8. I Love Lucy
Air Dates: October 15, 1951–May 6, 1957
Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley, Keith Thibodeaux
It's her face.
Lucille Ball's face was an elastic wonder, capable of overflowing pouts, wide and tight smiles. It could hold quantities of chocolate that would OD the most seasoned trick-or-treater. You laughed at her face and fell in love with it, whatever she needed from you at the moment. For six years, she accumulated laughter and adoration as Lucy Ricardo, wife to Ricky (real-life husband Desi Arnaz), friend to Fred and Ethel, eventual mother to Little Ricky.
During a time when TV was still figuring out whether it was just a means to keep viewers alert during advertisements or could be art (we have the answer, but it took about 50 years), the majority of Americans watched I Love Lucy. Truly, during its second season, nearly 70 percent of the country was tuning in. Since it first began, there has not been a time when it was not airing. Even today, you can find it. And it's all because of the woman in the title. —RS