• 21
    The Colbert Report

    The Colbert Report

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    Comedy Central (ended 2014)
    Tune in to The Colbert Report, as Stephen Colbert, from The Daily Show gives his own take on the issues of the day, and more importantly, to tell you why everyone else's take is just plain wrong. The series is intended to be a parody of Bill O'Reilly, Anderson Cooper, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Joe Scarborough, etc. The series airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30 pm EST and re-airs several times a day.moreless
  • 22
    Frasier

    Frasier

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    NBC
    "Frasier" provides a weekly dose of the neuroses and tribulations suffered by an insecure and pompous psychiatrist, Dr. Frasier Crane, host of a Seattle radio advice show at KACL. The twice-divorced doctor's peaceful home life of fine cigars and haute cuisine was shattered when his gruff, ex-cop father, Martin, was injured in the line of duty and forced to move in with Frasier. Martin brought with him a semi-psychic, live-in home-care provider, Daphne Moon, his pesky Jack Russell terrier, Eddie, and a duct-taped recliner that clashes with Frasier's more aesthetically pleasing Eames and Wassily chairs. Their home is frequently visited by Frasier's snobbish and competitive brother, Niles, a fellow psychiatrist whose longtime romantic interest in Daphne was finally happily realized at the conclusion of Season 7. At work, his slightly jaded producer and man-hungry single parent Roz Doyle, supports Frasier. Some of the people who voice the callers to Frasier's radio program are often bigtime celebrities. "Frasier", starring Kelsey Grammer in his Emmy Award-winning title role of Dr. Frasier Crane, made history by becoming the first series, comedy or drama, to achieve a record five consecutive Emmy wins for Outstanding Comedy Series. With this achievement, the series stands ahead of "Cheers", the series from which "Frasier" was spun-off. Overall, "Frasier" earned a total of 37 Emmys (more than any other series in history), including four for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Kelsey Grammer and four for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for David Hyde Pierce. It's also interesting to point out that Kelsey Grammer played the part of Frasier for 20 years, tying him for the longest duration playing the same character on television and, that the show included guest appearances from almost all regulars from "Cheers", excluding Kirstie Alley. NBC Broadcast History September 1993 - May 1994: Thursdays 9:30 PM September 1994 - May 1998: Tuesdays 9:00 PM September 1998 - May 2000: Thursdays 9:00 PM September 2000 - May 2004: Tuesdays 9:00 PM Global Broadcast History (Canada) September 1993 - May 1994: Thursdays 9:30 PM September 1994 - May 1998: Tuesdays 9:00 PM September 1998 - May 2000: Thursdays 9:00 PM September 2000 - February 2004: Tuesdays 8:00 PMmoreless
  • 23
    Sesame Street

