• 41
    The Carol Burnett Show

    The Carol Burnett Show

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    CBS (ended 1978)
    The Carol Burnett Show is one of Televisions greatest show's in history. Lasting 11 successful years starting in 1967 and ending in 1978 not without winning 25 Emmy Awards, 8 Golden Globe Awards and 3 People's Choice Awards. CBS Broadcast History
    September 1967-May 1971......Monday 10:00-11:00
    September 1971-November 1972......Wednesday 8:00-9:00
    December 1972-December 1977......Saturday 10:00-11:00
    December 1977-March 1978......Sunday 10:00-11:00
    Nielsen Ratings: (Top 25 or better) #24 in the 1968-1969 Season
    #13 in the 1969-1970 Season
    #25 in the 1970-1971 Season
    #23 in the 1971-1972 Season
    #22 in the 1972-1973 Season
    moreless
  • 42
    Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

    Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

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    PBS (ended 2001)
    "In a little toy neighborhood, a tiny trolley rolls past a house at the end of a street. Welcome toMister Rogers' Neighborhood." In the annals of children's TV, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood ranks among the longest-lasting and beloved shows. Upon its conclusion, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was the longest-running series in PBS history (a record eclipsed by Sesame Street in 2003). Host Fred Rogers (known to millions as simply "Mister Rogers") used his gentle charm and mannerisms to communicate with his audience of children. Topics centered on nearly every inconceivable matter of concern to children, ranging from everyday fears related to going to sleep, getting immunizations and disappointment about not getting one's way to losing a loved one to death and physical handicaps. Rogers used simple songs and, on nearly every show, segments from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe (NOM) to make his point. A scale-model trolley was often (but not always) used to segue into the Make-Believe segments, said neighborhood being inhabited by puppet characters including King Friday XIII, Lady Elaine Fairchild and Daniel Striped Tiger. Many shows also featured visits from cast members – most often Mr. McFeely (tagline: "Speedy Delivery"), Robert Trow, Joe Negri and Chef Brockett (the local baker). Many times, Rogers also visited the neighborhood shops of both the regulars and guests. Each show began and ended with a camera panning over a scale neighborhood (said to represent the town where Rogers lived). Production History While today's longer-running PBS Kids shows reinvent themselves every five years, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood achieved, throughout its 31 seasons, that rarest of elements: consistency. It is a legacy that can all be traced through every aspect of Fred Rogers' television career. Some of the characters in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, both real and imagined, had appeared in two of Fred Rogers' earlier programs, The Children's Corner for Pittsburgh's WQED in 1954 and the CBC's Misterogers in 1963. It was for Misterogers that Fred first appeared on-camera. Rogers returned to WQED in Pittsburgh to begin writing and hosting Mister Rogers' Neighborhood May 22, 1967. Several other public television stations from Chicago to Boston carried the show on a trial basis that year. Beginning February 19, 1968, the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood program that we know today, began airing nationwide on National Educational Television (NET), the predecessor to PBS. This was also the year David Newell, returned from Europe, began work for Rogers. He was in charge of the production as well as the neighborhood's Speedy Delivery service. (AN ASIDE: Rogers wanted to call the delivery man Mr. McCurdy after the man at the Sears-Roebuck Foundation, whose support launched Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. But the people at Sears-Roebuck called Rogers and said "Mr. McCurdy" was too self-serving. Thus Rogers went to his roots to rename Newell's deliveryman. "McFeely" was Rogers' middle name and the last name of his maternal grandfather.) Shows were produced as a daily strip from 1968 to 1976, at which time production was suspended. Counting black-and-white episodes, 590 shows were produced in that span. Production resumed at the beginning of the remote video age in 1979. Rogers went on location more, supervising videos of how people make things (a precursor to the TVO series Here's How!). Other characters would be introduced in the subsequent two decades. In all, 305 new programs were taped from 1979 through 2001. Of that volume, the most notable shows came in 1991, with Rogers focusing on calming children's fears during the first U.S. war with Iraq. PBS gradually narrowed the window for the 460 "pre-79" episodes with each new season from 1980 onward. When the number of "post-75" episodes was enough to cover entire years, the classic shows were retired, last airing on PBS in the summer of 1995. Despite the production stoppage and the subsequent passing of Fred Rogers on February 27, 2003, PBS continues to repeat Mister Roger's Neighborhood in all its original glory–an accomplishment unique among all PBS Kids shows.moreless
  • 43
    The Muppet Show

