With so many TV shows on today, it’s easy to pick a few favorites and focus on those, or maybe you stream one of your favorites from a few years on the weekend when nothing else is on.
There are some great shows out there that you may have forgotten about and we’ve put together a list of 12 of the best for you to reminisce over. In advance, you’re welcome for all the great theme songs that are going to be stuck in your head.
Click Start Slideshow To Reveal The Stories!
1.“The Beverly Hillbillies”
This is an oldie but a goodie, first airing in 1962 and continuing strong for the next nine seasons, “The Beverly Hillbillies”actually came in as one of the top watched shows for eight of those years. “The Beverly Hillbillies” was just whatthe producer Filmwaysneeded, as this show was a totally new concept in Hollywood, coined later as “fish out of water” comedy. This term sums up the story line, which begins with Jed Clampettout one day hunting for dinner on his country land, but instead finding oil.
Suddenly wealthy, the Clampett’s packed up and did what all the newly rich do; they moved to Beverly Hills. The show never tells exactly where home was, but it has been speculated that it most probably was Arkansas or Missouri.
What is the most unconventional ways to use a pool? Keep reading to learn more!
Jed, the main character, along with his two children, Jethro and Elly May, and the loveable Granny, Jed’s mother-in-law, settle into a swanky home in Beverly Hills and begin almost immediately to confound neighbors and business associates alike. Most of the humor in the series came from the different values and experiences the Clampetts bring with them to California, for example using the outdoor pool as a pond for the “critters” Elly May collects, or when Granny, a self-proclaimed mountain doctor, does dental work on her family with her own brand of anesthetic — home brewed white lightening.
What was one of Hollywood’s first series showing blended families? Click on to see if you’re right.
2. “The Brady Bunch”
Originally airing on TV back in 1969 and running for an incredible 115 episodes, “The Brady Bunch” was a favorite for all five years it aired. The show centered on Mike Brady, a father raising his three boys’ solo, and Carol Martin, a single mom with three lovely daughters with hair of gold. The fun started with the very first episode when viewers were allowed insight into how these two families began to grow into one family.
Viewers will never forget Alice, the loveable maid who was originally part of Mike’s family and stayed on after the wedding. Interesting to note, “The Brady Bunch” was one of the first TV shows that portrayed blended families and maybe the best line ever on TV was the episode where Carol and son Bobby are talking about being cared about and Carol tells him that the only steps in their family are the ones that lead to his bedroom.
“The Brady Bunch” lived on and on. How long did it last?Keep reading for the surprising answer.
The show did a good job of combining comedy with real life issues like braces, dating, school grades, friends, and puberty to name a few. The series was popular through to the last episode, which aired in March 1974, and even had a few spin-offs,as well as having a movie by the same name released over 20 years later.
Though the adult actors who stared on “The Brady Bunch” continued on to have a thriving career, all six child actors unfortunately did not do as well in Hollywood and even though they all had parts in TV and movies, none of them were “break-out” actors.
What TV Show was Nominated for an Emmy every year it aired? Click‘Next’ to find out.
Who doesn’t want to have a place to go where everyone knows who you are? That was the premise behind “Cheers” and is even part of the theme song. Originally airing in 1982, this comedy quickly became a favorite and was even nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series for each of the 11 seasons it aired. The main set for “Cheers” was a neighborhood bar, though occasionally it would incorporate other sets, the first being in the second season and showing character Diane’s apartment.
Though“Cheers” aired for 11 years, the main cast was quite small with an initial six main characters and incorporating five additional ones throughout the series. The creators of “Cheers” made up for the smaller character base with several special guest appearances, many recurring roles, and most interesting many sports figures, stars, politicians, and artists who made appearances as themselves.
What was the most known phrase on “Cheers”? Keep reading to see if you’re right.
Possibly the saddest episode on “Cheers” was the beginning of the fourth season when the cast had to say a final, formal, goodbye to Coach, the character Nicholas Colasanto played ,who passed away on February 12, 1985.
Through the years that “Cheers” was on the air, the characters created a few key catch phrases and catch words that even today viewers still remember. The most memorable is when character Norm walks into the bar and all the patrons turn and say “Norm”, and not to be outdone Norm always had a joke or new quote to reply back. “Cheers” may have been so successful during its run due to the chemistry the actors had between each other which continued to the series finale.
