I’m feeling that the end of the year is definitely list time.  I’m getting all listy with this tv-goodness.  So, here goes my next list of the 10 Longest Running TV shows.  (Can you tell I have way too much free time on my hands?)

1. Gunsmoke – 1955-1975

2. Lassie – 1954-1972

3. Death Valley Days – 1952-1970

4. The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet – 1952-1966

5. Bonanza – 1959-1973

6. The Simpsons – 1989-present (and still going with more than 400 episodes AND a movie)

7. Law & Order – 1990-present (and still running strong with over 390 episodes and counting)

8. My Three Sons – 1960-1972

9. Dallas – 1978-1991

10. Knots Landing – 1979-1993

Did you see what I just saw?  The first half of the list are all shows that began early-mid 1950’s and ran through the 70’s.  My question is “why”?  Was television really that much better during that time period?  Or was it that there just wasn’t any new material entering the market, so shows had better stamina.  Keep in mind that these days, networks rarely gives new programming (in the form of scripted dramas and sitcoms) the opportunity to gain momentum and develop a niche.  So it comes as  no suprise that shows that can’t make it past a pilot, let alone a first season, rarely survive.

Just a thought.