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Number 1 Programs: ALL IN THE FAMILY

ALL IN THE FAMILY is, and will always be, one of the all-time great TV comedies.  Almost from the very start, The Norman Lear creation, based on the British TV series, TILL DEATH US SO PART, was a hit with TV audiences. From the fall of 1971 to the spring of 1976, ALL IN THE FAMILY was the #1 program on American TV. That is five strait seasons at the top spot , and includes a move from Saturday nights, seasons two through five, to Monday nights, in season six.

It took ALL IN THE FAMILY three seasons to make it to television, recording three different TV pilots. The sitcom debuted as a mid-season replacement, in January 1971, replacing another comedy, TO ROME WITH LOVE. The comedy was in the Tuesday night, 9:30 PM slot, going up little competition, other than the ABC Movie of the week, which ranked 6th that season. All in the family failed to even make the top 30 that season. For its second season, ALL IN THE FAMILY moved to Saturday nights, where it would kick off the night for CBS. From there, things took off and it rocketed to the #1 spot in that sophomore season.

We all know the classic cast of the series, Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker, Jean Stapleton as his wife, Edith. Their daughter was played by Sally Struthers and her husband, Michael "Meathead" Stivic was played by Rob Reiner. The premise was simple, Archie, a bigoted, under educated hot head gave his opinion on everything and was the "man of the house." Along with loyal wife Edith, they have their wife and liberal, hippie husband Michel, living with them. Episodes were relatively very topical, taking on subject of race, religion, politics, sex, and more, using humor to address each subject.

ALL IN THE FAMILY is also the source of many spin-off and spin-offs of spin-offs. Directly spun from ALL IN THE FAMILY are, MAUDE, THE JEFFERSONS, GLORIA, ARCHIE BUNKER'S PLACE, an 704 HOUSER. Spinning off of MAUDE was GOOD TIMES and a spin-off from THE JEFFERSONS was CHECKING IN.

ALL IN THE FAMILY lasted for nine season, producing a total of 210 episodes. After its five season run at number one, the comedy moved to Wednesday nights for the first month of the season and dropped to #12. On November of 1976, ALL IN THE FAMILY moved back to Saturday nights. In season eight, the series moved again, this time to Sunday nights at 9 PM and rose back to the #4 position for the 1977-78 season. In the final season, 1978-79, the sitcom moved to the earlier 8 PM time slot, on Sundays, and finished as the #9 program of the season.

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