What series beganjust one year after the movie about it aired? Click to see if you’re right.
4. “The Love Boat”
“The Love Boat,” which aired originally on May 5, 1977, followed the mildly successful movie of the same name, which aired just one year prior. Though the movie did fairly well, none of the original cast were cast in the TV series. “The Love Boat”, as you can probably gather, is set on a cruise liner called the Pacific Princess and each weekly episode included “The Love Boat” crew as well as several guests aboard the Princess.
Unique to “The Love Boat” at the time was the writing style. Instead of the standard writers working together on an episode, “The Love Boat” writers would work in groups developing different storylines, which would then later be incorporated into the show. As you can imagine this occasionally caused some confusion and some extremely long episode titles.
Two actors from the same sitcom made an appearance on “The Love Boat” as strangers? Read onto find out.
“The Love Boat” gained popularity both with the viewing public and with other sitcoms creating the shows ability to do several cross over episodes. A few of the more recognizable ones are with “Fantasy Island” cast and with “Charlie’s Angels”.
On one episode, using the public’s familiarity with the adult actors of the then cancelled show “The Brady Bunch,” Florence Henderson and Robert Reed happen to be passengers on the same cruise and while passing in a hall, turn and give each other a second glance as though to say, “Do I know you from somewhere?,” and continue walking. It was the writers’ and director’s ability to create situations like this that kept “The Love Boat” a favorite for so many years.
What TV Show has the main character’s name used as a verb? Click to find out.
“MacGyver,” played by Richard Anderson,made everyone believe that if you had a piece of gum, a paper clip, an Army knife, and duct tape, you could get out of any situation. The show, which aired for seven years starting in 1985 centered on a secret agent who gets out of dangerous situations using non-traditional means.
MacGyver’s ability to do this lead to a whole new word being created, “MacGyverism,” which is usually used as a verb meaning to solve a problem with an improvised solution. The permanent cast on “MacGyver”was very small for an hour long sitcom employing only two permanent actors with the rest of the show being filled in with recurring roles and special appearances.
Do you remember how many times “MacGyver” used a gun? Read on to find out.
Early in the series, viewers found out that a childhood accident left one of “MacGyver’s” friends dead, and that is the reason for his aversion to guns. That said, there are actually three times in the 139 episodes where “MacGyver’s”gun is used as a gun rather than a wrench or hammer. The show was definitely unique during a time when cops shows were full of weapons and gunfire, which may be why there was such a strong following.
Interesting to note that instead of using stunt doubles, the actor who played “MacGyver” did many of his own stunts in early seasons. After several fairly serious injuries however, doubles were used on the more dangerous stunts. This show though likely forgotten by many, still touches many and in fact a spin off was just released a few months ago which goes to show that a series with unique ideas will never get old.
What TV show changed the number of kids they had between the pilot and episode four? Click to find out.
6. “The Cosby Show”
“The Cosby Show” initially aired in September 1984 and ran for a total of 201 episodes over the eight seasons it played. Included in the main cast were Claire and Cliff Huxtable, an attorney and medical doctor respectively, and their five children, with the oldest being added during the fourth episode when Bill Cosby wanted more emphasis placed on showing what raising a child successfully looked like.
The show, though created as a comedy, placed as much importance on showing the trials of real-life and, as such, attacked issues such as learning disabilities, underage drinking and teen pregnancy just to name a few. Interesting to note is that “The Cosby Show” was based loosely on Bill Cosby’s stand-up routine, which came mostly from his own family life.
Only one character appears in each of the 201 episodes. Keep reading to find out who it was.
Filming of “The Cosby Show” was done entirely in New York, which is quite unusual for a sitcom, as most filming for TV is done in California at network studios. The brownstone building in the opening scene is an actual building in New York’s Greenwich Village, and you can drive by the neighborhood and see it today. All seven original family members on The Cosby Show, with the exception of Denise’s character, appeared in every season, but only Cliff’s character actually appeared in every episode.
The Cosby show, it should be noted, though rarely making an issue of race incorporated the African-American culture seamlessly into the series through art, music, and family discussions. “The Cosby Show”was so successful that it is considered to be the driving force behind reviving the sitcom genre in the 1980’s and also opening the doors for more TV shows featuring mostly African-Americans.
What TV show encouraged fans to watch filming of episodes? Click‘Next’ for the answer.