    The Muppet Show

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    (ended 1981)
    After the success of Sesame Street in 1969, Muppet creator Jim Henson wanted to have a chance at his own series. In 1974, Henson shot a Muppet special called The Muppets' Valentine Show, which would later become a precursor for The Muppet Show. The special starred famous muppet, Kermit the Frog, with a cast of new muppets including: George the Janitor, Droop the Anteater, Crazy Donald (later named Crazy Harry), Brewsters the oldtimer, Mildred the goose, and Rufus (later named Muppy). Many of these characters were used during the first season of The Muppet Show, and quickly faded away to background characters. The special featured actress Mia Farrow, who taught the muppets about love, and that everyone loves something. Afterwards in 1975, Henson shot the failed pilot for the Muppet Show: Sex and Violence. Amazingly, Kermit the Frog was not in the pilot at all! Instead, the host was wimpy, Nigel, who Jim Henson wrote out of the show soon afterwards. After about a year, the muppet team went to the United Kingdom and were given the green light for the Muppet Show. The show became one of the top syndicated comedies of all time! The show featured a new group of Muppet characters including: Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Scooter, Beauregard, Rowlf the Dog, and The Electric Mayhem. Each show featured a celebrity guest star, who were either personal friends of Henson, or his manager. The Muppet Show lasted for 5 years, and 120 episodes, two spin offs, and several movies. Theme Song: It's time to play the music It's time to light the lights It's time to meet the Muppets On the Muppet Show tonight It's time to put on makeup It's time to dress up right It's time to raise the curtain On the Muppet Show tonight Why do we always come here I guess we'll never know It's like a kind of torture To have to watch the show And now lets get things started Why don't you get things started It's time to get things started On the most sensational Inspirational Celebrational Muppetational This is what we call the Muppet Show! Characters Kermit the Frog Originally from "Sam & Friends" (1955), then later Sesame Street (1969), Kermit is the host of The Muppet Show. Miss Piggy Self-centered, yet very persuasive. Wants to marry Kermit. Fozzie Bear Furry, fuzzy, funny, fabulous, free-willing, fast, and frantic....he's Fozzie Bear. The Great Gonzo A "whatever". Scooter the Go-Fer Kermit's stage assistant. Rizzo the Rat Gonzo's sidekick. A rat with rat-itude. Rowlf the Dog Originally from The Jimmy Dean Show, Rowlf is a piano playing dog, and the first muppet to become a national star. Statler and Waldorf The two old-timers who sat in the balcony. Doctor Bunsen Honeydew The Muppet Show's scientist. Beeker Meep Meep Meep's meep. Beauregard: The Muppet Show's slow-witted janitor. Pops: Greeted the guests at the begining. The Swedish Chef Bork bork bork. The Eletric Mayhem The Muppet Show's band including: Dr. Teeth (lead vocalist and piano player), Sgt. Floyd Pepper (Bass, and Janice's boyfriend), Janice (guitarist, Floyd's girlfriend), Zoot (sax is his act), Lips (trumpet player), and Animal (HE WANT TO BAT DRUM!) First Telecast: September 27, 1976 Last Telecast: June 8, 1981 Episodes: 120 color episodes Spin-Offs: Muppet Babies and Muppets Tonight! Spin Offs: * Muppet Babies was Jim Henson's first animated series. The show featured familiar Muppet faces, only as babies. New characters included Nanny (the nanny of the nursery), and Skeeter (Scooter's twin sister). * Muppets Tonight! was basically a modern remake of The Muppet Show, featuring celebrity guest stars who at the peak of perfection at the time. New characters included: Pepe (the king prawn, okay?), Clifford (the cool hippie muppet)and Johnny Fiami and Sal Movies * The Muppet Movie (1979) * The Great Muppet Caper (1981) * The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) * The Muppet Christmas Carol (1993) * Muppet Treasure Island (1996) * Muppets From Space (1999) * Kermit's Swamp Years (2002) * It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002) * The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz (2005)moreless
  • 44
    The Pink Panther Show

    The Pink Panther Show

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    (ended 1979)
    Welcome to The Pink Panther guide at TV.com.

    In 1963, movie director Blake Edwards asked David H. DePatie and Friz Freleng (who had just opened their cartoon studio, DePatie-Freleng) to design a character for the opening titles of his movie, "The Pink Panther". Of many drawings, Edwards selected the cool design by Hawley Pratt. The opening of the movie became so famous that United Artists, the distributor of the movie, told them to make a cartoon series with the character. The cartoon series started in 1964 and became very successful, the first short called "The Pink Phink" won an Academy Award. After the success of the Pink Panther cartoons, DePatie and Freleng introduced other cartoon series like "The Inspector" and "Roland and Rattfink", however, none of them became as famous as their first creation. The last theatrically released Pink Panther cartoon, "Therapeutic Pink", was made in 1977. More cartoons were made in 1978-1979, for television distribution.

    In 1984, DePatie-Freleng was already gone so Hanna-Barbera made a new cartoon series "The Pink Panther and Sons". It wasn't successful and it was cancelled soon. In September 1993, a new half-hour series made for syndication by MGM Television Animation premiered. It was simply called "The Pink Panther". In these new cartoons, Pink Panther spoke. He was voiced by Matt Frewer. In this show, two other classic DePatie-Freleng cartoons, The Ant and the Aardvark and The Dogfather were revived. New characters, Voodoo Man and Manly Man were introduced. This show ended in May 1995, after only two seasons.

    This episode guide is for the original cartoons from the 60's and the 70's.moreless
  • 45
    Mayberry R.F.D.

    Mayberry R.F.D.

