The 50 Most Influential TV Shows Of The Past 50 Years

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mip TV the annual media event held each year in Cannes, Swiss ratings analyst The WIT have released their list of the most influential TV programmes from each of the past 50 years.

The WIT’s  Virginia Mouseler   told the Mail the shows on the list were selected on the following basis:

We had two basic criteria. Firstly, we included shows that had a huge impact around the world by being distributed to many different countries. Secondly, we picked shows that may be less well known internationally, but that had a big impact in their own country.”

 You can find the full list below.

Amongst the shows listed are a handful of break out game shows which managed to successfully licence localised versions such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, American Idol and MasterChef.

The selection criteria of hits that spread globally explains why a show like Friends is on the list while the more critically acclaimed (and more popular in the US) Seinfeld which didn’t travel as well is absent.

Other picks include Columbo which helped popularise the detective concept and The Simpsons, the world’s longest running sitcom.

What is very strange is the omission of titles such as Lost and the Sopranos which helped revolutionise the idea of highly serialised programming and are cornerstones of the “golden age of television” we are currently enjoying.

The last surprise is the lack of any content from the BBC.

We really wanted to put Doctor Who top of the list. But as the BBC wouldn’t give us the rights to show a clip on the website, we had to replace it with Astro Boy, which was created in the same year. ‘It was a great shame. UK viewers may also be disappointed we couldn’t include Top of the Pops, which obviously had a massive impact.

The top 50 most influential TV shows over the past 50 years

1963 – Astro Boy (Japan)

1964 – Jeopardy (USA)

1965 – The Dating Game (USA)

1966 – Star Trek (USA)

1967 – Aktenzeichen XY Ungelvst (Germany)

1968 – Columbo (USA)

1969 – Sesame Street (USA)

1970 – Coronation Street (UK)

1971 – The Persuaders (UK)

1972 – The Price Is Right (USA)

1973 – The Young & The Restless (USA)

1974 – Derrick (Germany)

1975 – Wheel of Fortune (USA)

1976 – Family Feud (USA)

1977 – The Krypton Factor (UK)

1978 – Dallas (USA)

1979 – The Kids of Degrassi Street (Canada)

1980 – Grendizer (Japan)

1981 – Wetten, dass..? (Germany)

1982 – Letters and Numbers (France)

1983 – The Thorn Birds (USA)

1984 – La Piovra (Italy)

1985 – Neighbours (Australia)

1986 – Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan (Japan)

1987 – The Bold and the Beautiful (USA)

1988 – Home & Away (Australia)

1989 – The Simpsons (USA)

1990 – Fort Boyard (France)

1991 – Rugrats (USA)

1992 – The Real World (USA)

1993 – Beavis & Butthead (USA)

1994 – Friends (USA)

1995 – Caiga quien caiga (Argentina)

1996 – Dragon Ball GT (Japan)

1997 – Survivor (Sweden)

1998 – Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (UK)

1999 – Big Brother (Netherlands)

2000 – Popstars (Australia)

2001 – O Clone (The Clone – Brazil)

2002 – American Idol (USA)

2003 – Rebelde Way (The Rebels) (Argentina)

2004 – Desperate Housewives (USA)

2005 – Noor (Turkey)

2006 – Got Talent (USA)

2007 – Forbrydelsen (The Killing) (Denmark)

2008 – Murdoch Mysteries (Canada)

2009 – MasterChef Australia (Australia)

2010 – The Voice (Netherlands)

2011 – Homeland (Israel/USA)

2012 – Pablo Escobar, The Drug Lord (Colombia)

What do you think of this list? Are there any shows you think should have made the cut? 

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