• 41
    The Andy Griffith Show

    The Andy Griffith Show

    Follow
    CBS (ended 1968)
    The Andy Griffith Show is definitely a TV classic. It ran from 1960 to 1968, producing 249 episodes.

    The main character, Andy (Andy Griffith), was a widowed father of a polite little boy named Opie (Ron Howard) and is a sheriff, who works with nervous and very suspecting Barney Fife (Don Knotts). They all live in the nice southern town of Mayberry. But, Mayberry can get a little dangerous when the town drunk, Otis Campbell (Hal Smith), is on the loose. Thelma Lou (Betty Lynn) is Barney's sweetheart, although Andy had to help him describe his feelings to her. Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) is the very loving and caring but stern housekeeper for Andy and Opie. Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors) is a bone-headed, thoughtless, but humorous character. He is a gas attendant. Goober Pyle (George Lindsey) is Gomer Pyle's cousin. They are very alike, you could say, and arrive in Mayberry when Gomer decides to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. The show had two spin-offs: Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. and Mayberry R.F.D.

    Top 20 Ratings: 1960-1961 - #4 1961-1962 - #7 1962-1963 - #6 1963-1964 - #5 1964-1965 - #4 1965-1966 - #6 1966-1967 - #3 1967-1968 - #1

    Awards for The Andy Griffith Show: Don Knotts won five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy: 1961, 1962, 1963, 1966, and 1967.

    Frances Bavier won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Comedy in 1967.moreless
  • 42
    The View

    The View

    Follow
    ABC
    The View is ABC Daytime's morning chat fest, featuring a team of five dynamic women of different ages, experiences and backgrounds discussing the most exciting events of the day. The show consists of the five co-anchors debating topics in the news. Throughout each show they are joined by the best experts in their field and celebrtiy guests. The show is currently in it's twelfth season. The program has received critical acclaim since premiering August 11, 1997. Broadcast live Monday through Friday (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET, from New York City). The show's format has proved popular in other countries, most notably, the UK's show Loose Women. The show is produced by and features ABC News correspondent Barbara Walters from 1997, moderator Whoopi Goldberg from 2007, actress-comedian Sherri Shepherd from 2007, comedian Joy Behar from 1997, and television personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck from 2003. Previous co-hosts are; Meredith Vieira who appeared between 1997 and 2006, alongside Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos from 1997 to 1999 and Lisa Ling between 1999 and 2002. The most recent addition to past presenters was Rosie O'Donnell who appeared between 2006 and 2007. The View has won a total of 24 Daytime Emmy Awards. Other accolades include been awareded the Gracie Award from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television, two Prism Commendations presented by the Entertainment Industries Council & National Institute on Drug Abuse, winning the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Talk Show, the Los Angeles Daily News Reader's Choice Award for Best Morning Talk Show, the Good Housekeeping magazine, Great Works Award, and was also voted Favorite Talk Show by Viewers Voice. The show has also been awarded the Safe Horizon Champion Award in 2001 and the Linda Dano Heart Award from Heartshare Human Services of New York in 2002.moreless
  • 43
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    Follow
    NBC
    Detective Jake Peralta has a light-hearted approach to crime, but things change when he gets a new by-the-book boss.
  • 44
    JAG

    JAG

    Follow
    CBS (ended 2005)
    JAG (military-speak for Judge Advocate General) is an adventure drama about this elite legal wing of officers trained as lawyers who investigate, prosecute and defend those accused of crimes in the military, including murder, treason and terrorism. Navy Cmdr. Harmon "Harm" Rabb (David James Elliott), an ace pilot turned lawyer, and Marine Lt. Col. Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie (Catherine Bell), a beautiful by-the-book officer, are colleagues who hold the same high standards but find themselves clashing when they choose different routes to get to the same place. The unmistakable chemistry between them must be held at bay for professional reasons as they traverse the globe together with a single mission: to search for and discover the truth. Helping them with their mission is Navy Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts (Patrick Labyorteaux), a lawyer who proved his grit and determination when, after losing a leg in a land mine field while on a mission, fought back and became even better at his job, and Cmdr. Sturgis Turner (Scott Lawrence), a JAG lawyer who was Harm's friend at the Naval Academy and now has a friendly rivalry in and out of the courtroom with him, as well as with Lt. Cmdr. Roberts. Also on the team is P.O. Jennifer Coates (Zoe McLellan), formerly Admiral Chegwidden's outspoken assistant, and now assigned to help the new JAG settle into the job.moreless
  • 45
    Judge Judy

    Judge Judy

    Follow
    The people are real. The cases are real. The rulings are final. This is Judge Judy. Judge Judith Sheindlin tackles real-life small claims in her courtroom with her no nonsense attitude. Having made a name for herself as a tough but fair judge in New York's Family Court, Judge Judith Sheindlin retired from the bench in 1996 and segued to television to host this syndicated series. Judge Judith Sheindlin brings her trademark wit and wisdom to the widely successful half-hour series that takes viewers inside a television courtroom where justice is dispensed at lightning speed.moreless
  • 46
    Little House on the Prairie

