Film and TV

The Top...Um...4 (?) NBC Sitcoms of the 1970s

It's hard to imagine it now, with the relentless success and excellence consistently delivered from the National Broadcasting Network when it comes to sitcoms -- from The Cosby Show to Seinfeld to The Office, but there was a time when NBC's comedic television offerings were as unbelievably piss poor as they were limited in number. That era would be the 1970s, a decade when NBC was clearly not that interested in funny, 30-minute vehicles.

While I, admittedly, was too young to enjoy shows prior to 1975, I watched nearly every show on this list either during its run or in syndication, something that allowed many kids to grow up with shows that were on TV when their parents were young. But even with all the TV watching I did as a kid, I was hard pressed to find a list of 10 sitcoms from NBC during the '70s, so I gave up after four. I guess it's possible that The McLean Stevenson Show, a two-year bit for the guy who walked off M*A*S*H (he managed to make the list anyway), or a weak attempt at putting one of the greatest American actors of any era on TV with The Jimmy Stewart Show might make the list, but when you consider that NBC didn't deliver a successful comedy that lasted more than six seasons, what's the point.

Note that to qualify for the list, shows had to have spent the bulk of their lifespan in the decade of the '70s, but given the paltry list of shows to choose from, that wasn't a difficult task.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke