• 41
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show

    The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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    NBC
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show has consistently been one of the world's highest-rated shows and has been awarded many Daytime Emmy Awards. Hosted by star of Ellen and The Ellen Show, Ellen Degeneres always brings her A-game in order to make you laugh. Featuring a unique mix of celebrity interviews, chart-topping and up-and-coming musical performances, audience participation games, and segments spotlighting real life stories, and amazing talent throughout all age-groups. Ellen encourages a "negative-free zone", and tries to make everybody feel as if they are in the studio, even if they're sat at home. She regularly rings viewers and throughout regular segments within the show encourages people at home to send in videos, letters and even leave voicemail messages. Unlike other talk-shows were the host is accompanied by a houseband, Ellen is joined by a in-house DJ. Since the start of the series, there have been four DJ's (Scotty K, Jonny Abrahams, DJ Stryker, and Tont Okungbowa). However, Tony Okungbowa has been around the longest, appearing during most of season 1 and 2, and regularly since season 6. What is a huge part of the show, as at the start of each programme, after delivering her opening monologue, Ellen dances with the audience, following on from this she does her signature dance across her coffee table. Produced by Warner Bros. Entertainment on the Warner Bros. lot in California.moreless
  • 42
    NCIS: Los Angeles

    NCIS: Los Angeles

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    CBS
    The Office of Special Projects (OSP) is a clandestine division of NCIS and is located in Los Angeles, California. They go deep undercover to capture criminals that are threatening national security. The team includes G Callen, the chameleon, Sam Hanna, Callen's partner and a surveillance expert; Kensi Blye, the adrenalin junkie; Marty Deeks, LAPD Liaison to assist NCIS with interdepartmental issues; Eric Beal & Nell Jones provide computer support and Henrietta "Hetty" Lange, the Operational Manager, who not only manages the money and material assets, but the team itself. They have access to the latest technological developments and they do whatever is necessary to get the job done. Nate Getz, worked as the Psychologist that helped the team with the mission and their own mental health and Dominic Vail, was the rookie of the team.moreless
  • 43
    The Bill

    The Bill

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    ITV (ended 2010)
    Welcome to The Bill guide at TV.com. The Bill recounts the goings-on within and around Sun Hill, a Metropolitan Police Station located in the fictional Borough of Canley, in east London. Running for over 25 years, The Bill was Britain's longest running police drama series, finally outstripping Dixon of Dock Green on 10 August 2005. It adapted to meet the challenges of the highly competitive world of independent television, evolving from a standard post-watershed police procedural drama, through a period as a twice- and, later, thrice-weekly early evening ratings grabber with stand-alone plots, then as a twice-weekly one-hour drama with ongoing soap-style exploration of the troubled personal lives of its police officers. The Bill reverted to a once a week, post-watershed drama on 23 July 2009, but ITV decided not to renew the show when the contract came up for renewal the following year. The Bill is not your average cop show, but rather an extraordinary police drama that brings each episode to the audience through the eyes of the characters. An excellent cast, supported by some of the country's leading writers and directors and some innovative camera work gives an incredible sense of realism. Other police dramas have been created in an attempt to mirror its conventions and match its success, but none has lasted. The Bill truly deserves its accolade as Britain's most successful police drama.moreless
  • 44
    The Middle

    The Middle

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    ABC
    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
  • 45
    Survivor

    Survivor

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    CBS
    The rules of Survivor are simple: Americans are abandoned in the middle of some of the most unforgiving places on earth. Divided into teams, they participate in challenges given by host Jeff Probst, and every three days, the losing tribe must trek to Tribal Council to vote out one of their own. Halfway through the game, the challenges shift to individual competitions when the tribes merge and become one. Now the game is every contestant for themselves.

    However, the players must be careful about who they send packing - because after the merge, a jury of previously voted out contestants begins to form, and each week they return to watch the Tribal Council ceremony. At the end of the game, they vote for one of the members in the finals to win one million dollars and become the sole Survivor!

