Quiz: Changing the TV Game

By: Staff

Which of the following dramas was the first to pull a plot through an entire season, rather than tying a neat bow on the bad guys every 60 minutes?

Could an audience be trusted to stick with a plot for more than a week? "Hill Street Blues" proved that the answer is yes.

Which pioneering comedy show is responsible for masterpieces including "wink-wink, nod-nod," "The Lumberjack Song" and "The Parrot Sketch"?

Always off-putting and at times sublime, while Monty Python found only niche viewership in the U.S., it forever changed what we think is funny.

Which kids' show talked on air about the real-world death of one of its main characters?

After consulting with leading child psychologists, "Sesame Street" offered the reason, "Because. Just because," as an explanation to Big Bird of the beloved Mr. Hooper's death.

What's the longest-running American prime-time entertainment series, past or present?

Destined to go well over 500 episodes, "The Simpsons" is timeless, ageless and everlasting. It set the precedent for many adult cartoons that have followed.

Which non-sporting television event earned the most viewers?

As popular as the other two programs were, the series finale of the drama/comedy "M*A*S*H" tops the list with more than 50 million viewers.

Which of these was the longest-running sitcom with primarily African-American characters?

It's a close contest! At 253 episodes, "The Jeffersons" nudges out "Family Matters" (215 episodes) and "The Cosby Show" (201 episodes).

What was the first song broadcast by MTV?

The Buggles' hit "Video Killed the Radio Star" was first, followed by Pat Benatar's "You Better Run" and Rod Stewart's "She Won't Dance With Me."

What was the average cost of a 30-second TV commercial during the 2010 Super Bowl?

GM, one of 2010's advertisers, described the $3 million price tag as a bargain, with the broadcast of the game reaching more than 100 million viewers.

Which influential drama was known for its long, strolling, one-shot scenes?

Creator Aaron Sorkin's rapid-fire dialogue in "The West Wing" made politics sexy and topics like international trade agreements riveting.

Whose famous sign-off was the phrase, "Take care of yourself, and each other."

While it might seem like a nice phrase for a newscaster to sign off with, this one actually came from "The Jerry Springer Show." After an hour of hair pulling, chair throwing and enraged ex-girlfriends, it's hard not to see the sign-off as a touch ironic.

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About This Quiz

Do you know how the TV programs you love, hate and love to hate came to be? Take this quiz to learn more about some of the shows and TV phenomena that changing the face of television forever.

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