Discover the most popular TV show the year you were born

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1989: Roseanne

We all know the dumpster fire that has since become the Roseanne franchise in 2018, but let’s go back to 1988, when it was a fresh, hilarious new show on ABC, and we didn’t know what a monster Roseanne Barr was. When it premiered in 1988, Roseanne revolved around the Conner family, a working-class American family just trying to make ends meet, who all lovingly roast each other every chance they get.

Audiences loved the show because the Conners — and especially the wise-cracking Roseanne — were one of the most realistic depictions of an American family on the air. The first season was second in the ratings, and went straight to number one by season two. The show stayed in the top five for its first six seasons, and didn’t leave the top 15 until season 8. The show racked up big-time nominations almost immediately. Roseanne Barr and Laurie Metcalf both received Emmys for Roseanne, and Barr and John Goodman also won Golden Globes for their performances as Roseanne and Dan in 1993, when the series also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.

Roseanne has remained one of the best television sitcoms in history, ranked on many “greatest” lists over the years, and we won’t tarnish its good legacy by bringing up the (short-lived, albeit successful) reboot, whose fate is still up in the air.