    Survivor is a game of adaptation, and the final two or three of each season are the players most able to adapt to their surroundings and to the people they are playing with. Survivor focuses on the people, the social commentary that surrounds them and how these players can Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast.moreless
  • 46
    House Hunters

    House Hunters

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    HGTV
    House Hunters takes viewers behind the scenes of individuals, couples, and families as they look for a house with the help of their realtor. Focusing on the emotional experience of finding and purchasing a new home, each episode follows a prospective buyer and real estate agent through the home-buying process, from start to finish. It starts when an individual, couple, or family tells their realtor what they are looking for in the house they want to buy. Afterwards, the realtor finds three houses that fit that description as best as it can. The house must do its best to fit what the buyers are looking for while falling into their pricerange. After looking at the three houses the buyers must decide which of the three to buy or to keep looking. Each episode is different because each buyer is different.moreless
  • 47
    DC's Legends of Tomorrow

    DC's Legends of Tomorrow

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    The CW
    Rip Hunter travels back in time to the 21st century where he brings together a new team of heroes and villains, that in his timeline were already a team, but are now dead and gone. Everyone must come together in an attempt to prevent the immortal Vandal Savage from destroying the world and time itself.moreless
  • 48
    M*A*S*H

    M*A*S*H

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    CBS (ended 1983)
    M*A*S*H was a true ensemble series. Whilst characters such as Kellye, Igor, Rizzo, Goldman and Ginger are listed where they appear as specific characters central to the plot, they also appeared regularly as non-speaking cast members. This is also true of many of the nurses, corpsmen, orderlies and drivers listed as guest stars. Based on the 1968 novel by Richard Hooker and the 1970 20th Century-Fox movie of the same name, M*A*S*H aired on CBS from September 17, 1972 to February 26th, 1983 for 251 episodes, and has become one of the most celebrated television series in the history of the medium. During its initial season, however, M*A*S*H was in danger of being canceled due to low ratings. The show reached the top ten program list the following year, and never fell out of the top twenty rated programs during the remainder of its run. The final episode of M*A*S*H was a two and one half hour special that attracted the largest audience to ever view a single television program episode. In many ways the series set the standard for some of the best programming to appear later. The show used multiple plot lines in a half-hour episodes, usually with at least one story in the comedic vein and another dramatic. Some later versions of this form, e.g. Hooperman (ABC 1987-1989) and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd (NBC 1987-1989), would be known as the dramady, half-hour programs incorporating elements of both comedy and drama. Other comedies would forgo the more serious aspects of M*A*S*H, but maintain its focus on character and motive. And some dramatic programming, such as St. Elsewhere and Moonlighting would draw on the mixture of elements to distinguish themselves from more conventional television. M*A*S*H was set in Uijeongbu, South Korea, north of Seoul, during the Korean War. The series focused on the group of doctors and nurses whose job was to heal the wounded who arrived at this "Mobile Army Surgical Hospital" by helicopter, ambulance or bus. The hospital compound was isolated from the rest of the world. One road ran through the camp; a mountain blocked one perimeter and a minefield the other. Here the wounded were patched up and sent home--or back to the front. Here, too, the loyal audience came to know and respond to an exceptional ensemble cast of characters. The original cast assumed roles created in Altman's movie. The protagonists were Dr. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce(Alan Alda) and Dr. "Trapper" John McIntyre (Wayne Rogers). Pierce and McIntyre were excellent surgeons who preferred to chase female nurses and drink homemade gin to operating and who had little, if any use for military discipline or authority. As a result, they often ran afoul of two other medical officers, staunch military types, Dr. Frank Burns (Larry Linville) and Senior Nurse, Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Loretta Swit). The camp commander, Lt. Col. Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson), was a genial bumbler whose energies were often directed toward preventing Burns and Houlihan from court martialing Pierce and McIntyre. The camp was actually run by Corporal Walter "Radar" O'Reilly (Gary Burghoff), the company clerk who could spontaneously finish Blake's unspoken sentences and hear incoming helicopters before they were audible to other human ears. Other regulars were Corporal Max Klinger (Jamie Farr) who, in the early seasons, usually dressed in women's clothing in an ongoing attempt to secure a medical (mental) discharge, and Father Francis Mulcahy (William Christopher), the kindly camp priest who looked out for an orphanage. In the course of its eleven years the series experienced many cast changes. McIntyre was "discharged" after the 1974-75 season because of a contract dispute between the producers and Rogers. He was replaced by Dr. B.J. Hunnicutt (Mike Farrell), a clean cut family man quite different from Pierce's lecherous doctor. Frank Burns was given a psychiatric discharge in the beginning of the 1977-78 season and was replaced by Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester (David Ogden Stiers), a Boston blue blood who disdained the condition of the camp and tent mates Pierce and Hunnicutt. O'Reilly's departure at the beginning of the 1979-80 season was explained by the death of his fictional uncle, and Klinger took over