    Little House on the Prairie

    Follow
    NBC (ended 1983)
    This award-winning family drama was based upon Laura Ingalls Wilder's 9-part series of autobiographical books. Television producer and NBC executive Ed Friendly became aware of this enduring story in the early 1970s. He asked Michael Landon to direct the pilot movie, who agreed on the condition that he could also play Charles Ingalls. TIME: beginning in the 1870s. PLACE: the American frontier - more specifically, Walnut Grove in the state of Minnesota. THE CHARACTERS: Charles/Pa Ingalls: a homesteader farmer/woodworker; compassionate and loving, yet quick-tempered and ready to throw a defensive punch whenever necessary Caroline/Ma Ingalls: Patient and understanding wife and mother; the ideal prairie woman Laura Ingalls Wilder: The winsome, tomboyish second daughter of Charles and Caroline, who serves as the voice of the entire series, and eventually married Almanzo Wilder Mary Ingalls Kendall: Charles and Caroline's pretty and ultra-responsible oldest daughter, who longs to be a teacher and goes completely blind at the age of 15. She later marries Adam Kendall, although this is a fictional piece created just for the TV series Carrie Ingalls: The cute third daughter of Charles and Caroline, who didn't have a large role but was always portrayed as a very sweet little girl Grace Ingalls: Charles and Caroline's fifth and final child, who was only about 4 when her role in the series ended Jack: the loyal, lovable family dog, who was replaced by Bandit when he died in Season 4. Albert Quinn Ingalls: The fictional adopted son of Charles and Caroline--an orphaned runaway whom the Ingalls meet while living temporarily in Winoka James Cooper Ingalls: The fictional adopted son of Charles and Caroline, who comes to live with them after the death of his parents Cassandra Cooper Ingalls: The fictional adopted daughter of Charles and Caroline, and the younger sister of James Supporting characters include: Miss Eva Beadle: The first teacher of Walnut Grove, who taught Laura to read and helped Mary realize her dream to teach Dr. Hiram Baker: the loyal town physician Reverend Robert Alden: The town's devout and hugely caring Church minister Mr. Isaiah Edwards: The mountain-man/drifter-turned-farmer who settled in Walnut Grove, who had a drinking problem and, despite his happy-go-lucky exterior, had a lot of emotional turmoil in his life Grace Snider: A widow and town postmistress who marries Isaiah and adopts three orphaned children with him John Sanderson Edwards: the oldest adopted son of Isaiah and Grace, who lives with them after the death of his widowed mother, and becomes a writer Carl Sanderson Edwards: Isaiah and Grace's second adopted child, brother of John and Alicia Alicia Sanderson Edwards: The sweet youngest adopted child of Isaiah and Grace, and the younger sister of John and Carl Lars Hanson: The beloved founder of Walnut Grove, and proprietor of the Hanson Lumber Mill, where Charles and Isaiah worked Nels Oleson: father and proprietor of the mercantile (general store). Harriet Oleson: The rude, gossiping woman who spoils her children rotten and has a perpetual hold on her ever-patient husband Nellie Oleson Dalton: The bratty oldest child of Nels and Harriet, who butts heads with Laura throughout their childhood and later marries Percival Dalton (another fictional event). Willie Oleson: Nels and Harriet's youngest child, who is mischievous but has more of his father's kindhearted traits; eventually marries Rachel Brown Adam Kendall: Mary's husband, who is also blind and wins her heart by teaching her to reclaim her life when she first goes blind. Has two children with Mary, but they both die in infancy Almanzo Wilder: Laura's charismatic husband, a farmer who has two children with Laura, one of whom dies in infancy John Carter: A blacksmith and family man who moves from Walnut Grove to New York in Season 9 with his wife and two sons, moving into the Ingalls house when they relocate to Iowa. Sarah Carter: A newspaper editor and loving mother, wife of John Carter. Jeb Carter: John and Sarah's oldest child, fairly underdeveloped, but always a good kid Jason Carter: John and Sarah's adorable, endearing youngest son who was often Michael Landon's go-to kid for comic relief in some of the darker episodes from Seasons 9 and 10 Jenny Wilder: the sweet, effervescent fictional niece of Laura and Almanzo, who comes to live with them permanently after the death of her father, Almanzo's brother Royal. Nancy Oleson: A young girl that Nels and Harriet adopt once Nellie is grown; a monstrous, manipulative child who has her mother wrapped around her little fingermoreless
  • 47
    The Orville

    The Orville

    Follow
    FOX
    From the mind of Seth MacFarlane ("Family Guy," "The Cleveland Show") comes a sci-fi/comedy series, "The Orville," a parody of small and big screen science fiction shows and films. Set in the future, "The Orville" is a mid-level space ship manned by a motley crew of humans and aliens. The captain - - played by MacFarlane - - suffered from a lack of discipline following his divorce, but he is given command of "The Orville," both due to the lack of available field commanders and as a last resort to prove himself worthy. The captain and his crew not only have to take on menial tasks, but he has to endure a far more difficult one: Having his ex-wife as his first officer! Will this be his final frontier?moreless
  • 48
    Everybody Loves Raymond

