Watchworthy

The Most Important TV Sitcoms 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated May 20, 2020 88.1k votes 4.7k voters 71.1k views 213 items

List Rules 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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list ordered by
1
I Love Lucy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz & Vivian Vance (CBS)
2
All in the Family is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton & Rob Reiner (CBS)
3
M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers & Loretta Swi (CBS)
4
Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Michael Richards (NBC)
5
Cheers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Joe Hayes Jr. added Starring Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman & John Ratzenberger (NBC)
6
The Cosby Show is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad & Keshia Knight Pulliam (NBC)
7
The Mary Tyler Moore Sho... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner & Gavin MacLeod (CBS)
8
The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Bea Arthur, Betty White & Rue McClanahan (NBC)
9
Roseanne is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Roseanne Barr, John Goodman & Laurie Metcalf (American Broadcasting Company)
10
The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright & Julie Kavner (Fox)
11
The Andy Griffith Show ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Joe Hayes Jr. added Starring Andy Griffith, Ron Howard & Don Knotts (CBS)
12
Friends is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox & Lisa Kudrow (NBC)
13
Happy Days is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Ron Howard, Henry Winkler & Marion Ross (Channel 4)
14
The Jeffersons is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Olivia Peterman added Starring Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley & Marla Gibbs (CBS)
15
The Dick Van Dyke Show ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore & Rose Marie (CBS)
16
The Brady Bunch is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Joe Hayes Jr. added Starring Robert Reed, Florence Henderson & Ann B. Davis (American Broadcasting Company)
17
Sanford and Son is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson & LaWanda Page (NBC)
18
Everybody Loves Raymond ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton & Brad Garrett (CBS)
19
The Honeymooners is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Jackie Gleason, Art Carney & Audrey Meadows (CBS)
20
Gilligan's Island is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr. & Jim Backus (CBS)
21
The Fresh Prince of Bel-... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Will Smith, James Avery & Alfonso Ribeiro (NBC)
22
Bewitched is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Olivia Peterman added Starring Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York & Dick Sargent (American Broadcasting Company)
23
Full House is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Bob Saget, John Stamos & Dave Coulier (American Broadcasting Company)
24
Married... with Children... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate & Katey Sagal (Fox Broadcasting Company)
25
I Dream of Jeannie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Important TV Sitcoms
Starring Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman & Bill Daily (NBC)