Entertainment
4.9k voters

The Most Important TV Sitcoms

Updated June 10, 2021 69.7k votes 4.9k voters 73.8k views184 items

List RulesVote up the most important sitcoms in television history.

These are the most important sitcoms in TV history 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. Sitcoms have some specific quirks that make them stand out from regular TV comedies - a sitcom is about situational comedy, with stories that show characters sharing the same common environment, like a home or workplace, and a comedic narrative. They have a relatable aspect, and that is what can make sitcoms so influential.

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) 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 shows as The Cosby Show or Cheers, and beginning in 1989, Seinfeld.

Which sitcom do you think is the most influential of all time?  Vote up the important sitcoms you think are the most influential and see where the vital sitcoms you loved to watch rank.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz
    927
    559

    PremieredOctober 15, 1951

  • 2
    Alan Alda, McLean Stevenson
    919
    568

    PremieredSeptember 17, 1972

  • 3
    Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox
    1,230
    778

    PremieredSeptember 22, 1994

  • 4
    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
    1,025
    611

    PremieredJuly 5, 1989

  • 5
    Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan
    835
    546

    PremieredSeptember 14, 1985

  • 6
    Ron Howard, Henry Winkler
    683
    432

    PremieredJanuary 15, 1974

  • 7
    Joe Hayes Jr. addedTed Danson, Rhea Perlman
    758
    524

    PremieredSeptember 30, 1982

  • 8
    Ed O'Neill, Katey Sagal
    536
    323

    PremieredApril 5, 1987

  • 9
    Joe Hayes Jr. addedAndy Griffith, Ron Howard
    624
    435

    PremieredOctober 3, 1960

  • 10
    Olivia Peterman addedSherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford
    590
    433

    PremieredJanuary 18, 1975

  • 11
    Kelsey Grammer, John Mahoney
    353
    227

    PremieredSeptember 16, 1993

  • 12
    Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson
    544
    388

    PremieredJanuary 14, 1972

  • 13
    Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore
    456
    350

    PremieredOctober 3, 1961

  • 14
    John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt
    384
    289

    PremieredMarch 15, 1977

  • 15
    Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton
    749
    600

    PremieredJanuary 12, 1971

  • 16
    Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright
    979
    519

    PremieredDecember 17, 1989

  • 17
    Topher Grace, Mila Kunis
    524
    402

    PremieredAugust 23, 1998

  • 18
    Carolyn Jones, John Astin
    475
    301

    PremieredSeptember 18, 1964

  • 19
    Olivia Peterman addedElizabeth Montgomery, Dick York
    455
    317

    PremieredSeptember 17, 1964

  • 20
    Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo
    378
    253

    PremieredSeptember 24, 1964

  • 21
    Will Smith, James Avery
    676
    342

    PremieredSeptember 10, 1990

  • 22
    Larry Hagman, Barbara Eden
    278
    197

    PremieredSeptember 15, 1965

  • 23
    George O'Hanlon, Janet Waldo
    409
    248

    PremieredSeptember 23, 1962

  • 24
    Bob Denver, Alan Hale
    466
    365

    PremieredSeptember 26, 1964

  • 25
    killakane94 addedSteve Carell, Rainn Wilson
    326
    221

    PremieredMarch 24, 2005

not on the list?add item #185add new item
List Rules: Vote up the most important sitcoms in television history.