    Everybody Loves Raymond

    Follow
    CBS (ended 2005)
    Everybody Loves Raymond revolves around Ray Barone, a successful sportswriter living on Long Island with his wife, Debra, daughter, Ally, and twin sons, Geoffrey and Michael. That's the good news. The bad news? Ray's meddling parents, Frank and Marie, live directly across the street and embrace the motto "Su casa es mi casa," infiltrating their son's home to an extent unparalleled in television history. Frank's favorite expression, "Holy Crap," is shouted at regular intervals, and Marie's "cooking advice" is less than appreciated by Debra. Brother Robert, a divorced policeman, is constantly moving in and out of his parents' house, and loves to drop over and resent Ray's successful career and happy family life. Ray and Debra just wish someone would knock once in awhile. The series won 15 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Patricia Heaton, Outstanding Multi-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series or a Special - Italy-1-2, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Doris Roberts, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Patricia Heaton, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Brad Garrett, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Ray Romano, Outstanding Multi-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series or Special - She's the One, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Brad Garrett, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series - Baggage, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Doris Roberts, Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Brad Garrett, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Doris Roberts and Outstanding Comedy Series.
    moreless
  • 49
    Martin

    Martin

    Follow
    FOX (ended 1997)
    Martin is a sassy sitcom centering on a radio-and-television personality named Martin Payne. The series focuses on Martin's romantic relationship with girlfriend Gina Waters, his job changes from a radio personality to a television personality, and the variety of friends Martin hangs out with along the way: the loud-mouthed and sassy Pam James and his best friends Tommy Strong and Cole Brown.
    Star, Martin Lawrence, also portrays of host of wild characters on the show. His neighbor Sheneneh; his mother Mama Payne; Otis the security guard; Jerome the gold-toothed player; Roscoe the snot-nosed kid who's always looking for a leg up; Bob, the white guy, King-Beef, Elroy, and many more.
    Martin is the center of attention, as each episode takes you from one hilarious circumstance to another. Hijinks, laughter, quick-witted banter, and lots a love, make this series one to last forever.moreless
  • 50
    Lethal Weapon

    Lethal Weapon

    Follow
    FOX (ended 2019)
    Season three re-imagines itself again and picks up 6 months after Martin Riggs death. Former CIA operative Wesley Cole (played by Seann William Scott) is partnered with Detective Roger Murtaugh. LAPD's Robbery/Homicide Division and Murtaugh's supervisor Captain Brooks Avery is running for a position on the city council. This Lethal Weapon re-imagines the movie franchise following cop duo Riggs and Murtaugh as they work a beat in modern day Los Angeles. Ex-Navy SEAL Detective Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford), heartbroken and still reeling from the death of his wife and unborn child, moves to California to work at the LAPD. Captain Brooks Avery (Kevin Rahm) partners him up Detective Roger Murtaugh (Daman Wayans Jr.) who is taking things slow after his near-fatal heart attack. Riggs proclivity for going head on into the line of fire immediately conflicts with by-the-book Murtaugh and makes him a priority with department psychologist, Dr. Maureen "Mo" Cahill (Jordana Brewster). But, after their first investigation is over, Riggs and Murtaugh realize their partnership just might work - if Riggs doesn't get them killed first. The series is executive produced by Matt Miller (Forever, The 100, Chuck, Human Target), Dan Lin (The LEGO Movie, Forever, Sherlock Holmes), Jennifer Gwartz (Forever, Veronica Mars) and McG (The Mysteries of Laura, The O.C., Charlie’s Angels, Supernatural, Chuck, Human Target).moreless
  • 51
    The Twilight Zone

    The Twilight Zone

    Follow
    CBS (ended 1964)
    The series was a collection of various tales that range from the tragic to the comedic. They may be scary or just thought-provoking. Most episodes have unexpected endings and a moral lesson. But, no matter what, it's "a journey into a wondrous land, whose boundaries are that of the imagination." Rod Serling, creator and host of the series, won two Emmys for outstanding writing (1960 & '61), and the Golden Globe in 1962 for best TV director/producer. Reruns of the original Twilight Zone can be seen on the US Sci Fi channel. This is the Original 1959 series, not the CBS The Twilight Zone (1985) version nor the UPN The Twilight Zone (2002) version. CBS Programming History October 1959-September 1962 ..... Friday 10:00 January 1963-September 1963 ..... Thursday 9:00 September 1961-September 1964 ..... Friday 9:30 May 1965-September 1965 ..... Sunday 9:00 Note: Seasons 1-3 & 5 have a running time of 30 minutes. All of the episodes in Season 4 have a running time of one hour.moreless
  • 52
    Chicago P.D.

    Chicago P.D.

    Follow
    NBC
    The story of Windy City's Police Department in Chicago.
  • 53
    Impractical Jokers

    Impractical Jokers

    Follow
    truTV
    Four lifelong friends are constantly striving to embarrass each other in public by using hidden cameras.
  • 54
    Charmed

    Charmed

    Follow
    The WB (ended 2006)
    Three sisters - Prue, Piper and Phoebe Halliwell - reunite in their ancestral home, Halliwell Manor. When the youngest sister, Phoebe, ventures into the previously-locked attic, she recites a passage from an ancient book which unlocks their dormant powers to transform them into The Charmed Ones - the most powerful witches ever to exist. Now they must vanquish evil and save innocent lives while living their own lives as normal women in the real world. Life isn't so easy when you're Charmed.
    In Season 4, half-sister (and half-Whitelighter) Paige replaces the dearly departed Prue in The Power of Three.
    In season 8, a life-or-death decision forces the sisters to fake their deaths and take a young witch named Billie into their care to help them fight the evil forces that once threatened their existence so that they could maintain the 'normal' lives for which they had spent the last 7 years fighting to regain.moreless
  • 55
    Wheel of Fortune

    Wheel of Fortune

    Follow
    Wheel of Fortune is in its 26th season (2008-2009 Season) with Pat Sajak & Vanna White. Wheel debuted in 1982.Wheel of Fortune has been renewed through the 2011-2012 season.