the company clerk position. Perhaps the most significant change for the group occurred with the leave-taking of Henry Blake. His exit was written into the series in tragic fashion. As his plane was flying home over the Sea of Japan it was shot down and the character killed. Despite the "realism" of this narrative development, public sentiment toward the event was so negative that the producers promised never to have another character depart the same way. Colonel Sherman Potter (Harry Morgan), a doctor with a regular Army experience in the cavalry, replaced Blake as camp commander and became more both more complex and more involved with the other characters than Blake had been. Though the series was set in Korea, M*A*S*H, both the movie and the series, was initially developed as a critique of the Vietnam War. As that war dragged toward conclusion, however, the series focused more on characters than situations--a major development for situation comedy. Characters were given room to learn from their mistakes, to adapt and change. Houlihan became less the rigid military nurse and more a friend to both her subordinates and the doctors. Pierce changed from a gin-guzzling skirt chaser to a more "enlightened" male who cares about women and their issues, a reflection of Alda himself. O'Reilly outgrew his youthful innocence, and Klinger gave up his skirts and wedding dresses to assume more authority. This focus on character rather than character type set M*A*S*H apart from other comedies of the day and the style of the show departed from the norm in many other ways as well, both in terms of its style and its mode of production. While most other contemporary sitcoms took place indoors and were largely produced on videotape in front of a live audience, M*A*S*H was shot on film on location in Southern California, as well as in a closed studio set (studio #9 at 20th Century Fox). Outdoor shooting at times presented problems. While shooting the final episode, for example, forest fires destroyed the set, causing a delay in filming. The series also made innovative uses of the laugh track. In early seasons, the laugh track was employed during the entire episode. As the series developed, the laugh track was removed from scenes that occurred in the operating room. In a few episodes, the laugh track was removed entirely, another departure from sitcom conventions. The most striking technical aspect of the series is found in its aggressively cinematic visual style. Instead of relying on straight cuts and short takes episodes often used long shots with people and vehicles moving between the characters and the camera. Tracking shots moved with action, and changed direction when the story was "handed off" from one group of characters to another. These and other camera movements, wedded to complex editing techniques, enabled the series to explore character psychology in powerful ways, and to assert the preeminence of the ensemble over any single individual. In this way M*A*S*H seemed to be asserting the central fact of war, that individual human beings are caught in the tangled mesh of other lives and there must struggle to retain some sense of humanity and compassion. This approach was grounded in Altman's film style and enabled M*A*S*H to manipulate its multiple story lines and its mixture of comedy and drama with techniques that matched the complex, absurd tragedy of war itself. M*A*S*H was one of the most innovative sitcoms of the 1970s and 1980s. Its stylistic flair and narrative mix drew critical acclaim, while the solid writing and vitally drawn characters helped the series maintain high ratings. The show also made stars of it performers, none more so than Alda, who went on to a successful career in film. The popularity of M*A*S*H was quite evident in the 1978-79 season. CBS aired new episodes during prime time on Monday and programmed reruns of the series in the daytime and on Thursday late night, giving the show a remarkable seven appearances on a single network in a five day period. The series produced one unsuccessful spin-off, AfterMASH, which aired on CBS from 1983-85. The true popularity of M*A*S*H can still be seen, for the series is one of the most widely syndicated series throughout the world. Despite the historical setting, the characters and issues in this series remain fresh, funny and compelling in ways that continue to stand as excellent television. Some of the above info from the article in the Museum Of Broadcast Communications: M*A*S*H page, written by Jeff Shires. M*A*S*H Theme Song - "Suicide Is Painless" Written by Digital Tradition Mirror (Lyrics shortened for television theme) Through early morning fog I see, Visions of the things to be, The pains that are withheld for me, I realize and I can see... That suicide is painless, It brings on many changes, And I can take or leave it if I please. Ratings (Top 30 or Better) – 1972-1973:Not in Top 30 1973-1974:#4 1974-1975:#5 1975-1976:#15 1976-1977:#4 1977-1978:#9 1978-1979:#7 1979-1980:#5 1980-1981:#4 1981-1982:#9 1982-1983:#3 Telecast: CBS September 17, 1972 - September 19, 1983 Broadcast History (all times Eastern): Sep 1972 - Sep 1973, CBS Sun 8:00-8:30 Sep 1973 - Sep 1974, CBS Sat 8:30-9:00 Sep 1974 - Sep 1975, CBS Tue 8:30-9:00 Sep 1975 - Nov 1975, CBS Fri 8:30-9:00 Dec 1975 - Dec 1977, CBS Tue 9:00-9:30 Jan 1978 - Sep 1983, CBS Mon 9:00-9:30 251 Episodes In Color On Film Repeats air on Hallmark Channel.moreless
  • 49
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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    The WB (ended 2003)
    In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer. Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as Buffy Summers, The Chosen One, the one girl in all the world with the strength and skill to fight the vampires. With the help of her close friends, Willow (Alyson Hannigan), Xander (Nicholas Brendon), and her Watcher Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), she balances slaying, family, friendships, and relationships. For five years Buffy slayed vampires on the WB; then for her last two seasons she went to UPN. Theme music by Nerf Herder.moreless
  • 50
    The X-Files

