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History Of Television
1970's

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As the 1970's began just about everything on TV was now broadcast in color. Most Americans had a color TV and the cost was still high, small tabletop TV ran $264 and a 25 inch console set ran $639. You were lucky if you could receive 5 stations in 1970, there was still no cable TV in most areas and the areas that had cable only re-broadcast the local stations for improved reception.

The new hit show for 1970 saw the return of Robert Young in Marcus Welby M.D. CBS countered with Medical Center starring Chad Everett and the big hit for NBC was the Flip Wilson Show.

Here's Lucy was the only sitcom to make the Top 10 in 1970. Police shows were popular as Hawaii Five O, The F.B.I. and Ironside were all in the top 10.  New shows for 1970 included the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Partridge Family, & Nanny & The Professor.

1971 was the year that CBS eliminated all of the rural shows and shows that reached a higher demographic. Ed Sullivan Show, Hee Haw, Green Acres, Mayberry R.F.D. and the Jackie Gleason Show were all gone.

CBS replaces the old rural shows with All In The Family, sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and the New Dick Van Dyke Show. Other popular shows debuting in 1971 included Columbo, McMillan & Wife and Soul Train.

All In The Family is an instant hit and jumps to the number one show on TV.

Gunsmoke, Mannix and the Mary Tyler Moore Show were top 10 shows in 1971.

Cigarette advertising was banned starting in 1971.

Some highlights of 1972 saw John & Yoko Lennon co-host a whole week on the Mike Douglas Show. Sammy Davis Jr. makes a cameo appearance on All In The Family and HBO is launched in November of 1972.

Some new shows for 1972 become instant hits including Sanford & Son, Bridget Loves Bernie, The Waltons, Kung Fu, M.A.S.H. The Rookies and Barnaby Jones.

In 1973 Elvis Presley's Aloha From Hawaii is viewed by over 1 billion people. The 1970's Match Game debuts, Betty White makes her first appearance on Mary Tyler Moore Show and Sherman Hemsley appears for the first time as George Jefferson on All In Thee Family.

New shows for 1973 included Kojak, Six Million Dollar Man, & Good Times

On Daytime TV The Young & The Restless makes its debut.

In 1974 we saw live on TV the resignation of Richard Nixon. The long running CBS Soap Opera The Secret Storm goes off the air after 20 years.

New shows for 1974 included Happy Days, Little House On The Prairie, Rhoda, Movin On & Harry O.

Top shows for 1974 included All In The Family, Sandford & Son, the new NBC sitcom Chico & The Man, & M.A.S.H. Some popular shows that ended in 1974 incllude the Brady Bunch, Here's Lucy, Love American Style, Partridge Family, Flip Wilson Show and the Dean Martin Show.

The big news of 1975 is the Sony Betamax VCR. This device allowed you to record TV Shows and play them back at a later time. The first units were over $2000. Shortly after Quasar came out with A Great Time Machine VCR and the blank tapes ranged in price from $49 - $69 each. Rca & other brands used the VHS system which became the standard for the next 30 years.

On TV in 1975 Jeopardy ends its orginal network run on NBC. Soap Operas Another World, Days Of Our Lives and As The World Turns expand to 60 minutes. The Muhammad Ali - Joe Frazier fight is aired on HBO.

1975 saw the debut of such shows asWheel Of Fortune, Baretta, The Jeffersons, Barney Miller, Ryan's Hope, Welcome back Kotter and One Day At A Time. Good Morning America debuts on ABC with hosts David Hartman & Nancy Dussault.

Some popular series ending 1975 included Gunsmoke, Ironside, Odd Couple, Mannix & Adam 12.

Three Stooges Larry Fine & Moe Howard both die in 1975 as well as Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling.

1976 was the first year that Vcr's were in most large department stores and electronics stores, prices averaged about $1200 and these machines were one speed Sp and did not have a timer, you had to buy an external timer for an additional $50. Blank tapes ran anywhere from $25 - $50 each and in 1976 you Could buy T-30 T-60 or T-120.

The big show of 1976 was the mini series Rich Man Poor Man which ranked in the top 5 for the year.

New shows making their debut in 1976 included Laverne & Shirley, Bionic Woman, & Ellery Queen.

The top shows for 1976 included Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Charlie's Angels & Six Million Dollar Man. This was the first year since it debuted that All In The Family was not in the Top 10 Shows.

1976 saw the passing of child star Anissa Jones of Family Affair and Jack Cassidy.

Some popular new shows popped up in 1977 including Three's Company, Eight Is Enough, Hardy Boys, Alice, Soap and Love Boat.

A short lived NBC drama series called James At 15 dealt with teen pregnancy is one episode.Tabitha a spinoff of Bewitched debuted in 1977 for a short run starring Lisa Hartman as Tabitha.

In 1978 the two most popular new shows were Fantasy Island & The Incredible Hulk.

Mork & Mindy were the two big hits in the ratings for 1978 along with Three's Company.

The TV Series Dallas debuted in 1978 and you could tell this show was going to be big.

In 1979 there were 3 adventure series that were popular for a few years, these included Dukes Of Hazzard, B.J. & The Bear & The Misadventures Of Sheriff Lobo.

New sitcoms included Different Strokes, The Ropers along with The Facts Of Life which actually dealt with some serious topics in its first season.

The top shows sof 1979 included 60 Minutes, Alice, Three's Company, Dallas and M.A.S.H.

Archie Bunkers Place replaced All In The Family in 1979, it was not as popular as All In The Family but it did last 4 seasons.

Some other shows to mention for 1979 included Wkrp, Vegas, Lou Grant, Angie and Chips.

 

 

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