    One of the most successful game shows in history, Wheel of Fortune actually is a version of the children's game Hangman (with a large carnival wheel and prizes added). The game show, which did modestly well in the 1970s, became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1980s through syndication and made household names out of its hosts, Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Simply put, the Wheel has never stopped spinning since its premiere as an NBC daytime show that winter day in January 1975. (Ironically, the series replaced Jeopardy!, which later in 1984 when it returned, became its current companion in syndication.)

    The rules of the game Three contestants -- at various times during the run, including a returning champion -- compete. The host announces a category to a mystery puzzle (person, place, thing, phrase, quotation, event, landmark, occupation, etc.). The puzzle was originally contained on a three-tier, 36-space board (in 1981, changed to a four-tier, 52-space board; and in 1997, an all-electronic four-tier, 52-space board).

    The contestant selected to go first (by blind draw before the show) spin a large horizontally-situated carnival wheel containing dollar amounts and other spaces (including Bankrupt, Lose a Turn and Free Spin). If the contestant landed on a dollar amount, he/she could guess a letter thought to be in the puzzle; if it appeared, they received the cash multiplied by the number of times it appears in the puzzle (ergo, if the player guessed "T" after landing on $250, and "T" appeared twice, they received $500). An incorrect guess or landing on a penalty space (Bankrupt or Lose a Turn) caused control of the wheel to pass to the next contestant.

    At any point, the contestant in control of the wheel could spin again, ask to buy a vowel (at which point $250 was deducted from their score, and only if they had at least $250) or attempt to solve the puzzle; very early in the show's run, a player had to land on a Buy a Vowel space in order to buy a vowel, but this idea was scrapped before Wheel completed its first month on the air. The Bankrupt space caused the player to lose his accumulated winnings for that round (though all previous winnings were considered safe -- hence, "Once you buy a prize, it's yours to keep").

    If the player correctly guessed the puzzle's solution, he/she got to keep their accumulated winnings. Any contestant solving the puzzle and not having at least $100 (later $200 and still later, $500) was spotted that amount "on the house." Early rounds typically had lower dollar values on the wheel ($500 as a top space on round 1 early in the run/Bob Goen version, later that was changed to $750), but increased in subsequent rounds ($1,000 and $2,000 for the later rounds, to increase the excitement; $1,250 when Bob Goen hosted).

    Originally, the winnings were used to "go shopping" (i.e., purchase prizes) in one of the three revolving rooms on the set -- each containing: * Furniture -- enough to fill any room in the house, from the living room and dining room to bedroom or game room. * Appliances -- large and small, enough to make that dream kitchen or efficient laundry room. * Things for outside -- everything from swimming pools and patio furniture to barbecues, lawn games and garden equipment. * Clothing -- for every occasion. * Trips -- to any place imaginable, domestic or foreign. And don't forget the luggage and camera outfits. * Electronics -- TVs, stereos and much more! The show was among the first to offer early versions of VCRs (c. 1976), home video game units (c. 1978, Atari) and satellite dishes (late-1970s). * Gift Certificates -- everywhere to restaurants (Bonanza, Dairy Queen), clothing outlets (Casual Corner) and any other store (Western Auto). * Food -- from steaks from the Iowa Beef Council and chocolates to items from the Dessert of the Month Club. * Overall comfort and fun -- from a central air conditioning system and pinball machines to hot tubs and pizza parties. * Miscellaneous items -- everything from magazine subscriptions and collections of LPs from a record label to those famous ceramnic dalmations. and MUCH more.

    There were other announced prizes, usually worth much more than in the revolving rooms. While some prizes offered during the early years were no doubt unusual (such as rare antiques and African masks), the favorite prize, of course, were the cars. In the daytime show, there were two or three available, usually, a sports model (such as a Chevrolet Camaro) and an economy model (a Chevrolet Monza), but there were also more upmarket family cars (the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme) and exotic foreign cars (a Lancia Beta coupe).

    Other top-ticket items proving popular were: * Other forms of transportation -- everything from boats, motorcycles and camping trailers. There was even, at one time, a 4-seat airplane and a motorhome available! * Furs -- before the animal rights groups got their way. * Jewelry -- everything from rings, necklaces, pearls, earrings, watches and much more!

    Starting in 1987 (primetime) and 1989 (daytime), the winner of a round received his accumulated bank in cash (thanks to beefs from contestants who had to pay steep taxes and preferred cash). During the shopping era, a contestant could elect to place any unused cash "on account" (which they could claim only upon winning a subsequent round AND avoiding the bankrupt space in the meantime); otherwise, unused winnings were placed on a gift certificate (usually to Gucci, Dicker and Dicker of Beverly Hills or another luxury shop seen on Rodeo Drive).

    If time ran short (signified by a series of "dings"), a "speed up" round was played, wherein the host gave the wheel one final spin, with vowels worth nothing and all consonants worth whatever the host landed on. The top-winning contestant after so many rounds completed within each show was the day's champion. In case of a tie, one of several things happened, depending on the year:

    * At first, all three players returned on the next show (even the third-place player). Everyone kept what they won on all shows. * Later, the two (or possibly all three) tied players played a one-round speedround to determine the champion. This format was used once the permanent bonus round was started.

