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Television's Top 100: The Most-Watched American Broadcasts, 1960-2010 [Paperback]

by Wesley Hyatt
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 21, 2011 0786448911 978-0786448913
Remember the finales of M*A*S*H, Cheers and Seinfeld? Do you know who shot J.R. on Dallas? This entertaining survey recounts these and other memorable events that generated some of American television's biggest audiences when they were first telecast from 1960 to the present. Here you will find the inside stories about the most popular specials, movies, miniseries and series episodes in television history, from Number 100 to the top of the list. Weekly series and recurring specials like the Super Bowl are represented by their highest-rated individual entry to allow a diverse selection. Included are appendices with facts and figures about the Top 100, and a chronological listing of these unforgettable programs.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wesley Hyatt, a senior writer with MMI Public Relations, has also served as a television historian and consultant for several media sources. He is the author of several McFarland titles and lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Mcfarland (December 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786448911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786448913
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,962,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wesley Hyatt offers up a guide to the 100 most-watched TV programs aired between 1960 and 2010 in this pricey 2012 McFarland & Company release. While TELEVISION'S TOP 100 is an enjoyable and informative guided tour to countless shows, pageants, movies, etc., it's also only a 196-page oversize paperback priced at $55.00! What was McFarland thinking?

Hyatt's book takes a reverse-order approach to its subject, counting down from #100, part two of the FATAL VISION made-for-TV movie, to #1, the final MASH episode. In between are summaries of: those episodes of TV favorites like THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, THE WALTONS and THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW that had the highest TV rating and share; showings of specials like CINDERELLA, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS and THE BOB HOPE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL; sports events like THE ALI-SPINKS FIGHT, THE 1964 ROSE BOWL and THE 1982 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME; special movie presentations like the initial showings of THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI, PATTON and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE; made-for-TV movies like WINDS OF WAR, ROOTS and HELTER SKELTER; etc.

Hyatt details the backstory of each program, production details, the critical reception, etc. While many of the entries are no-brainers, some - like the March 13, 1979 ROPERS episode - boggle the mind. The book has no photographs whatsoever, a serious omission to my mind.

While I enjoyed TELEVISION'S TOP 100, I felt it could have and should have been so much more with that hefty of a price tag attached. Your call, folks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Great TV Companion, but the Price Is Not Right!" September 30, 2012
I first read Wesley Hyatt's book "The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television" back in the late 1990's and that book has gone on to be one of my all-time favorite's dealing with the daytime genre, detailing every show broadcast on network TV from soap operas to game shows. So I was really excited to come across "Television's Top 100...", however I was not impressed with the cost as this is way overpriced.

Still, if you can afford it this is a neat book and is very informative as it discusses the Top 100 highest-rated moments in prime time television on U.S. television. Everything from the episode of "Who Did It?" from "Dallas" in 1980 which revealed "Who Shot J.R.?" to the finale of "M*A*S*H" to the day "The Running Stopped" on "The Fugitive".

Wesley has done a lot of research here as he writes about the shows that attracted the largest audiences to the shows that caused the most controvery such as "All in The Family", "SOAP" and "Laugh-In".

This book is a treasure trove of tidbits that you actually cannot find on various internet websites.

Very enjoyable and an A+ book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect match of writer and topic March 23, 2012
This is a very readable and entertaining survey of top-rated television shows over a 50-year span. It's almost like a mini-tour of pop culture history -- THE BURNING BED, cliffhangers on DALLAS, Lucille Ball, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW; the list goes on, and includes a number of titles you probably wouldn't guess. It's hard to imagine anyone better equipped to write such a book than media historian Wesley Hyatt, who can write knowledgeably and pleasurably about virtually any TV genre, from sitcom to sports. Nor could many writers present so much solid, thoroughly researched information in a book that's this much fun to browse. This is a terrific idea for a book, made more so by the skill with which it's been executed.
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