7. “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”
Set in 1867, the “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” series focused on the life of a female doctor in the Wild West, and the trials that presented. Airing on New Year’s Day in 1993, the show was an instant success. Dr. Quinn, or Dr. Mike, as she was frequently called, is the main character in this show that was set in Colorado Springs.
Filming for “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” was actually done in Agoura Hills, California, and fans of the show were encouraged to watch the filming of episodes and would frequently have the opportunity to interact with the cast during breaks in shooting. Though the main cast was rather small, at only six characters, the supporting and guest cast is still considered sizeable for a TV show of this caliber.
Can you guess how many countries “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” aired in? Read on to see if you’re close.
Dr. Quinn seems to have touched the hearts of not only America, but seemingly the world with the series being aired in over 100 countries. The writers did a good job historically with many of the places and events portrayed actually being real. The college where Dr. Quinn graduated from is today’s Drexel University College of Medicine, many of the Army and Indian characters introduced were real, and the episode were the banker lost all the town’s money coincides with the great stock market crash of 1873.
Though set in in the 1800’s the show still dealt with many issues of the day. In one episode homosexuality, and homophobia, was the topic when Walt Whitman appeared. Other examples included alcoholism, racism, and child abuse. “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” was unique in that the writers and directors encouraged the cast members to talk with them about concerns and more importantly wanted them to share any ideas for the show they had, and even worked several of those ideas into future episodes.
What popular TV show got its beginnings on “Happy Days”? Click ‘Next’ for the answer.
8. “Mork and Mindy”
Set in Boulder Colorado, “Mork and Mindy” was a special kind of comedy. Airing for a total of four seasons after its debut in 1978, the show allowed Mork’s character to adlib many of his lines, and the scripts were even left blank giving the then unknown Robin Williams freedom to take the episodes in almost direction.
“Mork and Mindy” was the natural spin-off after Mork’s characters appeared in an episode of “Happy Days” and was an immediate hit. “Mork and Mindy” was pure comedy and rarely addressed any social issues; it was mostly just good, clean fun. In case there’s anyone who doesn’t remember, Mork comes from the planet Ork, arrived in an egg, and met Mindy on his first day on earth.
What one thing did Robin Williams do to get the role as Mork? Click for the funny answer.
Being from another planet creates some definite challenges for Mork, and Mindy gets to help walk him though those. Not only the big things like emotions and interactions, but the little things like how to sit in a chair. In the opening song you can see Mork riding in Mindy’s jeep sitting on his head, this is result of Robin William’s actions during his audition. When Robin was asked to sit down to talk with producer Gary Marshall, he turned and sat with his head on the seat cushion and was cast right then for the role.
“Mork& Mindy” coined phrases that even today might still be uttered, things like na-nu na-nu, shazbot, and KO are the most popular, and we can’t forget the ending of every episode when Mork would contact his leader Orson and discuss what he has learned.
What mid-season TV series surprised networks by becoming an instant hit? Click ‘Next’ for the answer.
9. “Three’s Company “
“Three’s Company “initially aired mid-season 1976 when network execs were convinced the show wouldn’t make it past an initial six episodes. Surprising results came back though when the show came in with record breaking ratings and became the highest rated mid-season show ever. Airing for a total of eight seasons, “Three’s Company“kept the laughs going until the last episode.
Janet and Chrissy let Jack move in as the third roommate, and that’s when things start to get funny. The landlord, Mr. Roper, doesn’t believe in men and women living together, so Janet lets Mr. Roper know Jack is gay so he doesn’t have to move out. Only problem with this is that Jack isn’t gay and now the roommates have to hide this from the landlord, which is hard to do when your landlord is as nosey as Mr. Roper.
Only two original cast members appeared for all eight seasons. Read on to find out more.
Though the trio was able to hide Jack’s true sexuality from Mr. Roper, his loveable wife figured it out by the second episode but keeps the trio’s secret from him. The relationship between Jack and the girls remains platonic throughout the series, as Janet is a firm believer that roommates should never be in a relationship together.
Sadly, though the series was a comedy, there was much drama going on behind the scenes. The actors who played the Ropers left for their own sitcom in 1979 and only appeared in one “Three’s Company” episode after that. Suzanne Summers, who played Chrissy, was let go at the end of season five due to contract negation break-downs, which left only Jack and Janet’s characters, John Ritter and Joyce Dewitt respectively, appearing in every season.
