For about 60 years (give or take), televisions have lit up living rooms across America. When they first arrived in the marketplace, the typical cost for a 17" TV was $199 and if you really wanted to splurge, you could invest in an Admiral Home Entertainment System, pricing out at $599. It came with a 21-, 24-, or 27-inch screen television in one of its compartments and a full-sized record player in another.
Today we have televisions in all shapes and sizes, from the Samsung "The Wall" LED screen television measuring 146" and costing a little over $100,000, to most smartphones from which you could stream your favorite television shows. You could say we've come a long way with our innovations.
Like the television itself, our TV shows had modest beginnings. Many of the stations didn't want to push too many envelopes. However, with current television shows, it seems like anything goes. Gone are the portrayals of the perfect family. We now have shows that showcase how a real family acts as well as what defines a family. In dramas, darker subjects, like assault, murder, and addictions are addressed realistically.
In almost all cases, a couple is centering these happenstances. While many of their storylines are memorable, do you think you can remember these couples' names? Take the quiz to find out!
In her breakout role, the now iconic Mary Tyler Moore revolutionized television with one simple move: she had Laura Petrie wear capri pants. Her reason? She said, "I had Laura wear pants, because I said, ‘Women don't wear full-skirted dresses to vacuum in.'"
John Stamos (the actor who portrayed Uncle Jesse on "Full House") requested that his name be changed from Cochran to Katsopolis after the first season to reflect his Greek heritage.
In its first groundbreaking season, "American Horror Story: Murder House" sparked a romance between troubled teens Tate Langdon and Violet Harmon. Both the actors behind these two roles (Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga) have performed in more than one season of this horror anthology, with Peters appearing in every season to date.
Staying true to the comic book, Glenn Rhee's death was one of the most brutal deaths televised on "The Walking Dead." Many fans expressed outrage and several boycotted the show because of the excessive violence involved in Rhee's death.
The actor behind the tyrannical Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) doesn't need a stunt double when it comes to playing the music Lucious Lyon creates in "Empire." Howard is a self-taught musician (piano and guitar) and has released one album, in addition to the music on the show.
Kirk Cameron and Chelsea Noble met on the set of his sister's sitcom, "Full House." After meeting her, Kirk insisted that Chelsea play a recurring role, Mike Seaver's girlfriend and eventual wife. This role became familiar to Chelsea: Kirk and Chelsea married one year before the final season of "Growing Pains."
During its 41-year stint, Susan Lucci captured our hearts on "All My Children" as Erica Kane, who had an unquenchable thirst for men. Even though she had many bed partners, only six had made the cut to become her husband, including a set of brothers! You've gotta admit, Erica had game!
When "General Hospital" was threatened with cancellation, producers decided to center their show around Laura Webber, a younger supporting character. Turns out this panned out. When Laura Webber married Luke Spencer, more Americans tuned into that episode than the royal wedding between Prince Charles and Princess Diana!
After "Seinfeld," both Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine) and Patrick Warburton (Puddy) have had great success. Louis-Dreyfus acted in a few other sitcoms, including "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Veep." Warburton has voiced to a few animated features, one of the most recognizable is that of Joe Swanson from "Family Guy," and he is also Lemony Snicket in Netflix's adaptation of "A Series of Unfortunate Events."
While both Kit Harrington and Emilia Clark play serious characters Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen on "Game of Thrones," off-screen, these two are goofy best friends. Images of them goofing off and having fun litter the Internet, so you can imagine how awkward filming their love scene could be!
Some may not realize it, but "I Love Lucy" had a couple of groundbreaking moments. With Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz being married off-screen, the two of them starred in the first popular show to depict a mixed-race marriage. Additionally, when Lucy became pregnant with her second child, CBS was against showing her pregnant body and even using the word "pregnant" to describe the condition Ball was in. Although this was not the first pregnancy on television, the amount of coverage this one episode had and the increase in viewership illustrated how other means of media could be used to push up ratings.
After three seasons of sexual tension, Madelyn “Maddie” Hayes and David Addison Jr. consummated their relationship on "Moonlighting." After the two leads got together, the show started to lose steam and was eventually canceled after two more seasons. Additionally, the industry has a term called "The Moonlighting Curse," which many use to describe the phenomenon that shows face when two leads with sexual tension end up consummating their relationship and, in turn, prompts a drop in viewership that cancels the series.
