Sitcoms are one of the world’s favorite TV genres. Some sitcoms you just can’t get enough of, others continue far past their best – but if shows make it into double figures it’s because audiences keep watching. Every show comes to an end eventually, but these shows were truly long-lasting …
10. Happy Days – 255
This homage to the rock ‘n’ roll era made a star of Henry Winkler and his too-cool-for-school character Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli. Happy Days also owed its success to performances by support actors like Marion Ross, Tom Bosley and Al Molinaro. Ron Howard went on to become am Oscar-winning director (for A Beautiful Mind) and the father of actress Bryce Dallas Howard. Happy Days produced several spin-offs, including Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy, and Joanie loves Chachi.
9. Two and a Half Men – 262
On screen since 2003, Two and a Half Men survived the acrimonious departure of Charlie Sheen thanks to his off-screen shenanigans and attitude towards the makers of the program. Did he choose to leave or was he pushed? Either way, his replacement by Ashton Kutcher led many viewers to conclude that the show was done. However, 4 more season were made.
8. Married … with Children – 263
Married … with Children managed to keep its main cast intact throughout all eleven seasons. The dysfunctional but hilarious Bundy family consists of weary shoe salesman Al, his lazy wife Peg, stupid daughter Kelly and useless son Bud – all constantly sparring at each other.
7. Frasier – 264
Who would have thought that a spin-off could be even better and more successful than its parent show? Frasier owes no small part of its success to the wonderful casting of Frasier himself (Kelsey Grammer), David Hyde Pierce as Frasier’s brother (and fellow psychiatrist) Niles, and John Mahoney as their father Martin, more than ably supported by Jane Leeves.
6. The Beverly Hillbillies – 274
Comedy finds a rich source of material in putting people in an unfamiliar setting, as with this family of hillbillies who move to Beverly Hills after finding oil on their land. Like many a TV series, it was turned into a movie some years later – like many movie remakes, not a patch on the original.
5. Cheers – 275
Many viewers loved Frasier even more than Cheers, thanks to great characters like the sweet but dim Woody, Cliff, Norm, and acerbic waitress Carla. Plus there was Frasier and his wife Lilith, Coach, and of course bar owner Sam. At 275 episodes Cheers just beat the spin-off for longevity.
4. The Donna Reed Show – 275
This wholesome family sitcom followed in the footsteps of the groundbreaking I Love Lucy by putting a female character at the center. The show ran for 8 years. Check it out if you love the 50s lifestyle and era.
3. Make Room For Daddy/ The Danny Thomas Show – 351
One of the earliest sitcoms was this series based around a nightclub singer trying to do what is now a very familiar trope: balance work with the demands of his family. Stretching to 11 seasons, the show took an unusually honest look at the realities of family life.
2. My Three Sons – 378
Before the Brady Bunch, there was My Three Sons, which unusually for the time featured a widowed single father raising his family. Interestingly, star Fred McMurray always shot his scenes first to allow him to film other work; his scenes would later be edited in with others.
1. The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet – 425
You may not have heard of the longest-running show, but it lasted an astonishing 14 seasons and over 400 episodes. Although it was another family sitcom, what made it stand out is that the stars were a real-life family. The show began as a radio program before it made the transition to TV. The TV version on its own ran to 425 episodes; with 402 radio shows on top, it was a truly enduring show
This list has to be revised for ‘The Big Bang Theory’ which had 281 episodes.