● Looney Tunes: The Looney Tunes were original on film, but transferred very well to television and became THE staple of syndication. For generations, there wasn't a single child in America who didn't watch Looney Tunes at some point during the week. Because of this, names like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam and Foghorn Leghorn are better known that George Mason and Daniel Shays.
● The Flintstones: The Flintstones were the first real prime time hit for cartoons. They were basically the animated version of The Honeymooners and they showed that cartoons could reach a wider audience on television than children. That said, they were the only ones to do it with any real success until probably The Simpson's.
● The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show: I list this one because it is the first example I can think of where you start to see a niche market develop. Bullwinkle is not an easy show for general audience to like. It is packed with political references and very clever, but not obvious jokes. This is the first attempt to serve smarter audiences than sitcom viewers and kids.
● Scooby Doo: Scooby Doo seems to have ushered in a new age of cartoons. These were more lifelike in story and image than the Looney Tunes before them, they were episodic, and they had lower production values. It strikes me that Scooby represents a generational shift away from the WWII generation to the ME generation, a generational shift that will remain until The '80s Show.
● The Simpson's: The Simpson's started small as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show before getting their own show and, arguably, helping the FOX Network survive to maturity. The show has run for 15,000 years now past its time. But back in its prime, The Simpson's was edgy, must-see television. Bart became a national icon and even an object to attack for certain small-minded types. The success of The Simpson's showed that cartoons could attract adults and in prime time, and it spawned others like Futurama and the Seth McFarlane empire.
● Family Guy: This show proved that Seth McFarlane could get rich selling nothing the least bit clever. No, I can't be kind about this dreck.
● Batman: Finally, this show, in my opinion, represents the takeoff of the hardcore "graphic novel" fans exerting their muscle. This show represents the beginning of the superhero craze that has flooded our cinema as these caped and costumes characters become grim avengers, and you would be shocked at the people who have done voices for this show. Essentially, this show represents the new world of Hollywood, which is catering more to fanboys.