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1978-1979 Television Season

 The top five shows of 1978-79 were Angie, Happy Days, Mork &  Mindy, Three's Company, with the most popular being Laverne & Shirley. In fact, a nine out of the top 10 shows were sitcoms and there were only two dramas in the top 20! With disco ruling the airwaves, it is clear that most people just wanted to have a good time in 1978.

ABC had the top five shows and NBC's highest entry was #14. NBC also aired one of the worst and most expensive flops in television history in the early months of 1979, Supertrain. (See below for the list of the top 30 programs.)

Shows that began before 8:00 p.m. on Sunday (and therefore not on our grid below) include The Hardy Boys Mysteries, 60 Minutes, and the Wonderful World of Disney. Select a show below to read all about it and to share your memories!

Prime Time TV Schedule for 1978-1979
    8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
Shows that aired on Mondays ABC Welcome Back, Kotter Operation Petticoat Monday Night Football
CBS WKRP in Cincinnati People M*A*S*H One Day at a Time Lou Grant
NBC Little House on the Prairie NBC Monday Night Movie
Shows that aired on Tuesdays ABC Happy Days Laverne & Shirley Three's Company Taxi Starsky and Hutch
CBS Paper Chase CBS Tuesday Night Movie
NBC Grandpa Goes to Washington Big Event
Shows that aired on Wednesdays ABC Eight is Enough Charlie's Angels Vega$
CBS Jeffersons In the Beginning CBS Wednesday Night Movie
NBC Life and Times of Grizzly Adams Oregon Trail Big Hawaii
Shows that aired on Thursdays ABC Mork & Mindy What's Happening Barney Miller Soap Family
CBS Waltons Hawaii Five-O Barnaby Jones
NBC Project U.F.O. Quincy, M.E. W.E.B.
Shows that aired on Fridays ABC Donny and Marie ABC Friday Night Movie
CBS Wonder Woman Incredible Hulk Flying High
NBC Waverly Wonders Who's Watching the Kids Rockford Files Eddie Capra Mysteries
Shows that aired on Saturdays ABC Carter Country Apple Pie Love Boat Fantasy Island
CBS Rhoda Good Times American Girls Dallas
NBC CHiPS [specials] Sword of Justice
Shows that aired on Sundays ABC Battlestar Galactica ABC Sunday Night Movie
CBS Mary All in the Family Alice Kaz
NBC Big Event Lifeline
    8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30

Note: Television seasons have generally begun in September of each year. And new shows often do not last the entire season. The shows below began the new season but did not necessarily run all the way through to summer reruns.
Continued - Indicates show began before the time period indicated. 

1978-79 Ratings

Rank Show Network Estimated
1. Laverne & Shirley ABC 22,722,500
2. Three's Company ABC 22,573,500
3. Mork & Mindy ABC 21,307,000
4. Happy Days ABC 21,307,000
5. Angie ABC 19,891,500
6. 60 Minutes CBS 18,997,500
7. M*A*S*H CBS 18,923,000
8. The Ropers ABC 18,774,000
9. All in the Family CBS 18,550,500
10. Taxi ABC 18,550,500
11. Eight is Enough ABC 18,476,000
12. Charlie's Angels ABC 18,178,000
13. Alice CBS 17,284,000
14. Little House on the Prairie NBC 17,209,500
15. ABC Sunday Night Movie ABC 16,837,000
16. Barney Miller ABC 16,837,000
17. The Love Boat ABC 16,464,500
18. One Day at a Time CBS 16,092,000
19. Soap ABC 15,868,500
20. The Dukes of Hazzard CBS 15,645,000
21. NBC Monday Night Movie NBC 15,570,500
22. Fantasy Island ABC 15,496,000
23. Vega$ ABC 15,347,000
24. ABC Monday Night Movie ABC 15,272,500
25. CHiPS NBC 15,123,500
26. Stockard Channing in Just Friends CBS 15,049,000
27. Diff'rent Strokes NBC 14,825,500
28. Monday Night Football ABC 14,751,000
29. What's Happening ABC 14,751,000
30. Lou Grant CBS 14,676,500
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