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    CBS (ended 1971)
    Mayberry R.F.D. premiered in 1968 as a spin off of The Andy Griffith Show (1960-68) with the highest ratings, at the time, of any new show in the history of television. Andy Griffith had grown tired of doing The Andy Griffith Show, so it was decided to continue the show using a different format. Sam Jones arrived in Mayberry during the final season of The Andy Griffith Show. He was very similar to Andy and, also, had a son. The last episode of The Andy Griffith Show served as the pilot for Mayberry R.F.D. In the first episode of Mayberry R.F.D., Andy and Helen were married. Don Knotts also gave a special appearance as Barney Fife. Shortly after Andy and Helen were married, they moved away. Most regulars from The Andy Griffith Show did stay including Howard Sprague, Emmett Clark, Goober Pyle, and, for the first two seasons, Bee Taylor. In 1971, Mayberry R.F.D. was cancelled by CBS in an effort to rid itself of its image as the "hillbilly" network. Main Title Theme Song "The Mayberry March" written by Earle Hagen and Carl Brandt CBS Broadcast History September 23, 1968 - September 6, 1971 ---- Mondays ---- 9:00 - 9:30 P.M. Nielsen Ratings Season 1 (1968-69) #4 (25.4) Season 2 (1969-70) #4 (24.4) Season 3 (1970-71) #15 (22.3) First Telecast: September 23, 1968 Last Telecast: March 29, 1971 Episodes: 78 color episodesmoreless
  • 46
    Last of the Summer Wine

    Last of the Summer Wine

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    BBC (ended 2010)
    The longest running comedy series in the world started out, as many British comedy successes did, with a 1973 episode of the BBC series "Comedy Playhouse". The basis was simple but complex at the same time, telling the stories of three old men, who in all essence couldn't be more young at heart. The original trio consisted of Bill Owen, as Compo Simmonite, the scruffiest man in Yorkshire, with only two passions in life: his ferrets and Nora Batty (Kathy Staff). The second man of the group, Norman Clegg, played by Peter Sallis, was from the beginning shown as the most timid of the group, and also the one who gets carried away by the crazy ideas and schemes of his companions, which always seem to get him in trouble. Initially the third man of the group was Blamire, played by Michael Bates, but he was soon replaced by Foggy Dewhurst (Brian Wilde) who always seems to have a scheme or a story that somehow leads to his old days as a war hero... or so he says. In 1986 Brian Wilde left the series, to start filming his new sitcom, which proved to be a wrong move, as the show hadn't the success needed to sustain even a second series. during his 4 year absence from last of the summer wine Michael Aldridge played Seymour, the new third man of the trio, until 1990. Brian Wilde returned to do the next seven years of the show. When Brian Wilde left the series for the second time in 1997 Frank Thornton replaced him as the new third man on the trio as Truly Truelove of the Yard, an ex-police officer who's always remembering his past, both in the police force and in his former marriage to the former Mrs Truelove. When Bill Owen passed away, his son Tom joined the series, replacing him for the rest of the season as Compo's long lost son, Tom. Compo's permanent replacement would come the next year when Keith Clifford joined the cast as Billy Hardcastle, a man who fancies himself the descendant of Robin Hood. In 2003, the traditional trio became a quartet with the addition of Brian Murphy as Alvin Smedley, Nora Batty's new next door neigbour. With the addition of Alvin, an element of physical humour missing since Compo's death returned to the series. The quartet once again became a trio when Keith Clifford left the series in 2006. In 2009, the series was once again redesigned to allow Sallis and Thornton a reduced role on the series. A new third man was introduced in the form of Hobbo Hobdyke (Russ Abbott), a former milkman who fancies himself a former MI-5 agent. By combining Hobbo with Alvin and the electrical repairman, Entwistle (Burt Kwouk), a new trio was formed, proving once again the ability of the show to redesign itself over time. The main cast has always been surrounded by some amazing supporting cast throughout the run of the series, who helped to mantain the series as fresh today as it was when it premiered on the BBC.moreless
  • 47
    What's Happening!!

    What's Happening!!

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    ABC (ended 1979)
    What's Happening!! was first seen in August of 1976 and was yet another urban situation comedy that came out in the 1970's and joined the ranks of Chico and the Man and Good Times. The series was loosely based on the 1975 movie Cooley High. The series centered around three black teens, Roger "Raj" Thomas, Dwayne Clemens, and Freddie "Rerun" Stubbs. Rerun had gotten his nickname because he kept on having to repeat high school courses that he had flunked. Also, by the end of the first season, Dwayne's last name had been changed to Nelson. The stories revolved around them struggling to grow up in a lower-middle class neighborhood. Others in the cast include, Raj's divorced mother, Mabel "Mama" Thomas who had her hands full with working full time and handling Raj and his bratty little sister Dee Thomas. Shirley Wilson was the sassy waitress who worked at the local hangout, Rob's Place. Raj and Dee's dad, Bill Thomas, was seen occasionally during the first two seasons. In the third and final season, Raj and Rerun had graduated high school and they moved in together and shared an apartment. By that time, the character of Mama had been dropped and Shirley was now living in the Thomas household. In 1985, the series returned in syndication under a new name, What's Happening Now!!. The revamped series had almost all the original stars returning to their roles and ran until 1988. First Telecast: August 5, 1976 Last Telecast: April 28, 1979 Episodes: 65 Color Episodes Theme Song: "What's Happening!!" Written by: Henry Mancini Performed by: Henry Mancini (Instrumental) Spin-offs: What's Happening Now!! ABC Broadcast History August 1976----Thursdays----8:30 p.m. November 1976-December 1976----Saturdays----8:30 p.m. December 1976-January 1978----Thursdays----8:30 p.m. January 1978-April 1978----Saturdays----8:00 p.m. April 1978-January 1979----Thursdays----8:30 p.m. February-March 1979----Fridays----8:30 p.m. March-April 1979----Saturdays----8:00 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) #25 in the 1976-1977 Season #29 in the 1978-1979 Seasonmoreless
  • 48
    Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

    Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

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    CBS (ended 1984)
    Live action bumpers featuring Bill Cosby were set around animated episodes of Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids, a series about a group of urban adolescents growing up in a Philadelphia neighborhood. The show was based on Cosby's '60s stand up comedy monologues about his childhood. The episodes revolved around the daily life lessons learned by Albert and his friends. Topics ranged from social issues to personal introspection and were blended with humor and music. Among the many great characters that inhabited Fat Albert's world were Rudy, Mushmouth, Donald, Bill, Weird Harold and Russell. In 1979 the show was re-titled The New Fat Albert Show and featured a new segment called The Brown Hornet, a send-up of superhero cartoons starring a larger-than-life African-American crime fighter in outer space. In 1984, the show was syndicated and renamed The Adventures of Fat Albert and the Cosby kids. It ended the same year. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids enjoyed one of the longest careers in Saturday morning cartoon history. There are plans to release the whole series on DVD over the course of 2005. Theme song "Hey, hey, hey! It's Fat Albert!" And I'm gonna sing a song for you And Bill's gonna show you a thing or two You'll have some fun now with me and all the gang Learning from each other While we do our thing Nah, nah, nah -- gonna have a good time (hey, hey, hey!) Nah, nah, nah -- gonna have a good time "This is Bill Cosby coming atcha with music and fun And if you're not careful, you may learn something before it's done! (1984 version: So get ready) Hey, hey, hey!" Nah, nah, nah -- gonna have a good time Nah, nah, nah -- gonna have a good time Nah, nah, nah -- gonna have a good timemoreless
  • 49
    Carol Burnett and Friends

    Carol Burnett and Friends

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    CBS (ended 1978)
    Carol Burnett and Friends was a syndicated, truncated version of The Carol Burnett Show, showing only the sketches.The show star's Carol Burnett and co-star's Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, Carol Burnett's related shows: The Carol Burnett Show Carol Burnett and Company The Carol Burnett Show (1991) Carol & Companymoreless
  • 50
    Rising Damp

    Rising Damp

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    ITV (ended 1978)
    Rumour has it that somewhere deep in the rain forests of South America, there still exist undiscovered tribes of people completely cut off from civilization, untouched by technology, and oblivious to the existence of the great world beyond the waterfall. If this is so, then these people are quite possibly the only humans on the entire planet that have never stood with hands on hips, nodded their heads vigorously back and forth and uttered the line "Yes, Miss Jones." Certainly everyone else, however, has. Such is the legendary status of one miserly, prejudiced, scheming and generally unlikeable bed-sit landlord called Rigsby. Rising Damp originated as a script for a stage play, The Banana Box, in 1970. It's author, Eric Chappell, was inspired by a newspaper article about a black man who had guested at a hotel for a year, pretending to be an African prince as a means of avoiding discrimination. The play enjoyed a short lived run in 1971, with Wilfred Brambell as landlord Rooksby, and again in 1973 where regular stars Leonard Rossiter, Don Warrington and Frances De La Tour were cast. It was on this final run that a Yorkshire Television executive was invited to see it, and recognised it's potential as sit-com material. In 1974, The Banana Box became one of six sit-com pilot episodes commissioned by YTV, the others being Badger's Set, Brotherly Love, Slater's Day, You'll Never Walk Alone and Oh No, It's Selwyn Frogit! During production of The Banana Box, the title was deemed unsuitable and changed to Rising Damp (after a line from the script). Also, due to a complaint from a real Mr Rooksby, the lead character's name was altered to the more familiar Rigsby after a flick through the phone book. Audience reaction to the pilot were deemed favourable enough for YTV to commission a series. In fact, the show ran to four series, a Christmas special and a successful feature film, winning multiple awards along the way.moreless
  • 51
    Bewitched (1972)

    Bewitched (1972)

