This list has covered a lot of classic TV, but no list of sitcom records would be complete without mentioning the show that blew the doors off the entire genre: “I Love Lucy.”
In the early days of television, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz completely revolutionized the newborn genre, and they were rewarded for it by another new invention: the Nielsen classification system. Created by market analyst Arthur C. Nielsen, these assessments have been used to measure audience shares for the entire history of television and are still used to discuss a show’s popularity to this day – although in an age of new media, their continued relevance is debatable.
While the exact calculation that comes with Nielsen ratings has changed over the years, it is undeniable that the audience share received by early television programs will never be matched again, and the highest Nielsen rating in history belongs to another season of “I Love Lucy,” which produced an earthquake 67.3 rating – which means that on average 67.3% of all American households equipped with televisions had the television tuned to “I Love Lucy.”
It is a dizzying feat that has not been repeated since the 1952-1953 television season and will by no means be repeated in the future. Quarrel about everything else on this list, if you will, as long as you acknowledge that this particular post remains with “Lucy” for the remainder of the recorded time.