    Sesame Street

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    PBS
    Sesame Street is a widely recognized and perpetually daring experiment in educational children's programming. This show has taken popular-culture and turned it upside-down. The fast-paced advertisements that had parents of the new era worrying for their children were the basis for the original format of this show. The show has often satirized pop culture, and made itself easier for parents to watch along too. And thus, the positive impact this show has had on modern society is beyond another. No show is more recognized the world over by as many generations and walks of life. Shown in its original format or with changes to reflect a regional education focus, Sesame Street is now seen in over 140 countries. The show that Entertainment Weekly named the "20th Best Ever Show" has changed the education scene to focus on "entertainment." This has turned out to be a valuable theory that not only helps the medicinal learning go down easier, but it also increases the effectiveness of the information being taught. In an almost backwards sense, the show stays fresh by recycling programming ideas every three years, by which time a new group of kids is watching. Unlike most PBS Kids shows, which have an original run, then go into continuous repeats until getting dropped by PBS or sold to another network, Sesame Street has created many new episodes every season since its debut Nov. 10, 1969. American teachers now expect children to arrive on the first day of school knowing the basics about letters, numbers, and language. "Kindergarten now does what first grade used to do," creator Joan Ganz Cooney has said, "and I think that's directly due to Sesame Street." International versions have changed Sesame Street to be more relevant to their culture and environments. They adjust the unique American inner city, with a cast made up mainly of Muppets, African-Americans, Spaniards and Chinese to reflect their own lifestyles. For example, Canada's Sesame Park features a small suburban town inhabited by folks like an otter and a bear, a bush pilot, a disabled child in a wheel-chair and her cat and Russia's Ulitsa Sesame set in a Russian dvor (courtyard) has a 9-foot tall tree spirit who has his joyous and problem-solving Muppet friends. No show can help in tumultuous or troubled times like Sesame Street. For example: • The Israelis and the Palestinians have now merged their independent spin-offs, to help teach the fighting cultures to accept each other for who they are, not what they have done in the past. • The original American Sesame Street helped children deal with the incidents of 9-11 • On the week of October 4-8, 2004, Sesame Workshop actually dug up reruns of Sesame Street episodes from its 32nd season, in which a hurricane plundered the neighborhood. This move was to come to grips with those disabused by the four hurricanes that struck Florida in a six-week span the previous August and September. It also sent a message about the news' propensity for covering violent acts. • The current South African government has not taken much action on the matters of HIV and AIDS, so in 2003, the South African version of Sesame Street added in a 5-year-old girl monster who manages to go about daily life with ease, even though she intercepted HIV through a blood transfusion shortly after birth. This led to an American backlash, even though her exposure in the States has always been restricted to sesameworkshop.org. Undoubtedly, she is the hardest-edged Muppet since Jim Henson's ill-fated "Creatures from the Planet Gorch" on Saturday Night Live's first season. • No other puppet than a Muppet, namely Elmo, could be taken seriously when asking America's congressional Education Appropriations Subcommittee for more funding to school music programs, so that "when Elmo goes to school, there will be the instruments to play." (Unfortunately, Newt Gingrich's Congress chose instead to divert to Sesame Street production funds from other PBS series. Among the casualties was one of Sesame Street's godchildren, Ghostwriter.) •In the mid-70s, they introduced Linda Bove, a deaf actress playing a deaf librarian that lives a life equal to all the rest of the area's inhabitants. Please note that Sesame Street's air time varies between various PBS stations in America. In recent years, a few PBS stations have dropped the show (including WNYE in New York, whose last airing was in June 2003). sesame street even had a touring show, SESAME STREET LIVE,which has just recently celebrated 25 years of performing. Characters Cookie Monster Cookie Monster has always had a passion for cookies, gobbling them up whenever he can. However, in order to promote healthy eating habits, Cookie Monster recently learned that cookies are a "sometime" food. So now, Cookie Monster also eats fruits and vegetables in addition to his trademark snack. Elmo Elmo is a cute little red monster, who wants to know more about the world he is growing up in. Oscar the Grouch Oscar lives in a dustbin, sure its not the most hygienic of places, but Oscar isn't the most hygienic of creatures. He likes to cause mischief but also enjoys learning. Ernie and Bert Best friends and room-mates, both showing us how people get along with each other and how sometimes you may even fall-out with your best friend. The Count The Count, would teaches us to count, whether it be really difficult numbers or easy numbers, the Counts thing is maths and counting, and he sure is good at it. Big Bird A huge yellow bird, who's everyone's friend. No matter what species, color or race you are.moreless
  • 24
    2 Broke Girls

    2 Broke Girls

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    CBS (ended 2017)
    2 broke girls living in New York City find themselves trying to raise enough money to open their own cupcake business.
  • 25
    Bones

    Bones

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    FOX (ended 2017)
    From executive producers Barry Josephson and Hart Hanson comes the darkly amusing drama Bones, inspired by real-life forensic anthropologist and novelist Kathy Reichs. Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan, who works at the Jeffersonian Institution and writes novels as a sideline, has an uncanny ability to read clues left behind in a victim's bones. Consequently, law enforcement calls her in to assist with murder investigations when the remains are so badly decomposed, burned, or destroyed that the standard identification methods are useless. Brennan has been teamed with Special Agent Seeley Booth, a former Army sniper who mistrusts science and scientists when it comes to solving crimes. Brennan and Booth clash both professionally and personally, but the chemistry between them has grown since they first met and has made them a strong and trusting team. Brennan's equally brilliant colleagues (or "squints" as Booth calls them) at the Jeffersonian's Medico-Legal Lab include earthy and bawdy Angela Montenegro, who's created a unique way to render an original crime scene in a three-dimensional computer image; Dr. Jack Hodgins, who's an expert on insects, spores and minerals, but for whom conspiracy is his passion; and Brennan's boss Dr. Camille "Cam" Saroyan, who replaced Dr. Daniel Goodman after the first season. Zack Addy, a young prodigy whose genius IQ sometimes distances him from reality, was Brennan's former assistant, but at the end of season three he left the Jeffersonian. Dr. Lance Sweets signed on in season three as Booth and Brennan's psychologist, to resolve some of Booth and Brennan's persisting struggles. He later joined the team to provide behavioral analyses on cases. The loss of Sweets from the team, and a conspiracy surrounding Booth has Special Agent James Aubrey paired with Booth as they investigate his case and pitch in with Brennan's work.

