Longest-Lasting Television Shows
- American Bandstand (37 years) was an American music-performance show that aired in various versions from 1952 to 1989 and was hosted from 1956 until its final season by Dick Clark, who also served as producer. The show featured teenagers dancing to Top 40 music introduced by Clark. The show's popularity helped Clark become an American media mogul and inspired similar long-running music programs, such as Soul Train and Top the Pops.
- Captain Kangaroo (29 years) a children’s television show aired weekday mornings on the CBS for nearly 30 years, from October 3, 1955, until December 8, 1984, making it the longest-running nationally broadcast children's television program of its day. In 1986, the American Program Service (now American Public Television) integrated some newly produced segments into reruns of past episodes, distributing the newer version of the series until 1993.
- The Ed Sullivan Show (23 years) aired from 1948 until 1971 and changed the landscape of American television. Sullivan’s stage was home to iconic performances by groundbreaking artists from rock ‘n’ roll, comedy, novelty, pop music, politics, sports, opera and more. Historic performances included The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones and The Doors; sensational Motown acts by The Jackson 5, Supremes and The Temptations; hilarious stand-up comedy acts by Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, George Carlin and Carol Burnett; unforgettable Broadway performances by the stars of musicals like My Fair Lady and West Side Story.
- Gunsmoke (20 years) is an icon of American western television shows. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West. The central character is lawman Marshall Matt Dillon played by James Arness. The television series ran for 20 seasons from 1955 to 1975, and lasted for 635 episodes. At the end of its run in 1975, Los Angeles Times columnist Cecil Smith wrote: “Gunsmoke was the dramatization of the American epic legend of the west. Our own Iliad and Odyssey, created from standard elements of the dime novel and the pulp western as romanticized by Ned Buntline, Bret Harte and Mark Twain. It was ever the stuff of legend.”
- What's My Line? (17 years) was a panel game show that originally ran in the United States on the CBS Television Network from 1950 to 1967, with several international versions and subsequent U.S. revivals. The game required celebrity panelists to question a contestant in order to determine his or her occupation, with panelists occasionally being called on to identify a celebrity “mystery guest” with specificity. It is the longest-running U.S primetime network television game show. Moderated by John Daly and with panelists Dorothy Kilgallen, Arlene Francis and Bennett Cerf, What’s My Line won three Emmy Awards for “Best Quiz or Audience Participation Show” in 1952, 1953, and 1958 and the Golden Globe for Best TV Show in 1962. In 2013, TV Guide ranked it #9 in its list of the 60 greatest game shows ever.
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