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Nielsen Media Research top-rated United States network television show

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  1. Gunsmoke

    Gunsmoke (1955)

    49,951 views

    Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West. The central character is lawman Marshal Matt Dillon, played by William Conrad on radio and James Arness on television. When aired in the UK, the television series was initially titled Gun Law., later reverting to Gunsmoke


  2. Friends

    Friends (1994)

    32,572 views

    Friends is an American television sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which originally aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004. It lasted ten seasons and is now in syndication. It revolves around a circle of friends living in Manhattan. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The original executive producers were Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane.


  3. Bonanza

    Bonanza (1959)

    28,755 views

    Bonanza is a NBC television western series that ran from September 12, 1959, to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons and 430 episodes, it ranks as the second longest running western series (behind Gunsmoke), and within the top 10 longest running, live-action American series. It continues to air in syndication.


  4. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000)

    25,844 views

    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (also known as CSI: Las Vegas and also abbreviated as CSI) is an American crime drama television series, which premiered on CBS on October 6, 2000. The show was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It is filmed primarily at Universal Studios in Universal City, California.


  5. NCIS

    NCIS (2003)

    23,349 views

    NCIS, formerly known as NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service, is an American police procedural drama television series revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts criminal investigations involving the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.


  6. ER

    ER (1994)

    22,147 views

    ER is an American medical drama television series created by novelist Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from September 19, 1994 to April 2, 2009. It was produced by Constant c Productions and Amblin Entertainment, in association with Warner Bros. Television. ER follows the inner life of the emergency room (ER) of fictional County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and various critical issues faced by the room's physicians and staff. The show ran for 15 seasons with a total of 331 episodes, becoming the longest-running primetime medical drama in American television history. It won 23 Emmy Awards, including the 1996 Outstanding Drama Series award, and received 124 Emmy nominations, which makes it the most nominated drama program in history. ER won 116 awards in total, including the Peabody Award, while the cast earned four Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Drama Series.


  7. I Love Lucy

    I Love Lucy (1951)

    20,221 views

    I Love Lucy is a landmark American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley. The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957, on CBS. After the series ended in 1957, however, a modified version continued for three more seasons with 13 one-hour specials, running from 1957 to 1960, known first as The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show and later in reruns as The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour.


  8. The Andy Griffith Show

    The Andy Griffith Show (1960)

    16,855 views

    The Andy Griffith Show is an American sitcom first televised on CBS between October 3, 1960 and April 1, 1968. Andy Griffith portrays the widowed sheriff of the fictional small community of Mayberry, North Carolina. His life is complicated by an inept, but well-meaning deputy, Barney Fife (Don Knotts), a spinster aunt and housekeeper, Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier), and a precocious young son, Opie (Ron Howard). Local ne'er-do-wells, bumbling pals, and temperamental girlfriends further complicate his life. Griffith said in a Today Show interview, about the time-period of the show: "Well, though we never said it, and though it was shot in the 1960s, it had a feeling of the 1930s. It was when we were doing it, of a time gone by.". However, in the fourth episode of the second season, a distinct reference was made to the current year being 1961. In the episode, a municipal bond issued in 1861 was discovered and was payable for exactly 100 years of interest.


  9. Happy Days

    Happy Days (1974)

    16,854 views

    Happy Days is an American television sitcom that aired first-run from January 15, 1974, to September 24, 1984, on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series presents an idealized vision of life in the mid-1950s to mid-1960s United States.


  10. Dallas

    Dallas (1978)

    16,142 views

    Dallas is a long-running American prime time television soap opera that aired from April 2, 1978, to May 3, 1991, on CBS. The series revolves around a wealthy and feuding Texan family, the Ewings, who own the independent oil company Ewing Oil and the cattle-ranching land of Southfork. The series originally focused on the marriage of Bobby Ewing and Pamela Barnes, whose families were sworn enemies with each other. As the series progressed, oil tycoon J.R. Ewing grew to be the show's main character, whose schemes and dirty business became the show's trademark. When the show ended in May 1991, J.R. was the only character to have appeared in every episode.


  11. The Cosby Show

    The Cosby Show (1984)

    14,465 views

    The Cosby Show is an American television sitcom starring Bill Cosby, which aired for eight seasons on NBC from September 20, 1984 until April 30, 1992. The show focuses on the Huxtable family, an upper middle-class African-American family living in Brooklyn, New York.


  12. Wagon Train

    Wagon Train (1957)

    14,449 views

    Wagon Train is an American Western series that ran on NBC 1957–62 and then on ABC 1962–65, although the network also aired daytime repeats, as Major Adams, Trailmaster and Trailmaster (post-1961 episodes without original series lead Ward Bond), from January 1963 to September 1965. The show debuted at #15 in the Nielsen ratings, rose to #2 in the next three seasons, and peaked at #1 in the 1961–62 television season. After moving to ABC in the autumn of 1962, the ratings began to decline, and Wagon Train did not again make the Top 20 listing.


  13. Cheers

    Cheers (1982)

    14,273 views

    Cheers is an American sitcom television series that ran for eleven seasons from 1982 to 1993. It was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions in association with Paramount Network Television for NBC and created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles. The show is set in a bar named Cheers (named after the popular toast) in Boston, Massachusetts, where a group of locals meet to drink, relax, and socialize. The show's theme song, written and performed by Gary Portnoy, and co-written with Judy Hart Angelo, lent its famous refrain, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name", as the show's tagline.


