Here's what TV show everyone was obsessed with the year you were born

You might be surprised to see which ones were on top.

Header: SFM Entertainment, NBCUniversal

TV shows come and go, just like the latest trends and fads. One year Gunsmoke is on top, and the next Wagon Train takes over. 

Syndication has helped keep a lot of shows relevant long after they sign off the air. It's easy to forget shows like I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show never actually competed against each other. 

Here are the shows everyone was absolutely crazy about over the last 65 years, based on their ranking in the Nielson ratings. Find the year you were born... are there any surprises? (If you were born before 1951, we apologize. Ratings weren't measured before that television season).

1951: Texaco Star Theater

Talk about a throwback. Sponsored variety shows dominated the early years of television. 

1952: Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts


1953, 1954, 1955: I Love Lucy

No surprises here: Lucille Ball dominated the TV landscape in the 1950s. 

1956: The $64,000 Question


But Ball's juggernaut was no match for this game show in 1956, when it took the top spot. The show failed to make it out of the decade, thanks to the quiz show scandal. 

1957: I Love Lucy 

1958, 1959, 1960, 1961: Gunsmoke

Western fever took over the airwaves in the 1960s, starting with Gunsmoke

1962: Wagon Train

1963, 1964: The Beverly Hillbillies

Everyone had hay fever for this rural sitcom. It recorded some of the highest ratings ever for a half-hour sitcom. 

1965, 1966, 1967: Bonanza

1968: The Andy Griffith Show

1969, 1970: Laugh-In

SFM Entertainment

The ratings for Western and rural-themed shows came crashing down in the '70s. Instead, comedy shows that pushed the boundaries became more popular. 

1971: Marcus Welby, M.D.


After years of struggling in the ratings, ABC's first number one show finally came at the beginning of the 1970s. 

1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976: All in the Family

Sony Pictures Television

No show prior to All in the Family had pushed as many boundaries and covered as many sensitive subjects. It was number one for five years in the row. 

1977: Happy Days

People got tired of the touchy subjects, however, as the silly and simple Happy Days became the top show. 

1978, 1979: Laverne & Shirley

This Garry Marshall spinoff enjoyed just as much success as its predecessor. 

1980: 60 Minutes


The long-running news program finally hit number one 13 years after it premiered. To this day, it still ranks highly. 

1981, 1982: Dallas

Warner Bros.

If you're a child of the '80s, then you're a child of the primetime soap opera. Dallas and Dynasty kept people entertained for the better part of the decade.

1983: 60 Minutes

1984: Dallas

1985: Dynasty


Despite incredible success, producer Aaron Spelling only had one show at the top throughout his decades-long career. 

1986, 1987, 1988, 1989: The Cosby Show

Casey-Werner Distribution

The family sitcom genre made a comeback in the late '80s thanks to the Huxtables. 

1990: Roseanne

SFM Entertainment

Roseanne Barr took the reigns for this different type of family sitcom. 

1991: Cheers

Nearing the end of its run, people started tuning in to Cheers in record numbers. 

1992, 1993, 1994: 60 Minutes

1995: Seinfeld

Sony Pictures Television

While Friends gets a lot more attention nowadays, the '90s were really all about Jerry Seinfeld and George Clooney. 

1996, 1997: ER

Warner Bros.

1998: Seinfeld

1999: ER

2000: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Disney-ABC Domestic Television

Game shows finally made a comeback in the new millennium thanks to Regis Philbin. Who remembers screaming at the TV when someone chose a wrong answer? 

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BrianMoore 45 months ago
60 Minutes!?
DeborahRoberts BrianMoore 45 months ago
I remember when that was like the #1 show over and over again.
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