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The Most Important TV Sitcoms

List Criteria: Only actual sitcoms. A situation comedy is a genre that shows characters sharing the same common environment, like a home or workplace, and a comedic narrative.

These sitcoms are important because they either influenced a generation's culture or because they permanently influenced the art of television. These sitcoms are important because they either influenced a generation's culture or because they permanently influenced the art of television. What makes a sitcom particularly important? Because over the decades, the shows listed here are groundbreaking comedy programs.

From the early days of the American sitcom ('I Love Lucy,' 'Leave it To Beaver') to the genius animation of 'The Simpsons,' each monumental comedy TV show listed here is important in the annals of television history. Many are also considered among the greatest sitcoms in television history, not surprisingly.

No list of the most important TV sitcoms would be complete without some of the domestic comedies of the 1940s and 1950s, including 'The Honeymooners' and, later, 'I Love Lucy.' In the 60s, sitcom families expanded to include extended and blended families ('The Brady Bunch') and then, in the 1970s, things really got interested, with 'All in the Family.' Enter the totally dysfunctional family!

Sitcoms were everywhere in the 1980s, with such influential programs as 'The Cosby Show,' 'Cheers' and, beginning in 1989, 'Seinfeld.' Which sitcom do you think is the most influential of all time? Cast your votes and certainly add any TV comedy shows that are missing.

The Most Important TV Sitcoms TV Programs
  • 26 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    most listed
    Rob Reiner, Jean Stapleton, Carroll O'Connor

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  2. 2
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    Bill Cosby, Raven-Symoné, Lisa Bonet

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  3. 3
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    the people's #1
    Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, Harry Morgan

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  4. 4
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    Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, Desi Arnaz

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  5. 5
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    Betty White, Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty

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  6. 6
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    added by JoeyJoeJoeJr
    Kirstie Alley, Kelsey Grammer, Woody Harrelson Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  7. 7
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    Betty White, Mary Tyler Moore, Cloris Leachman

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  8. 8
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    added by JoeyJoeJoeJr
    Ron Howard, Andy Griffith, Don Knotts

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  9. 9
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    Steve Carell, Martin Sheen, Hank Azaria

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  10. 10
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    Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry

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  11. 11
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    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David

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  12. 12
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    added by Olivia Peterman
    Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford, Marla Gibbs

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  13. 13
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    ranked low on reranks
    Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Scott Baio

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  14. 14
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    Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Goodman

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  15. 15
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    Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke, Rose Marie

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  16. 16
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    Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson

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  17. 17
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    added by JoeyJoeJoeJr
    Maureen McCormick, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis

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  18. 18
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Patricia Heaton, Ray Romano, Brad Garrett

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  19. 19
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    Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows

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  20. 20
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    Tina Louise, Dawn Wells, Alan Hale

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  21. 21
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    Jerry Mathers, Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow

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  22. 22
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    Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon

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  23. 23
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    Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Andy Kaufman

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  24. 24
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    John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Ted Cassidy

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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Isaac Hayes, Matt Stone, Trey Parker

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  26. 26
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    Kaley Cuoco, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch

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  27. 27
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    added by Olivia Peterman
    Elizabeth Montgomery, Paul Lynde, Agnes Moorehead

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    Courteney Cox, Michael J. Fox, Meredith Baxter Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  29. 29
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    Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, John Stamos

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  30. 30
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    Sofía Vergara, Sarah Hyland, Julie Bowen

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    added by murphycat
    Valerie Bertinelli, Mackenzie Phillips, Shelley Fabares

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    Will Smith, Nia Long, Tatyana Ali

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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Emma Stone, Hayden Panettiere, Bryan Cranston

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  34. 34
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    Penny Marshall, Jack Klugman, Tony Randall

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    Max Baer, Donna Douglas, Buddy Ebsen

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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Charlize Theron, Ron Howard, Portia de Rossi Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  37. 37
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Brittany Murphy, Elijah Wood, Kathy Najimy

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    Pamela Anderson, Tim Allen, Jonathan Taylor Thomas

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    Bruce Lee, Yvonne Craig, Adam West

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    Milla Jovovich, Fergie, Christina Applegate

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    often listed & added by killakane94
    Jaime Pressly, Nadine Velazquez, Jason Lee

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    Jaleel White, Michelle Thomas, Reginald VelJohnson

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    Mila Kunis, Lacey Chabert, Seth MacFarlane

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  44. 44
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    Phil Hartman, Mel Blanc, Frank Welker

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  45. 45
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    Penny Marshall, Michael McKean, Cindy Williams

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  46. 46
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    often listed & added by laustcawz
    Helena Bonham Carter, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders

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    Yvonne De Carlo, Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis

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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Adrienne Barbeau

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    Gary Coleman, Danny Cooksey, Dana Plato

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    Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Barton MacLane

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