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    ABC (ended 1972)
    Bewitched is a fantasy sitcom chronicling what happens when a witch and a mortal fall in love and get married in 1960s and '70s suburban America. At the very center of the show is Elizabeth Montgomery's portrayal of a good-hearted witch named Samantha. A strong, independent woman with the world at her finger tips (or at the twitch of her nose), she gives up her witchly life to do things the "mortal way". Her mortal husband Darrin Stephens (played by Dick York, and later Dick Sargent) is a talented advertising executive with McMann & Tate. He obsesses with leading a "normal life" where one works hard to earn a good living for one's family. He constantly struggles against disapproving witches and warlocks, like Samantha's powerful mother, Endora (played by Agnes Moorehead).
    Endora is determined to prove to Samantha that the mixed-marriage marriage is a tremendous mistake. Over the show's eight year run, Endora tries numerous spells, all creating humiliation and chaos in Darrin's mortal world. This often ends up affecting Darrin's money-obsessed boss and best friend, Larry Tate (played by David White). Larry's wife, Louise (played by Irene Vernon and Kasey Rogers), is Samantha's best friend, although she is unaware that Sam is a witch.
    In season two, life changes dramatically when Samantha and Darin give birth to daughter Tabitha Stephens (played by five babies that season and by twins Erin and Diane Murphy starting in season three). Many early Tabitha episodes revolve around whether she is a witch or mortal until the big reveal in season three. Later in season six, the Stephenses give birth to a boy, Adam. Although less airtime is spent on his character, eventually audiences find out that he too has powers.
    Recurring characters include Samantha's favorite aunt, Clara, who is a lovable, bumbling witch (played by Marion Lorne). Due to Aunt Clara's extended age, she is suffering the loss of her powers and inadvertently wreaks havoc at the Stephens home. Also often wreaking havoc are Samantha's practical joking Uncle Arthur (Paul Lynde), her Shakespeare orating father, Maurice (Maurice Evans), a bad joke-telling witch doctor, Dr. Bombay (Bernard Fox) and a shy witch-maid Esmeralda (Alice Ghostley). Elizabeth Montgomery also portrays Samantha's free-spirited, mischievous twin cousin, Serena.
    On the mortal receiving end of the seemingly hallucinogenic world of witches are neighbors Gladys and Abner Kravitz. Gladys, first portrayed by Alice Pearce and later by Sandra Gould, was immediately aware that the Stephens household was positively strange, and was certain that something "beyond this world" was at work across the street. Abner (George Tobias) never believes it. Darrin's mother, Phyllis Stephens (Mabel Albertson), fairs no better, as she is forever witnessing zany antics only to have her husband, Frank Stephens (Robert F. Simon and later Roy Roberts) not believe it.
    Bewitched earned nearly two dozen Emmy nominations during its run. Marion Lorne and Alice Pearce won well deserved awards, as did director and producer, William Asher (Elizabeth Montgomery's husband at the time). In 1970, Bewitched presented a Christmas episode regarding bigotry and racism, and received a special Emmy, the Governor's Award, for the landmark episode "Sisters at Heart". Beyond the theme of bigotry and "mixed-marriages", the series explored cultural issues of consumerism, materialism, human vanity, women's liberation, and mass hysteria. Season six of Bewitched brought about the biggest change to the series as Dick York was replaced by Dick Sargent in the role of Darrin. This element of the show has become a cultural touchstone, with many viewers debating their favorite Darrin.
    First Telecast: September 17, 1964 Last Telecast: July 1, 1972 ABC Daytime: 1968 - 1973 ABC Saturday Morning: 1971 - 1973 Episodes: 254 Episodes (74 black and white, 180 color) Ratings Season 1: #2 Season 2: #7 Season 3: #8 Season 4: #11 Season 5: #12 Season 6: #25 Season 7: (above #25) Season 8: (above #25)moreless
  • 52
    Taxi