Like "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons" was a revolutionary television show. Why? Because it featured the first successful families of color on television. A majority of the cast was black, and it focused on issues as deep as race relations with an honesty that had not present for television audiences before. In addition to this, the success of "The Jeffersons" proved that Americans could identify with many types of families, regardless of color.
Many of Dr. Who's companions have very little life outside the TARDIS while traveling with him, however, Amy Pond's story was vastly different. She dated (and eventually married) Rory Williams and experienced coupled life with the doctor. After being taken back in time by a weeping angel, Amy witnesses her husband's death, becomes an author, and dies of old age.
With a strong female lead, "Murphy Brown" was a show ahead of its time. Murphy, the lead character, had no filter and would often rib her coworkers including, Miles Silverman and Corky Sherwood, about almost every little thing. Sherwood was a stereotypical bimbo type character and Silverman started out as a neurotic yuppy obsessed with his success. During the show's 10 seasons, both of these stereotypes had the opportunity to show the many facets of these characters, proving that first impressions aren't necessarily everything.
"The Brady Bunch" had quite a distinctive first to credit to the show. Even though it isn't actually the first show to feature a blended family (that honor goes to "Make Room for Daddy"), it was the first show to start out with a blended family. It wasn't until season five that the family on "Make Room for Daddy" became a blended one.
Ray and Debra Barone from "Everybody Loves Raymond" were featured on Harper's Bazaar's "The 52 Greatest TV Couples Of All Time" list in 2017. How could they not? Living across from your parents could be a nightmarish situation, so you may as well have a laugh at it!
"The Addams Family" was a two-season sitcom born in the 1960s that had such a big cult following, it was made into a film. Released in 1991, "The Addams Family" was reborn with Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia playing Morticia and Gomez Addams, respectively.
Everyone knows that soap opera stars work incredibly hard, but did you know that both Linda Evans (Krystal Carrington) and John Forsythe (Blake Carrington) were on more than 200 episodes? "Dynasty" had 217 episodes: Evans performed in 209 and Forsythe performed in all 217. Talk about dedication!
After their run on "Beverly Hills, 90210," both Shannen Doherty and Luke Perry have had some success: Doherty went on to star in the witchy drama, "Charmed," however she got killed off the shows when she became a little too difficult to work with. Perry is currently a supporting character on "Riverdale," a teen drama focused around Archie and his gang of friends.
There was no doubt that in the late 1990s, several teens were glued to their televisions loving the vampire slaying entourage in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." What was amazing about the show wasn't its high caliber acting, but the fact that they portrayed a lesbian relationship in a mature way, showing the natural development of a relationship instead of using it as a ploy for ratings (something that was popular at the time).
After his stint on "Lost Girl," Kris Holden-Ried, who portrayed angst-ridden werewolf, Dyson, found fame in other pursuits, including a recurring role on "Vikings" and appearing for a couple of episodes on CW's "Arrow."
Set in the 1980s, "The Goldbergs" has one of the best settings ever: a suburban home with tons of '80s memorabilia for fans to salivate over and a family that is easy to relate to. Many of the episodes in the series are based on the videos and memories of the show's creator, Adam Goldberg. If you watch the credits, you'll be treated to the home video of what the actual Goldberg family members look like.
One of the industry's most famous slang actually had its birth on the set of "Happy Days." When Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli water-skied over a shark, the term, "Jumping the Shark" was created. Its meaning? When a television show starts to pander to outlandish actions for ratings, which, in turn, causes a show to go off the rails, sometimes unable to recover. So when you hear someone say that a show has "jumped the shark," it isn't a good thing.
Does the actress portraying Donna Stone look familiar? She should: Donna Reed starred beside James Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life" which has become one of Hollywood's most treasured Christmas films.
After "Married with Children," Ed O'Neil (Al) and Katey Segal (Peg) have found success playing other television parents. Ed O'Neill is currently portraying the patriarch of the Pritchett family, Jay Pritchett, on "Modern Family." Katey Segal played a mother in "8 Simple Rules," a comedy featuring the late John Ritter, and the drama, "Sons of Anarchy," a show revolving around a motorcycle club.
"Riverdale," the newest addition to the Archie Comics franchise, follows Archie and his gang through the trials and tribulations of high school. While many of the teens are just starting their careers, some of the supporting cast is very familiar to both the small and big screens: Luke Perry (Beverly Hills, 90210) and Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles) portray Archie's parents and Mark Consuelos (All My Children) and Marisol Nichols (Orange is the New Black) are the wealthy and successful Lodges.
