Television’s Top 100

The Most-Watched American Broadcasts, 1960–2010

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About the Book

Remember the finales of M*A*S*H, Cheers and Seinfeld? Do you know who shot J.R. on Dallas? This entertaining survey recounts these and other memorable events that generated some of American television’s biggest audiences when they were first telecast from 1960 to the present.
Here you will find the inside stories about the most popular specials, movies, miniseries and series episodes in television history, from Number 100 to the top of the list. Weekly series and recurring specials like the Super Bowl are represented by their highest-rated individual entry to allow a diverse selection. Included are appendices with facts and figures about the Top 100, and a chronological listing of these unforgettable programs.

About the Author(s)

Wesley Hyatt, a senior writer with MMI Public Relations, has also served as a television historian and consultant for several media sources. He is the author of several McFarland titles and lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Wesley Hyatt
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4891-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8696-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS      vi

PREFACE      1

100. Fatal Vision      5

99. Roots: The Next Generations      7

98. The 13th Annual Emmy Awards      8

97. Eight Is Enough      10

96. Fish      12

95. The Andy Williams Christmas Show      14

94. The Flip Wilson Show      16

93. Peter Pan      18

92. Brian’s Song      19

91. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders      21

90. Return to Mayberry      23

89. 60 Minutes      25

88. Ben Casey      26

87. Friends and Nabors      28

86. A Case of Rape      29

85. The Longest Yard      31

84. The Night Stalker      33

83. The Ten Commandments      34

82. How the West Was Won      36

81. The Cotton Bowl      37

80. Summer Olympics      38

79. The Andy Griffith Show      39

78. Bonnie and Clyde      41

77. The Dean Martin Show      43

76. The Sound of Music      44

75. Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii      46

74. AFC Division Championship Game      48

73. Born Free      49

72. Sanford and Son      51

71. Here’s Lucy      52

70. Christmas with the Bing Crosbys      54

69. The Waltons      55

68. The Red Skelton Hour      57

67. The Rose Bowl      59

66. Candid Camera      61

65. Mork & Mindy      62

64. Happy Days      64

63. You Again?       66

62. The Lucy Show      68

61. A Charlie Brown Christmas      69

60. Holocaust      71

59. The Dick Van Dyke Show      73

58. Rhoda      75

57. Planet of the Apes      76

56. Laverne & Shirley      78

55. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C      80

54. The Andy Griffith Special      82

53. Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In      83

52. The Wizard of Oz      85

51. The Burning Bed      87

50. Mayberry R.F.D      89

49. The Ropers      90

48. Wagon Train      92

47. Little Ladies of the Night      94

46. Shogun      95

45. Rocky      97

44. Ben-Hur      99

43. Ali-Spinks Fight      101

42. Jeremiah Johnson      103

41. Helter Skelter      104

40. Marcus Welby, M.D      106

39. John Wayne: Swing Out Sweet Land      108

38. The Bridge on the River Kwai      109

37. Three’s Company      111

36. Patton      113

35. The Birds      115

34. True Grit      116

33. Carol & Company      118

32. Danny Thomas Special: Wonderful World of Burlesque      120

31. The Poseidon Adventure      121

30. Jaws      123

29. Family Ties      125

28. Michael Jackson Talks to … Oprah      126

27. The Godfather      128

26. World Series Game 6      130

25. All in the Family      132

24. Gunsmoke      133

23. The Winds of War      135

22. The Cosby Show      137

21. Seinfeld      138

20. Bonanza      140

19. Miss America Pageant      142

18. Cinderella      144

17. Love Story      145

16. Airport      147

15. NFC Championship Game      148

14. The Thorn Birds      149

13. The Academy Awards      151

12. The Beverly Hillbillies      152

11. The Ed Sullivan Show      154

10. Cheers      156

9. The Fugitive      157

8. The Day After      159

7. The Bob Hope Christmas Special      161

6. Gone with the Wind      162

5. XVII Winter Olympics      164

4. Super Bowl XVI      166

3. Roots      167

2. Dallas      169

1. M*A*S*H      171

APPENDIX A: CHRONOLOGY      173

APPENDIX B: TOP-RATED SHOWS PRIOR TO 1960      175

APPENDIX C: TOP 100 FACTS AND FIGURES      176

BIBLIOGRAPHY      177

INDEX      183

Book Reviews & Awards

“This is an entertaining and historical look back on some of the most popular and memorable events that generated the largest American television audiences”—ARBA.