    The X-Files

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    FOX
    The X-Files is a Peabody, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning American science fiction television series created by Chris Carter, which first aired on September 10, 1993, and ended on May 19, 2002. Running for 9 seasons, the show was a hit for the Fox Broadcasting Company network, and its main characters and slogans (e.g., "The Truth Is Out There", "Trust No One", "I Want to Believe") became pop culture touchstones. The X-Files is seen as a defining series of the 1990s, coinciding with the era's widespread mistrust of governments, interest in conspiracy theories and spirituality, and the belief in the existence of extraterrestrial life. TV Guide called The X-Files the Second greatest cult television show and the 37th best television show of all time. In 2007, Time magazine included it on a list of the "100 Best TV Shows of All Time." In 2008, Entertainment Weekly named it Classic Sci-fi and the fourth best TV show in the last 25 years. This long running FOX drama lasted nine seasons and focused on the exploits of FBI Agents Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, John Doggett and Monica Reyes and their investigations into the paranormal. From genetic mutants and killer insects to a global conspiracy concerning the colonisation of Earth by an alien species, this mind-boggling, humourous and occasionally frightening series created by Chris Carter has been one of the world's most popular sci-fi/drama shows since its humble beginnings in 1993. The show has also spawned two movies, The X-Files Movie in 1998 and I Want To Believe in 2008. So sit back and enjoy the fascinating world of The X-Files. The entire nine seasons of The X-Files are now available on DVD! As well has hundreds of books written about the show. Emmy Awards 2001 - Outstanding Makeup for a Series for episode DeadAlive 2000 - Outstanding Makeup for a Series for episode Theef - Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series for episode First Person Shooter - Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series for episode First Person Shooter 1999 - Outstanding Makeup for a series for episodes Two Fathers/One Son 1998 - Outstanding Art Direction for a Series for episode The Post-Modern Prometheus - Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Series for episode Kill Switch 1997 - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Gillian Anderson - Outstanding Art Direction for a Series for episode Memento Mori - Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series for episode Tempus Fugit 1996 - Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series to Peter Boyle for episode Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose - Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing for a Drama Series to Darin Morgan for episode Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose - Outstanding Individual Achievement in Cinematography for a series for episode Grotesque - Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Editing for a Series for episode Nisei - Outstanding individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Drama Series for episode Nisei 1994 - Outstanding Individual Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences for The X-Files Golden Globe Awards 1998 - Best TV Series (Drama) 1997 - Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series (Drama) to David Duchovny - Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series (Drama) to Gillian Anderson - Best TV Series (Drama) 1995 - Best TV Series (Drama) In March 2015 it was announced that the show will return for a 6 episode limited series with both Duchovny and Anderson reprising their roles after a 13 year hiatus. Chris Carter is on board to write and produce these episodes. Season 10 began airing from January 24th 2016. It is rumoured the show could be renewed for further seasons due to the success of season 10.moreless
  • 51
    Neighbours

