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These 75 TV shows made an impact, for better or worse
Here they are! The Important Ones! The TV shows that made a difference...changed the world...changed culture.... Changed the way we talked, and thought, and (mostly) watched.
Changed you. Changed me.
A proviso: This is not some sort of list like TV Guide or EW puts out - the best, the brightest, the most wonderful, most popular etc. Some of these shows may be, in fact, demonstrably bad - though in most cases, they're not.
Another proviso: With the exception of "60 Minutes," I ignored news and sports programs.
Of course they were influential - "Evening News," "Meet the Press," "CBS Sunday Morning," "SportsCenter", and so on. "Today" is on this list only because it is pan-cultural - not simply news, but simply everything.
As I put this list together, here was the common denominator: Impact.
In each case, this show might have spawned other similar shows, or even spawned an entire genre, or movies, or lingo, or fashion. The show had deep tentacles into popular culture, and to an extent, still does. The show had "stickiness" - no matter how hard we tried, we just couldn't forget the sucker. It was like a song that looped continuously through our imagination - the lower or higher reaches of our imagination.
So please, do get mad if your favorite show isn't on this list. Don't be puzzled that "The Wire" isn't either. (Great doesn't always mean influential.) That's the whole point - arguing.
Here they are, the 75 television shows that made the most impact, good or bad.