The Most Important TV Sitcoms TV Programs

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
    + 492
    - 289

    most listed
    Rob Reiner, Jean Stapleton, Carroll O'Connor

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  2. 2
    + 517
    - 340


    Bill Cosby, Raven-Symoné, Lisa Bonet

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  3. 3
    + 519
    - 246


    Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, Desi Arnaz

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  4. 4
    + 513
    - 285

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

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  5. 5
    + 423
    - 264


    Betty White, Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty

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  6. 6
    + 404
    - 279

    added by JoeyJoeJoeJr
    Kirstie Alley, Kelsey Grammer, Woody Harrelson

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  7. 7
    + 283
    - 218

    often listed
    Betty White, Mary Tyler Moore, Cloris Leachman

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  8. 8
    + 392
    - 255

    added by JoeyJoeJoeJr
    Ron Howard, Andy Griffith, Don Knotts

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  9. 9
    + 516
    - 210

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

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  10. 10
    + 515
    - 315


    Steve Carell, Martin Sheen, Hank Azaria

    ;
  11. 11
    + 558
    - 322


    Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry

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  12. 12
    + 475
    - 345


    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David

    ;
  13. 13
    + 238
    - 165


    Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke, Rose Marie

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  14. 14
    + 346
    - 322


    Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Goodman

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  15. 15
    + 394
    - 259

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

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  16. 16
    + 320
    - 237

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

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  17. 17
    + 357
    - 231


    Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson

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  18. 18
    + 274
    - 187


    Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows

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  19. 19
    + 237
    - 232


    Patricia Heaton, Ray Romano, Brad Garrett

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  20. 20
    + 292
    - 212


    Tina Louise, Dawn Wells, Alan Hale

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  21. 21
    + 279
    - 215


    Jerry Mathers, Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow

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  22. 22
    + 244
    - 168


    Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon

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  23. 23
    + 221
    - 166


    Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Andy Kaufman

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  24. 24
    + 229
    - 194


    Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, John Stamos

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  25. 25
    + 194
    - 182

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Isaac Hayes, Matt Stone, Trey Parker

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  26. 26
    + 292
    - 155

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

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  27. 27
    + 378
    - 223


    Kaley Cuoco, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch

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  28. 28
    + 274
    - 184

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

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  29. 29
    + 254
    - 183


    Courteney Cox, Michael J. Fox, Meredith Baxter

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  30. 30
    + 199
    - 189


    Sofía Vergara, Sarah Hyland, Julie Bowen

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  31. 31
    + 188
    - 165


    Penny Marshall, Jack Klugman, Tony Randall

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  32. 32
    + 67
    - 67

    often listed & added by murphycat
    Valerie Bertinelli, Mackenzie Phillips, Shelley Fabares

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  33. 33
    + 287
    - 172

    ranked low on reranks
    Will Smith, Nia Long, Tatyana Ali

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  34. 34
    + 249
    - 162

    ranked low on reranks
    Max Baer, Donna Douglas, Buddy Ebsen

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  35. 35
    + 123
    - 154

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Emma Stone, Hayden Panettiere, Bryan Cranston

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  36. 36
    + 253
    - 139

    ranked low on reranks
    Milla Jovovich, Fergie, Christina Applegate

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  37. 37
    + 132
    - 197

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Charlize Theron, Ron Howard, Portia de Rossi

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  38. 38
    + 103
    - 158

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Brittany Murphy, Elijah Wood, Kathy Najimy

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  39. 39
    + 262
    - 174

    ranked low on reranks
    Pamela Anderson, Tim Allen, Jonathan Taylor Thomas

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  40. 40
    + 170
    - 152


    Bruce Lee, Yvonne Craig, Adam West

    ;
  41. 41
    + 233
    - 223


    Mila Kunis, Lacey Chabert, Seth MacFarlane

    ;
  42. 42
    + 157
    - 143


    Janet Jackson, John Amos, Esther Rolle

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  43. 43
    + 57
    - 98

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

    ;
  44. 44
    + 261
    - 151

    ranked low on reranks
    Yvonne De Carlo, Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis

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  45. 45
    + 246
    - 140

    ranked low on reranks
    Phil Hartman, Mel Blanc, Frank Welker

    ;
  46. 46
    + 174
    - 185


    Jaleel White, Michelle Thomas, Reginald VelJohnson

    ;
  47. 47
    + 80
    - 39


    Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Barton MacLane

    ;
  48. 48
    + 147
    - 116


    Penny Marshall, Michael McKean, Cindy Williams

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  49. 49
    + 152
    - 168


    Gary Coleman, Danny Cooksey, Dana Plato

    ;
  50. 50
    + 129
    - 143


    Bill Cosby, Lou Scheimer, Erika Scheimer

    ;
119 +

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