Popular Television Shows & Audience

TV shows have influenced and affected our lives more than you may realize. The television has changed human life in many ways, both positively and negatively. It opened a quick and inexpensive way to obtain new information, while leaving it to the viewer to decide what programs and in which amounts to watch.

The most influential shows and moments recorded on TV are in this timeline as well as the content and new themes that were popular in that era.

Not only has the content of television changed, but also the way we view it. We are not relying on cable television as much as in the past. TV is now being watched predominantly on tablets, computers, and other electronic devises instead.

From the rise of sitcoms in the 1950’s to more influential shows like I love Lucy, COPS, and Modern Family, television content has been rapidly changing throughout the course of history.

The Rise of Sitcoms in the 1950’s


One of the most powerful trends in the development of television has been the evolution of Sitcoms. Sitcoms or Situational Comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Early sitcoms shared many of the features that still mark modern ones from “The Honeymooners” to the show “Friends”.

I Love Lucy


Small things we take for granted – like reruns, continuously running storylines, or the aforementioned multi camera set-up – didnt exist until I Love Lucy influenced them. This show is also a major feminist mileston, especially since it aired during a time when women were only expected to be wives and mothers. Lucy Ricardo speaks her mind and lets her dreams be known by her husband, Ricky, defying him from one episode to the next.

First Reality TV Show “COPS”


Fox Broadcasting bought into the productions companies concept for a new kind of show: one that would follow real police as they patrolled their commuities and fought crime. This idea of no scripts, no “real” actors and no plot beyond an overall theme was a foreign idea until this show aired.

Modern Family


This popular show might be the most progressive show to ever garner such a high level of success because it takes all the non-traditional family elements of the last 60 years and crams them into a single sitcom. Jay and Gloria give us the divorcees and a bi-racial component. Mitchell and Cameron give us the gay couple. And Claire and Phil provide with us a strong woman and submissive husband in addition to the dysfunction of traditional family. “Modern Family” embodies the richly diverse definition of family now held by contemporary Americans.