    End Game - The Bonus Round At first, there was no bonus round, the top winner simply returned. Starting in 1981, the champion advanced to a bonus round, where they could select a prize (always worth $1,000 or more and signified with a gold star (or announced in some other way)) and, after choosing five consonants and one vowel, had 15 seconds to solve the puzzle.

    Prior to the bonus round becoming a permanent part of the game, there were several special weeks where bonus rounds were played. Games included (but not limited to):

    * 1975 hour-long format Bonus Round - Played during Wheel's short-lived 60-minute format, the day's overall winner selected one of four puzzles (labeled easy, medium, difficult and hard); the level of difficulty determined the prize (e.g., an easy puzzle may have been worth a TV-stereo console, while the difficult puzzle may have won the player a new Cadillac). The player then chose four consonants and a vowel and tried to solve the puzzle within 15 seconds. This is very similar to the current bonus round, except the level of difficulty did not necessarily correspond with the prize's value.

    * Any Prize in the House - The top winner simply chose a prize and they got it.

    * Star Bonus - By landing on a special token on the wheel, a contestant had the opportunity to advance to a special bonus round if they were one of the runners-up. That player could become champion by solving a puzzle and winning a prize that was worth more than the amount of the first-place player's lead. As with the 60-minute format's bonus round, the prize's value corresponded with the difficulty of the puzzle.

    This short-lived format wasn't always played, however, since the Star Bonus token sometimes wasn't landed on the entire show; the token could serve as insurance for a dominating player who wins the game (and possibly purchases the most-expensive prize, thereby making it unavailable for the opponents); or the expensive prize's value was not worth enough to cover the difference between the champion's winnings and his/her opponents.

    The rules of other games varied, but usually, the show had a bigger prize budget than during regular weeks.

    Changes through the years Many changes were made through the years, some very successful (luxury prizes in the syndicated version; $25,000 cash top bonus round prize), while others weren't (e.g., a "Doubler" token, which allowed contestants to double the potential value of the next spin; Rolf Benirschke as host of the daytime show; the infamous Megaword category, where a contestant had to correctly use the revealed word in a coherent sentence for an extra $500). Some of the more successful changes are detailed below.

    * For the syndicated version, decidedly luxury prizes were often advertised ("This $41,000 customized Cadillac Seville! "A $60,000 log cabin!" "A $25,000 trip around the world!"); plus a silver $5,000 space on the wheel's third round (replacing the $2,000 daytime show top space, though early syndicated shows had both the $2,000 and $5,000 spaces). Also, a bonus prize space was added in the second round of the syndicated show (and in 1987, a different bonus to the fourth round).

    * Meanwhile, in the daytime show, a "Jackpot" bonus space was added to the second round in 1987; it based at $1,000 and grew by $1,000 per show until claimed.

    * With the syndicated show's change to an all-cash format in 1987, the bonus round changed to having four (or sometimes, as many as six) grand prizes and $25,000 cash available as prizes. Originally meant to be a month-long promotion (the "Big Bonanza of Cash" before reverting to the tried-and-true post-puzzle shopping), this well-received format allowed more rounds – save for celebrity week gabfests, always at least four – to be played. Originally, the top wheel values were set thusly:

    - Round 1: $1,000. - Round 2: $2,500 (plus a bonus prize). - Round 3: $3,500. - Round 4-on: $5,000 (plus a bonus prize for Round 4 only, if time permits; sometimes, the bonus was used in Round 3 instead).

    This has since been changed, with the current setup as follows:

    - Round 1: $2,500, plus an $1,000 online shopping spree card that is placed on the wheel for the rest of the show a la the Free Spin, and may be picked up if a letter is correctly guessed. - Round 2: $3,500, plus a bonus prize, which remains on the wheel until a contestant picks it up. Until 2002, additional bonus prizes were placed on the wheel in subsequent rounds. – Round 3: $3,500, plus the Mystery Round spaces. - Round 4-on: $5,000, including the speed round.

    * During the 1988-1989 season, the contestant was given the six most popular letters -- R, S, T, L, N and E, and asked to select three more consonants and one vowel; the bonus round time limit was then shortened to 10 seconds.

    * Starting in 1989 (since $25,000 cash was far and away the most popular prize choice), the five grand prizes were placed in a blind draw, and could only be won once per week.

    * In 1996, the "returning champions" idea was scrapped, with a "Friday Finals" format instituted. Three new contestants appeared Monday through Thursday, with the week's top winners returning on Friday (regardless if they were their show's top winner) to play for a jackpot prize package. The latter format lasted only a couple of seasons before it, too, was scuttled.

    * In the 1990s, a Surprise space was added to the wheel, which was simply a prize that was announced only if won (usually a trip); this space has since been scrapped.

    * In the mid-1990s, a Jackpot round (third round initially, later the second round) allowed a contestant to claim an accumulating jackpot -- which based at $5,000 and accumulated with each dollar space landed on -- if they landed on a Jackpot space, correctly guessed a letter and solved the puzzle all in the same turn.

