Television is a big part of our lives. Most people spend a few hours a night sitting in front of their idiot box, and it's easy to recall your favorite shows throughout major periods of your life. However, most folks don't remember much from their time spent as an infant, so you might not have ever asked yourself what was the biggest TV show the year you were born?
It might surprise you to find out the biggest TV show of your birth year, even if the show persisted well into your childhood. This knowledge can offer some insight into what actors your parents enjoyed before you came along and forced them to watch Big Bird and Elmo. Not many of these series are still on television, but every one of them is remembered among the most successful TV shows of their time.
Home Improvement is one of the most successful series of the '90s. The show first aired on September 17, 1991, and introduced audiences to Tim Allen and Pamela Anderson. Allen plays Tim Taylor, an inept but optimistic host of a local home improvement television show called Tool Time. He constantly hurts hsimself or does foolish things while his more competent assistant, Al Boreland (Richard Karn), fixes his mistakes.
Actors: Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman
Number of Seasons: 8
When it comes to successful animated television series, it's impossible to discount the achievements of The Simpsons. The series is about an American family who is inexplicably yellow, and follows the adventures of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, and a supporting cast comprised of hundreds of characters. The premise began with shorts that were featured on the Tracy Ullman Show but has since become a staple of American television. The Simpsons first aired on December 17, 1989 and has continued for well over 600 episodes.
Actors: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner
Number of Seasons: 24
Seinfeld is an incredibly successful comedy series that aired on NBC from 1989 until 1998 with a total of 180 episodes. Often described as being "a show about nothing," Seinfelds's core cast works regular, run-of-the-mill jobs like waiting tables. Pretty much all of the show's stars have since become notably famous, and the series consistently tops lists of the best written or funniest comedy television series of all time.
Actors: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards
Number of Seasons: 9
Saturday Night Live first premiered on October 11, 1975 though it was originally titled NBC's Saturday Night. Since its inception, the series's format has remained the same: there's a cold opening, a guest monologue, and a series of sketches which have yielded numerous memorable characters and more than 10 feature films.
While the series has had its ups and downs in terms of ratings, it is generally regarded as a staple of Saturday evening programming. The original cast included some of the biggest names in comedy — Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Chevy Chase — and the show has been run by Lorne Michaels for most of its broadcast history.
Actors: Darrell Hammond, Kenan Thompson, Seth Meyers
Number of Seasons: 38