11. The Ed Sullivan Show
The original sketch comedy/variety show success was The Ed Sullivan Show. It ran from 1948 – 1971 captivating CBS audiences for nearly 25 five years. Performances including Elvis, The Beatles, The Supremes, Louis Armstrong, James Brown, The Beach Boys, Jackson 5, Rolling Stones, and many more appeared live with Ed Sullivan. In the early stages of Television Ed Sullivan put on the most popular show during those early days.
Many shows of similar ilk have taken to the airwaves since the time of The Ed Sullivan Show – yet none have matched the cultural success that Ed Sullivan was able to achieve. His influence is seen more now than ever with the variety of shows that emulate his show style. However none have been able to match his 82.6 percentage share in 1956! The ridiculously high rating was thanks to The Beatles and Elvis Presley’s first appearance!
He forgot some very important shows like M*A*S*H, and all of the Lucille Ball series . Starting with I Love Lucy in 1951 through Here’s Lucy ending in 1974, some of Lucy was on TV. Archie Bunker’s Place is just a footnote. This Walter needs to do more homework. In 1951, fewer homes had television set than in 1980’s and beyond. The measure of success should be percents of viewers rather than number of viewers.
On the contrary, I did do my homework and used those measures in the analysis. MASH just missed the top 15 and Archie Bunker’s Place is far more than a footnote when calculating various different measures.
Longevity and Percentage of households viewed were weighed more heavily than number of overall viewers (If that wasn’t the case a number on the list wouldn’t have been present). There was hours of time put into compiling the list – but thanks for taking the time to comment.
While Seinfeld is considered one of the (if not) best Sitcoms of all time it really only spent 5 seasons as a ratings hit. Due to that it’s share ranks rather low – the first 4 seasons of the show didn’t crack the top 20 in ratings. But, that does not take away from the critical success the show was able to obtain. Unlike the vast majority of shows, the series ended while it was still a major ratings powerhouse. If it continued for 3, 4, or 5 more seasons in the top 3 of ratings it would have skyrocketed up the list and would have cracked the top 15.
*Whistles Theme Song*
Around the mid 20s – 30 range. Would have definitely been higher up the list if it continued past it’s final season where reached #1. Was a top 10 hit for all 8 of its seasons. Definitely a good show to mention, longevity is all what held it down really.
Law and order? Buffy?
Law & Order is in the 20s. Longevity played a huge role there, it only broke into the top 10 for 1 out of its 20 seasons. It remains one of my favorite series as it resulted in a number of spin-offs. While I personally love Buffy it was far from a ratings machine – at least at this level.
What about Gilligans Island?
The run for Gilligan’s Island was extremely short. It’s been far more popular. It was actually cancelled after Gunsmoke was moved into its timeslot.
I thought I love Lucy was shot in front of a live audience
From what I can find I Love Lucy used a laugh track, cannot find anything about being filmed in front of a live audience.