Television has long been our most accessible form of entertainment, and its images and characters have become the icons of mass culture. This book takes an entertaining, informative, and nostalgic look at the most popular television series of the past 40 years, from "I Love Lucy" to "Cheers," from "Dragnet" to "L.A. Law," from "Jack Benny" to "The Cosby Show," from "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" to "Unsolved Mysteries." Arranged chronologically, the book focuses on each year's top ten shows, based on Nielsen ratings, with each entry combining vital data with probing text and background information.;It presents the facts: original network, length of run, producer/director/writer credits, principal cast members, principal sponsors, and notable guest stars. And here is the background: an exploration of the shows' creation and production, and of the stars and teams that brought them into our homes each week. About 160 shows are profiled in all. In addition, a special section on notable shows that never made top-ten status includes similar information on such programmes as "The Twilight Zone," "Leave It to Beaver," and "thirtysomething".