America’s most watched TV shows 1950-2015

 

I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the top ranked TV show from each season in America since the Nielsen Ratings first appeared in 1950. As the home of TV, the USA has set the pace for the rest of the world with its programs, some great, some OK, and some pretty awful. Here in Australia we tend to like, entertainment-wise, what Americans like (generally speaking), so most of the shows you see listed below hit it big Down Under as well, the most noticeable exception being NBC; Sunday Night Football. Just as few Americans understand or enjoy Australian Rules Football, few Australians understand or like American Grid-Iron. Overall, however, we in Australia tend to embrace the same series as the USA, as this list proves. Unfortunately, there appear to be no Nielsen Ratings for the same period of time for Australia, so any comparison is, unfortunately, not possible.

 

1950-51       Texaco Star Theater

 

1951 -52     Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts

 

1952-1953       I Love Lucy

1953-1954       I Love Lucy

1954-1955       I Love Lucy

 

1955-1956       The $64,000 Question

 

1956-1957       I Love Lucy

 

1957-1958       Gunsmoke

1958-1959       Gunsmoke

1959-1960       Gunsmoke

1960-1961       Gunsmoke

 

1961-1962       Wagon Train

 

1962-1963       The Beverly Hillbillies

1963-1964       The Beverly Hillbillies

 

1964-1965       Bonanza

1965-1966       Bonanza

1966-1967       Bonanza

 

1967-1968       The Andy Griffith Show

 

1968-1969       Rowen & Martin’s Laugh-In

1969-1970       Rowen & Martin’s Laugh-In

 

1970-1971       Marcus Welby, M.D.

 

1971-1972       All in the Family

1972-1973       All in the Family

1973-1974       All in the Family

1974-1975       All in the Family

1975-1976       All in the Family

 

1976-1977       Happy Days

 

1977-1978       Laverne and Shirley

1978-1979       Laverne and Shirley

 

1979-1980       60 Minutes

 

1980-1981       Dallas

1981-1982       Dallas

 

1982-1983       60 Minutes

 

1983-1984       Dallas

 

1984-1985       Dynasty

 

1985-1986       The Cosby Show

1986-1987       The Cosby Show

1987-1988       The Cosby Show

1988-1989       The Cosby Show

1989-1990       The Cosby Show (tied with Roseanne)

 

1989-1990       Roseanne (tied with Bill Cosby Show)

 

1990-1991       Cheers

 

 

 

1991-1992       60 Minutes

1992-1993       60 Minutes

1993-1994       60 Minutes

 

1994-1995       Seinfeld

 

1995-1996       ER

1996-1997       ER

 

1997-1998       Seinfeld

 

1998-1999       ER

 

1999-2000       Who wants to be a Millionaire?

 

2000-2001       Survivor: Australian Outback

 

2001-2002       Friends

 

2002-2003       CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

 

2003-2004       American Idol

2004-2005       American Idol

2005-2006       American Idol

2006-2007       American Idol

2007-2008       American Idol

2008-2009       American Idol

2009-2010       American Idol

2010-2011       American Idol

 

2011-2012       NBC: Sunday Night Football

 

2012-2013       NCIS

 

2013-2014       NBC: Sunday Night Football

2014-2015       NBC: Sunday Night Football

 

So, the overall, all-time champion show is – God help us – American Idol!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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