It’s one thing when a program is a big hit, but what is really cool is when an entire block of programs are a big hit. Everyone turns the channel to one station and leaves it there because every show is worth watching. This is rare, especially today, but I wanted to take a moment to look at my favorite program blocks. Those times when you put the channel on, toss the remote away, and just enjoy. I have already gone over most of these shows so I will not go into too much detail.

 

#5.NBC Saturday Night (1984-1994)

Saturday night is generally a rough night to schedule family programming because people are usually out. However, from the mid 80’s to early 90’s, NBC found a winning formula for Saturday night comedies. Gimmee A Break, Facts of Life, Golden Girls, and 227 were a killer line-up which was later joined by Amen, Empty Nest, Carol & Company, and Sisters at 10:00. After Golden Girls went off the air nothing else really worked and when Empty Nest was cancelled that was it for sitcoms on Saturday night. However the memories linger. It is a really amazing time, if you look at the schedule prior to 1982 or after 1993 or so you see dramas or movies, sitcoms aren’t supposed to work on Saturday’s! In fact when ABC tried it, they failed horribly but NBC found a way to make it work, credit to them.

 

 

#4. Disney’s One Saturday Morning (1997-2002)

I loved this; it made me start watching Saturday Morning Cartoons again. Here is the embarrassing part; I wasn’t exactly a kid when it was one. My ex was kind of, weird, and she watched this and got me hooked. I loved the shows they had on here, including Pepper-Ann, Recess, Sabrina, The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, and later on Mickey Mouse Works and The House of Mouse. I guess I was at that funny age when between childhood and adulthood, and this block afforded me a chance to pretend to be a kid again. What’s wrong with that?

 

 

#3. CBS Mondays (1997-2004)

This one doesn’t have a cool name, but for a while from around 1998-2004 CBS Monday night was my second favorite night of the week. Cosby and later Yes, Dear, King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Becker. What a great schedule! Ok, let’s be fair. Yes, Dear was not a great show. In fact it was downright stupid. However, as part of the Monday line-up it just kind of worked. When Still Standing and Two and a Half Men came on and Everybody Loves Raymond finally went off the fun was over, but for awhile there that was a fun night of television. I could go even further back and say this started with The Nanny and Murphy Brown, but I didn’t watch it regularly then.

 

 

#2. ABC’s TGIF! (1989-1999)

During the 90’s if you were watching TV on Friday night, chances are you were watching TGIF. It makes sense; most people are out on Friday except for kids. Why not gear the programming toward them?  A brilliant idea which worked! When this premiered the line-up was Full House, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters and Just the Ten of Us. One of the gimmicks was to have the casts of the shows introduce all the programs for the night. Yeah, these intros were kind of lame but they were cute also. As the years went on TGIF included Dinosaurs (which was awesome!), Step By Step, Boy Meets World, Hangin w Mr.Cooper, and Sabrina. After about ten years it faded away. ABC tried to revive the format in 2002 but it didn’t last very long.

 

 

#1. NBC’s Must See TV (1984-2002)

Ok, let’s talk about the glory days when NBC was a respected network. Thursday nights on NBC was it, for twenty years. It started in 1982 when Cheers came on, and exploded in 1984 when Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, Night Court and finally LA Law made for a powerhouse lineup. These shows were fantastic and worked so well on the same night. When Cosby and Cheers went off the air, it was clear A Different World and Wings weren’t going to keep the viewers interested. So what to do? Mad About You came in, and then two little shows called Friends and Seinfeld exploded onto the scene. Add ER, one of the greatest dramas on television, and you have the 1994-1995 season. NBC Thursday was king, and it lasted until Friends and Frasier finally ended. The funny part of Must See TV was that there was so much pressure; I could do a list of the shows which tried and failed on that night. It took a special show to last but some did including Frasier, Will & Grace, and Just Shoot Me. NBC tried to expand the concept to every day of the week, but Thursday was the only real day of Must See TV.  It’s been ten years and NBC still hasn’t been able to reclaim the glory they had in those days, but boy were they fun!

 

Those were my favorites, which were yours?

By richb

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