    Neighbours

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    Network Ten
    Neighbours is a weekday soap opera exploring the lives and relationships of the residents of Ramsay Street in Erinsborough. Now in its 26th year of production, Neighbours is Australia's most successful television program, not to mention being a hit world-wide. Neighbours has already hit the 6000th episode mark and looks set to continue serving up the laughter, tears and drama that has taken the world by storm. The show is currently produced by FremantleMedia Australia. Reg Watson is the man who created the show. Music tracks provided to the show are done so by Mushroom Music Publishing. Animals appearing on the show are provided by Animal Actors. The current network's drama executive is Claire Tonkin and the network's publicist is Paula Lucarelli, these associations and people are credited at the end of each episode. Neighbours originated on Australia's Seven Network in 1985, then moved to Network Ten from 1986-2010. In 2011 it moved to one of Network Ten's free-to-air digital channels, Eleven, where in currently airs Monday-Friday at 6:30pm. It should be noted that this episode guide runs at the same pace as the episodes originally air in Australia. For New Zealand the guide is approximately 3 weeks ahead (15 episodes). In the UK and Ireland the guide is approximately 9 weeks ahead (45 episodes). The end credits of each episode show the entire main cast and any main cast that have moved from starring in the show, to take on a recurring role, even if they didn't appear in an episode. The episode guide however only contains the cast specific to the episode, along with the crew credited for appearing on the show. Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson) is the only current cast member to appear in the first episode and remain on the show, although had left in 1992, before returning in 2005. He lives at number 22, with his daughter Lucinda 'Elle' Robinson (Pippa Black) her boyfriend Lucas Fitzgerald (Scott Major) and Donna Freedman (Margot Robbie). Number 24 is the home of the Ramsays donated to them by the Salvation Army. Here brother & sister Harry (Will Moore), and Kate (Ashleigh Brewer) live with younger sister, Sophie (Kaiya Jones). Number 26 is were the currently longest serving cast member Tom Oliver lives, as Lou Carpenter. The Napiers also live here, with mother Rebecca (Jane Hall) lives with her son Declan (James Sorensen) and his daughter India (currently played by two twin babies, Alia & Gab Devercelli). Number 28 is the Kennedy's family home, were Susan (Jackie Woodburne) and Karl (Alan Fletcher) live, alongside their adoptive son Zeke Kinski (Matthew Werkmeister) and his friend Ringo Brown (Sam Clark). Sunny Lee (Hany Lee Choi) also lives here. Number 30 or 'The House of Trouser' as dubbed by many of it's residents over the years, is Jarrod "Toadie" Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) home. Were he lives with his adopted son Callum Jones (Morgan Baker). The pair are joined by Dan Fitzgerald (Brett Tucker), Karl & Susan's daughter and Dan's husband, Elizabeth "Libby" Kennedy-Fitzgerald (Kym Valentine), Libby's son Ben (Blake O'Leary) also lives here. Number 32, is the Scully family home, Steph Scully (Carla Bonner) lives here with her son Charlie Hoyland (Jacob Brito) and her mum Lyn (Janet Andrewartha).moreless
  • 52
    Lucifer

    Lucifer

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    FOX
    Satan, aka Lucifer, quitting his job from Hell because of boredom, coming to live in the city of angels L.A. With his experience and abilities he tries to help humanity, in his view of perspective, to bring out people's inner thoughts and deepest desires. Lucifer, wouldn't be Lucifer if he didn't end up in trouble. Trouble being a shoot-out with him and a girl, Lux, he met in a nightclub involved. The same girl instead of letting him go to waste, guides him into being a consultant for the police force. Trying to do do some "Satanic good" he uses his abilities as a police consultant to strike at criminals with the law and justice on his side.moreless
  • 53
    Wheel of Fortune

    Wheel of Fortune

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    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
  • 54
    Seinfeld

