Seth MacFarlane Says The New ‘Flintstones’ Will Be Like ‘The Simpsons’ Of The 90s


Ugh … ready for some worrisome news about one of TV’s most classic and venerated TV shows? Last year we learned that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is rebooted The Flintstones for a new TV series and this week at South by Southwest, he dished a bit about his plan for the forthcoming animated series. Altho the pilot episode is still being written, MacFarlane says that his new version of The Flintstones will have a “90’s edge” a la The Simpsons. HMMM.

One of the most popular events at South By Southwest so far—besides having a conversation about the new social media app you’re developing, hopefully talking loud enough that that cute girl will overhear it and come have sex with you—was “A Conversation With Seth MacFarlane,” in which the Family Guy creator held court on his career … MacFarlane also shared some thoughts on his planned remake of The Flintstones, which is still happening. According to MacFarlane, the pilot is still being written, but he did say that he planned to “keep it more or less the same”—remaining true to the original look and feel of the show, while only slightly updating the cultural references beyond the 1960s and telling stories that feel “a little more current.” Naturally, this raises the question: Well, will there be abortion jokes? “We’re kind of shooting for the level of edge in mid-’90s Simpsons—you’re not going to see abortion jokes,” MacFarlane said, instantly disappointing all who were hoping to see, say, a giant anteater shrug, “It’s a living” before performing a prehistoric abortion. Anyway, MacFarlane later expanded on his feelings about reviving The Flintstones to The Huffington Post, saying, “My thought was, I can’t [screw] it up any worse than Viva Rock Vegas.”

Honestly, I really feel like an update of The Flintstones is a horrible sacrilege and I honestly have no interest in a new, updated version of a venerated classic. I wasn’t even a fan of the more updated cartoon shows of the late 70s/early 80s that focused on the Flintstone child characters Pebbles and Bam Bam. I mean … I didn’t hate the Pebbles and Bam Bam cartoon (yes, I still watched it as a child) but it just felt a bit wrong to see an updated version of The Flintstones. I can’t even comment on the movies that were made in the 90s/00s that seemingly ruined everything we love about The Flintstones. I guess I, personally, am not the target audience for this new reboot. I suppose there is a notion that The Flintstones can attract a whole new audience with this revamped, updated version but … I dunno. Something about the Family Guy/Simpsons-ification of The Flintstones just rubs me the wrong way. What do y’all think? Does this Flintstones reboot sound like a good idea to you?


  • Carl

    Worst. Idea. Ever.

    Seth McFarlane is ruining cartoons.

  • I actually am pretty excited to see this. I LOVE Family Guy and have always thought their Flinstones spoofs were hilarious. I’m probably in the minority since I’m not a college guy (his target audience), but I’m reserving any negative judgement until I see the pilot episode in the fall.

  • kath

    big fan of the original series…. very curious to see what he does with the voices

  • Jamie

    Seth McFarlane is actually a huge fan of “classic” entertainment, whether it’s musicals, variety shows, or classic animation. Even more than just a fan he is a student of these genre’s and a pioneer of his own. I have no doubt that he will create a show that is a appropriate tribute to the original while also telling stories in a way that is new and adds to the larger Flinstones universe. As evidence look at any of the “themed” episodes. Such as the Stewie and Brian musical episodes, or the murder mystery episodes of Family Guy. Or the fact that American Dad is a true sitcom. He is so much more than attitude and fart jokes. Seth McFarlane is an expert of television and a master of his craft. I for one am very excited to see what he does with the Flinstones.

    • Alicia

      I can agree that the past few years Family Guy has been horrible, but I wish people would keep in mind the exact points you have given here. He is a graduate of RISD and has worked for Hanna-Barbera so I highly doubt they would just hand him The Flintstones unless they knew he would do an amazing job.

  • RuthJ

    SETH MCFARLANE is doing the reboot? There’s no hope for it.

  • Sam

    No one can do Simpsons in the 90s. Heck, even current Simpsons can’t do Simpsons in the 90s.

    • @Sam — “even current Simpsons can’t do Simpsons in the 90s.” good point

  • Matt Groening et al aren’t fans of Seth so I doubt they’re too thrilled about his referential encapsulation of what he’s going for with this reboot. Frankly neither am I. I just can’t even understand what he’s going for. Sounds lame to me. But I beyond love Family Guy so I’ll keep some hope for this.

  • John

    If its got a good beat and I can dance to it.