    Broadcast History (All times E/P):
    Season 12 - Tuesday 9:00 pm
    Season 11 - Thursday 8:00 pm
    Season 10 – Thursday 8:00 pm
    Season 9, Episodes 16-24 – Monday 8:00 pm
    Season 9, Episodes 9-15 – Friday 8:00 pm
    Season 9, Episodes 1-8 – Monday 8:00 pm (One episode from season eight included in the season)
    Season 8 – Monday 8:00 pm (Four episodes from season seven written to be stand-alones included in the season)
    Season 7, Episodes 7-13 – Monday 8:00 pm (Emily Deschanel's pregnancy meant a short season)
    Season 7, Episode 6 – Thursday 8:00 pm
    Season 7, Episodes 1-5 – Thursday 9:00 pm
    Season 6, Episodes 10-23 – Thursday 9:00 pm
    Season 6, Episodes 1-9 – Thursday 8:00 pm
    Season 5 – Thursday 8:00 pm
    Season 4, Episodes 12-26 – Thursday 8:00 pm
    Season 4, Episodes 1-11 – Wednesday 8:00 pm (Six episodes written for season three included in the season)
    Season 3, Episodes 11-16 – Monday 8:00 pm (2007-2008 WGA writers' strike meant short season)
    Season 3, Episodes 1-9 – Tuesday 8:00 pm
    Season 2 – Wednesday 8:00 pm
    Season 1, Episodes 15-22 – Wednesday 8:00 pm
    Season 1, Episodes 10-14 – Wednesday 9:00 pm
    Season 1, Episodes 1-9 – Tuesday 8:00 pmmoreless
  • 26
    Last Man Standing

    Last Man Standing

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    ABC (ended 2017)
    Tim Allen stars as Mike Baxter, marketing director of an outdoor sporting goods store, fighting for his manhood while constantly being surrounded by women, including his wife and three growing daughters.moreless
  • 27
    New Girl

    New Girl

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    FOX
    Taking a modern look at friendship and romance, ensemble comedy NEW GIRL begins its fourth season, continuing to follow a group of six friends, their somewhat interconnected romantic exploits and their often hilariously misguided attempts to find their respective places in the world.moreless
  • 28
    Young Sheldon

    Young Sheldon

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    CBS
    Young Sheldon is the prequel series to "The Big Bang Theory," and stars Jim Parsons as the narrator for a younger version of himself. Fans of Sheldon have often wondered what he was like as a child, and this will answer all your burning questions! The year is 1989 and Sheldon is about to start High School, even though he is only 9 years old. What will life be like for the smartest (and youngest) kid in school?moreless
  • 29
    The Office

    The Office

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    NBC (ended 2013)
    Based on the popular British series of the same name, this faster-paced American version follows the daily interactions of a group of idiosyncratic office employees at paper company Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch via a documentary film crew's cameras. Regional manager Michael (Steve Carell) thinks he's the coolest, funniest, best boss ever - which, of course, makes him the uncoolest, most obnoxious and annoying boss as far as his staff are concerned. Salesman Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) has always loved receptionist Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) and loves sabotaging his cube-mate, the know-it-all Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson). Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak) started as a young, smart, self-possessed temp, but quickly figured out the real office politics despite Michael's attempts to instill the official point-of-view, and gets himself a job at corporate HQ in New York. The staff is rounded out by quiet Phyllis Lapin Vance (Phyllis Smith), beaten down by the working life Stanley Hudson (Leslie David Baker), office alcoholic Meredith Palmer (Kate Flannery), up-tight Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey), formerly closeted homosexual Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez), stocky and uncouth Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner), ambivalent kleptomaniac Creed Bratton (Creed Bratton), Sad Sack HR rep Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein), persistently love-struck Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling), icy corporate manager turned Michael's girlfriend Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin), former Stamford branch denizen and Cornell graduate Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), warehouse foreman Darryl Philbin (Craig Robinson), and Pam's ex-fiancé Roy Anderson (David Denman).moreless
  • 30
    SpongeBob SquarePants

