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Added by Joseph Grey on 2 Sep 2012 04:37
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Iconic and Memorable Roles: TV part III

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Sketches and Short Stories

These are shows that don't have a continuous storyline. Each episode is separate from the last, and only in some cases are there recurring characters. I included sketch comedy shows in this section as well as self contained short story series.
People who added this item 937 Average listal rating (644 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 9
Rod Serling as Narrator

What a great idea to let co-creator and co-writer Rod Serling to narrate and open each of the episodes. So many great directors, actors, and wonderfully creepy episodes.

This is from the terrifying episode "It's a Good Life"
Joseph Grey's rating:
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A little more sci-fi and less scary than the Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits was still a great show, with many powerful episodes.

Martin Landau as Andros in
The Man Who Was Never Born

A very emotional and artistic episode, 'The Man Who Was Never Born' has Andros going back in time in order to prevent the birth of a man who was destined to bring about the world's destruction.
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Not quite the same as the original, but as good. Sometimes not as memorable, but occasionally more creepy than the original.

Beau Bridges as Dr. Simon Kress

I chose this episode because it is the first of the new show. I believe it helped to set the tone for the rest of the show, which lasted seven seasons.

Joseph Grey's rating:
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Alfred Hitchcock as The Presenter

A very interesting show with Alfred Hitchcock providing the opening and closing commentary for each episode. Many of the actors on the show were well known.
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People who added this item 1089 Average listal rating (767 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.1
A very long running show with steady success. There have been multiple generations of comedians giving their varied talents to the show. There's no way I'm going to highlight all of them.

Dan Aykroyd as Disc Jockey

Steve Martin as King Tut

Gilda Radner as Roseanne Roseannadonna

John Belushi as Samurai Furtaba

Bill Murray as Nick the Lounge Singer

Chevy Chase as Chevy Chase

Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat

Martin Short as Ed Grimley

Michael Myers and Dana Carvey
as Wayne and Garth

Phil Hartman as Bill Clinton

Will Ferrell as James Lipton

Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 315 Average listal rating (206 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.2
Nicole Sullivan as Vancome Lady

Debra Wilson as Bunifa

Will Sasso as Kenny Rogers

Michael McDonald as Stewart

Aries Spears

Mo Collins as Stewart's Mom

Alex Borstein as Miss Swan

I'm guessing that the people that love SNL hate Madtv, and vice versa. A different kind of comedy show than SNL, Madtv invested a lot of stock in being offensive. Sometimes gross, many times over the top, Madtv really was a 90's kind of a show.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 209 Average listal rating (151 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.3
(from left to right)
Dave Foley-Mark McKinney-Scott Thompson-Bruce McCulloch-Kevin Mcdonald

I watched this show a lot as a kid. These guys were willing to play women, kids, old men, anything.
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People who added this item 470 Average listal rating (352 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.7
Dave Chappelle as Tyrone, Prince, and Rick James

Charlie Murphy as Charlie Murphy

This show became successful and quickly ended after the second season.
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Friends and Family

Married couples, children, extended families, or a group of friends.
People who added this item 855 Average listal rating (650 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.8
Ted Danson as Sam Malone

Rhea Perlman as Carla Tortelli

Shelley Long as Diane Chambers

John Ratzenberger and George Wendt as
Cliff Clavin and Norm Peterson

Woody Harrelson as Woody Boyd

Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe

Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane

Bebe Neuwirth as Lillith Crane

This show became quite popular in the mid to late 80's. It was a show that successfully balanced an ensemble cast without any of the actors becoming too big for their roles. A rare thing in television shows, and it remained a successful show until its final episode.
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Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold

Dan Lauria as Jack Arnold

Josh Saviano as Paul Pfieffer

Danica McKellar as Winnie Cooper

Alley Mills as Norma Arnold

Jason Hervey as Wayne Arnold

Olivia D'abo as Karen Arnold

The Wonder Years was a pretty good show about growing up during the late 60's. The characters were mixed together pretty well, and I remember being really into this show as a kid.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 5342 Average listal rating (3440 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.9
Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay

David Schwimmer as Ross Geller

Matt Leblanc as Joey Tribbiani

Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green

Courtney Cox as Monica Geller

Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing

It seems like no one is on the fence with this show. They either hate it with the curse of a thousand screams, or love it to the point of a near romantic obsession.
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Luke Perry as Dylan Mckay

