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1985 TV Critics Poll


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In order: The top 15 were MTM, All in Family, I Love Lucy, MASH, Dick Van Dyke, Honeymooners, Barney Miller, Cheers, Bob Newhart, Taxi, Phil Silvers, Andy Griffith, Get Smart, Soap and United States (United who???).
I never got into "Soap"'s humor.  "United States" must have been a short-lived critical success/ratings failure that was pretty recent in 1985.

Also listed: the actual responses from the individual TV columnists polled--which also includes their WORST 5 list.  The most common is "My Mother the Car" which was not as bad as its reputation.   Also making TWO individual lists of worst: "The Mothers In Law"!! (including the LA Herald-Examiner) Maybe they were confusing it with "My Mother In Law, the Car".

#7 "best"  Barney Miller made one critics worst list.


"Green Acres" made one critic's best list and another's worst.

I was glad to see one critic acknowledged Burns and Allen on their best list because I think it's under-remembered and under-appreciated.

Luckily this was the season BEFORE Life with Lucy.
Other notable worst entries: Ken Back of The Tennessean didn't like "Maude".  Ken Clark of the Chicago Tribune: Ozzie and Harriet. Jerry Coffey of the Ft. Worth Star: "The Debby Reynolds Show". David Cuthbert of the New Orleans Times "I Married Joan" Gus Stevens of San Diego "Car 54" and Tom Shales of Washington Post "My Little Margie". 
Lackluster ratings of first year shows that were renewed:
Dick Van Dyke 80th place (no wonder they wanted to cancel it)
MASH 46th
Cheers 75th
Barney Miller 70th
Didn't realize the MTM's last year did this badly; 39th place (which makes Here's Lucy's last season 29th place look better).

Also Bob Newhart's last two season 45th and 67th place.


Somehow this author was able to get ratings info beyond the top 30.

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Yes, I love this.  I remember finding it hard to enjoy Barney Miller, the set was so depressing.  Mary had such LOW ratings in her last season?  Wow, never saw that one coming.  I sometimes wonder why certain shows just go on and on and are just terrible.  I was offended when I read that about WINGS which I enjoyed but now say it myself about crap like According to Jim, Rules of Engagement and the currently running albeit in it's final season, How I Met your Mother.  I watched Margie, Mother the car and most everything back then but I often wonder why some shows never did well in syndication and then just disappeared. 

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I dunno, I was going to say that maybe BOTH shows were one joke shows, the basic premise never changed, witch married to a human and the Clampetts cannot get used to life in Beverly Hills?  You could say that the basic joke in I Love Lucy, that Lucy was always wanting to break into the act was focused on other things all the time, having a baby, going to Hollywood, then to Europe, moving to the country etc . . . Personaly though, my top ten includes the Hillbillies and while I would certainly never miss a chance to watch Bewitched and watched it religiously back then, I can't watch it now because it's just never on anywhere here.  And don't give me that crap about just getting it on dvd, I already have too many shows I just never want to watch.  If I never got the Dick Van Dyke show because of its steep price, I'm certainly not going to get stuff that was always the same like Happy Days, Andy Griffith, Doris Day, Bewitched etc . . . Now I only want shows I know I will want to watch regularly all the time, Phil Silvers???  Gimme a break, oh and I wouldn't want Give me a break if I got it free.  LOL!

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