Total Nerd What Was The Most Popular TV Show The Year You Were Born  

Jonathan H. Kantor
2.7k votes 962 voters 76.2k views 26 items

List Rules Vote up the shows that best represent the year in which they reached peak popularity.

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. 

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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

Premiered: 1991

Number of Seasons: 8

Also Ranked

#34 on The Most Important TV Sitcoms

#48 on The Funniest TV Shows of All Time

#49 on The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

#15 on Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Time

140 64
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2 156 VOTES

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Though its run was relatively short-lived (1983 to 1987), The A-Team remains a cultural influence in modern television. The series stars a group of former US Special Forces members who are court-martialed for crimes they never committed. The group escapes, and goes on the run to work as soldiers of fortune. The A-Team helped make the career of Mr. T and even spawned a feature film, which was released by 20th Century Fox in 2010.

Actors: George Peppard, Mr. T, Dwight Schultz

Premiered: 1983

Number of Seasons: 5

Also Ranked

#32 on The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

#81 on TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

#36 on The Best Sitcoms of the 1980s

#86 on The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

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3 132 VOTES

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Magnum, P.I. is a crime drama series starring Tom Selleck as the titular Thomas Magnum. Set in Oahu, HI, the series first premiered in 1980 and ran through 1988 with a total of 162 episodes. Although Selleck had been working consistently since 1969, his role on the series helped establish him as a Hollywood heartthrob and is perhaps the most memorable part of his career. Magnum, P.I. won numerous Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Awards through its broadcast run.

Actors: Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

Premiered: 1980

Number of Seasons: 8

Also Ranked

#40 on Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Time

#12 on The Best CBS Shows of All Time

#45 on The Best Sitcoms of the 1980s

#7 on The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows

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4 203 VOTES

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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 televisionThe Simpsons first aired on December 17, 1989 and has continued for well over 600 episodes. 

Actors: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

Premiered: 1989

Number of Seasons: 24

Also Ranked

#29 on The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

#2 on The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

#14 on The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time

#8 on The Best Shows Currently on the Air

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