Three TV Questions

Mark McGuire, the TV writer from the local newspaper, the Times Union, to whom I can be as much a pain as I am to some other people, listed his list of the top 10 most influential shows. They were:

10. “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” (1968-73, NBC).
9. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970-77, CBS).
8. “Hill Street Blues” (1981-87, NBC).
7. “The Real World” (1992-present, MTV).
6. “All in the Family” (1971-83, CBS).
5. “Sesame Street” (1969-present, PBS).
4. “The Tonight Show” (1954-present, NBC).
3. “Dragnet” (1952-59; 1967-70, NBC).
2. “The Milton Berle Show” (1948-57, NBC).
1. “I Love Lucy” (1951-57, CBS).
Other shows he deemed worthy of consideration: “Law & Order” (NBC), “The Simpsons” (Fox), “Roots,” (ABC), “Saturday Night Live” (NBC), “Gunsmoke,” (CBS), “Monday Night Football (ABC),” “An American Family” (PBS).

You can read his rationale here.

He also listed the five best spinoffs:
5. “Lou Grant” (“Mary Tyler Moore Show”)
4. “Knots Landing” (“Dallas”)
3. “Happy Days” (“Love, American Style”)
2. “Frasier” (“Cheers”)
1. “The Simpsons” (“The Tracy Ullman Show”)
and the five worst spinoffs:
5. “Joanie Loves Chachi” (“Happy Days”
4. “Gloria” (“All in the Family”)
3. “The Tortellis” (“Cheers”)
2. “Joey” (“Friends”)
1. “AfterMASH” (“M*A*S*H”)

So, my questions to you:

1) What do you consider the 5 or 10 most influential programs in television history? Not necessarily the best, but the ones that help define the genre.
2) What are the 5 best and 5 worst spinoffs of American television shows?
3) What are the 3 or 5 or 10 best shows derived from another medium (book, play, movie, oh what the heck, British TV)?

My answers will be below. You can block it to see it, or put your responses in first, THEN go back and see mine. (Thanks to Tom the Dog for explaining this process to me.)

I Love Lucy
Milton Berle
The Honeymooners- precursor to everything from the Flintstones to the King of Queens
The Real World
Hill Street Blues
All in the Family
The Jeffersons
Saturday Night Live
That Girl-precuror to MTM

Fish (from Barney Miller)
The Tortellis
Joanne Loves Chachi

Lou Grant
Happy Days
Andy Griffith Show (from the Danny Thomas Show)

All in the Family (British TV)
Odd Couple (play, movie)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (movie)
M*A*S*H (movie)

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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