  14. American Idol

    American Idol (2002)

    13,658 views

    American Idol (also known as American Idol: The Search for a Superstar) is a reality television singing competition created by Simon Fuller and produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, which began airing on Fox on June 11, 2002. Part of the Idol franchise, it is a spin-off from the UK show Pop Idol. The concept of the series is to find new solo recording artists, and has since become one of the most popular in the history of American television. As of June 2011, it is the most watched TV series in the Nielsen ratings and is the only program to have been number one for seven consecutive seasons, surpassing All in the Family and The Cosby Show, which were both number one for five consecutive seasons.


  15. Seinfeld

    Seinfeld (1990)

    10,436 views

    Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998. It lasted nine seasons, and is now in syndication. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself. Set predominantly in an apartment block in Manhattan's Upper West Side in New York City, the show features a handful of Jerry's friends and acquaintances, particularly best friend George Costanza (Jason Alexander), former girlfriend Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and neighbor across the hall Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards).


  16. The Beverly Hillbillies

    The Beverly Hillbillies (1962)

    10,304 views

    The Beverly Hillbillies is an American sitcom originally broadcast for nine seasons on CBS from 1962 to 1971, starring Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, and Max Baer, Jr.


  17. Dynasty

    Dynasty (1981)

    10,003 views

    Dynasty is an American prime time television soap opera that aired on ABC from January 12, 1981 to May 11, 1989. The series, created by Richard and Esther Shapiro and produced by Aaron Spelling, revolved around the Carringtons, a fictional wealthy family, residing in Denver, Colorado. The series was ABC's competitor to CBS's prime time series, Dallas, and starred John Forsythe and Linda Evans as oil magnate Blake Carrington and his new wife Krystle.


  18. Survivor

    Survivor (2000)

    9,020 views

    Survivor is an American version of the Survivor reality television game show, itself derived from the Swedish television series Expedition Robinson originally created in 1997 by Charlie Parsons. The series premiered on May 31, 2000 on CBS. It is hosted by veteran television personality, reporter and one-time game show emcee Jeff Probst, who is also an executive producer, and also executive produced by Mark Burnett and original creator Charlie Parsons.


  19. Roseanne

    Roseanne (1988)

    8,158 views

    Roseanne is an American sitcom that was broadcast on ABC from October 18, 1988, to May 20, 1997. Starring Roseanne Barr, the show revolved around the Conners, an Illinois working-class family. The series reached #1 in the Nielsen ratings becoming the most watched television show in the United States from 1989 to 1990, and remained in the top four for six of its nine seasons, and in the top twenty for eight seasons.


  20. 60 Minutes

    60 Minutes (1968)

    7,744 views

    60 Minutes is an American television newsmagazine program that is broadcast on the CBS television network. Launched in 1968, Don Hewitt created the program and set it apart by using a unique style of reporter-centered investigation. In 2002, 60 Minutes was ranked at No. 6 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. The New York Times has called it "one of the most esteemed newsmagazines on American television."


  21. All in the Family

    All in the Family (1968)

    7,670 views

    All in the Family is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971, to April 8, 1979. In September 1979, a new show, Archie Bunker's Place, picked up where All in the Family had ended. That sitcom lasted another four years, ending its run in 1983.


  22. Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

    Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967)

    6,625 views

    Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (often simply referred to as Laugh-In) is an American sketch comedy television program that ran for 140 episodes from January 22, 1968, to March 12, 1973, on the NBC television network. It was hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin and featured, at various times, Chelsea Brown, Johnny Brown, Ruth Buzzi, Judy Carne, Richard Dawson, Moosie Drier, Henry Gibson, Teresa Graves, Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson, Larry Hovis, Sarah Kennedy, Jeremy Lloyd, Dave Madden, Pigmeat Markham, Gary Owens, Pamela Rodgers, Barbara Sharma, Jud Strunk, Alan Sues, Lily Tomlin and Jo Anne Worley.


  23. Marcus Welby, M.D.

    Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969)

    5,412 views

    Marcus Welby, M.D. is an American medical drama television program that aired on ABC from September 23, 1969, to July 29, 1976. It starred Robert Young as a family practitioner with a kind bedside manner and James Brolin as the younger doctor he often worked with, and was produced by David Victor and David J. O'Connell. The pilot, A Matter of Humanities, had aired as an ABC Movie of the Week on March 26, 1969.


  24. Laverne & Shirley

    Laverne & Shirley (1976)

    3,590 views

    Laverne & Shirley (credited as Laverne De Fazio & Shirley Feeney in the first season) is an American television sitcom that ran on ABC from January 27, 1976 to May 10, 1983. It starred Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, single roommates who worked as bottlecappers in a fictitious Milwaukee brewery called "Shotz Brewery."


  25. NBC Sunday Night Football

    NBC Sunday Night Football (2006)

    1,226 views

    NBC Sunday Night Football is a weekly television broadcast of Sunday evening National Football League games on NBC that began airing on Sunday, August 6, 2006 with the pre-season opening Hall of Fame Game. Al Michaels serves as the play-by-play announcer, with Cris Collinsworth as the color commentator and Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter. Fred Gaudelli and Drew Esocoff, the lead producer and director respectively, carry over their duties from ABC's telecasts of Monday Night Football. John Madden, the color commentator for the first three years of the program, retired prior to the 2009 season; Collinsworth succeeded him.


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Nielsen Media Research top-rated United States network television show
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