In these days of streaming with hundreds of cable channels and options specifically geared to taste, when we look back at the days of three basic network options, it is funny to think of how limited our viewing choices were. It also brings to mind how difficult it must have been for television programmers to put together that magical line-up that would keep viewers on their network.
The fine folks at MeTV decided to look at all of the line-ups from the dawn of television through our current options to determine What was the Best Network Television Lineup Ever? Looking at their top ten, here are my thoughts and choice for the best line-up ever.
10. CBS Friday 1979–1980: The Incredible Hulk – The Dukes of Hazzard – Dallas. (I’ve watched a couple of episodes of The Incredible Hulk and have never seen a complete episode of Dukes or Dallas. – Craig)
9. ABC Friday 1971–72: The Brady Bunch – The Partridge Family – Room 222 – The Odd Couple – Love, American Style. (I’d watch The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, occasionally The Odd Couple and usually Love, American Style. – Craig)
8. CBS Sunday 1956–57: Lassie – The Jack Benny Program – The Ed Sullivan Show – General Electric Theater – Alfred Hitchcock Presents – The $64,000 Challenge – What’s My Line? (Since I wasn’t born yet, I didn’t see any of them that season. I am a fan of The Jack Benny Program and Alfred Hitchcock Presents which I’ve seen in reruns. – Craig)
7. ABC Thursday 1966–67: Batman – F Troop – The Dating Game – Bewitched – That Girl. (I never missed Batman, occasionally watched F Troup and The Dating Game. I usually would watch Bewitched and occasionally That Girl. – Craig)
6. ABC Thursday 1972-73: The Mod Squad – Kung Fu – The Streets of San Francisco. (I always watched Kung Fu but neither of the other two. – Craig)
5. Fox Sunday 1999–2000: Futurama – King of the Hill – The Simpsons – Malcolm in the Middle – The X-Files. (I didn’t watch any of these shows. – Craig)
4. NBC Thursday 1993–94: Mad About You – Wings – Seinfeld – Frasier – Homicide. (I always watched Mad About You, Wings, Seinfeld and Frasier. Homicide was the show that kept this line-up from being a clean sweep for me. – Craig)
3. CBS Saturday 1959–60: Perry Mason – Wanted: Dead or Alive – Mr. Lucky – Have Gun, Will Travel – Gunsmoke. (I was too young to watch. – Craig)
2. NBC Thursday 1984–85: The Cosby Show – Family Ties – Cheers – Night Court – Hill Street Blues. (I always watched all of these shows. This was a perfect line-up for me. – Craig)
1. CBS Saturday 1974–75: All in the Family – The Jeffersons – Mary Tyler Moore – The Bob Newhart Show – The Carol Burnett Show. (I always watched all of these shows. This was also a perfect line-up for me. – Craig)
So there were two line-ups that I stay tuned to for the entire evening, but which was the best? I give the nod to CBS Saturday 1974-75.