Jenni Garth as Kelly Taylor

Jason Priestley as Brandon Walsh

Shannon Doherty as Brenda Walsh

Tori Spelling as Donna Martin

Ian Ziering as Steve Sanders

Gabrielle Carteris(left) as Andrea Zuckerman

Brian Austin Green as David Silver

This show lasted ten years. 292 episodes, or so listal tells me. I watched the first couple of seasons, but didn't keep up. There were multiple departures and replacement cast members, but this was the original group.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 2707 Average listal rating (1904 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.1
Topher Grace as Eric Forman

Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti

Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart

Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde

Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso

Wilmer Valderrama as Fez

Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman

Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman

I'm sure most of you at least heard of this show or watched it. It was pretty fun, although like many shows, suffered from running one or two too many seasons.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster

Al Lewis as Grandpa

Yvonne De Carlo as Lily Munster

Butch Patrick as Eddie Munster

I watched this show when I was young. I especially liked the Herman Munster character.
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People who added this item 733 Average listal rating (487 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8
John Astin and Carolyn Jones as
Gomez and Morticia Addams

Jackie Coogan and Ted Cassidy as
Uncle Fester and Lurch

Ken Weatherwax and Lisa Loring as
Pugsley and Wednesday Adams

I didn't see much of this show. I ended up watching the Munsters instead. You kind of have to pick one when you're young, it can get confusing if you try to watch both.
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People who added this item 1663 Average listal rating (1184 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.7
Bob Saget as Danny Tanner

Dave Coulier as Joey Gladstone

John Stamos as Jesse Katsopolis

Lori Loughlin as Becky Katsopolis

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen as Michelle Tanner

Jodie Sweetin as Stephanie Tanner

Candice Cameron as D.J. Tanner
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Ed O'Neill as Al Bundy

Katey Sagal as Peg Bundy

Christina Applegate as Kelly Bundy

David Faustino as Bud Bundy

Amanda Bearse as Mary D'Arcy

An interesting show that at times felt simplistic with its visual gags, but at other times seemed, somewhat insightful. This was a show that enjoyed as much success overseas as it did in the US.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 806 Average listal rating (581 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.6
Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens

Dick York as Darrin Stephens

Sam Stephens trying to make it through each day as a witch in an idyllic American household. Problem arose every time her family stopped by and she would end up using magic at the worst times. I liked this show. Dick Sargent also played the husband character Darrin Stephens, but wasn't as memorable as the original.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable

Phylicia Rashad as Claire Hanks Huxtable

Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable

Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Theo Huxtable

Tempest Bledsoe as Vanessa Huxtable

Keshia Knight as Rudy Huxtable

Raven-Symone as Olivia Kendall

Did anyone not see the Cosby Show in the US? It was one of the most well known shows from the mid 80's until its end in the early 90's. It was a part of my childhood spent in front of the TV, as I'm sure it was for many of you.
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People who added this item 1269 Average listal rating (969 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 7.2
Tim Allen as Tim 'the Tool Man' Taylor

Patricia Richardson as Jill Taylor

Richard Karn as Al Borland

Earl Hindman as Wilson

Zachery Ty Bryant as Brad Taylor

Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Randy Taylor

Taran Noah Smith as Mark Taylor

Debbie Dunning as Heidi Keppert

This show may not be as well remembered today, but at the peak of its popularity, it was a very well regarded show, and Tim Allen was for a time the most well paid man in television.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Patricia Rutledge as Hyacinth Bucket

Clive Swift as Richard Bucket

Mary Millar as Rose

Geoffrey Hughes as Onslow

Judy Cornwell as Daisy

Josephine Tewson as Elizabeth Warden

As far as I know, Keeping Up Appearances was immensely popular in the UK, and even aired in the US. A very funny class comedy, starring Patricia Rutledge as the ever social and bossy Hyacinth Bucket, or 'Bouquet' as she calls herself.
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Henry Winkler as Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli

Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham

Tom Bosley as Howard Cunningham

Marion Ross as Marion Cunningham

Erin Moran as Joanie Cunningham

Anson Williams and Don Most as Potise and Ralph

Al Molinaro as Al Delvecchio

What a classic show with classic characters. It wasn't very deep stuff, but the show was funny, and had staying power. It ran for ten years, and spawned at least one spin off show.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing

Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing

Ken Kercheval as Cliff Barnes

Linda Gray as Sue Ellen Ewing

Victoria Principal as Pamela Barnes Ewing

Susan Howard and Steve Kanaly as
Donna Culver Krebbs and Ray Krebbs

Charlene Tilton as Lucy Ewing Cooper

A show I haven't seen myself, but heard plenty about. Many people followed this show religiously during its run, and it was immensely popular.
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People who added this item 1246 Average listal rating (917 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.9
Fran Drescher as Ms. Francis Fine

