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Happy Days (ABC, 1974-1984)

Happy Days was an American sitcom that aired from January 15, 1974 to September 24, 1984. Happy Days was one the highest rated TV shows from the 1970s.

Happy Days was set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and centers around Ritchie Cunnigham (Ron Howard) and his family: mother Marion (Marion Ross), father Howard (Tom Bosley) who owned a furniture store and sister Joanie (Erin Moran). Ladies man — and eventual neighbor — Fonzie (Henry Winkler) became so popular he received top billing.

In its entire run, only seasons two and eleven saw Happy Days not in the Top 30 ratings war. Season four saw it leading the pack, season five saw it slide to #2 and in season six it dipped further down to #3. These were the only years Happy Days peaked in the Top 5.

Happy Days ran for eleven seasons and 255 episodes. At the time it was ABC’s second longest running sitcom (behind The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet). Several spin-offs were produced: Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Joanie Loves Chachi, Blansky’s Beauties and Out of the Blue. Fonzie’s leather jacket now hangs in the Smithsonian Institution.