Television has been an influential part of American lives since its early days in the 1940's. Although many shows have been memorable, only a few can be credited with influencing the way Americans viewed the world through television.
(FOLLOWING INFO TAKEN FROM WACHOVIA RETIREMENT NEWSLETTER)
I LOVE LUCY(1951-1957)
The first show featured many firsts: First to be filmed in Hollywood, first to use three cameras and first to show an ethnically diverse couple. It is often credited by critics as the blueprint for modern sitcoms.
THE HONEYMOONERS (1955-1956)
American working class issues surfaced in this sit-com as it offered an alternative to the squeaky clean, suburban lives of most TV characters of the 1950's.
MARY TYLER MOORE (1970-1977)
Centered on the life of a single professional woman, this program came along at the height of the feminist movement and proved that an unmarried, female lead actress could gain big ratings; it also launched the workplace sitcom trend.
ALL IN THE FAMILY (1971-1979)
This show was the first to deal with hot-button topics that were formerly taboo on television, such as racism and the anti-war movement of the 1970's.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (1975-present)
This live sketch comedy show is known for pushing the envelope with its edgy and racy comedy. Now more tan 30 years old, many of its cast members have gone on to rank among the most influential comedians of their time.
(Personal Note: I believe this program has sped along our nation's degradation.)
The first prime time soap opera to gain mass popularity, its 'Who shot J.R.?' murder plot introduced the cliffhanger to television audiences and started the trend of nighttime soap operas.
HILL STREET BLUES (1981-1987)
This show revolutionized the cop drama by portraying a realistic, grittier side of police life while setting the tone for future shows with large ensemble casts.
THE COSBY SHOW (1984-1992)
Not only was this one of the first successful African-American family sitcoms, this show has often been credited with saving the American sitcom during the 1980's.