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Classic Sports Television Hits: 3 TV Shows That Had Highest Ratings

By    |   Monday, 21 Dec 2015 07:56 PM

Being so few and far between, sports TV series were not the greatest ratings winners during the classic television era from 1950 to 1990. While live, televised sporting events came into their own in the classic era, no sports-themed TV shows even made a strong showing in the ratings until near the end of the classic TV era.

1. "Coach"
University football Coach Hayden Fox (Craig T. Nelson) is totally into football and little else, much to the chagrin of his partner (Shelley Fabares), who does not care much for the sport. Dumb jock jokes abound in this comedy.

The show ran for seven seasons on ABC beginning in 1989.

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"Coach" is the undisputed ratings winner in the fictional sports genre, with five of its nine seasons in the Top 20 in the Nielsen ratings, according to the Classic TV Database.

"Coach" peaked at No. 6 in 1993-94, with an estimated audience of 16,390,800 viewers.

2.  "The White Shadow"
"The White Shadow" was a CBS show that ran for three seasons beginning in 1978. It was the story of a white former professional basketball player Ken Reeves (Ken Howard) who retired after an injury to turn to coaching at a mostly black, inner-city Carver High School.

Reeves mentored his players and coached them to winning on and off the court.

"The White Shadow" dealt with real, tough issues of the day as much as high school basketball heroics, but only lasted three seasons.

3. "Bad News Bears"
This CBS show, based on the movie of the same name, ran for two seasons on CBS beginning n 1979.

It featured Jack Warden as coach Morris Buttermaker, who found himself serving community service rather than a year in jail, molded the most inept team in Little League baseball into a reasonably decent team.

He had help from Principal Dr. Emily Rappant (Catherine Hicks).

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Being so few and far between, sports TV series were not ratings winners during the classic TV era from 1950 to 1990. While live, televised sporting events came into their own in the classic era, no sports-themed TV shows made a strong showing in the ratings until near the end of the classic TV era.
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2015-56-21
Monday, 21 Dec 2015 07:56 PM
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