    SpongeBob SquarePants

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    Nickelodeon
    SpongeBob SquarePants is one of Nickelodeon's highest-rated cartoons for children and a staple of American television. It was created by marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg during his tenure as a teacher at the Ocean Institute in California. The show follows the adventures of an eternally optimistic sea sponge named SpongeBob who works at a fast food restaurant, attends a boating school, and lives in an underwater pineapple. The program stars a colorful cast of ten main characters and takes place in the subsurface town of Bikini Bottom. The series won 4 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program, Outstanding Sound Editing - Animation, Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program - Tom Kenny for playing SpongeBob SquarePants and Outstanding Children’s Animated Series. Characters SpongeBob SquarePants - The main character of the series and a selfless creature whose sunny attitude is his trademark. He works as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab, Bikini Bottom's premier daytime eatery. He is known throughout town for the delicious Krabby Patty burgers he makes. SpongeBob is perpetually enrolled in boating school, the underwater equivalent of a driver's education course. He lives in a submerged pineapple home with his pet snail Gary. Mr. Krabs - SpongeBob's boss at the Krusty Krab. He lives in an anchor with his teenage daughter, Pearl the whale. While Mr. Krabs often acts as a fatherly figure to SpongeBob, he is very cheap and frequently lets his obsession with money cloud his judgment. He loves sailing, talks like a pirate, and is in a romantic relationship with SpongeBob's teacher Mrs. Puff. Squidward Tentacles - A snobbish octopus who is SpongeBob's next-door neighbor and coworker at the Krusty Krab. He is pessimistic and despises SpongeBob for his enthusiastic attitude. Squidward's favorite hobby is playing his clarinet, but he is not very skilled at it. He also fancies himself a talented artist and keeps countless self portraits around his house. Patrick Star - Patrick is a pink starfish who is SpongeBob's best friend. He is dimwitted and clueless when it comes to almost anything; after all, he lives under a rock. He is always quick to give SpongeBob unintentionally bad advice that lands them both in trouble. Despite his obliviousness to the world around him, Patrick is enduringly loyal and generally good-natured. Sheldon J. Plankton - The arch-rival of Mr. Krabs and the owner of a failing rival restaurant called the Chum Bucket. With the help of his sentient computer Karen, Plankton is always trying to steal the Krusty Krab's secret recipe for Krabby Patties. SpongeBob has a knack for unintentionally thwarting Plankton's efforts without even trying. Karen Plankton - Plankton's sidekick and wife who supplies him with his evil schemes. She is a computer system that he builds into most of his diabolical inventions. Most of the time, Karen manifests on a screen in the Chum Bucket laboratory or in a mobile robot body. She usually acts as Plankton's voice of reason. Sandy Cheeks - A thrill-seeking cowgirl squirrel from the state of Texas who wears a diving suit and lives in a dome full of air. She has a passion for extreme sports and enjoys practicing karate with SpongeBob. When she is not searching for adventure, Sandy can be found working as a scientist and inventor. Mrs. Puff - SpongeBob's teacher at the town boating school and the girlfriend of Mr. Krabs. She tries her best to be patient with SpongeBob, as he is her most enthusiastic student, but finds his reckless boat-driving exhausting. SpongeBob has failed her class more times than she can count, but he only seems to grow more passionate about driving with each failure. Pearl Krabs - A teenage whale who is Mr. Krabs' beloved daughter. She will inherit the Krusty Krab when she grows up, but she doesn't know or care much about fast food at all. Pearl is clever for her age, especially when it comes to math or getting money from her father, but she is still immature. Gary the Snail - SpongeBob's pet sea snail who communicates through cat-like meows and other unintelligible noises. Surprisingly, he is the most civilized member of the cast and outsmarts his owner on a regular basis. He leaves a trail of sticky slime wherever he goes.moreless
  • 31
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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    FOX
    Detective Jake Peralta has a light-hearted approach to crime, but things change when he gets a new by-the-book boss.
  • 32
    The Goldbergs

