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The Most Important TV Sitcoms

Updated May 20, 2020 73.3k votes 4.8k voters 72.3k views184 items

List RulesOnly 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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