Relevant Situation Comedies:
Popular Programs of the 1960’s:
● Rock and roll is becoming a thing in these times.
● Started in the 50’s and bounces through the 1960’s.
● Social turmoil and the War in Vietnam.
● The rise of a counterculture.
● Drug culture circulating. Not everyone did drugs, but they were becoming part of
a normal culture. Some did it for fun and some did it for exploration.
● There’s a dropping out in society.
● A cry for relevancy on the networks. “We want to see things that matter to us.”
● 1968-1969: The number one show on the air was Laugh In. It succeeded as a
variety program on NBC (31.1 % of homes watching).
● The second successful show on air was CBS’s Gomer Pyle (27.1%).
● In third came Bonanza, a western drama airing on CBS (27%).
● Mayberry R.F.D. (situational comedy; CBS; 25.8% of homes); Family Affair
(sitcom; CBS; 25.2%); Julia (sitcom; NBC; 25.1%).
● Julia finds itself in a special circumstance as it is one of the few pro-coloured
television programs. Receives hate mail from the South (“I don’t believe she’s
black. No black people are that beautiful.”).
● Gunsmoke follows Julia in terms of popularity (Western; CBS; 24.8%); Dean
Martin (variety show; NBC; 24.1%); Here’s Lucy (sitcom; CBS; 23.7%); Red
Skelton (variety; CBS; 23.6%).
Five situational comedies, three variety programs, and two Western dramas were
popular in the late 1960’s. Three NBC programs and seven CBS programs. None of
the top series ever went as far as ‘73 or ‘74.
Popular Programs of the 1970’s:
● All in the Family (sitcom; CBS; 31.2%); The Waltons (drama; CS; 27.9%);
Sanford and Son (sitcom; NBC; 27.6); M.A.S.H (sitcom; CBS; 25.8%); Hawaii
Five- O (detective drama; CBS; 23.7%); Sonny and Cher (variety; CBS; 23.4%);
Maude (sitcom; CBS; 23.3%); Kojak (detective drama; CBS; 23.3%); Mary Tyler
Moore Show (sitcom; CBS; 23.2%); Cannon (detective drama; CBS; 23%)
CBS has nine programs opposing NBC’s measly one. Five sitcoms, one drama, one
variety, and three detective dramas. The cowboy has fallen out of the loop.
● The Western loses popularity over the common detective. ● Social matters take precedence over Western fantasies/outdated stories. Matters