Discover the most popular TV show the year you were born

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British actress Joan Collins and her ‘Dynasty’ TV series co-star John Forsythe. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

1984: Dynasty

Dynasty was a prime-time soap opera that aired on ABC from 1981 to 1989. The show was conceived by the network to compete with the huge successful show Dallas, which was airing on CBS. Similarly to Dallas, Dynasty was about two feuding families, oil tycoons the Carringtons and the Colbys, who live dramatic, luxurious lives in Denver, Colorado.

The show struggled a bit at the start, with the ratings ranking it outside of the top 25 shows. But once a revamp for season two brought in Joan Collins as the devilish and scheming Alexis, the show started moving on up. The show’s ratings were shooting up, and by the fifth season in 1984, it hit the #1 spot in the ratings. Unfortunately, it was short-lived, and by season seven, it was already out of the top 20, and got canceled after its ninth season ended in 1989.

Despite the show’s fleeting ratings success, it was still a huge hit for years. The show was syndicated on network television, and had several spin-offs and reunion specials. Audiences loved the catty fights and dramatic cliffhangers that came with a soap opera, which is clearly why shows like Dynasty and Dallas were successful in the first place.