    Taxi

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    ABC (ended 1983)
    Taxi's television history is filled with contradictions. Produced by some of television comedy's most well-regarded talent, the show was canceled by two different networks. Despite winning fourteen Emmy Awards in only five seasons, the program's ratings were rock-bottom for its final seasons. Although it thrives in syndication and is still well-loved by many viewers, Taxi will be best remembered as the ancestral bridge between two of the most successful sit-coms of all time: The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Cheers. In the mid-1970s, MTM Productions had achieved huge success with both popularity and critical appraisal. So it was an unexpected move when four of the company's finest writers and producers, James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, David Davis, and Ed. Weinberger, jumped off the stable ship of MTM in 1978 to form their own production company, John Charles Walters Company. To launch their new venture, they looked back to an idea that Brooks and Davis had previously considered with MTM: the daily life of a New York City taxi company. From MTM head Grant Tinker they purchased the rights to the newspaper article that had initiated the concept and began producing this new show at Paramount for ABC. They brought a few other MTM veterans along for the ride, including director James Burrows and writer/producers Glen and Les Charles. Although Taxi certainly bore many of the trademark signs of "quality television" as exemplified by MTM, other changes in style and focus distinguished this from an MTM product. After working on the middle-class female-centered worlds of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, and Phyllis for years, the group at John Charles Walters wanted to create a program focusing on blue-collar male experience. MTM programs all had clearly defined settings, but Taxi's creators wanted a show that was firmly rooted in a city's identity--Taxi's situations and mood were distinctly New York. Despite MTM Productions innovations in creating ensemble character comedy, there was always one central star around which the ensemble revolved. In Taxi Judd Hirsch's Alex Reiger was a main character, but his importance seemed secondary to the centrality of the ensemble and the Sunshine Cab Company itself. While The Mary Tyler Moore Show proudly proclaimed that "you're going to make it on your own," the destitute drivers of Taxi were doomed to perpetual failure; the closest any of them came to happiness was Reiger's content acceptance of his lot in life--to be a cabby. Taxi debuted on 12 September 1978, amidst a strong ABC Tuesday night line-up. It followed Three's Company, a wildly-successful example of the type of show MTM "quality" sit-coms reacted against. Taxi used this strong position to end the season ninth in the ratings and garner its first of three straight Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series. The show's success was due to its excellent writing, Burrows's award-winning directing using his innovative four-camera technique, and its largely unknown but talented cast. Danny DeVito's Louie DePalma soon became one of the most despised men on television--possibly the most unredeemable and worthless louse of a character ever to reside on the small screen. Andy Kaufman's foreign mechanic Latka Gravas provided over-the-top comedy within an ensemble emphasizing subtle character humor. But Kaufman sometimes also brought a demonic edge to the character, an echo of his infamous appearances on Saturday Night Live as a macho wrestler of women and Mighty Mouse lip-syncher. In the second season Christopher Lloyd's Reverend Jim Ignatowski was added to the group as television's first drugged-out '60s burn-out character. But Lloyd's Emmy-winning performance created in Jim more than just a storehouse of fried brain cells; he established a deep, complex humanity that moved far beyond mere caricature. The program launched successful movie careers for DeVito and Lloyd, as well as the fairly-notable television careers of Tony Danza and Marilu Henner; Kaufman's controversial career would certainly have continued had he not died of cancer in 1984. In its third season ABC moved Taxi from beneath Three's Company's protective wing to a more competitive Wednesday night slot; the ratings plummeted and Taxi finished the next two years in 53rd place. ABC canceled the show in early 1982 as part of a larger network push away from "quality" and toward the Aaron Spelling-produced popular fare of Dynasty and The Love Boat. HBO bid for the show, looking for it to become the first ongoing sitcom for the pay channel, but lost out to NBC, which scheduled the series for the 1982-83 season. Ironically, this reunited the show's executive producers with their former boss Tinker, who had taken over NBC. Tinker's reign at NBC was focused, not surprisingly, on "quality" programming which he hoped would attract viewers to the perennially last-place network. Taxi was partnered with a very compatible show on Thursday night--Cheers, created by Taxi veterans Charles, Burrows, and Charles. Although this line-up featured some of the great programs in television history--the comedies were sandwiched by dramas Fame and Hill St. Blues--the ratings were dreadful and Taxi finished the season in 73rd place. NBC was willing to stick by Cheers for another chance, but felt Taxi had run its course and canceled it at the end of the season. Had Taxi been given another year or two, it would have been part of one of the most successful nights on television, featuring The Cosby Show (co-created by Taxi creator Weinberger), Family Ties, Hill St. Blues, L.A. Law, and eventual powerhouse Cheers. Taxi lives on in syndication, but its most significant place in television history is as the middle generation between The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Cheers. It served as a transition between the star-driven middle-class character comedy of MTM programs and the location-centered ensemble comedy inhabited by the losers of Cheers and Taxi. Considered one of the great sit-coms of its era, Taxi stands as a prime example of the constant tension in television programming between standards of "quality" and reliance on high ratings to determine success. --Jason Mittel The Museum of Broadcast Communicationsmoreless
  • 53
    Laverne & Shirley

    Laverne & Shirley

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    ABC (ended 1983)
    Laverne and Shirley debuted as a mid-season replacement in January of 1976 and was an instant hit ranking number three in the Nielsen ratings for the 1975-1976 season.

    On Happy Days, Laverne De Fazio and Shirley Feeney were two girls who were love interests for Richie Cunningham and Fonzie. Their occasional appearances led to their own series which takes place in the same city as Happy Days: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the 1950s and 1960s.

    Laverne and Shirley are lower-society girls who share an apartment and work together at the Shotz Brewery as bottlecappers. Laverne and Shirley are very different people. Laverne is feisty, quick-tempered, and man-hungry while Shirley is more naive and trusting and quite inexperienced when it comes to romance.

    Others in the cast includ Laverne's gruff father, Frank De Fazio, who runs the Pizza Bowl where Laverne and Shirley work on occasion. Edna Babish is the girls' landlady who later marries Frank. Carmine "The Bag Ragu" Ragusa is a singer/dancer who has an on-again, off-again romance with Shirley. The other two main characters of the series are the male counterparts of Laverne and Shirley. Lenny Kosnowski and Andrew "Squiggy" Squiggman live upstairs in the same apartment building as Laverne and Shirley and, also, work at the brewery. They constantly enter the girls' apartment with an annoying "hello."

    In 1980, the series changed scenery. The girls want something new so they decide to move to California. Lenny and Squiggy follow them along with Frank, Edna, and Carmine. The girls want to get into movies while Frank and Edna open a restaurant, Cowboy Bill's. New characters included stuntman and apartment building manager Sonny St. Jacques and neighbor and model Rhonda Lee.

    In 1982, Cindy Williams left the series with her character marrying Walter Meany, a military man who was assigned overseas.

    Main Title Theme Song "Making Our Dreams Come True" - written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox; performed by Cyndi Grecco

    ABC Broadcast History January 27, 1976 - July, 1979 ---- Tuesdays ---- 8:30 P.M. August, 1979 - December, 1979 ---- Thursdays ---- 8:00 P.M. December, 1979 - February, 1980 ---- Mondays ---- 8:00 P.M. February, 1980 - May, 1983 ---- Tuesdays ---- 8:30 P.M.

