Can You Name at Least 18/23 of These TV Shows From the ’70s and ’80s?

By: Jonnathan Chadwick

7 Min Quiz

Image: CBS

About This Quiz

You'd have a tough time trying to find an American who doesn't like TV. There are about 120 million households with at least one TV, and the average American spends 28 hours a week devouring shows, sports, movies and news on TV. The first television sets hit the market in the late 1930s and cost nearly $10,000 in today's currency. World War II didn't help television consumption, but soon after that, TV viewership took off. By the mid-'50s, more than half of all homes had a TV. By the mid-'60s, more than 90% of all households had a TV. By the '70s and '80s, Americans were witnessing television history on a regular basis.

The most-watched television episode in history aired in 1983, and ad slots cost more than that year's Super Bowl. The third most-watched television episode in history aired in 1980. The second most-watched episode aired in 1993, but the series premiere was in 1982. The longest-running American sitcom first aired in 1989, and it's still going strong. In 1977, more than half the American population tuned in to watch one show, and more than 85% of households tuned in. Almost every show that set viewership or rating records aired during the '70s and '80s. They're two of the best decades in American television history. Can you name these TV shows from the '70s and '80s?

Do you know this show about a TV producer?

"The Mary Tyler Moore" show starred Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards. The show's lead character recently broke off an engagement when the show begins. The character was originally written as a divorced woman, but in 1970 that was too controversial for TV execs.

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Everybody loves Fonzie. Which show did he star on?

Fonzie is the most popular character from this show about the Cunningham family set in the 1950s. Henry Winkler portrayed Fonzie, and the character was initially banned from wearing his iconic leather jacket because TV execs thought it made him look like a hoodlum.

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Do you know this black comedy set during the Korean War?

This TV show was based on a movie that was based on a book. The finale of "M*A*S*H" aired in 1983 and was the most-watched TV show finale in the history of television. It's the only single TV show episode to have 100 million viewers.

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Can you name this show about a man reflecting on his teenage years in the suburbs?

Fred Savage starred as a teen coming of age in middle American suburbs in this hit show. The show first aired in 1988 and ran for six seasons until 1993. The show then went into syndication around the world.

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What comedy follows the romantic flings of passengers on the Pacific Princess?

"The Love Boat" aired for 10 years and nine seasons from 1977 to 1987. The show was one of just four hour-long shows to feature a laugh track. It's one of the only to never transition to a live audience during its entire run.

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Do you know this western about the Ingalls family and their small farm in Minnesota?

"Little House on the Prairie" was based on the real Ingalls family in the American Midwest. The real Laura Ingalls wrote eight books about her childhood, and they've all been adapted and spun-off in multiple ways.

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This family is known for "movin' on up, to the east side." Do you know them?

George Jefferson is one of the most iconic American TV characters. The show featured a ton of firsts in TV history, including the first transgender character on TV and the first black and white interracial couple.

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Can you name this show about ex-hippies and their conservative son?

"Family Ties" starred Michael J. Fox and ran for seven seasons from 1982 to 1989. The show followed the lives of two parents who were counterculture revolutionaries in the '60s but mellowed out later in life.

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What's this TV show about three roommates in a Santa Monica apartment?

John Ritter and Suzanne Somers starred in this show about two women and a guy living together in a Santa Monica apartment. Billy Crystal actually auditioned for the lead role, but it was ultimately given to Ritter, who was the only cast member to appear in every episode.

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You don't have to know what Willis is talking about to know this show. What is it?

"Whatcha talkin 'bout Willis?" is one of the most famous quotes in television history. The show starred Gary Coleman as Arnold and Todd Bridges as his older brother Willis. Gary Coleman eventually got so sick of saying the catchphrase he stopped saying it in public.

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You might say D'oh! if you miss this one. What's this show about a family from Springfield?

"The Simpsons" was released in 1989 and has aired nearly 700 episodes since. It's the longest-running sitcom in American television history and was created by Matt Groening. It's won countless awards.

