Huey Lewis sang it in "Back to the Future". Let's go back in time. The 1970's we're a decade of great innovation. Cable TV, portable phones, the start of the computer age...yet the top TV shows of 1977 were based in the 1950's. ABC finally was a real network, with a number 1 show two years in a row, and "relevant" TV was fading. All in all it was great time to be a TV watcher. Here's the top 5 TV shows of 1977.



All in the Family

Norman Lear was the king of TV in the early 70's. Maude, The Jeffersons were both top 5 shows, but they all spun off of All in the Family. Archie, Dingbat, Little Girl and Meathead came into our living room every Saturday night. (Back in the 70's people ACTUALLY watched TV on Saturday Nights) The show was slowing down, after being the Number 1 show on TV from 1971-75. It still was in the top 5 before it became "Archie Bunkers' Place" after 1977.

60 Minutes

Tick, tick, tick. Since 1968 60 Minutes has wasted an hour of our lives with hard news on Sunday nights. Back in the 70's, the 7pm hour on Sundays was the "Family Hour" The shows had to either be family or public affair oriented. That's where the networks put "Walt Disney" and "The Hardy Boys" So when adults wanted to watch actual adult programming, they tuned to "60 Minutes" And it has been a staple of CBS' Sunday night lineup ever since. It was in the 70's that the show and the concept hit it's stride.

Three's Company

Tuesday nights in 1977 WERE "Must see TV". the top three shows of the year were on Tuesday Nights. And all on ABC. "Come and knock on our door" is as much of pop culture as any first six words of any TV show theme. Jack's gay, living with bouncy Chrissy and safe Janet. Mr. and Mrs. were spaced out and old, and Larry was the first "Quagmire". And the mix of sex and double entendre paved the way for the edgy, racy shows of today. Kudos, you Three.

Happy Days

When the networks tried to kill TV themes in the 90's, think where shows of the 70's would have been without their themes. "Sunday Monday Happy Days". Who doesn't remember seeing the neon "Happy Days" start the Tuesday night lineup on ABC. The show that started the 50's revival of entertainment in the 70's was edged out of the number 1 spot in 1977, but Happy Days was really laying the pop culture pipe. On September 20, 1977...Fonzie Jumped the Shark. Literally. Ron Howard directed some of the big movies of the past 20 years, but honed his craft on Happy Days starting in 1977. And let's not forget Joanie and Chachi. Well, OK maybe we can.

Laverne and Shirley

Yes, the spinoff became the spin-ee in 1977. Introduced as two dates for Richie and Fonzie on Happy Days, Lavenre and Shirley made living in Milwaukee the hip place to be in the 70's. Catchy theme, lots of girls dating guys, and the Big Ragu bumped L&S ahead of Happy Days bu two-tenths of a rating point (31.6 to 31.4) Who could forget someone saying "we need a real sleezeball now" and Lenny and Squiggy busting in the door saying "Hello"! My biggest question was..."What the hell is 'hasenfeffer incorporated' mean?" Oh who cares, it was a crazy time in TV...1977!

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