    Nielsen Ratings - Top 30 Season 1 (1975-1976) #3 (27.5) Season 2 (1976-1977) #2 (30.9) Season 3 (1977-1978) #1 (31.6) Season 4 (1978-1979) #1 (30.5) Season 5 (1979-1980) Not In Top 30 Season 6 (1980-1981) #20 (tie) (20.6) Season 7 (1981-1982) #20 (19.9) Season 8 (1982-1983) #25 (17.8)

    Emmy Awards Nominations Outstanding Costume Design for a Series 1979 - Alfred E. Lehman

    (source: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences)

    Golden Globe Awards Nominations Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy 1977 1978

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy 1978 - Cindy Williams 1978 - Penny Marshall 1979 - Penny Marshall 1980 - Penny Marshall

    First Telecast: January 27, 1976 Last Telecast: May 10, 1983 Episodes: 178 color episodes plus one reunion specialmoreless
  • 54
    Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best

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    CBS (ended 1960)
    Father Knows Best was the classic wholesome family situation comedy. It was set in the typical Midwestern community of Springfield, where Jim Anderson was an agent for the General Insurance Company. Every evening he would come home from work, take off his sport jacket, put on his comfortable sweater, and deal with the everyday problems of a growing family. In contrast to most other family comedies of the period, in which one of the other parents was a blundering idiot, both Jim and his wife Margaret were portrayed as thoughtful, responsible adults. When a family crisis arose, Jim would clam the waters with a warm smile and some sensible advice. When Father Knows Best went on television in 1954, the three children were aged 14 [Bud], and 9 [Kathy]. As the seasons passed two of them graduated from High School, first Betty [1956] and then Bud [1959]. Neither left home, howevery, both electing to go to Springfield's own State College. The Andersons were truly an idealized family, the sort that viewers could relate to and wish to emulate. The children went through the normal problems of growing up, included those concerning school, friends, and members of the opposite sex. They didn't always agree with their parents, but the bickering was miminal, and everything seemed to work out by the end of the half-hour. Father Knows Best began as an NBC radio series in 1948, with Robert Young in the starting role. He was the only member of the radio cast that made the transition to TV in 1954. The TV series was not partculiarly successful at first and CBS cancelled it in March 1955. A flood of viewer protests demanding that the program be reinstated and moved to an earlier time slot so that the whole family could watch it, prompted NBC to pick it up for the following season with an 8:30 p.m. started time. Father Knows Best prospered for the next five years.moreless
  • 55
    Archie Bunker's Place

    Archie Bunker's Place

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    CBS (ended 1983)
    Archie Bunker's Place premiered in 1979 as a continuation of the very popular CBS series All in the Family. When the new series began, the focus of the series shifted from Archie and Edith's home life to Archie's bar, Archie's Place, which was now being expanded into a short-order restaurant. Some new regulars were introduced into the series such as Archie's new business partner, Murray Klein, cook Veronica Rooney, and some of Archie's friends, who were formerly recurring guest stars were now regulars or even costars. Edith was seen less frequently in the first season. Then at the beginning of the second season, the unthinkable happened. Edith suddenly died of a stroke, leaving Archie to care for little Stephanie all by himself. Archie later became full owner of the bar and grill with financial advice coming from lawyer/business manager Gary Rabinowitz, who happened to be in love with Archie's niece Billie, who had also come to stay with Archie. Archie Bunker's Place left CBS in 1983. Spinoff of: All in the Family Spinoffs: Gloria CBS Broadcast History: Sep 1979--Mar 1983; Sun 8:00-8:30 Mar 1983--May 1983; Mon 8:00-8:30 May 1983--Jun 1983; Sun 8:00-8:30 Jun 1983--Jun 1983; Mon 9:30-10:00 Jun 1983--Sep 1983; Wed 8:00-8:30 Nielsen Ratings: #11 1979-1980 Season #20 1980-1981 Season #13 1981-1982 Season #26 1982-1983 Season Awards for Archie Bunker's Place: Sheree North was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1980. Linda Day was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for Tough Love in 1981. Anne Meara was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series for Relapse in 1981. Carroll O'Connor won a Peabody Personal Award for Edith's Death in 1981. Danielle Brisebois was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Television Series in 1981. Anne Meara was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series for Relapse in 1982. Danielle Brisebois was nominated for Golden Globes, USA Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV in 1982. Danielle Brisebois won a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Television Series in 1982. Marco Zappia was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Video Tape Editing for a Series for Three Women in 1983. Danielle Brisebois was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Television Series in 1983. Danielle Brisebois was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Television Series in 1984.moreless
  • 56
    The Partridge Family

    The Partridge Family

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    ABC (ended 1974)
    In 1970, the Partridge Family was among the top-selling recording acts, not to mention one of the top-rated TV shows of its time. Either way, it made David Cassidy a successful teen idol until the show's cancellation in 1974.