    The Goldbergs

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    ABC
    The Goldbergs are your typical '80s family, solving one problem at a time with family values, yelling and a complete disregard for political correctness.
  • 33
    The Middle

    The Middle

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    ABC (ended 2018)
    ABC's comedy series uses a mother's point of view to shed light on the lives of a middle-class family in the Midwest. The show focuses on the Heck family life in an Indiana suburb and is narrated by Frankie, a dedicated—though frazzled—mother who works at a local car dealership and volunteers for school functions. Father Mike works at a quarry and takes a more laid back approach to most things, but backs up Frankie with force when the need arises. Oldest child Axl, a snarky, surly, high schooler, spends much of his time napping and roams around the home shirtless. Geeky, gangly, braces-wearing Sue is trying to navigate her way through junior high, join the cool crowd, and avoid Axl's endless onslaught of taunts, none of which she does with much success. Youngest child Brick is in elementary school and is the academic in the family, but suffers from near-crippling social anxieties and possesses an odd habit of repeating words he just said back to himself in a loud whisper. Starring Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn, the Warner Bros. television pilot was written by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, who also serve as executive producers.moreless
  • 34
    Good Times

    Good Times

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    CBS (ended 1979)
    Good Times first aired in February 1974 as a mid-season replacement and went on for six years. This spinoff of the TV series, Maude, centered on the Evans family. In Maude Esther Rolle had portrayed Florida Evans, the black housekeeper, but in Good Times Florida and her family were struggling to survive in a South Side ghetto in Chicago. Florida was married to James Evans (in Maude his name was Henry) and they had three children, J.J., Thelma and Michael. The Evans family also had a next door neighbor, Willona Woods who was also a main character. At the beginning of 1976-1977 season, John Amos, who portrayed James, left the series. The writers decided to kill him off in a car accident, leaving Florida to run the household by herself. But then a year later, Esther Rolle decided to leave. She was not happy with the direction of the series. Especially the direction the character, J.J. had taken. In the 1977-1978 season, with both John Amos and Esther Rolle gone, stories centered around Willona and J.J. In this season, Willona adopted an abused girl, Penny Gordon. Also, the character of Nathan Bookman became a more prominent member of the cast. Bookman was the building superintendent. In the final season, Esther Rolle returned to the role of Florida. Also that season, Thelma married Keith Anderson and where expecting a child by the final episode. Spinoff of: Maude NOTE: Good Times debuted on February 8, 1974. Some resources mistakenly list it as having debuted on February 1, 1974. CBS seemed to leave 3 episode unaired. CBS Broadcast History February-September 1974----Fridays----8:30 p.m. September 1974-March 1976----Tuesdays----8:00 p.m. March-August 1976----Tuesdays----8:30 p.m. September 1976-January 1978----Wednesdays----8:00 p.m. January-May 1978----Mondays----8:00 p.m. June-September 1978----Mondays----8:30 p.m. September-December 1978----Saturdays----8:30 p.m. December 1978-January 1979----Wednesdays----8:30 p.m. May-August 1979----Wednesdays----8:30 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) #17 in the 1973-1974 Season #7 in the 1974-1975 Season #24 in the 1975-1976 Season #26 in the 1976-1977 Season First Telecast: February 8, 1974 Last Telecast: August 1, 1979 Episodes: 133 Color Episodes Theme Song: "Good Times" Written by: Alan and Marilyn Bergman and David Grusin Sung by: Jim Gilstrap and Blinky Williams Theme Song: "Good Times" Written by: Alan and Marilyn Bergman and David Grusin Sung by: Jim Gilstrap and Blinky Williams Good Times. Any time you meet a payment. Good Times. Any time you need a friend. Good Times. Any time you're out from under. Not getting hassled, not getting hustled. Keepin' your head above water, making a wave when you can. Temporary lay offs. Good Times. Easy credit rip offs. Good Times. Scratchin' and surviving. Good Times. Hangin in a chow line. Good Times. Ain't we lucky we got 'em. Good Times.moreless
  • 35
    The Wayans Bros.

