Top 108 TV Shows – Part 3 (84-73)

#84.  The Drew Carey Show (1995-2004)

The Drew Carey show came on strong when it first started in 1995.   Drew was just your average guy working in a department store and hanging out with his nitwit friends.  The character of Mimi as an antagonist to Drew worked really well.  The show also added a lot of musical elements to the show which made it fun and memorable, especially the opening credits.  The cast singing and dancing to “Cleveland Rocks” is so fun and catchy, it was the best opening of them all.

Notable Performance:  Kathy Kinney as Mimi Bobeck

Memorable Episode:  Season 2 Episode 24:  New York and Queens

 

#83.  WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-1982)

The cast of crazy characters at the WKRP radio station in Cincinnati OH, is just that, crazy.  From D.J. Johnny Fever to O.C.D. ridden Les Nessman, there was never a dull moment happening at WKRP.  Manager Arthur Carlson is trying to keep the station going and comes up with a lot of gimmicks, including the famous Thanksgiving episode where they are going to drop live turkeys out of a helicopter.

 

 

Notable Performance: Howard Hessman as Johnny “Dr. Fever” Caravella

Memorable Episode: Season 1 Episode 7:  Turkeys Away

 

#82.  Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983)

When we think of Penny Marshall now, we think of the marble mouthed director of so many great films, but we forget that she was hilarious as Laverne DeFazio.  Cindy Williams was a great contrast to her as prim and proper Shirley.  The two women had great chemistry with each other and their friends Lenny and Squiggy.  One of the best physical comedies of all time.  The show set in the late 50’s, was a spin-off of Happy Days. 

 

Notable Performance:  Penny Marshall as Laverne DeFazio

Memorable Episode: Season 2 Episode 16:  Steppin Out

 

#81.  Hell’s Kitchen (2005-Present)

Gordon Ramsey’s foul-mouthed reality show in where contestants vie for the coveted spot of the head chef of a renowned restaurant.  How he finds people who want to be on this show is beyond me?  He yells at them constantly, calls them obscene names and usually throws their food all over the kitchen.  Yet, at the end of the day, we are all enamored with Chef Ramsey, ’cause the guy does know what he is talking about.

 

Notable Performance: Gordon Ramsey as Himself

Memorable Episode: Season 8 Episode 1:  Day One

 

 #80.  Dallas (1978-1991)

I remember Dallas as a kid, my parents needing to watch it, their friends needing to watch it, everyone on TV talking about it, I can remember that frenzy that Dallas brought to pop culture.  Once I got a little older, I began watching it and it definitely drew you in.  The soapy drama had love stories, family conflicts and most importantly cliff-hangers.  Actually, the biggest cliff-hanger in television, Who shot J.R.?  Running for an amazing 14 seasons, Dallas had a huge following, in a time before DVR’s and online viewing, you needed to be home on Friday nights to watch Dallas. 

Notable Performance:  Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing

Memorable Episode:  Season 3 Episode 25:  A House Divided

 

#79.  One Day at a Time (1975-1984)

For nine seasons we watched newly divorced Ann Romano deal with the struggles of life and raising two teenage girls in Indianapolis.  Bonnie Franklin was really great, sometimes over the top, as Romano.  She would always get help, whether she wanted it or not, from the most famous superintendent on TV, Schnieder.

Notable Performance:  Valerie Bertinelli as Barbara Cooper

Memorable Episode:  Season 2 Episode 1:  The Runaway’s Part 1

 

#78.  Weeds (2005-Present)

Weeds was one of those shows that I didn’t think that I would like.  I saw the first episode and devoured the first season very quickly.  Mary Louise Parker is Nancy Botwin, probably her greatest role to date, a suburban mom whose husband died and now she is financially strapped.  What is a woman to do but to turn to selling pot. 

 

Notable Performance: Justin Kirk as Andy Botwin

Memorable Episode:  Season 2 Episode 12: Pittsburgh

 

#77.  Newhart (1982-1990)

Bob Newhart’s second appearance on my list.  In Newhart, he plays Dick Loudon a Vermont innkeeper originally from NYC.  Tom Poston is also back as the inn’s handyman George.  Basically the same formula as the Bob Newhart show, a cast of wacky people surrounded by Newhart’s dry sense of humor.  I think that two successful shows proves that the formula works.

Notable Performance: Julia Duffy as Stephanie Vanderkellen

Memorable Episode: Season 8 Episode 24: The Last Newhart

 

#76.  NYPD Blue (1993-2005)

NYPD Blue is from creators David Milch and Steven Bochco.  When you think at the shows that these two men have created, there is no way that Blue could lose.  It ran for 12 seasons and really brought back the cop show dramas to television.  Except they raised the bar.  Blue was one of the first primetime network shows to use higher levels of profanity and nudity. 

 

Notable Performance:  Dennis Franz as Andy Sipowitz (Emmy Winner 1994, 1996, 1997 & 1999)

Memorable Episode:  Season 3 Episode 20: A Death in the Family

 

#75.  Roseanne (1988-1997)

Roseanne was a breath of fresh air when it came on the air in 1988.  We were very in tuned to shows like The Cosby Show and Growing Pains where the families are seemingly perfect with no financial issues.  People really responded to Roseanne, since it was probably closer to how more people lived.  The Connor family had problems just like any other family and it was nice to see that.  Roseanne and John Goodman were brilliant as Roseanne and Dan Connor, they set the tone of the show and the rest of the cast followed perfectly.

 

Notable Performance: Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris (Emmy Winner 1992, 1993 & 1994)

Memorable Performance:  Season 2 Episode 1: Inherit the Wind

 

 

#74.  The Muppet Show (1976-1981)

The Muppet Show aired the first five years of my life.  I can still remember being so excited waiting for it to come on.  What made The Muppet Show so remarkable is that it had unbelievable guest stars, great catchy music and the brilliant, witty dialog of the Muppets, for which creator Jim Henson is responsible.  Guest stars included Milton Berle, George Burns, Elton John, Liberace, Julie Andrews and Liza Minelli. 

 

Notable Performance: Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, The Swedish Chef and Waldorf

Memorable Episode:  Season 4 Episode 17:  The Cast of Star Wars

 

#73. I Love Lucy (1951-1957)

The quintessential comedy.  All other sitcoms have taken some element from I Love Lucy.  The best physical comedy still to this day.  There is no one out there that doesn’t know who Lucy and Ricky are, or Fred and Ethel.  Lucy got herself into so many “situations” while Ricky was out, and they always ended in side-splitting results.

 

 

Notable Performance: Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo (Emmy Winner 1956)

Memorable Episode:  Season 2 Episode 1: Job Switching

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