    Seinfeld

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    NBC (ended 1998)
    This is a show about nothing; however, for a show about nothing, this show has many complex plots, sub-plots, is very well written and put together. So much so that until the public caught onto the series, the television critics were responsible for helping to keep it alive. The critics further went on and made the series victorious in every category it was eligible for in the 1st Annual American Television Awards. Seinfeld has also won a few Emmy Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award for 1992 and many more. Many of the early episodes were based on the life experiences of series co-creator, Larry David. Stories such as The Stock Tip and The Jacket really happened, as did many others. Across the hall from Larry lived a man named Kenny Kramer, who aside from the physical comedy aspects, lives the life of TV Kramer. Find out all about him at the real Kramer's web site. Some aspects were based on Jerry's life. Jerry's real address in NYC when he was struggling comic was 129 W. 81 St., this is the address used for his building in the series. In the series, Jerry lives in apartment 5A, Kramer in 5B. Viewer Jason Dean Vaupel notes that in a couple of episodes of the second season, Jerry lives in apartment 3A. And Newman's apartment has usually been 5E, but viewer Jeff Holland notes that it sometimes is 5F and that 5E was rented out to someone else as already noted in the episode, The Conversion. Their building is called The Shelley according to viewer Kipp Teague whose discerned that from the awning on the building. However, that building is actually located in Los Angeles, the building at the real address in NYC is much different. Jeff Holland also notes that The Shelley has no visible fire escapes, but there is one outside of Jerry's window. Other aspects are composite of both lives. For example, Elaine's character is half based on Jerry's ex-girlfriend Carol Leifer. Carol joined the production staff in the 5th season. An ex-girlfriend of Larry David's, named Monica Yates, whose father was a noted writer in the other half of the Elaine equation. Larry David once wore a suede jacket that got wet while meeting her father. Another viewer, Bobby Bank, notes that a tribute to Jerry's father is seen in occasional episodes. Jerry's father, named Kal, worked in the sign business, so occasionally in the background you may see a sign that says Kal's Signs. Bobby stated in a trade magazine for the sign industry called Signs of the Times that he... Quote: had the pleasure of meeting and working with Kal in the early 70s when we were producing Jewelite (Bobby's company) letters for him. I remember Kal saying, 'Bobby, you should meet my son Jerry. He's a real funny guy.' Viewer Robert Buchanan also reminds me that it is ironic that Jerry's father's name is Kal, and Superman's real Kryptonian name is Kal-El. Most every episode takes place in Jerry's apartment; however, there are (of course) a few exceptions: The Chinese Restaurant, The Pen, The Parking Garage, The Subway, The Limo, The Airport, The Movie, The Hamptons, The Merv Griffin Show & The Dealership. While no activity occurs there, an empty apartment is shown in The Puerto Rican Day. First Telecast: July 5, 1989 Last Telecast: May 14, 1998 Episodes: 180 Color Episodes + 1 Special Ratings History Season 1= Not in the Top 30 Season 2= Not in the Top 30 Season 3= Not in the Top 30 Season 4= 25 Season 5= 3 Season 6= 1 Season 7= 2 Season 8= 2 Season 9= 1moreless
  • 55
    Gunsmoke

    Gunsmoke

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    CBS (ended 1975)

    Dodge City, known as the Sodom and Gomorrah of the plains, is a typical frontier city of the late 1800s with typical problems ranging from rumored Indian raids to bank and stage robberies, cattle rustling, and family feuds. All of these must be dealt with within the law and that task falls to Matt Dillon, US Marshal (James Arness).

    Dillon is a man who prefers the use of logic over the use of the gun but the nature of the people passing through Dodge doesn't always leave him that choice. Aided by various assistants and deputies over the years (played by Dennis Weaver, Burt Reynolds, and Ken Curtis), he does his best to keep the lawless element out of his town and his territory. Matt often solves his crimes through keen observation and deduction, an innovative approach for the times.

    Crucial information about cases is often provided by his beautiful companion, Long Branch owner Kitty Russell(Amanda Blake), while they drink beer or whiskey in her establishment. Matt also often exchanges banter or bounces his theories off of the crusty town doctor, Galen Adams (Milburn Stone).moreless
  • 56
    Gotham

    Gotham

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    FOX
    Explores the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon.  He is still a detective but he has yet to meet Batman and the villains who made Gotham City so famous.
  • 57
    Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

    Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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    HBO
    Last Week with John Oliver satires all of the news, politics, and current events that America obsessed over the previous week.  
  • 58
    Stranger Things

    Stranger Things

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    Netflix
    In a small Indiana town in the early 1980s, a boy goes missing after finding something sinister lurking in the woods. Nearby, a girl with extraordinary powers escapes from a sinister government facility and joins together with the boy's friends to get him back.moreless
  • 59
    American Housewife

    American Housewife

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    ABC
    Katie Otto, a confident, unapologetic wife and mother of three, raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, filled with "perfect" mommies and their "perfect" offspring. Katie's perfectly imperfect world is upended when her neighbor's decision to move notches her up from her ideal social standing and sets her on a path to ensure that doesn't happen, regardless of the consequences. Luckily, her husband, Greg Otto, supports her in every way possible, but with a dash of reality thrown in as they work to ensure their children do not end up like everyone else. However, that isn't going to be easy when her oldest teenage daughter, Taylor, is already set on the "perfect" path; middle son Oliver has one goal in life: to be rich; and her youngest, Anna Kat, needs a little extra help navigating life. Then there are her friends, Angela and Doris, who help Katie keep it all in perspective and are the allies she needs in a town where "keeping it real" is not a compliment. Despite her flaws and unconventional ways, Katie ultimately only wants the best for her kids and will fight tooth-and-nail to instill some good old-fashioned values in them, if it's the last thing she does. moreless
  • 60
    Property Brothers

    Property Brothers

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    HGTV
    Property Brothers features brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott as they scour the nation looking for fixer-upper homes and potential homebuyers that are willing to take on the challenge.  
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