Stone Age.

    Comment by Ripsnorter — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 12:24pm PDT  
  • Hey Seth,

    Cast Donald Trump as a wealthy (mostly inherited) very hairy, arrogant, womanizing caveman with delusions of grandeur like being president of the Stone Age…he would be perfect.

    And, Donald obviously loves being on television….

    Comment by tom — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 12:25pm PDT  

    Comment by Bart Scott — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 12:25pm PDT  
  • Yabba-Dabba-Doo! Can’t wait.

    Comment by keith — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 12:36pm PDT  
  • Wow crazy!!! I wonder if it will be animated or live action. Im guessing animated, but if it is will it just look like another Family Guy/American Dad/Cleveland or will they try to do something new? Is it going to be a kids show or an adult comedy?

    The more I think about this it seems like a lame idea. There are already 20 shows on TV that are directly influenced by The Flinstones (Honeymooners if you want to get technical), why do we need another. Are people really going to find Fred yelling “Wiiillllllmmmmmaaaaa!!!!” funny??? I doubt it.

    Then again, if anyone has the ability to put a fresh spin on this, Seth McFartman is the best man for the job. But how far from the source material will they let him go?

    Comment by Nerd — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 12:37pm PDT  
    • Flintstones was copied from The Honeymooners. Honeymooners started around 1950 and Flintstones in 1960.

      Comment by fred furney — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 2:30pm PDT  
      • Ya, I know, that’s why I said “Honeymooners if you want to get technical”

        Comment by Nerd — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 6:27pm PDT  
        • You left it quite ambiguous though, and that was the way I read it as well.

          Comment by SlakeFistcrunch — Wednesday June 15, 2011 @ 9:47am PDT  
  • Sorry, but I yabba-dabba-don’t. Especially if the drawing style is Borg-ed into Seth’s typical drawing style seen on every other show he’s helm on Fox.

    Comment by Myron Falwell — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 12:38pm PDT  
  • Love this!!! Would he play Fred? Trevor Donovan would make a good Bam Bam! Curious to see how they are going to do this.

    Comment by surelysue — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 12:39pm PDT  
  • Why bother? I’ll stick to the reruns. They couldn’t do it with Looney Tunes and I doubt they can do it with any of the Hannah Barbara classics. Leave well enough alone.

    Comment by Patton — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 12:40pm PDT  
    • Amen!

      Comment by Jeff — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 1:49pm PDT  
    • No one will be able to rec-create the innocence and good humor. It is NOT an edgy cartoon. It was aired at 8 p.m. as a family show. I do NOT see Seth MacFarlane being able to carry the theme. He should stick to his slick, hard edged comedy show. They are all the same, just different char. names.

      Re-do Family guy as the flintstones? No thank you.

      Comment by Dawn — Monday July 4, 2011 @ 1:08pm PDT  
  • It was the first animated show in primetime, I am intrigued to see Macfarlane tackle it, there has load of references to both The Flintstones and the Jetsons so he’s a fan. I don’t expect it to anything like Family Guy.

    Comment by Jon — Monday May 16, 2011 @ 12:41pm PDT  
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