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All in the Family is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971, to April 8, 1979. In September 1979, a new show, Archie Bunker's Place, picked up where All in the Family had ended.
That sitcom lasted another four years, ending its run in 1983. Produced by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin and starring Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, and Sally Struthers, All in the Family revolves around the life of a working class bigot and his family.
The show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for U.S. network television comedy, such as racism, homosexuality, women's liberation, rape, religion, miscarriage, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause, and impotence. Through depicting these controversial issues, the series became arguably one of television's most influential comedic programs, as it injected the sitcom format with more realistic and topical conflicts.
The show ranked number-one in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976. It became the first television series to reach the milestone of having topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive years, a mark later matched by The Cosby Show and surpassed by American Idol, which notched eight consecutive seasons at #1. The episode "Sammy's Visit" was ranked #13 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time ranked All in the Family as #4.
Bravo also named the show's protagonist, Archie Bunker, TV's greatest character of all time. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked All in the Family the fourth best written TV series ever and TV Guide ranked it as the fourth greatest show of all time.