These were viewers' favorite TV shows 50 years ago — do you still agree?
Pick your favorite series from 1971 and see how they compare!
Fifty years ago to the day — on Wednesday, May 19, 1971 — Chicago Tribune entertainment columnist Clarence Petersen asked readers to fill out a survey. It was far more than he bargained for.
Peterson promised to have the results in his next Wednesday column. It took a week longer than expected to count the votes, because he was inundated with ballots. To be exact, 897 of them. The poor guy had to do them all by hand.
"Turns out there was no way to count all the votes," Petersen wrote as an apology. That's a lie, of course. There was indeed a way to do it; he just gave up. But he did count hundreds of them, enough to get a true read on TV viewing tastes of 1971.
The questions covered all of television — favorite actors, favorite shows, etc. He also asked for the "worst" of the airwaves.
So let's get to the results already, right?
1. All in the Family
2. The Odd Couple
3. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
4. The Courtship of Eddie's Father
1. Marcus Welby, M.D.
3. Masterpiece Theater
4. The Senator
5. Four in One
6. Hawaii Five-O
7. Medical Center
Now, a couple of those might be unfamiliar to you. Four In One was an umbrella title for four different rotating programs — McCloud, Night Gallery, San Francisco International Airport and The Psychiatrist.
Likewise, The Senator was part of the rotating drama series The Bold Ones, starring Hal Holbrook as the senator.
Now for the haters. Here are their picks for "Worst":
Worst TV Series
1. Hee Haw
2. All in the Family / The Beverly Hillbillies (tie)
3. The Brady Bunch
Funny how time changes perspectives. In fact, we want to see exactly how tastes have changed with hindsight. So, let's ask the questions again! We'll give more options from the era.
Pick your favorites! Let's see who wins in 2021!
Favorite 1971 Sitcom or Comedy
Favorite 1971 Drama