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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    All in the Family is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

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

  2. 2
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    The Cosby Show is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    The Cosby Show Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam

  3. 3
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    I Love Lucy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    I Love Lucy Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance

  4. 4
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    M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    M*A*S*H Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

  5. 5
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    Cheers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    added by JoeyJoeJoeJr
    Cheers Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

  6. 6
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    The Mary Tyler Moore Show is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

  7. 7
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    The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    The Golden Girls Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

  8. 8
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    The Andy Griffith Show is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    added by JoeyJoeJoeJr
    The Andy Griffith Show Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts

  9. 9
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    Happy Days is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

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

  10. 10
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    The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    The Simpsons Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

  11. 11
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    - 170
    The Dick Van Dyke Show is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    The Dick Van Dyke Show Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie

  12. 12
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    - 351
    Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Seinfeld Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

  13. 13
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    - 328
    Friends is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Friends Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

  14. 14
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    The Jeffersons is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

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

  15. 15
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    Roseanne is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Roseanne Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf

  16. 16
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    - 235
    Sanford and Son is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Sanford and Son Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page

  17. 17
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    The Honeymooners is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    The Honeymooners Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows

  18. 18
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    The Brady Bunch is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    added by JoeyJoeJoeJr
    The Brady Bunch Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis

  19. 19
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    Gilligan's Island is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Gilligan's Island Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus

  20. 20
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    Everybody Loves Raymond is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Everybody Loves Raymond Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett

  21. 21
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    Leave It to Beaver is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Leave It to Beaver Jerry Mathers, Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsley

  22. 22
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    Taxi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Taxi Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito

  23. 23
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    That '70s Show is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    That '70s Show Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

  24. 24
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    - 157
    The Addams Family is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    ranked low on reranks
    The Addams Family John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Ted Cassidy

  25. 25
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    Bewitched is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    added by Olivia Peterman
    Bewitched Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Dick Sargent

  26. 26
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    Full House is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Full House Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

  27. 27
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    South Park is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    South Park Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes

  28. 28
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    The Big Bang Theory is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    ranked low on reranks
    The Big Bang Theory Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan

  29. 29
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    The Odd Couple is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    The Odd Couple Jack Klugman, Tony Randall, Penny Marshall

  30. 30
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    One Day at a Time is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    often listed & added by murphycat
    One Day at a Time Valerie Bertinelli, Bonnie Franklin, Pat Harrington Jr.

  31. 31
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    Family Ties is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Family Ties Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter

  32. 32
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    Modern Family is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Modern Family Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen

  33. 33
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    The Beverly Hillbillies is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    The Beverly Hillbillies Buddy Ebsen, Donna Douglas, Irene Ryan

  34. 34
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    Married... with Children is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Married... with Children Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal

  35. 35
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    - 178
    Home Improvement is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Home Improvement Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

  36. 36
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    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro

  37. 37
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    Malcolm in the Middle is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Malcolm in the Middle Frankie Muniz, Jane Kaczmarek, Bryan Cranston

  38. 38
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    Good Times is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Good Times BernNadette Stanis, Ralph Carter, Jimmie Walker

  39. 39
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    The Munsters is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    The Munsters Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis, Yvonne De Carlo

  40. 40
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    The Jetsons is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    ranked low on reranks
    The Jetsons George O'Hanlon, Janet Waldo, Mel Blanc

  41. 41
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    King of the Hill is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    King of the Hill Mike Judge, Kathy Najimy, Pamela Adlon

  42. 42
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    Arrested Development is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Arrested Development Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi

  43. 43
    + 85
    - 41
    I Dream of Jeannie is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    ranked low on reranks
    I Dream of Jeannie Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Bill Daily

  44. 44
    + 65
    - 102
    My Name Is Earl is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    often listed & added by killakane94
    My Name Is Earl Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Jaime Pressly

  45. 45
    + 155
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    Laverne & Shirley is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    ranked low on reranks
    Laverne & Shirley Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, David L. Lander

  46. 46
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    - 156
    Batman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Batman Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier

  47. 47
    + 238
    - 228
    Family Guy is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Family Guy Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green

  48. 48
    + 141
    - 185
    Maude is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Maude Bea Arthur, Bill Macy, Conrad Bain

  49. 49
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    Diff'rent Strokes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms


    Diff'rent Strokes Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Conrad Bain

  50. 50
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    - 172
    Three's Company is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms

    ranked low on reranks
    Three's Company John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers

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