Charles Schaughnessy as Maxwell Scheffield

Daniel Davis as Niles the Butler

Lauren Lane as C.C. Babcock

Benjamin Salisbury as Brighton Scheffield

Nicholle Tom as Maggie Scheffield

Madeline Zima as Grace Scheffield

This is probably one of those love it or hate it kind of shows. The one thing it had going for it was it was not your average 'who's the boss' or Mr. Belvedere' show about babysitting. Fran Drescher added her own eccentricities to her role as the ill equipped nanny to wealthy Maxwell Scheffield's children.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Marooned: People Stuck Together

For one reason or another, these characters are either isolated by choice, or because they can't escape.
People who added this item 4877 Average listal rating (2971 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.4
Matthew Fox as Dr. Jack Shephard

Naveen Andrews as Sayid Jarrah

Terry O'Quinn as John Locke

Evangeline Lily as Kate Austen

Josh Holloway as James 'Sawyer' Ford

Daniel Dae Kim as Jin Kwon

Yunjin Kim as Sun Kwon

Jorge Garcia as Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes

Emilie de Raven as Claire Littleton

Dominic Monaghan as Charlie Pace

Harrold Perrineau as Michael Dawson

Ian Somerhalder as Boone Carlyle

Maggie Grace as Shannon Rutherford

Henry Ian Cusick as Desmund Hume

Michale Emerson as Ben Linus

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Mr. Eko
(my favorite character)

Michelle Rodriguez as Ana Lucia Cortez

A very popular show with plenty of characters and never-ending plot twists that reveal themselves like the peeling of an onion. I'm going to include the season one and season two cast.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Guy Williams as Professor John Robinson

June Lockhart as Maureen Robinson

Jonathan Harris as Dr. Zachary Smith

Mark Goddard as Major Don West

Billy Mumy as Will Robinson

Marta Kristen as Judy Robinson

Angela Cartwright as Penny Robinson

Dick Tufeld as The Robot
No, this isn't 'Robby' the Robot. Robby was used in the movie Forbidden Planet, and guest spots on TV shows.

The Robinson family in space. As a kid, some of the episodes were a little scary. Yep, you had Mr. Smith the backstabber, and the family that hopped from one dangerous planet to the next. This is great stuff for any kid to see.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 348 Average listal rating (252 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.4
Bob Denver as Gilligan

Alan Hale Jr. as 'The Skipper' Jonas Grumby

Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III

Natalie Schafer as Mrs. Lovey Howell

Tina Louise as Ginger Grant

Russell Johnson as Professor Roy Hinkley

Dawn Wells as Mary Ann Summers

A show that consisted of a shipwrecked Captain, first mate, and crew. Somehow, guest stars would find their way onto the island, but always manage to escape. The regular cast was not so fortunate.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Janine Turner as Maggie O'Connell

Barry Corbin as Maurice J. Minnifield

Rob Morrow as Dr. Joel Fleischman

Elaine Miles as Marilyn Whirlwind

John Corbett as Chris Stevens

Darren E. Burrows as Ed Chigliak

Cynthia Geary as Shelley Marie Tambo

John Cullum as Holling Vincoeur

I guess the characters aren't technically 'marooned,' but some are escaping something, while others are just looking for a place to disappear. A pretty low key but watchable show about the residents in a remote town. That town was actually Roslyn, Washington, but I think the show was pretending to be set in Alaska.
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It's a work thing

Shows where much of the action happens at the workplace.
People who added this item 1684 Average listal rating (1223 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.7
Laura Innes as Dr. Kerry Weaver

Noah Wyle as Dr. John Carter

Eriq La Salle as Dr. Peter Benton

Maura Tierney as Nurse Abby Lockhart

Anthony Edwards as Dr. Mark Greene

Alex Kingston as Dr. Elizabeth Corday

Julianna Margulies as Nurse Carol Hawthaway

Goran Visnjic as Dr. Luka Kovac

Mekhi Phifer as Dr. Gregory Pratt

Geprge Clooney as Dr. Doug Ross

Yeah, hospitals. Who decided that a place full of critically wounded people would be a good place to stage a show? Well, the doctors in this particular hospital have time to save lives and sleep around with the rest of the staff. Overall, the characters were pretty decent. Like a lot of long running shows, the cast revolved in and out, and many cast members joined as many others departed.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 2156 Average listal rating (1450 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 8.4
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer

Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida

Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O'Brian

James Morrison as Bill Buchanan

Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer

Jack Bauer uses every trick he's ever learned to kill terrorists every way he knows how. He shoots, stabs, neck breaks and tortures, killing and revenging his way to the end of each season.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 3256 Average listal rating (2240 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.4
Zach Braff as Dr. J.D. Dorian

Donald Faison as Dr. Christopher Turk

John C. McGinley as Dr. Perry Cox

Sarah Chalke as Dr. Elliot Reed

Judy Reyes as Nurse Carla Espinoza

Ken Jenkins as Dr. Bob Kelso

Neil Flynn as The Janitor

Another hospital show, but this time the staff are less dramatic and more funny than the staffers in ER. Although the laughs are pretty decent, the show might have run just a little too long.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 1255 Average listal rating (811 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.5
Ricky Gervais as David Brent

Mackenzie Crook as Gareth Keenan

Martin Freeman as Tim Canterbury

Lucy Davis as Dawn Tinsley

The Office follows a group of socially awkward office workers as they plod through their jobs and exercise long, uncomfortable silences. There's a lot more to it than that of course, but I haven't seen many episodes. Shows like this one work well when populated with a talented cast.
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People who added this item 614 Average listal rating (465 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.3
Michael J. Fox as Mike Flaherty

Barry Bostwick as Mayor Randall M. Winston Jr.

Connie Britton as Nicki Faber

Richard Kind as Paul Lassiter

Michael Boatman as Carter Heywood

Alan Ruck as Stuart Bondek

Victoria Dillard as Janelle Cooper

A work comedy which takes place in the fictional Mayor's office in New York. Great performances by Michael J. Fox and the rest of the cast. After Michael J. Fox left the show for health reasons, Heather Locklear and Charlie Sheen took over the lead roles in the show. However, it didn't last long after Michael J. Fox departed.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 815 Average listal rating (599 ratings) 4.8 IMDB Rating 5.2
David Hasselhof as Mitch Buchannon

Pamela Anderson as C.J. Parker

Alexandra Paul as Stephanie Holden

David Charvet as Matt Brody

Yasmine Bleeth as Caroline Holden

Erika Eleniak as Shauni McClain

David Chokachi as Cody Madison

Gena Lee Nolin as Neely Capshaw

Baywatch. I found myself compelled to include this show, because it is both iconic, and memorable. Okay, the content of each episode is not memorable. But the slow motion running, the allergy to clothing suffered by most of the cast, that was memorable.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 248 Average listal rating (172 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.9
Dave Foley as Dave Nelson

Maura Tierney as Lisa Miller

Phil Hartman as Bill McNeal

Stephen Root as Jimmy James

Vicki Lewis as Beth

Andy Dick as Matthew Brock

Khandi Alexander as Catherine Duke

Joe Rogan as Joe Garrelli
(Joe Rogan used to act for a living)

NewRadio was a very enjoyable show about a news radio station and its eccentric employees. I watched the show when it came out and really enjoyed it. Phil Hartman was an important character in the show until his death in 1998.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Karl Malden as Detective Mike Stone

Michael Douglas as Inspector Steve Keller

A great cops and crime show with Karl Malden, the experienced movie actor. Michael Douglas became big on this show, and eventually traded in his tv role for movie roles.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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You know, for kids

This section focuses on children's programming that aren't cartoons.
People who added this item 141 Average listal rating (91 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 8.4
Levar Burton as Host

I loved this show. It helped me to appreciate books more as a child, and gave me the opportunity to learn about great stories, even while watching television.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Frank Oz as Bert

Jim Henson as Ernie

Caroll Spinney as Oscar the Grouch

Caroll Spinney as Big Bird

Kevin Clash as Elmo

? as Cookie Monster

? as Grover

Brian Muehl and Martin P. Robinson as Telly Monster

Great for kids, the characters talk slowly, and there's plenty of stuff to learn in each episode. This show has a special place in my childhood.

Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 23 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 8.4
Don Herbert as Mr. Wizard

I watched the 1980's rendition of the show, which was called "Mr. Wizard's World." The show actually began in the 50's with the same man, Don Herbert, displaying the scientific properties behind just about everything a kid would be into. Including fire. This was one my brother's favorite shows, and one of mine as well. I think any kid watching this show would love to be in at least one episode.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Bill Nye as Bill Nye the Science Guy

Bill Nye was actually a local (Seattle) comedian and part of a comedy show called "Almost Live" which aired in Washington in the late 80's and early 90's. So when I first saw "Bill Nye, the Science Guy" I said 'what the hell is he doing on a science show? Isn't that Speed Walker?'

Just watch it. Then you'll know what I mean.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog

Frank Oz as Fozzie Bear

Frank Oz as Miss Piggy

Dave Goelz as Gonzo

I loved this show. I probably still do, although I haven't watched any episodes in quite some time.

And these guys were great. But grumpy.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 435 Average listal rating (310 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 8
Gerard Parkes as Doc

Steve Whitmore as Sprocket the Dog

Jerry Nelson as Gobo Fraggle

Karen Prell as Red Fraggle

Dave Goelz as Boober Fraggle

Uncle Traveling Matt


I watched this show even more than the Muppets. It had a great opening, and really fun characters.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 158 Average listal rating (124 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.6
Paul Zaloom as Beakman

Mark Ritts as Lester

Alanna Ubach as Josie

Senta Moses as Phoebe

Eliza Schneider as Liza

Beakman's World was an offbeat science show for kids that contrasted quite a bit from Bill Nye, the Science Guy. I actually watched this show more often, and it's too bad it's not as well known as it could have been.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 147 Average listal rating (101 ratings) 3.5 IMDB Rating 3.6
David Joyner as Barney

I was a little too old for Barney, so I saw almost none of it when it came out. However, I did know that it was immensely popular, and the merchandising for this purple dinosaur was out of control. I think it was a little too childish, even for kids, but then again I wasn't four of five when it came out, so I couldn't say how enjoyable it would have been for a young child. Parents seemed to love it though.
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John Simmit as Dipsy, Nikki Smedley as Laa-Laa
Pui Fan Lee as Po and Mark Heenehan as Tinky Winky

Yes, there are the Teletubbies. However, I don't know which one is which. I didn't watch this show, but from what little I know, there wasn't a lot in the way of content. But lack of content doesn't mean no one watched the show. It was popular at the time of its airing.
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The Old West

I realized in my haste that I hadn't included a single television show featuring cowboys, lawmen, and bandits.

I'm going to have more items than this. I just need to brush up on my knowledge of Wild West TV shows.
People who added this item 41 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8.1
Eric Fleming as Gil Favor

Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates

I'll admit this isn't one I have seen much of. The cast is quite large, but Eric Fleming plays the trail boss, and Clint Eastwood is the most remembered cowboy in the series.
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People who added this item 50 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8
James Arness as Matt Dillon

Amanda Blake as Kitty

Dennis Weaver as Chester

Ken Curtis as Festus

Gunsmoke starred the massive James Arness as lawman Matt Dillon. He had a couple of sidekicks and a lady friend, pretty much everything you need in a western. Except the horse, gun, and hat.
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Steve McQueen as Josh Randall

Steve McQueen as the Bounty Hunter who tracks down criminals in the old west.
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Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright

Michael Landon as Joseph Cartwright

Dan Blocker as Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright

Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright

A good western about a family living in Nevada. Three sons, all from different mothers, always seem to find themselves either helping out someone in need, or getting themselves into trouble.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.9
Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger

Jay Silverheels as Tanto (Pictured right)

A show that ran for years, and enjoyed great success. It started off as a radio serial that eventually made its way onto television.
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This is the next list of iconic roles in television shows. The last of these (as in not this one) will probably be a list consisting mostly of your suggestions. Enjoy.

By the way, I realize it's not quite finished yet. But I've been working on it for two weeks, and it might take more than a week to finish it. So, I'll be updating it day to day.

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Posted: 6 years ago at Sep 12 14:44
Very good list, sir! Brought back a lot of memories watching my favorite TV shows.
Posted: 6 years ago at Sep 13 9:44
Very comprehensive list!!
Posted: 6 years ago at Sep 13 9:52
@Thumper & JPHOLT: Thank you. It'll be more comprehensive when it is finally finished.
Posted: 5 years, 11 months ago at Oct 10 16:54
The SNL and MadTV part reminds me of just how good SNL was in its heyday. I think MadTV struck a chord because it came, IMN-SHO, at the start of SNL's decline and filled a void. Unfortunately, FOX was nowhere near the ratings fixture that it is now and the showed just faded away.
Posted: 5 years, 11 months ago at Oct 11 3:27
@TrekMedic: Madtv was fresh when it came out. It felt like a new show, and there was a lot of comedy to be explored that SNL wasn't trying. Madtv didn't stay fresh for as long as SNL did, and so it couldn't survive. Some people swear by SNL even today, and I haven't watched the show recently enough to be able to disagree. I did enjoy the SNL of my childhood, watching Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman and the late 80's early 90's crew. It wasn't the best era, but it was enough at the time.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Nov 11 8:26
Great work! I enjoyed several of those shows...
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Nov 19 7:33
Comments, Part1

