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Classic Sitcom Television Hits: 6 Shows That Had the Highest Ratings

By    |   Friday, 06 Nov 2015 07:54 PM

It's not easy to top out the television ratings, but a few classic sitcoms managed to woo the nation's television-watching public and hit No. 1 for at least one season.

Here are the Top 6 highest-rated classic sitcoms in the U.S.:

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1. "I Love Lucy"
"I Love Lucy" ran from 1951 to 1960 and spent four of its seasons at the top of the Nielsen ratings (which measure audience size), with its second season in drawing in 67.3 million viewers. The first season was ranked at No. 3, and the fifth season was ranked No. 2.

2. "The Beverly Hillbillies"
Critics didn't expect this show to do well, but "The Beverly Hillbillies" proved them wrong by scoring the most viewers among any show during its first two seasons. In its fourth and fifth seasons, the show tied with "Bewitched" for the No. 7 spot on the Nielsen ratings.

3. "The Andy Griffith Show"
The last season of "The Andy Griffith Show" ranked No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings, but the show never dropped below seventh place on the charts during its eight-season run from 1960-1968. Thirty years after the show's finale, "More than 5 million people a day watch 'Andy Griffith' reruns on 120 stations," The Christian Science Monitor reported in 1998.

4. "All in the Family"
Broadcast from 1971 to 1979, "All in the Family" was the first sitcom to tackle controversial cultural issues like racism, abortion, and homosexuality. It was the most-viewed show from 1971 through 1976, sitting at No. 1 on the Nielsen ratings. It is one of only three shows ever to stay at the top of the ratings for five consecutive seasons (the other two being "The Cosby Show" and "American Idol").

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5. "Happy Days"
"Happy Days" aired from 1974 to 1984 and was in the Top 20 shows each year for eight of its 11 seasons. In its fourth season, from 1976-77, it was the most-watched show on television with more than 30 percent of television-owning households tuning in regularly.

6. "Laverne & Shirley"
"Laverne & Shirley" started out near the top of the pack, ranking at the No. 3 most-watched show in its first season. Season 2 was 1976's No. 2. show, and during its third and fourth seasons from 1977 to 1979, "Laverne & Shirley" sat atop the list, garnering more viewers than any other shows during that time, even "Happy Days," which spawned it.

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It's not easy to top out the television ratings, but a few classic sitcoms managed to woo the nation's television-watching public and hit No. 1 for at least one season.
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2015-54-06
Friday, 06 Nov 2015 07:54 PM
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