The Most Important TV Sitcoms

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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.
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner

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  2. 2
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    Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance

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  3. 3
    + 565
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    Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam

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  4. 4
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    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

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  5. 5
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    added by JoeyJoeJoeJr
    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

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  6. 6
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    Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

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  7. 7
    + 431
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    added by JoeyJoeJoeJr
    Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts

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  8. 8
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    often listed
    Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

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  9. 9
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    - 234

    ranked low on reranks
    Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

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  10. 10
    + 575
    - 337


    Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

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  11. 11
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    - 352


    Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

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  12. 12
    + 527
    - 378


    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

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  13. 13
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    - 284

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

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  14. 14
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    Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie

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  15. 15
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    Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf

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  16. 16
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    Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page

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  17. 17
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    Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows

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  18. 18
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    added by JoeyJoeJoeJr
    Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis

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  19. 19
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    Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus

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  20. 20
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    Jerry Mathers, Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsley

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  21. 21
    + 248
    - 189


    Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito

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  22. 22
    + 257
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett

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  23. 23
    + 276
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    Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

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  24. 24
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    - 170

    ranked low on reranks
    John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Ted Cassidy

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  25. 25
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    added by Olivia Peterman
    Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Dick Sargent

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  26. 26
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    - 219


    Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

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  27. 27
    + 427
    - 249


    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan

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  28. 28
    + 217
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes

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  29. 29
    + 212
    - 182


    Jack Klugman, Tony Randall, Penny Marshall

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  30. 30
    + 279
    - 202


    Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter

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  31. 31
    + 233
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen

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  32. 32
    + 276
    - 174

    ranked low on reranks
    Buddy Ebsen, Donna Douglas, Irene Ryan

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  33. 33
    + 83
    - 90

    often listed & added by murphycat
    Valerie Bertinelli, Bonnie Franklin, Pat Harrington Jr.

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  34. 34
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    - 150

    ranked low on reranks
    Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal

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  35. 35
    + 321
    - 187


    Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro

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  36. 36
    + 291
    - 184


    Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

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  37. 37
    + 281
    - 161


    Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis, Yvonne De Carlo

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  38. 38
    + 172
    - 159

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    BernNadette Stanis, Ralph Carter, Jimmie Walker

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  39. 39
    + 268
    - 151


    George O'Hanlon, Janet Waldo, Mel Blanc

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  40. 40
    + 145
    - 170

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frankie Muniz, Jane Kaczmarek, Bryan Cranston

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  41. 41
    + 100
    - 49


    Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Bill Daily

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  42. 42
    + 263
    - 178

    ranked low on reranks
    John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers

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  43. 43
    + 188
    - 166


    Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier

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  44. 44
    + 165
    - 127


    Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, David L. Lander

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  45. 45
    + 247
    - 239


    Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green

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  46. 46
    + 166
    - 182


    Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Conrad Bain

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  47. 47
    + 114
    - 177


    Mike Judge, Kathy Najimy, Pamela Adlon

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  48. 48
    + 141
    - 218


    Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi

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  49. 49
    + 71
    - 115

    often listed & added by killakane94
    Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Jaime Pressly

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  50. 50
    + 151
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    Bea Arthur, Bill Macy, Conrad Bain

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