Before George O'Hanlon was George Jetson, he was rejected by Hanna-Barbera

George O'Hanlon got a second shot to be in a Hanna-Barbera production.

With the impact and lasting presence that The Jetsons has in the mind of the fans, it can be easy to forget that the actual series' lifetime was relatively short. The original series lasted only twenty-four episodes before it was canceled. However, did you know that George O'Hanlon, the voice of patriarch George Jetson, was actually originally slated to play another enigmatic cartoon character?

According to an article in the Thousand Oaks Star, O'Hanlon was originally geared to play the role of Fred Flintstone of The Flintstones. Unfortunately, the merge wouldn't come to pass and Hanna-Barbera rejected O'Hanlon. Shockingly, it wasn't their decision, but rather, the network's.

The article stated, "In 1959, he [O'Hanlon] was the first choice of Joe Barbera to be the voice of Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones. He made a tape that Barbera liked, but network executives in New York did not. O'Hanlon was dropped and Alan Reed got the part."

Still, all hope was not lost, as Barbera was so impressed with O'Hanlon that he kept him in mind. The article continued, "A couple of years later, Barbera came up with an idea for The Jetsons, a spin-off of The Flintstones. Again, he tapped O'Hanlon for the lead role, and this time he got it." Of course, though the show would end far too soon, it would return decades later, in addition to a number of film adaptations and television specials.

Nancy O'Hanlon, George's wife, offered this wise comment regarding the situation: "But you know something. even though only twenty-four episodes were made, The Jetsons never were off the air for the next 22 years."

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19 Comments

CoreyC 8 months ago
George O'Hanlon would have been a horrible choice as Fred. Alan Reed had the voice that matched Jackie Gleason's Ralph Kramden. George was well suited as George Jetson a hapless office worker and family man. Mel Blanc obviously used Alan Reed's Fred as Spacely.
MrsPhilHarris 8 months ago
I'm surprised it was only 24 episodes.
AnnaRentzVandenhazel 8 months ago
In the mid-80s, 15 or so new Jetsons episodes were created (all included Rosie the Robot), they would mix them with the original episodes in syndication and they weren't bad, but it seems like those episodes were never heard from again after a couple of years.
BrrrCold 8 months ago
It would fun if MeTV showed H-B's third attempt at the formula, "The Roman Holidays".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Roman_Holidays
KawiVulc 8 months ago
It would be interesting to hear that tape. Hard to imagine Mr. O'Hanlon's voice as heard on the Jetsons coming from Fred's mouth, perhaps he had been able to go deeper so to speak for the Flintstones demo.
Runeshaper 8 months ago
The Jetsons was a GREAT show! Glad O'Hanlon got his BIG opportunity. Also, his wife makes a good point!
Andybandit 8 months ago
I don't know if this is true, but I could of sworn I remember hearing from somewhere that Morey Amsterdam was supposed to be the original George Jetson.
cperrynaples Andybandit 8 months ago
TRUE! CBS wouldn't let him do it because of TDVDS!
justjeff 8 months ago
George O'Hanlon became famous for his "Joe McDoakes" shorts - also known as "So You Want to..." (with a different subject finishing that sentence for each featurette. You can find some of them on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=joe+mcdoakes+shorts

The shorts are narrated by Art Gilmore (who also did the intros for Highway Patrol and for many game shows over the years, and were directed by Richard L. Bare (the director from Green Acres)...
justjeff 8 months ago
This comment has been removed.
LoveMETV22 8 months ago
justjeff LoveMETV22 8 months ago
You must be taking proofreading lessions from MeTV... "REMAKS"???? LOL!
LoveMETV22 justjeff 8 months ago
" You must be taking proofreading *lessions* ????
------------------------------------------------
Thanks for spotting my typo. I did a new caption.
justjeff LoveMETV22 8 months ago
See??? I'm qwarlifried to work for MeTV as well!🤣🤣🤣🤣 Beshides...Lessions are jusht right when you've been working on your Otish impreshion...🤣🤣🤣🤣
LoveMETV22 justjeff 8 months ago
🤣🤣🤣🤣 OMG.... Too funny.
cperrynaples 8 months ago
A few comments: O'Hanlon was not the type for Fred and I'm kinda surprized they never considered Arthur Lake for George! Also, just like The Flintstones, The Jetsons NEVER went off the air! I believe O'Hanlon's wife was refering to the '80's reboot, which George did as well as the 1990 movie!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 8 months ago
PS In other words, even Jane couldn't "stop this crazy thing"...LOL!
justjeff cperrynaples 8 months ago
Rats right, Rorge!
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