The Top-Rated Television Shows of the Last 60 Years
Over the past 60 years, just 26 shows have held the coveted title of a season’s top-rated series. They run the gamut from sitcoms (Seinfeld) to Westerns (Gunsmoke) to medical dramas (E.R.) to soap operas (Dynasty) and even sports.
Viewers’ taste remains fascinatingly cyclical; 60 years ago, the most popular show in America was a game show; 45 years later, a similar game show reigned supreme. Some of the shows in this gallery remained firmly ingrained in the fabric of popular culture; others have faded away. (Paging Dr. Marcus Welby...) But at one point in time (or, in a few cases, at several points) these 26 series were the most popular in the entire country.