Discover the most popular TV show the year you were born

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HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 22: Actor Burt Reynolds speaks during a Q&A session at the Los Angeles premiere of “The Last Movie Star” at the Egyptian Theatre on March 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

1970: Gunsmoke

Gunsmoke is one series that actually originated as a radio show back in 1952 until 1961. When it was adapted to television for CBS in 1955, it was a hit that ended up lasting until 1975. The first 12 seasons of the show aired on Saturdays at 10 p.m. — which would definitely be a death sentence slot nowadays — and for seasons 13 through 16, it was on Mondays at 7:30, with the last four seasons airing at 8.

The western was about Marshal Matt Dillon who is in charge of Dodge City, a town where people have no morals or respect for the law. He deals with gunfights, brawls, and everything else one would deal with in the wild west. The show became one of the top ten television programs in the United States during its second season, and moved to number one soon after that, staying there until 1961.

Gunsmoke has the honor of being the longest-running, primetime live-action series of the 20th century. As of April 29, 2018, The Simpsons surpassed Gunsmoke for the most scripted episodes for a primetime US television series. James Arness and Milburn Stone — Matt Dillon and Doc, respectively — portrayed their characters for the show’s entire 20-year-run.