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Did network TV jump the shark in 1976? Here are the year's top 25 shows



Our time machine to the year 1976 concludes today with a look at the 25 top TV shows of 1976. Many of these shows - Happy Days, Three’s Company, M*A*S*H - would continue to be chug into the early ’80s. Others - The Six Million Dollar Man and its spinoff The Bionic Woman - definitely feel like relics of the ‘70s.

Speaking of Happy Days, by now we all know that the term “jump the shark” came from this TV show. But do you remember what year it was when Fonzie tries to waterski jump over a shark? You want to guess 1976, but you’d be wrong. The episode - “Hollywood: Part 3” - aired on Sept. 20, 1977. According to lore, the term “jumping the shark” was developed in 1985 by University of Michigan students who were sitting around talking about moments when their favorite shows went downhill. Today, TV Guide has a section of its website devoted to the topic.

So what does this all have to do with 1976? Not much. But if you want a moment in time from Happy Days in ’76, on March 2, 1976, Pat Morita made his final regular appearance in the role of Arnold.

Here are the top 25 TV shows of 1976 ranked by rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

1. Happy Days
2. Laverne & Shirley
3. ABC Monday Night Movie
4. M*A*S*H
5. Charlie's Angels
6. The Big Event
7. The Six Million Dollar Man
8. ABC Sunday Night Movie
9. Baretta
10. One Day at a Time
11. Three's Company
12. All in the Family
13. Welcome Back, Kotter
14. The Bionic Woman
15. The Waltons
16. Little House on the Prairie
17. Barney Miller
18. 60 Minutes
19. Hawaii Five-O
20. NBC Monday Night Movie
21. Rich Man, Poor Man Book II
22. Monday Night Football
23. Eight Is Enough
24. The Jeffersons
25. What's Happening!!

[Last modified: Friday, June 24, 2016 9:13am]


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