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Not an April Fools’ joke (unfortunately): Seth MacFarlane to reboot “The Flintstones” for Fox

What the headline says, folks… Seth MacFarlane of Fox’s non-Simpsons animated sitcom fame (Family Guy, American Dad, etc.) is rebooting the Flintstones; the new show will air on Fox: http://www.deadline.com/2011/05/yabba-dabba-doo-seth-macfarlane-finally-gets-go-ahead-to-reboot-the-flintstones/

My initial reaction to seeing one of my all-time favorite cartoons in the hands of someone behind awful dreck like “Family Guy”:

*Ugh.*

My somewhat-more-nuanced reaction:

I’ve wondered how the modern Stone Age family could be updated for today’s world, or even if they *could* be updated. While they might be seen as too “old-fashioned” for today’s adult viewers used to modern-day stuff like, well, “Family Guy” (or “South Park,” etc.), on the other hand, they probably don’t completely fit in with what today’s kids watch either (not being about human kids going to school with some wacky element thrown in, superheroes, or bizarre anime creatures forced to fight each other). Still, this is probably the *last* way I’d expect Fred and the gang to be revived.

Although MacFarlane’s worked on late-Hanna-Barbera-era/early Cartoon Network Studios-era series (such as “Johnny Bravo”) before, nothing he’s done for Fox convinces me to hold much optimism about being given “The Flintstones.” While Stewie and Brian of “Family Guy” are amusing, everything else about the show I find obnoxious, banal, or a poor reminder of “The Simpsons”/”South Park.”

There’s also the new Flintstones show airing on Fox itself that gives me some pause. On one hand, I’m glad to see a few modern media conglomerates moving away from the modern corporate “packrat” mentality of airing only programs they directly own or control on their networks (which I feel has harmed diversity in programming). On the other hand, I’m not a fan of Fox (or its sitcom style), either, and not just because of Fox News. Since I gave up watching “The Simpsons,” I only tune into Fox for sporting events I can’t watch anywhere else, such as the Super Bowl, regional hockey coverage on cable channel Fox Sports North, etc. I’d hate to see Fox’s programming style applied to Fred and Wilma…

Given my admittedly non-mainstream tastes in pop culture usually conflict with what’s popular (and vice-versa), I suspect there’s a chance this will wind up being a big hit for Fox. Then again, since it *is* Fox, there’s also a chance of seeing it axed after one season (and after it’s been moved to some Friday-night kiss-of-death timeslot)…

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