I respectfully disagree with your opinion that The Outer Limits was not as scarey as The Twilight Zone. I do admit Outer Limits was more Sci-Fi and less psychological than Twilight Zone, but I watched them as a kid and Outer limits always had a monster that would scare the hell out of me.
I haven't watched the newer version of the series, so I don't have on opinion on that, but the original Outer Limits was a true classic.

I remember Hitchcock as a funny host on his anthology show. Sometimes he was a bit corny, but I bet he got a kick out of doing it. I think he was just the host. I don't think he directed or wrote any of the episodes. Feel free to correct me if that is not correct.

What can you say about SNL? It is iconic and has gone through so many incarnations of Not Ready For Primetime Players, that it is hard to make a definitive statement about the show without specifying what seasons you are referring to. I was happy to see among the selected characters, you included one of my favorites, Nick the sleazy lounge singer.

I think Will Sasso was the break-out star of MadTV. That guy is just funny without doing anything, if you know what I mean, just a naturally funny guy.

I was suprized you didn't include Fridays. There was a time when SNL was in a transitional period and Fridays was consistently funnier than SNL during that period.

Cheers reminded me of Taxi, another great ensemble comedy.

The Wonder Years was another show I used to watch a lot. It was about growing up in the early 70's, not the late 60's, but I guess I'm being nit-picky by pointing that out.

I agree that Herman Munster was funny as the dumb and goofy head of a family of monsters, but I thought the Addams Family had their own charm as well. I admit I watched The Munsters more, but I think that is because it ran longer. If I am not mistaken, I think The Addams Family only ran for 2 seasons.

Bewitched is the classic example of a main character being replaced by a different actor. In 99.9% of the cases, the original is always best. Dick York was always my favorite, I never got used to that new Dick. The only execption to this rule that I can think of offhand, is when they replaced the original Floyd the Barber on The Andy Griffith Show. After the original appeared one time, they replaced him with Howard McNear and he became the definitive Floyd. Most people don't even remeber the other guy.

I loved Happy Days when it first came out. I think this is another show that suffered from running too many seasons. The first season was about Richie and his best friend Potsy going through their teenage years and coming of age in the 1950s. Fonzie was a minor character that appeared occasionally, usually as the voice of experience since he was older and more worldly than Richie and Potsy. Ralph was a cooler character as well. He was a friend of Fonzie's and tooled around Arnold's in a custom T-bucket hot rod. The look of the show was also different. They shot outdoors on the studio backlot for some scenes, like in the parking lot of Arnold's or outside the high school.
The Fonzie character became an instant hit, and the show expanded his part to cash in on this popularity. They started shooting in front of an audience on a sound stage, which changed the look of the Cunningham's house, Arnold's, and the whole show. Now everytime Fonzie would appear, you could hear the girls scream in the audience. He was made Richie's best friend, they paired Potsy with Ralph as 2 dumbells, and they traded his Harley Knukclehead for a silver Triumph. They really went over the top with Fonzie's ultimate cool, invincable image. They even wanted to change the name of the show to Fonzie's Happy Days, but Henry Winkler would not allow it. As the boys got older, they added Chachi as Fonzie's cousin for the younger fans. I never liked Chachi. They gave Richie a girlfriend he would eventually wed. When Ralph and Richie left the show, they had Potsy hanging around the Cunningham house trying to be buddies with Mr. C. I thought that appeared strange. They even made High School Dropout Fonzie a teacher at the school. This was not even the same show anymore. It needed to end several seasons before it did.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Nov 19 11:57
Comments Part2

The only thing I remember about The Nanny was that I was unable to watch due to the fact that I couldn't stand Fran Dresser's voice for 30 minutes.

