TV Show Fact
TV Show Fact

42 Entertaining TV Series Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published February 27, 2020
  • More television shows are being made every year. In 2017, 487 original programs were broadcast in the United States, compared to 288 in 2012.[10]
  • The Simpsons is one of the longest-running scripted television series in history, with 654 episodes so far. The show began in 1989 and is still going as of 2019.[20]
  • One of the most influential TV series of all time, Star Trek broke several boundaries, including showing the first interracial kiss on television—between Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura—in the 1968 episode "Plato's Stepchildren."[22]
  • Netflix spent roughly $12 billion developing original television shows and movies in 2018, a figure that increased to roughly $15 billion in 2019.[19]
  • Game of Thrones, Band of Brothers, and The Pacific are among the most expensive television series ever made. An average episode of The Pacific cost $20 million to produce.[6]
  • NBC's live comedy show Saturday Night Live has won more Emmys than any other show.[12]
  • The four male stars of Big Bang Theory are the highest paid television actors, as of 2018.[13]
  • Arguably the most culturally influential American sit-com ever created, Seinfeld ran from 1989 to 1998 and is still making money for its creators and stars.[16]
  • I Love Lucy made waves in 1952 when it depicted a pregnant Lucille Ball. Prior to this, television show executives were hesitant to show anything that hinted at sex.[22]
  • I Love Lucy
    Lucille Ball was emblematic of small-screen success

  • Jerry Seinfeld refused to do a 10th season of his incredibly popular sitcom, turning down an offered $5 million per episode. He wanted the show to go out on a high note.[16]
  • Television is becoming more international with the advent of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. The first German-language program produced by Netflix, Dark, is currently the highest-rated TV show in Germany.[7]
  • Several products and businesses featured on the TV series Seinfeld experienced huge success after their appearance on the show, including Snapple, Junior Mints, and Tom's Restaurant in NYC.[8]
  • Fred and Wilma Flinstone, of the cartoon The Flinstones, were the first married couple portrayed on television sharing a bed, in the early 1960s.[4]
  • TV Show Popularity
    A good TV show can bring people together
  • TV shows have risen in popularity over the years. The average American spends three hours a day watching TV. The advent of streaming services has given rise to a new phenomenon: binge watching.[2]
  • The popular kids' show Sesame Street has been teaching kids lessons about numbers, vocabulary, and kindness for 50 years.[21]
  • Game of Thrones made television history with "Baelor," the final episode of the first season, by killing off Ned Stark (played by Sean Bean), the main character of the show.[22]
  • For a long time, TV producers were hesitant to kill off main characters. The drama/comedy show M*A*S*H, set during the Korean War, broke through that barrier in "Abyssinia/Henry," when Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake's plane was shot down.[22]
  • Ellen DeGeneres's sitcom Ellen was one of the first television series to feature a lesbian protagonist.[22]
  • The fan-favorite "Soup Nazi" character from Seinfeld was based on Al Yeganeh, a NYC chef. After the Soup Nazi episode aired (which Yeganeh reportedly hates), his business increased wildly.[8]
  • One of NBC's biggest hit shows, "Cheers," was originally a flop, ranked 77 out of 100 shows in 1982, the year it debuted.[23]
  • The first television drama was "The Queen's Messenger." The 40-minute show was aired by General Electric's station "WGY Television" on September 11, 1928.[11]
  • Seinfeld has earned $3.1 billion since entering syndication in 1995.[8]
  • Seinfeld Facts
    This logo, accompanied by a thrumming bass guitar, are synonymous with 90's pop culture

  • The Sopranos was an influential show in many regards, one of which was its popularization of the "anti-hero." In the episode "College," Tony murders an enemy on-screen and ushers in a new age of glorifying villains.[22]
  • Many shows today feature "anti-heroes," or villains who serve as the main character. Such shows include Dexter, Breaking Bad, and The Sopranos.[22]
  • Survivor helped to popularize what is now a staple of American television: the reality TV show.[22]
  • Kelsey Grammer made $1.3 million per episode of the hit show Frasier.[6]
  • Around 41 million households tuned in to watch season three of Netflix's wildly popular sci-fi show Stranger Things.[6]
  • Mary Tyler Moore
    A single female in the workplace was out of the norm
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a trailblazer in bringing feminist issues onto the small screen, depicting Moore as a single female striving to make it in a male-dominated workplace.[3]
  • TNT spends roughly $9 million per episode on the crime drama The Alienist.[6]
  • Looney Tunes was created in 1930, in direct competition with Mickey Mouse cartoons. A second series, Merrie Melodies, soon followed. Both shows feature characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig.[15]
  • Since the first superhero television series, The Lone Ranger, appeared in 1949, there have been over 100 superhero series produced. Most of these series are based on comic books published by rivals DC Comics and Marvel Comics.[1]
  • Game of Thrones has the dubious honor of being the most pirated television show ever made.[9]
  • In 1992, the Looney Tunes masterpiece "What's Opera Doc?" featuring Richard Wagner's The Ring cycle, was added to the Library of Congress's National Film Registry.[15]
  • Looney Tunes Facts
    Blanc is widely considered to be one of the most gifted voice actors ever
  • Voice actor Mel Blanc did virtually all of the voices in the animated series Looney Tunes.[15]
  • Ricky Gervais' hit show The Office was so popular that it spawned remakes in over 80 other countries.[15]
  • The extremely popular British sci-fi television series Doctor Who ran from 1963 to 1989 and was re-booted in 2005; the title character, Dr. Who, has so far been played by 13 different actors, including female Jodi Whittaker, during its run.[5]
  • Television series featuring superheroes have grown in popularity over the past few decades, with over 70% of superhero t.v. shows made so far appearing after 1990.[1]
  • The soap opera Guiding Light has been on the air for 57 years. If you add in the many years it aired via radio, its total is 72 years.[21]
  • The original pilot for Game of Thrones was judged to be so bad by the studio that the series was nearly cancelled.[14]
  • The rights to popular television shows are coveted possessions for streaming networks. In 2019, HBO acquired the rights to Friends, which will move from Netflix to the new HBO Max streaming service.[18]
  • Phil Harris of Deadliest Catch was the first person to die on a reality TV show; he suffered a stroke on his crab-fishing boat while filming.[17]
  • The singer RM of the Koren pop group BTS learned English in part by watching the sitcom Friends on DVD.[24]

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