What TV show’s pilot aired 29 years after the first episode? Click tosee the surprising answer.
10. “Gilligan’s Island”
Airing originally in 1964 “Gilligan’s Island” was an instant hit. With an amazing 98 episodes over its three year run, “Gilligan’s Island” may be the only series whose pilot actually aired almost 30 years after the first episode. Interestingly, the first half of the episodes were created in black and white and later were colorized for syndication. The SS Minnow set out with a crew of two and five passengers for a three hour tour, though never specifically stated, it is assumed that the boat left from Hawaii.
After setting sail, the weather turned and the Minnow was damaged and eventually washed up on a deserted island. The crew and passengers, after realizing they were indeed stranded and no one knew where they were, began to build a life on the small island.
Why so many clothes for such a short trip?Don’t stop reading! Keep going to find out.
One of the most asked questions from “Gilligan’s Island” is why did the tourists take so many clothes with them for a three hour tour. Though the series never answers this, Bob Denver, who played Gilligan, gave this explanation, which is only his opinion. The tour was actually around the Hawaiian Islands ending at a very exclusive resort where Mr. and Mrs. Howell, Ginger, the Professor and Mary Ann were all going to be staying.
The last show aired on April 17, 1967 and showed all seven cast members still on the island. At the time of taping, it was assumed that there would be another season of “Gilligan’s Island,” so the writers ended the season with a normal episode. Unfortunately for the actors, their time slot was given to “Gunsmoke,” and “Gilligan’s Island” was quietly cancelled.
What was the last NBC TV show to be taped in black and white? Click ‘Next’ to find out.
11. “I Dream of Jeannie”
With an original air date of September 18, 1965 and running through May of 1970, “I Dream of Jeannie” was created to help raise ratings against a rival station that was having great success with “Bewitched.” The first full season was filmed in black and white and was the last series that NBC filmed this way.
Beginning in season two, viewers were able to see Jeannie in color, and it’s interesting that Barbara Eden, who played Jeannie, was allowed to pick the colors for her pink harem, which is now housed at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Filming in color caused some problems for the show.Some of the special effects that were used when filming in black and white were not available with the new color filming.
What body part nearly caused a scandal? Keep reading to find out the answer.
Captain Tony Nelson and Jeannie made the perfect couple. He is a rather stuffy astronaut and she is a, well, a genie. Tony releases Jeannie after finding her bottle in the sand. Once released, Jeannie falls instantly in love with Tony, and though he frees her, she goes with him back to Florida where she lives with him. In future episodes Tony eventually falls in love with Jeannie, and they get married.
Older TV shows had many more rules than current shows do and “I Dream of Jeannie” had to be very careful with the harem outfit Jeannie wore. During the 60’s, it was not allowed for belly buttons to be shown on air, and Barbara had to take great care when she moved that the waistband of her pants didn’t slip down.
What TV Series was based on real life people? Click ‘Next’ for the answer?
12. “WKRP in Cincinnati”
Airing for the first time in September 1978, “WKRP in Cincinnati” was a hit from the beginning. The actual series only lasted four seasons, but even today, continues to be popular in syndication. “WKRP” is centered on a struggling radio station and the employees who work there. The creators based the show and characters around a live radio station and real DJ’s.
The show was set in a multi-level office building but the actual floor “WKRP” is on changed at least twice. In one episode, it is said to be on the ninth floor, but later is shown to be on the 14th floor.An interesting side note is that the building shown at the beginning of each episode is The Cincinnati Enquirer Building, which is only 14 stories, but in an episode viewers find out there is a dance studio on the 15th floor.
What makes the taping of “WKRP”unique? Continue reading for the surprising answer.
“WKRP” had an almost instant following when it aired. For the first time in TV history, radio personalities felt that there was finally a show that they could relate to, and when the station placed the show on hiatus after only eight episodes, they, and other fans, rallied, and the show was brought back with no changes. Given the popularity shown, the network put “WKRP” in a new time slot and ratings continued to soar.
“WKRP” was filmed, or rather taped, in entirety with a video camera due to the number of rights that needed to be obtained for the rock songs that were played on air. It turns out it was much cheaper for the show to use video cameras for all the episodes.