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Do you know this show that follows brothers Bo and Luke as they ride around Georgia in their Dodge Charger?

"The Dukes of Hazard" first aired in 1979 and starred Tom Wopat and John Schneider as Luke and Bo Duke. The brothers drove a 1969 Dodge Charger called General Lee. Catherine Bach played Daisy Duke and became a sex symbol because of her "Daisy Duke" shorts.

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Can you name this show about motorcycle officers Jon and Ponch?

"CHiPs" starred Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox as California highway patrolmen Ponch and John. The show's title stands for "California Highway Patrol," and it aired for six seasons from 1977 to 1983.

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The Evans family makes the best out of every situation while living in the Chicago projects in what TV show?

"Good Times" aired for six seasons on CBS and starred John Amos and Ralph Carter. Laurence Fishburne was set to star in the lead role until Carter became available to do the show. Janet Jackson starred in 48 episodes.

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What's this sketch comedy show featuring Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the gang?

Jim Henson and his wife created the Muppets in 1955, and by 1970, the crew was famous. In 1976 Henson created "The Muppet Show," and the series ran for five years and won numerous accolades. The Muppets have been international stars ever since.

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What's this sketch comedy show that's been called the Harvard University of comedy?

"Saturday Night Live" first aired in 1975 and has been running for 45 seasons. Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, Kristen Wiig, Mike Myers, and others all rose to fame on the show.

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More than 20.5 million viewers tuned in to learn who shot J.R in this western about the Ewing family. What is it?

"Dallas" is the fifth longest-running hour-long drama in American TV history. The episode that revealed who shot J.R. is the second most-watched primetime telecast in American TV history. The show has been named one of the best TV shows of all time on countless lists.

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Do you know this family of traveling musicians?

Shirley Jones, David Cassidy and Danny Bonaduce starred in this comedy about a family of traveling pop musicians. The show ran from 1970 to 1974. Shirley Jones turned down the role of Carol Brady to take the role of Shirley Partridge.

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Can you name this show about four senior roommates living the best years of their lives?

Betty White is known as one of the hardest working women in show biz and is commonly recognized as the longest working. Her career spans more than 80 years, and she's most remembered for her role as Rose on "The Golden Girls."

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What's this show set in San Francisco about the Tanner family?

"Full House" aired from 1987 to 1995 and has been described as "The Brady Bunch" of the '90s. The show followed Danny Tanner as he employed his brother-in-law and best friend to help raise his daughters.

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What's this show featuring David Hasselhoff and his customized Pontiac Firebird?

The Pontiac in the TV show was a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am named KITT. Its name stood for the Knight Industries Two Thousand and was highly customized. Requests for the exact car skyrocketed after the show aired.

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You don't want to be on Dr. Bruce Banner's bad side when he's angry. What show is this?

"The Hulk" was created by Stan Lee and first appeared in 1962. Lou Ferrigno starred as the title character and the show first aired in 1977 with a two-hour pilot episode. It ultimately ran for five seasons on CBS.

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Do you know this show about a guy who can find a solution to any problem?

"MacGyver" follows the character Angus "Mac" MacGyver as he uses his skills and intellect to solve complex problems in a non-violent way. The term "MacGyver" is used in everyday speech to refer to the solving of complex problems with simple solutions.

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Do you know this show about Archie Bunker as he stereotypes people in New York City?

Archie Bunker was known as one of the most stereotypical television characters of all time, and it's difficult to imagine him on TV in the year 2020. Investigators discovered tapes of Richard Nixon discussing an episode of the show during the Watergate investigation.

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What's the name of this group of U.S. special forces led by Mr. T?

"The A-Team" ran for five seasons from 1983 to 1987 and made Mr. T an international star. The show followed four ex-soldiers who escaped from prison after they were framed for a crime they didn't commit.

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Can you name this "Happy Days" spinoff about two best friends who work at a Milwaukee brewery?

Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams starred as Laverne and Shirley in this comedy about two single best friends in the 1950s and '60s. Rumors have it the cast of the show frequently fought, and cast members even walked off set on occasion.

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What's this show that starred Robin Williams as an alien from the planet Ork?

"Mork & Mindy" first aired in 1978 and was another spin-off from "Happy Days." The show starred Robin Williams and Pam Dawber as Mork and Mindy. Both actors portrayed the same characters in "Happy Days."

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Who are these California detectives?

The red and white Ford Gran Torino might be the show's most famous symbol, but the car wasn't even supposed to exist. The show's creators originally wanted to use a white Camaro for the series but couldn't get one.

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Can you name this show featuring special agents who take orders from a speakerphone?

"Charlie's Angels" first aired in 1976 and gave rise to the phrase "Jiggle TV." The show ran for five seasons and starred Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson in lead roles. Cheryl Ladd joined the show later on.

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What's this show that stars Tony Danza as a retired baseball player turned housekeeper?

"Who's the Boss" ran for nearly 200 episodes and first aired in 1984. The show followed a retired baseball player who took a job as a live-in housekeeper for an NYC advertising executive. Tony Danza, Judith Light and Alyssa Milano starred in the show.

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Do you know the name of this show starring two divorced guys sharing an NYC apartment?

"The Odd Couple" followed the lives of divorced guys Felix and Oscar as they settled their differences and shared an apartment. Oscar and his wife in the show were played by real-life couple Jack Klugman and Brett Somers.

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What's this show that featured Angela Lansbury as a mystery writer and detective?

This TV series ran for 12 seasons from 1984 to 1996 and won six Golden Globes among a multitude of awards. Angela Lansbury played the lead role of Jessica Fletcher. She received an Emmy nomination for every season of the show but never won.

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Can you name this show about a psychiatrist and a journalist dealing with their children's problems?

"Growing Pains" has been described as the "Father Knows Best" of the 1980s. Alan Thicke, Kirk Cameron and Tracey Gold starred in the show that also featured an up-and-coming Leonardo DiCaprio later in the series.

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Who's this superhero also known as Princess Diana of Themyscira?

Wonder Woman is one of the founding members of the Justice League, and she was created by DC Comics in 1941. The TV show first aired in 1975 and starred Lynda Carter in the lead role. Carter said she was broke when she beat out 2,000 actors to land the role.

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Do you know this show about students at Bayside High?

"Saved by the Bell" showcased all the classic styles and symbols of the 1990s, but it actually first aired in 1989. It ran for four seasons until 1993 and is remembered for Zack Morris and his giant mobile phone.

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Can you name this show about slavery that was watched by more than half of the population?

"Roots" was an eight-episode miniseries that aired in 1977. The American population at the time was 221 million, and it's estimated that 130 million viewers watched the series. About 85% of households watched at least one episode.

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What's the show about the bar where everybody knows your name?

"Cheers" ran for 11 seasons and starred Ted Danson, Rhea Pearlman, Kelsey Grammar, Kirstie Alley and others. The show was one of the most successful in NBC history. When Danson decided to leave, studio execs tried to replace him with Harrelson, but Harrelson said no.

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Do you know this show about a private detective snooping around Hawaii?

Tom Selleck starred as the lead role in this show for eight seasons. Magnum was originally conceived to be the "James Bond of TV," but Selleck convinced creators to make the character more mellow and laid back.

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Who's this wisecracking alien?

"Alf" ran for four seasons from 1986 to 1990 and required some pretty heavy technical demands for the time. Many of the actors loathed working unusually long hours on the closed set. To make matters worse, the star of the show was a puppet.

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Can you name this show about flashy detectives making undercover stings?

Don Johnson played the lead role of Sonny Crockett, and his salary dispute led to him being one of the highest-paid actors on television. He was making so much money that he turned down lead roles in the hit movies "The Untouchables" and "Die Hard."

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