    The Wayans Bros.

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    The WB (ended 1999)
    Comedians Shawn and Marlon Wayans (In Living Color, Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood) star as Shawn and Marlon Williams, two brothers with little more in common than their family name, the one-bedroom brownstone they share in New York City and an innate ability to disagree, disrupt and dis'. The Wayans Bros. is a Next to Last Production and BabyWay Production in association with Warner Bros. Television. Phil Kellard and Tom Moore are the executive producers, Josh Goldstein and Eric Gold are co-executive producers, Maiya Williams and Robert Bruce are the consulting producers and Craig Wyrick-Solari is the producer. Shawn and Marlon Wayans serve as executive consultants.moreless
  • 36
    Phineas and Ferb

    Phineas and Ferb

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    Disney Channel (ended 2015)
    Welcome to the Phineas and Ferb page at TV.com! Looking for something to do when school is out for the summer? Then you should tune in to this hit animated series on the Disney Channels (including Disney XD) as this show can give you all sorts of ideas that two overly creative stepbrothers can come up with during each day to pass the time before school starts in the fall. Of course, in real life, all of them would be impossible to do in one day. But as the master builders they are, Phineas and Ferb are able to bring their grand inventions and structures to life within a few hours, have their fun, and prepare for their next thing to do the next day. In their blended family, Phineas and Ferb are stepbrothers and can come up with the ideas on what to build and do for fun. Phineas' teenage older sister Candace, regards most of what they do as dangerous and unsafe, and in most episodes, tries her best to bust them in their schemes to her mom, Linda Flynn, or occasionally, her stepfather Lawrence Fletcher. However, her efforts are mostly thwarted as the boys' grand structures or inventions miraculously disappear before either parent can see them before arriving home or wherever they're located. Most times, they disappear as a result of their pet, Perry the Platypus, whom unknown to anyone in the family is a secret agent. To the Flynn-Fletcher family, he's a simple-minded pet, but when he gets the opportunity and nobody is looking, he puts on his little fedora hat, sneaks into his secret lair under the family home via various methods, and gets his assignments from Major Monogram. Perry's nemesis is Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, an evil, but goofy scientist who comes up with various schemes of his own in efforts to rule the tri-state area of Danville, hometown of Phineas, Ferb, and company. Doofenshmirtz's schemes are as outrageous as the boys, as are the reasons he came up with them in the first place. But unlike, Phineas and Ferb, Heinz's efforts are usually unsuccessful as Perry is able to thwart the scientist's, and most times, the boys' and Perry's stories intertwine, leading to not just success for Perry, Phineas and Ferb and Doofenshmirtz's defeat, but Candace being denied the chance to bust her brothers. The cycle then starts again the following day in the summer.moreless
  • 37
    Castle

    Castle

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    ABC (ended 2016)
    Meet Richard Castle, a successful murder-mystery writer who just killed off his main character. It seems one of his fans liked his books just a bit too much when a copycat murderer started running around killing people as described in Castle's books. After being questioned by the police Richard joins forces with Detective Kate Beckett to solve this case. The two become 'partners' and begin working together to solve other murders in New York City along with other detectives Javier Esposito, Kevin Ryan and Captain Roy Montgomery, later Captain Victoria Gates. They also work with medical examiner Lanie Parish. Richard's family includes his mother Martha Rodgers, who was a Broadway diva and his daughter Alexis. The show is produced by ABC Studios and Beacon Television. ABC debuted the show on March 9, 2009. Castle was given a 10 episode order for the first season and was renewed for a full second, third season and fourth season. Parental TV Rating: TV-14moreless
  • 38
    The Ed Sullivan Show

    The Ed Sullivan Show

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    CBS (ended 1971)
    This long-running variety series premiered on June 20, 1948 with the title Toast of the Town. (The Toast of the Town link covers the first 8 seasons of Ed Sullivan.)