    The Partridge Family consisted of Shirley Partridge (keyboards, vocals) and her five kids: Keith (lead vocalist and guitar), Laurie (keyboards, vocals), Danny (bass guitar, vocals), Chris (drums), and Tracy (tambourine). Rounding out the cast was their manager, Reuben Kincaid.

    With the exception of Shirley Jones and David Cassidy, none of the actors on the show actually sang or played on the group's records. In fact this was done by professional studio musicians and singers, with the family lip-synching to the tracks on camera. In fact, David Cassidy was originally hired for his looks, but when the producers found out that he could sing they realized that they could use him in the real band.

    Many of the episode plots draw upon the comedic relationship between Reuben (Dave Madden) and Danny (Danny Bonaduce). These two were good friends both on and off the set. Other plot devices were Keith's good looks and popularity at school, Laurie's 70's style activism and some of the strange encounters that the family had when on the road in their bus.

    The Partridge Family was true wholesome family programming. At the time Shirley Partridge was one of the the first single mother's to be featured on a television show. Originally the scripts called for her to be divorced, but this was changed to describe her as a widow.

    Telecast: ABC September 25, 1970 - August 31, 1974 Broadcast History (all ET): Sept. 1970 - Jun. 1973, ABC Friday 8:30 - 9:00 P.M. Jun. 1973 - Aug. 1974, ABC Saturday 8:00 - 8:30 P.M. 96 Episodes In Color On Film.moreless
  • 57
    Love, American Style

    Love, American Style

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    ABC (ended 1974)
    Love, American Style entertained viewers with stories about common people finding love in all walks of life. In this anthology series, each hour-long broadcast consisted of a group of vignettes, aired sequentially and separately and each with an introductory title card. Normally there were three or four vignettes to a show, although occasionally there were as few as one or as many as five. Short blackout skits would be shown in between segments whenever time allowed. The skits featured a recurring cast of players which included James Hampton, best known as Hannibal Dobbs from F Troop, and veteran character actor Stuart Margolin, brother of executive producer Arnold Margolin. The syndication rerun package consisted of 30-minute broadcasts that were edited from the original hour-long broadcasts, except for those which aired in the first half of season 2, which ran in a 30-minute time slot. The show never ranked above #25 in the Nielsen Ratings. Time slots that Love, American Style originally aired in: September 29, 1969 to January 12, 1970: Mondays, 10:00 to 11:00. January 23, 1970 to September 18, 1970: Fridays, 10:00 to 11:00. September 25, 1970 to January 15, 1971: Fridays, 9:30 to 10:00. January 22, 1971 to January 11, 1974: Fridays 10:00 to 11:00. In 1970, the show received a Golden Globe nomination for Best TV Show in a Musical or Comedy. It also won two Emmys for Charles Fox's musical compositions and was nominated for two more. The theme song was originally sung by the pop group, the Cowsills, but later replaced by an uptempo version, credited to the "Love American Style Singers." There was a short-lived revival in 1986 called The New Love, American Style, which aired on ABC's daytime schedule. One of the segments, "Love and the Happy Days," spawned a successful spin-off series, Happy Days.moreless
  • 58
    The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

    The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

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    CBS (ended 1963)
    The life and loves of a young dreamer as he progresses from high school to a stint in the army and then college. Stories related Dobie's continual thoughts about the future, his running battle with his father over the prospect of acquiring work, his relationship with his "good buddy", slacker Maynard G. Krebs, and his endless romantic heartaches, most of which center around Thalia Menniger, a beautiful, but greedy and self-centered young woman who struggles to improve Dobie and find him the job that will enable him to make "oodles and oodles of money" though not for her, the last hope her family has, but for her family, a sixty-year-old father with a kidney condition, a mother who isn't getting any younger, a sister who married a loafer, and a brother who is becoming a public charge. Season three related Dobie and Maynard's experiences as army privates. In season four, after completing their military service, and still undecided about life, Dobie and Maynard enrolled in college.moreless
  • 59
    Land of the Lost

    Land of the Lost

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    NBC (ended 1976)
    Rick (a.k.a. Marshall) , Will, and Holly Marshall are on rafting trip and a earthquake sends them over a waterfall to the world known as, The Land of the Lost! Total Episodes: 43 For more info: landofthelost.com/ THE DINOSAURS Alice the Allosaur Grumpy the Tyrranosaur Dopey the baby Brontosaur Emily the Brontosaur Junior the baby Allosaur Spot the Coelophysis Spike the Triceratops Lulu the two headed monster Torchy the Dimetrodonmoreless
  • 60
    Top Cat

    Top Cat

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    ABC (ended 1962)
    The misadventures of a smart-aleck, street-wise alley cat name T.C., and his pals Benny, Choo Choo, Fancy, Brain and Spook; who get into many acts of trouble with Officer Charlie Dibble, and always have each other. Watch Top Cat on Boomerang. Like The Flintstones, Top Cat was another situation cartoon created by Hanna-Barbera Theme song lyrics: Top Cat The most effec-tu-al Top Cat Who's intellectual close friends get to call him T. C. Providing it's with dignity Top Cat The indisputable leader of the gang He's the boss He's the VIP He's a championship He's the most tip top - Top Cat Yes he's the chief He's the king, but above everything He's the most tip top - Top Cat!moreless
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