Thursday, September 25, 2008


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.


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.


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.)

DALLAS (1978-1991)

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.


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.


MightyMom said...

I believe I Love Lucy was also the first time a pregnant woman was shown.

And The Cosby Show did what Bill Cosby set out to do, give black youths a GOOD role model by showing a black familly that was not portrayed as street thugs.

all good shows!

Sis. Julie said...

Oh the days when shows like I Love Lucy would not even portray a husband and wife sleeping in the same bed. The same was true with The Dick Van Dyke Show. Things sure have changed haven't they?

Anonymous said...

I loved The Cosby Show!! I only started watching I Love Lucy as an adult, but I always laugh =) And the Honeymooners, I haven't seen, but have always wanted to. Do you know what channel might show re-runs? You know the 2 shows that personally influenced me growing up? Little House on the Prarie, and Full House!!!

Kopatopie said...

Hah!! I loove the cosby show! My favorite shows are ones like Home Improvement, Step by Step, and Family Matters even though they're mostly before my time. The new shows aren't funny.

Thursday's Child said...

We have a few sitcoms on DVD. When we're home this winter I plan to hit Wal-Mart and stock up on more. We have Bonanza and The Waltons too.

We have a couple of Make Room for Daddy DVDs and they're hilarious. No off-color humor and funnier than most on today.

My cousin was ill with Leukemia when Suellen shot JR. She lived long enough to find out who did it. If they'd dragged it out longer, she might have held on that much longer too. LOL