    The series was re-titled The Ed Sullivan Show on September 25, 1955 (the beginning of the 9th season). Although the name had changed, it remained the same variety show with "something for everyone." There continued to be a diverse guest line-up which included singers, musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, circus acts, plate spinners and acrobats.

    But now there was now a new type of guest: the rock 'n' roll performer. While Ed booked a few rock 'n' roll acts on "Toast of the Town," these performers became even more prominent on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

    One of the most famous rock 'n' roll acts was, of course, Elvis Presley. Ed had at first scoffed at the idea of booking Elvis, who had already appeared on "Stage Show," "The Milton Berle Show" and "The Steve Allen Show" amid much controversy. But as Elvis' popularity grew, Ed relented and booked him for three appearances.

    Then there were the famous Beatles appearances. Legend has it that Ed booked the Beatles without hearing even a note of their music. While visiting England, Sullivan happened to be at Heathrow Airport on October 31, 1963 when the Beatles' plane arrived. The British press and hundreds of fans were there to greet them. Upon seeing all the frenzy, Ed signed the band to appear on his show. Beatlemania was already in full swing when the Beatles arrived at New York's JFK airport on February 7, 1964. On February 9, the Beatles made their "Ed Sullivan" debut. The Beatles' three 1964 Sullivan appearances were among the highest rated TV programs of the 1960's.

    In 1967, Ed's NYC studio, Studio 50, was officially re-titled "The Ed Sullivan Theater." The ratings of The Ed Sullivan Show began to drop in 1968. CBS cancelled the series in 1971. The final new show aired on March 28, 1971 which was followed by several weeks of reruns. The series' network run ended on June 6, 1971 (which was a repeat of the February 7, 1971 show). At the time of the cancellation, CBS did not give The Ed Sullivan Show the sendoff that it deserved. Instead of ending with a tribute show focusing on all the great moments of the past 23 years, the show quietly went off the air. But in the 33 years since the series was cancelled, CBS has aired numerous tribute shows giving the series the recognition it deserves.

    Syndicated, cable TV and PBS repeats:

    In 1980, a "Best of Sullivan" series hosted by John Byner appeared in syndication. Each episode was an edited 30-minute version of the original 1-hour shows. This version has not been broadcast since the 1980's.

    Around 1992, a new "Best of Ed Sullivan" series was syndicated. These were 30-minute edited versions of the original shows (but often with clips from other episodes added). This version later appeared on the TV Land cable network (1996-1998).

    From 2001 through 2004, PBS stations across the U.S. aired edited versions of The Ed Sullivan Show (usually with two 30-minute programs shown back-to-back). These were produced by WQED Multimedia in Pittsburgh.
    --The first PBS season (2001-02) consisted of the 1990s shows that were edited for commercial TV. To fill in the commercial breaks, WQED added new intros by Shirley Jones.
    --For the 2002-03 PBS season, WQED publicized a new package of 76 Sullivan shows. (These do not have Shirley Jones.) Ten of these shows have not been seen since their original broadcasts. The other 66 were previously shown in the 1990s but were slightly re-edited with a few "missing" performances restored. This group of Sullivan shows continued into the 2003-04 season.

    A different series, titled "Ed Sullivan's Rock 'N' Roll Classics," first appeared in the 1990's on VH1 (in the US). This version features rock and pop music clips taken from various Ed Sullivan episodes and is currently available on DVD.

    For information about The Ed Sullivan Show and Toast of the Town, contact:
    SOFA Entertainment
    9121 W. Sunset Blvd.
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
    Sofa Home Entertainment SOFA Entertainment owns the right to every Ed Sullivan Show and Toast of the Town episode.

    And thanks to Historic Films for their on-line database. Their website has been very helpful in verifying guest lists and other information.moreless
  • 39
    Three's Company

    Three's Company

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    ABC (ended 1984)
    After two unsuccessful pilots, Three's Company was finally picked up by ABC in January 1977 for a first season of six episodes. After the show began to air in March, ratings were high and it became one of the highest-rated midseason show of its time. The show had a simple premise - Jack Tripper (John Ritter, a student at a local cooking college, wanted to move in with two girls, Janet Wood (Joyce DeWitt) and Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers). The only problem - the building's landlord, Mr. Stanley Roper (Norman Fell), who lives in the apartment below with his wife, Mrs. Helen Roper (Audra Lindley). In order for him to stay, he would have to pretend to be gay The series quickly gained a pop culture status, while maintaining the high ratings, being one of the top rated shows during its third and fourth seasons. The end of the third season saw the exit of Mr. and Mrs. Roper, who moved to a new townhouse community for The Ropers, the show's first spinoff. In came a new, and much different landlord, Mr. Furley (Don Knotts).

