Discover the most popular TV show the year you were born

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1980: Dallas

Dallas was a prime-time soap opera that aired on CBS from 1978 until 1991. The show followed a wealthy Texas family named the Ewings, who owned an oil company and were constantly feuding. The show was known for its cliffhangers, such as the infamous “Who shot J.R.?” plotline. The series also became known for its sex appeal and its portrayal of wealth and power struggles between its characters, and the longtime rivalry between the Ewings and the Barnes family.

When the show first began, it was aired on Saturday nights and struggled in the ratings, but when it was moved to Sunday nights, and then Fridays, ratings picked up. By 1980, the show’s fourth season was #1 in the ratings, and continued to occupy either the first or second spots for the next four seasons. It wasn’t until season 10 that the show finally dropped out of the top ten, and then the ratings continued to decline until it ended in 1991 after 14 seasons.

Over its 14 seasons, the show was nominated for many Emmys and Golden Globes. Barbara Bel Geddes, who played Ellie Ewing, took home an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series as well as a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama. The 1980 episode “Who Done It” remains the second highest rated prime-time episode ever, and Dallas is one of the longest-running full-hour dramas in prime time American TV history.