    * A few years after the jackpot round, a $10,000 space added to the wheel. The space was not multipliable; rather, it simply added $10,000 to the contestant's winnings if they solved the puzzle and avoided bankrupt. The space took up the center third of a standard wheel space, with two bankrupt spaces taking up the remainder (to add to the suspense). If the $10,000 part of the space was landed on and the contestant guessed correctly, it was placed face down in front of the contestant to read $10,000 (unlike the standard prize space, which was left face up).

    * "Toss Up" puzzles -- to determine who started the game -- were added prior to the first and fourth rounds, starting in the 2000-2001 season, each worth $1,000; a year later, two "Toss Up" puzzles were played, once before the contestant introductions and the second (now worth $2,000) to determine first round wheel control, with the pre-fourth round "Toss Up" now worth $3,000. If a contestant made an incorrect guess, he/she was out of the remainder of the puzzle; if all the letters were filled in or everyone guessed wrong, nobody won anything and wheel control began either with the left-most contestant or wherever it left off before.

    * During the 2000-2001 season, the "speed up" round was changed, wherein $1,000 was added to whatever dollar amount Sajak landed on. There was some cool music added, too.

    * Changes to the Bonus Round in October 2001. The contestant spun a mini- wheel containing 25 envelopes; Sajak removed the envelope; and win or lose, revealed the prize contained within (a car, $25,000 cash or a new top prize of $100,000; the top prize was contained in just one of the envelopes). In 2002-2003, more money amounts (one each of amounts between $30,000 and $50,000, each in $5,000 increments) were thrown into the mix. There have been at least five $100,000 winners and several others who have not been quite as fortunate.

    * Starting in 2002-2003, contestants who won nothing during the front game were given $500 just for playing (in addition to those lovely parting gifts).

    * A new Mystery space, added in the 2002-2003 season. Played in Round 3, two such spaces were placed on the wheel, with a $500 dollar value. Contestants landing on this space guessed a letter could either spin again or risk their accumulated bank, not knowing what's on the other side of the Mystery card. It could be Bankrupt or a new car (on occasion, it could be another prize, such as a $10,000 shopping spree). If it was a car, the contestant had to solve the puzzle and avoid the Bankrupt spaces to claim the car. The other Mystery space was then put out of play, becoming a regular $500 space. In September 2004, the values of the Mystery spaces dooubled to $1,000.

    A prize puzzle, added in the 2003-2004 season. One puzzle on each show (usually the second or third round) had some connection to a prize the contestant would win for solving the puzzle. For example, a contestant solving the puzzle "Check Your Local Listings" could win a plasma wall-screen television. The set underwent some revisions, too.

    Chuck and Susan and Pat and Vanna When the show started in 1975, Chuck Woolery was the host. For a brief time in the fall of 1979, Alex Trebek served as substitute host when Woolery took a leave of absence. In 1981, Woolery left for good when he was denied a pay raise (he wanted $500,000 per year, more than Merv Griffin was willing to offer. Chuck left, and Pat Sajak replaced him. Most of the Chuck Woolery episodes are hard to find, due to NBC's practice of destroying tapes from old shows. On the daytime version, ex-football star Benirschke on January 10, 1989, but he didn't work out too well. When the show moved from NBC to CBS, 6 months later, Bob Goen became the host, and was the host for two years (the show moved back to NBC in 1991 for 9 months). Pat Sajak still hosts the nighttime syndicated version.

    Susan Stafford was the original "letter turner." She was replaced by Summer Bartholemew on October 22, 1982, then Vicky McCarty three weeks later. (None of the Summer Bartholemew episodes exist due to NBC's practice of destroying tapes of old shows.) On December 13, 1982, McCarty left, and Vanna White became the new permanent hostess (BTW -- Vanna's first letter turned was a "T," in the puzzle "General Hospital"). As most game show fans know, this is not Vanna's first appearance on a game show. In June 1980, 2 1/2 years before her first appearance on Wheel of Fortune, America's favorite hostess was a contestant on The Price is Right in 1980, but she never left contestant's row (BTW – as a recurring joke, TPiR former icon/host Bob Barker always wondered aloud whatever became of her).

    Originally, Vanna rarely spoke on-camera (though she occasionally engaged in small talk with Pat at the end of the show); back then, Sajak would be introduced and then he would introduce Vanna, who always showed off a different dress or outfit (and for the record, no, she did NOT get to keep her clothes, which always come from the most glamorous of shops). However, as Vanna gained acclaim with the viewing audience, she talked more and more. Today, both Pat and Vanna walk out together and they always conversate after each program. Vanna often does the car prize descriptions prior to each bonus round.

    Charlie O'Donnell as the original announcer when Wheel of Fortune began. He left in 1982, and Jack Clark (who had earlier announced on occasion) took over full-time. Clark died of cancer in 1988 (Sajak offered a tribute to the long-time announcer in the 1988-1989 syndicated season premiere), and after a five-month stint by M.G. Kelly, O'Donnell returned, his trademark phrasing "WH-EEEEEEE-L OF FORTUNE" and "25 THOOOOOOOOOUSAND DOLLARS" intact.

    Retrospectives and going on the road Several tributes to the series have been shown through the years, most commonly as part of daytime talk shows and occasional bloopers specials. During its syndicated run, Wheel of Fortune has aired two retrospectives of its own - the first in November 1998, to mark its 3,000th show; and again in November 2003, when its 4,000th show aired, as part of a series of shows taped in New York.