What do an intergalactic superhero and a dinosaur trainer have in common? Both roles were played by Chris Pratt after he had played the lovable Andy Dwyer on "Parks and Recreation." But things haven't always been so sunny for Pratt. Before becoming an actor, he was homeless and living in a van on the beach in Maui.
Exploring the minutia of the corporate lifestyle, "The Office" became a staple of the American household in 2005 after Ricky Gervais had success with the same concept in England. For the American version, comedians Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, and John Krasinski helped create some of the best comedic moments on the show.
Considered to be one of the best dramas ever to air on television, "Breaking Bad" held audiences captive while taking them on a journey through Walter White's last years of his life. Before "Breaking Bad," Bryan Cranston (Walter White) was another notable husband and father: for six seasons, he played Hal Wilkerson, the patriarch of the Wilkerson family, in "Malcolm in the Middle." Talk about being versatile!
Even though the romance between Sam Winchester and his demonic love, Ruby, is long over, the romance between Jared Padalecki and Genevieve Padalecki is still going strong. After meeting on the set of "Supernatural," the two were married and have three kids together.
"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" ran for seven seasons and featured a strong female lead, who while she was looking for romance, it wasn't the center of Mary Richards' world. Most of the time, when a situation arose, her friends helped through any of her crises, both in the world of romance and in life in general. This show was such a successful show, that there were two spin-offs: "Rhoda" and "Lou Grant." Both of these shows ran for four years, with "Rhoda" running beside and slightly after "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" from 1974 until 1978 and "Lou Grant" running after "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" from 1977 until 1982.
For seven seasons, "Scandal" became one of the hit shows created by Shonda Rhimes. Other shows produced by Shondaland (Rhimes's production company) include legal drama, "How to Get Away with Murder," medical dramas "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice," and firehouse drama, "Station 19."
Canceled after only one season, "My So Called Life" featured a couple of breakaway stars. Claire Danes, who played Angela and was considered the lead, would go on to star in Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo & Juliet," opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as star in the hit drama, "Homeland." Jared Leto (Jordan Catalano) made it to the big screen, winning a supporting actor Academy Award for his work in "Dallas Buyers Club."
When it came to creating the outgoing and massive personality that now is known as Cameron Tucker, Eric Stonestreet looked to someone familiar: his mother. He is often seen channeling her mannerisms and vocal inflections on the small screen, delighting millions of viewers.
During its 11-season run, Sam Malone had what seemed to be a revolving door when it came to relationships, bragging about his conquests to the other barflies on "Cheers." This, of course, included uptight Diane Chambers, who eventually caved in to his advances and had an on again off again relationship with a heartbreaking end.
"Frasier," a spin-off from the hit comedy, "Cheers," follows Dr. Frasier Crane, who after being rejected by both Diane Chambers and Lilith Sternin, ends up living with family in Seattle, who included Dr. Niles Crane. Niles, who had fallen for Daphne early in the series, was married to Maris, a character who is never seen onscreen but is continuously maligned by him. Even after getting a divorce in season three, it would take four more seasons for Daphne and Niles to get together. The best things come to those who wait!
"Laverne and Shirley" did something that not many spin-off shows do: eclipse the original show in its popularity. The girls actually debuted as a pair on "Happy Days" as the companions for Richie Cunningham and The Fonz. Both Penny Marshall (Laverne) and Cindy Williams (Shirley) performed so well on the screen together that the producers demanded a script be worked up for the two to have as their own show.
For 11 years, audiences watched the trials and tribulations of the Winslow family on the sitcom, "Family Matters." One of these tribulations included the obsessive crush that Steve Erkel had on Laura Winslow. What was considered romantic gestures in the 1990s would now be considered stalking. In one instance, Steve created a cooler clone to sweep Laura off her feet. But at the end of the series, Laura does end up with Steve. Guess persistence pays off!
After their time on "The Wonder Years," both Fred Savage (Kevin) and Danica McKellar (Winnie) went on to various successes. Savage has produced and directed several episodes of various comedies, including "Party Down," "Modern Family," and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." McKellar, on the other hand, found an additional love after the show: math! She even has a mathematical physics theorem, the Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem. Talk about beauty AND brains!