    During the hiatus before the fifth season, Suzanne Somers asked for a raise from $30,000 to $125,000 per episode. The producers refused, and Suzanne began to lie so she could be absent from work. Because ratings began to decline with lovable Chrissy's absence, the producers created a new character, Cindy Snow (Jennilee Harrison), who played Chrissy's cousin for the remainder of the season. At the same time, Suzanne Somers would tape short tag scenes for the end of the episode the day before the taping. She was fired by the end of the year.

    Starting off fresh during the sixth season, the producers decided to have Cindy go off to UCLA to study to become a veterinarian. So, Jack and Janet needed a new roommate. Along came Terri Alden (Priscilla Barnes), the smarter and beautiful blond who was a nurse at the local hospital. She would remain on the show for the next (and final) three years.

    Ratings began to fall during the eighth season (as they normally do), and the producers had made the decision to end the show, and create a spinoff, Three's A Crowd.

    Theme Song: Come and knock on our door ...
    We've been waiting for you ...
    Where the kisses are hers and hers and his,
    Three's company, too. Come and dance on on our floor...
    Take a step that is new ...
    We've a lovable space that needs your face,
    Three's company, too. You'll see that life is a ball again, laughter is calling for you ...
    Down at our rendez-vous,
    Three's company, too!
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  • 40
    I Love Lucy

    I Love Lucy

    Follow
    CBS (ended 1957)
    Cuban-born bandleader, Ricky Ricardo, and his wife, Lucy, live in a Brownstone apartment building on East 68th Street in New York City. The beautiful but daffy Lucy has the nasty habit of getting into jams, scrapes, and predicaments of all kinds. The Ricardos' best friends and landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz, frequently find themselves in the middle of Lucy's outlandish escapades, whether she's plotting to land a part in her husband's nightclub act, determined to write her first novel, or concocting yet another sure-fire "get-rich-quick" scheme. After Lucy gives birth to their only child, Little Ricky, Ricky achieves great success as an entertainer. Ricky is asked to go to Hollywood to star in his first motion picture. Together, the Ricardos and the Mertzes drive to California for Ricky's big break. Along the way, they are held at gunpoint when they try to flee a rundown motel, square-dance their way out of a Tennessee jail, and put on a benefit show for Ethel's hometown friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Once in Hollywood, star-struck Lucy spills a tray of desserts on William Holden, gets trapped in John Wayne's dressing room, and wrestles with with a dog guarding Richard Widmark's estate. By the time Ricky has finished his movie, Lucy has developed quite a reputation, and all of Hollywood is relieved to learn that the redheaded dynamo is on her way home. Shortly after the Ricardos return home to New York, the Ricky Ricardo Orchestra is booked for an extensive European tour, and Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel soon find themselves visiting England, France, Switzerland and Italy, where Lucy ends up barefoot in a vat - stomping grapes in a small vineyard. Back in the States, Lucy and Ricky decide to move to the country so that Little Ricky can enjoy the benefits of "clean, fresh, air and homegrown foods." The Ricardos break the news to Fred and Ethel and buy a home in Westport, Connecticut, but the Ricardos and Mertzes can't stay apart for long, and soon Fred and Ethel relocate to Westport, renting the Ricardos' guest house. With the Mertzes close by, Lucy grows tulips that melt in the sun, learns all about how NOT to raise chickens, battles with a runaway lawn mower, and experiences many other joys that country life has to offer. Nielsen TV Ratings History: #3 in the 1951-1952 season #1 in the 1952-1953 season #1 in the 1953-1954 season #1 in the 1954-1955 season #2 in the 1955-1956 season #1 in the 1956-1957 seasonmoreless
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