An animated sitcom is a subgenre of the sitcom that is animated rather than live action.


Early history

The Flintstones, which debuted in 1960, is considered the first example of the animated sitcom genre. The similar cartoon The Jetsons, which took place in the future rather than the past, followed in 1962.

Animated sitcoms have been adult-oriented and more controversial than traditional cartoons from the onset. The Flintstones was originally oriented at adults, as an animated version of The Honeymooners, though it was primarily popular with teenagers.

In the 1970s, the cartoon Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, often considered an influence on the contemporary Family Guy, debuted and further pushed the envelope. It ran from 1972 to 1974.

The Simpsons and expansion of the genre

In 1987, The Simpsons shorts debuted on Fox's The Tracey Ullman Show. The first full-length episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", debuted on December 17, 1989. It remained the sole mainstream adult-oriented situational comedy until the late 1990s.

21st century

Though many animated sitcoms have only lasted a few years or as little as one season, popular shows such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, and Futurama all debuted before the year 2000 and lasted a long time, the first three still airing new episodes as of 2017 (Futurama ended in 2013). Netflix later became Fox's main competitor for adult animation following the release and streaming of BoJack Horseman and F Is for Family in the 2010s. The former received mixed reviews for the first half of season 1, but in its third season consensus on Rotten Tomatoes,the show was described as "one of the funniest and most heartbreaking shows on television". Canadian examples in this genre from the decade include Chilly Beach, Odd Job Jack, and, most recently, Fugget About It.

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