Discover the most popular TV show the year you were born

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1971: Marcus Welby, M.D.

Marcus Welby, M.D. was a medical drama that premiered on ABC in 1969 and ran until 1976. The show was about — who else? — a doctor named Marcus Welby, a family practitioner who was kind and professional, and often made house calls. The show often reminded viewers of the generation gap between him and the strait-laced Dr. Steven Kiley, Welby’s more traditional partner.

For the first few seasons, Marcus Welby, M.D. was quite popular on ABC. In fact, by the end of the show’s second season in 1971, the show was #1 in ratings on the Nielsen charts, becoming the first ABC show in history to do so. However, ratings started to drop by season 4, and the last three seasons of the show did not even place in the Top 30 spots. The popularity of medical dramas was fleeting, and unfortunately, Marcus Welby, M.D. didn’t make the cut — the show was canceled in 1976 after seven seasons and 169 episodes.

It wasn’t all over for Dr. Welby just yet! In 1984, a reunion movie titled The Return of Marcus Welby, M.D. aired, with Robert Young reprising his role as Dr. Marcus Welby. Another TV special, Marcus Welby, M.D.: A Holiday Affair, aired in 1988.