Lost in Space was a very campy, fun show. It was similiar, in my opinion, to Batman in that way. It must have been on opposite another popular show, as I only remember watching it occasionally. But I have seen it enough times to know the characters pretty well. Irwin Allen had another show called Land of the Giants and it was almost an exact copy of Lost in Space in a different setting. They had a young boy, 2 strong heroic men, 2 attractive women, and a sniveling, cowardly older guy that would always get them in trouble. Instead of going from planet to planet, this crew was stranded on one planet that was almost exactly like Earth, except the people were like 50 feet tall. Everything was on a larger scale and the crew had to constantly hide and keep on the lookout for threatening things like giant bugs and snakes, not to mention the people of the planet.

I agree with your observation that everyone else seemed to have no trouble arriving and leaving Gilligan's Island except the castaways. There was always a creative way to have the guest star leave the island without saving anyone but themselves. Another popular observation was that the Professor was such a genius he could make a two-way radio out of coconuts, but was unable to patch a hole in the boat.
This show was very successful and had a long run. After it left the air in first run episodes, the reruns were so popular, several TV-Movies were made using the original cast for the most part. Producer Sherwood Shwartz attempted to create another hit for his star, Bob Denver using the same concept as Gilligan's Island. It was called Dusty's Trail and it was set in the western frontier. The premise was a scout and his assistant get two wagons seperated from a wagon train headed west and they are wandering around hopelessly lost. Each cast member co-responded to a Gilligan cast member. Bob Denver was Dusty, the assistant that got them lost-obvisously Gilligan. The Head Scout was played by Forrest Tucker of F Troop. He was similiar to The Skipper. In the first wagon was a very smart dude from the East who knew all about the geography of the land, the local Indian tribes and their customs, etc. And like the Professor, he could do just about anything except navigate them back on the main trail. Riding with him was 2 pretty girls who used to appear on Petticoat Junction. One was a pretty school teacher that was sweet like Mary Ann, the other was a brassy saloon dancing girl, who was proud of her looks and show biz experience like Ginger. The second wagon was very fancy and belonged to an older, rich couple like the Howells. I don't think it lasted an entire season. I have only seen a few episodes on the internet.

I used to watch Northern Exposure. I thought it was kind of a quirky, offbeat show. It had the sexual tension between Rob Morrow, the doctor and newcomer to Alaska, and the main female lead. The old man had a pretty young girlfriend, or was it his wife? The Zen radio DJ would read New Age poetry on the air, there was a indiguous Alaskan Girl, and a Texas Oil Millionare. I know she must have been born there and the Texan was probably supposed to have been speculating on new oil well sites. Nothing really much ever happened as best I remember. The thing I remeber most about it was that after it recieved good ratings, star Rob Morrow quit to pursue a movie career and you never saw him again.

For some reason, as a kid I thought Mr. Wizard was mean and I didn't like him. I thought he kept a mean look on his face and talked gruffly to the kids assisting him. I have no basis for thinking this. I am sure he is a very nice man and probably loves kids since he has dedicated his career to them. That is the reason I missed out on all the wonders of science he could have taught me.

Now Westerns are something I know about. I was always playing cowboys as a kid and most of the shows on TV back then were westerns.
Rawhide was a favorite of mine. It told the tale of men on a catle drive and each episode was an incident they ran into on the trail, or nearby town during the drive. It had a great theme song by Frankie Laine, who was famous for singing the High Noon theme. The show was very similiar in structure to Wagon Train, which told the story of people travelling on a wagon train and things that happened to them along the way. Rawhide was tougher and more hard edged than Wagon Train, though. Clint Eastwood was the ramrod, second in command under the trail boss. He was seen on this show by Leone Sergio, who offered him the lead in Fistful of Dollars based on his performance on this show. He agreed and made the film during a break in filming of the TV show.

Gunsmoke is another show that got its start on the radio. Matt Dillion was voiced by actor William Conrad, who later starred as Cannon on TV. The role of Doc was played more comically by Howard McNear, who would later play Floyd the Barber on Andy Griffith. The role of Chester was played by character acter Parley Baer, he was an older character than on the TV show and was part Indian, with the last name of Proudfoot instead of Goode as it was on the TV show as played by Dennis Weaver. When they wanted to try the 'new' medium of television, the networks wanted John Wayne to play Matt Dillon. Wayne, of course, turned down the part. He recommended James Arness, whom he had worked with and admired. Wayne even filmed an introduction that was shown before the first episode. The role made Arness's career and he played the role from 1955 until 1975, then repeated the role in a couple of made for TV Gunsmoke movies. When Dennis Weaver left the show as Chester, they broadened the part, too much, some say, to Festus played by veteran western actor Ken Curtis. Ken had been a part of John Ford's stock company and appeared in many of his westerns, along with John Wayne, Ward Bond, and many others. Curtis was also a singer and a one-time member of the Western singing group, The Sons of the Pioneers. He was also once John Ford's son-in-law. There always seemed to be sexual tension between the marshall and Miss Kitty, the owner of the Long Branch Saloon. I think they made her the owner, so there could never be any doubt that she may have been a 'working' girl in the saloon. It was always inplied that she had feelings for Matt, but he always seemed oblivious to them. Some speculate this was because he didn't want her involved in the dangerous nature of his job. Of course, shwe got involved plenty of times just being a friend of the Marshall's.