    Speaking of which, Wheel of Fortune has gone "on the road" all over the country to tape shows. Among the first aired in November 1988, when the show taped from New York's Radio City Music Hall (legendary NBC announcer Don Pardo did voiceovers). Other cities have included (but are not limited to) Chicago, Nashville, Phoenix and Honolulu; and many of those episodes were part of special theme weeks (such as Best Friends Week) or have paired contestants with celebrities from a particular genre (e.g., NFL football players, country music stars).

    From Hangman to Wheel and everything in between The idea for the game show that eventually became Wheel of Fortune grew from a game known as Shopper's Bazaar. Two such pilots were produced – one in 1973 with Woolery as host, the other (from 1974) helmed by Edd Byrnes (best known as "Kookie" from the 1958-1964 detective drama, 77 Sunset Strip). The rules for the earlier pilot, hosted by Woolery, was quite different from the game we all came to know and love (e.g., a self-spinning wheel and the host pressing a button at the contestant's direction; prize money carried over to subsequent rounds and always "at risk;" etc.).

    The later pilot, hosted by Byrnes and a more talkative Stafford, was similar to what viewers first saw in 1975. When Merv Griffin Enterprises made their final plans to enter production in late 1974, a host had yet to be chosen. The story goes that Griffin's decision was made when he saw the producer's first choice, Byrnes, in the hallways prior to the taping of the first shows, repeating "A-E-I-O-U, A-E-I-O-U;" in an attempt to recall the vowels.

    It's the 60-minute Wh-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-l of Fortune In December 1975, a month after The Price is Right became a one-hour show, NBC experimented with an hour-long version of Wheel of Fortune.

    The game played thusly: Two sets of three contestants compete in three-round games each, as usual, with the returning champion playing in the second set of games. The top money winners of each three-round match met in a one-puzzle showdown for the right to advance to the bonus round (described above).

    The hour-long Wheel of Fortune lasted but a month, and returned to the 30-minute game we all came to love by the end of January 1976. BTW, several other NBC game show hits, including The Hollywood Squares, also briefly expanded to 60 minutes as part of the networks' promotion.

    Syndication Wheel of Fortune's phenomenal run in syndication almost never happened. As early as the fall of 1975, there was interest in producing a weekly nighttime show, but few syndicators were wanting to try and even fewer stations willing to buy, particularly because there were other powerhouse game shows airing (either Match Game PM or Family Feud, depending on the year) that were seen as insurmountable in the ratings.

    In 1983, King World Productions – a small-time distributor that had edited Our Gang shorts for television airing – took a chance on the show ... and it paid off royally! Airing on just 59 stations when the premiere aired Sept. 19, 1983, Wheel of Fortune (often pitted against latter-day Dawson's Family Feud) quickly soared in the ratings and within two years, was airing on nearly 200 stations and began its (thus far) permanent reign as the nation's top syndicated program. Jeopardy! rates second, with Friends reruns currently the shows' closest competitor.

    Wheel across the world (and (yuck) a kid's version, too) As Wheel of Fortune grew in popularity during the mid-1980s, countries all over the world began staging their own versions; each had their own "Pat and Vanna," and minor rules changes. Clips of these international versions are seen from time to time on the U.S. version.

    Also, a children's version of the program under the name Wheel 2000 also aired on CBS during the 1997-1998 season (with many modifications, see page for details).

    Merchandising Merchandise ... thy name is Wheel of Fortune. Even in the mid-1970s, there were two editions of the home game issued by Milton Bradley (complete with wheel, puzzle board and prize cards).

    But that was just the beginning, as by the mid-1980s, there were T-shirts, key chains, calendars and even an album of prize cue music featured on the show. Vanna merchandise also appeared, including her biography "Vanna Speaks."

    Home video games - from electronic hand-held units to cartridges and CD-ROMs for units that connect to TV - have also been highly popular (and have seen, in addition to subsequent editions with more puzzles and categories, special editions for children and sports fans).

    And through it all, one thing has not changed -- a vowel still costs you $250 (except during the Bob Goen network era/1989-91 CBS and 1991 NBC, when those A's, E's, I's, O's and U's cost just $100).moreless
  • 56
    Midsomer Murders

    Midsomer Murders

    Follow
    ITV
    Welcome to the Midsomer Murders guide at TV.com. This English crime drama series, based on books by Caroline Graham, is filmed mostly in the villages and towns of the rural counties of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. John Nettles played Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby of Causton CID, a laconic, down-to-earth detective who faced many ingenious and remarkable murders — usually several in each episode — amid the eccentric denizens of Middle England. Barnaby's partners in detection were Sergeants Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey), Dan Scott (John Hopkins) and Ben Jones (Jason Hughes). Other regulars included Tom's wife Joyce (Jane Wymark) and his daughter Cully (Laura Howard). In 2011, Nettles left the show, and Tom Barnaby was replaced by his cousin, DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon). Midsomer Murders has been sold to more than 200 countries around the world. The show is made by Bentley Productions for ITV.moreless
  • 57
    Magnum, P.I.

    Magnum, P.I.

    Follow
    CBS (ended 1988)
    Former Naval Intelligence officer Thomas Magnum resigns his commission to become a private investigator on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. He lands a home in the guest house on the estate of millionaire author Robin Masters in exchange for testing the estate's security, but is forced to work under the strict and ever watchful eye of Jonathan Quayle Higgins, a former British Army soldier who serves as the estate manager, and constantly patrols the grounds with his two "lads" Zeus and Apollo, who are loyally trained Doberman Pinschers always ready to pounce on Magnum. Magnum makes good use of the perks that come with working on the estate, including driving Masters' sporty red 308 GTS Ferrari, Audi, and all-terrain Jimmy, as well as equipment such as high-end cameras and telescopes. Of course, all of these expensive toys are under the keen scrutiny of Higgins, and Thomas often finds himself at the end of Higgins's hard bargaining to secure their loan. Although Magnum's carefree ways often clash with Higgins's stricter manner, their mutual respect forms a strong basis for their working relationship. Two of Magnum's former Vietnam comrades and friends live and work nearby. T.C. Calvin owns "Island Hoppers", a helicopter tour company, and Rick Wright manages the King Kamehameha Club, an exclusive beach front club. T.C.'s piloting skills and Rick's shady underworld contacts often get them roped into Magnum's cases. Others in Magnum's circle include Naval officers Mac MacReynolds, Maggie Pool, and Buck Greene; Hawaii P.D. officers Nolan Page and Yoshi Tanaka; Dr. Ibold; Higgins's fellow Brit Agatha Chumley; Rick's underworld contact "Ice Pick"; and Deputy D.A. Carol Baldwin. Robin Masters was never fully seen, ultimately leading Magnum to the conclusion that Higgins was actually Masters, though this theory was never fully proven. The show was a huge hit, with the first five seasons ranking in the top 20 shows in the U.S. ratings each year, thanks to its wide range of stories appealing to a broad cross section of fans. The series ranged from broad slapstick comedy and farce, to deep, thoughtful drama, to edge-of-the-seat action. The series was widely applauded for being the first to recognize the difficulty Vietnam era soldiers faced in making the readjustment to civilian life. Many episodes touched upon the impact that serving in Vietnam had on Magnum and his friends, as well as echoes to the events of World War II. The series won many awards, including Emmys and Golden Globes for Selleck and Hillerman. Broadcast History: December 1980 - April 1981: Thursday on CBS, 9:00 PM October 1981 - April 1987: Thursday on CBS, 8:00 PM October 1987 - May 1988: Wednesday on CBS, 9:00 PMmoreless
  • 58
    Chopped

    Chopped

    Follow
    Food Network
    Hosted by Ted Allen, Chopped challenges four promising chefs to turn a selection of everyday ingredients into an extraordinary three-course meal. In each episode, four chefs compete. The show is divided into three rounds; in each round, the chefs are given a basket containing between three and five unrelated ingredients, and the dish each competitor prepares must contain all of these ingredients. The competitors are also given access to a pantry and refrigerator, which is stocked with a wide variety of other ingredients. Each round is times, and the chefs must cook their dishes and plate them before the time elapses.
    After each round, a rotating round of culinary judges critique the dishes based on presentation, taste and creativity. The judges then decide which chef is "chopped," and that chef is eliminated from the competition. By the Dessert round, only two chefs remain. When deciding the winner, the judges consider not only the dessert course, but the entire meal presented by each chef as a whole. The winner of the competition receives prize money, usually in the amount of $10,000.moreless
  • 59
    Keeping Up with the Kardashians

    Keeping Up with the Kardashians

    Follow
    E!
    In the sixth season of their hit reality show, the Kardashian clan strives to put family first. Worried that matriarch Kris Jenner has turned their brood into a business, oldest sister Kourtney is on a mission to bring the family together for some real quality time--but when she organizes a fun getaway for their parents' 20th anniversary, the trip doesn't quite go as planned. Plus, Kim's relationship with new beau New Jersey Nets star Kris Humphries heats up as she helps Kendall kick-start her modeling career, Kourtney and Scott move into a new home, Kris contemplates getting plastic surgery, and Khloe helps Bruce have the "birds and the bees" talk with her younger sisters.moreless
  • 60
    What's My Line?

    What's My Line?

    Follow
    CBS (ended 1967)
    Welcome to the What's My Line? guide at TV.com! Show Type: Game Show with Panel. First Telecast: February 2, 1950. Last Telecast: September 3, 1967. Producers: Mark Goodson & Bill Todman. Schedule: Currently not being aired on GSN or any other station. Synopsis: What's My Line? was one of network television's longest running and most beloved prime time game shows with a broadcast run of seventeen and one-half years. The game consisted of four panelists trying to guess the occupation of a guest contestant. As the questioning rotated, a panel member asked questions and the guest would answer either "yes" or "no." A contestant received $5 for each "no" answer. Ten "no" answers ended the game in favor of the contestant. A mystery guest segment was also included in which the panelists were blindfolded. The mystery guests were paid $500 as an appearance fee whether they won or lost the game. This was in addition to the maximum $50 game winnings. Guest panelists were paid $750 as an appearance fee. The regular panelists were under contract and were paid "much more" stated Gil Fates in his 1978 What's My Line? book. From 1950-1967, John Daly hosted the "classic" CBS What's My Line?, to which this site is devoted. In September 1968, What's My Line? was revived as a syndicated daily show (M-F) which lasted until 1975. Thanks for visiting us! Enjoy your stay! And now... TIME FOR EVERYBODY'S FAVORITE GUESSING GAME!moreless
  • 1 2 3 4 5