Wanted Dead or Alive was an early role for movie star Steve McQueen. He played bounty hunter, Josh Randall. It was one of the westerns that had the gimmick of a special gun used by the star. Like Have Gun Will Travel had Palladin's custom-made weapons, The Rifleman had Lucas MaCain's special rapid firing Winchester with the custom ring for easy spinning, and Wyatt Earp's Buntline Special, Josh Randall had a Mare's Leg strapped to his hip. The Mare's Leg was actually a Winchester Model 1892 44-40 carbine with a barrel shortened to 12 or possibly 9 inches and most of the butt stock removed. It could be worn in a large holster and used with one hand. He had a specail Gunslinger rig setup and was able to draw and fire the big gun very fast, sometimes even faster than opponents with smaller guns. In spite of all this, he was no gunslinger. The character of Josh Randall was a Confederate veteran and bounty hunter with a soft heart. He often donated his earnings to the needy and helped his prisoners if they have been wrongly accused.

Bonanza was another very popular western TV show. It ran for 14 seasons. Gunsmoke is the only western that ran longer. It ran in color from the first episode in 1959. It was about a rich cattle baron living on a huge Nevada ranch on Lake Tahoe with his three adult sons. As you pointed out, each sone was different and had a different mother. Poor Ben was widowed 3 times. There were three seperate flashback episodes telling the story of each mother and the birth of each sone. Adam was the oldest and the son of a woman from a seafaring family in New England. Ben, himself was a sailor when he was young. Adam was college educated back east and often flaunts his education on the other sons. Hoss, the middle son, was a mountain of a man. His mother was of Swedish descent, and was killed by Indians on the trip west. Despite his huge frame and powerful strength, he was lovable and kind-hearted. The youngest, 'Little' Joe's mother was French-Creole from New Orleans and he inherited her impetuous, hot-headed nature. I watched this show with my parents every Sunday night. It was like a tradition. The family TV night. We stayed with NBC all night. We seldom got to see all the shows, but by the time Bonanza was on at 9pm, everyone was usually there. The early episodes had the Cartrwights more clannish and distrusting of strangers on their land and the miners and townspeople. The term Bonanza referred to a large deposit of ore. Most commenly referred to as the Comstock Lode, a huge silver strike in that area around this period in history. In the later episodes, they became more friendly to peopl crossing their land, allowing them to camp, and towards the townspeople. The sheriff became one of their best friends and Ben served on many Virginia City committees as a successful local businessman. The boys seemed to have the same luck with women that their had. Whenever you see Adam, Hoss, or Joe get friendly with a girl you can bet she will die by the closing credits. I think the writers wanted to keep the men single for the female fans or something, but the word in Virginia City should have been out that the Cartwright boys were the kiss of death. If you see them coming, run for your life. Looking back, it was really more of a western soap opera.

I used to watch the Lone Ranger when I was real young. It was one of the children's westerns, like Roy Rogers, The Cisco Kid, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy and shows like that. Of coruse everyone know The Lone ranger orignated on Radio and moved to TV. The Ranger was a firm believer in being a role model. He shot bullets of solid silver, forged in his own mine. He rode a big white steed, wore a big white hat, and only fired to wound or capture. He never shot to kill. The silver bullets were a symbol of how precious your shots are and not to shoot wrecklessly. The legend goes that he was with a company of rangers that were led into an ambush in a box canyon by a traitor in the ranks. The Butch Cavendish gang left the rangers for dead, but Tonto, an indian, and sometimes implied to be a childhood friend found the lone ranger that was still breathing and nursed him back to health. He donned the mask hide the identity of the lone ranger and dedicated his lifr to righting injustices along with his faithful indian companion. I enjoyed the show until I got older and wanted to watch more adult westerns.

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