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13 One-Time Popular Sitcoms You Totally Forgot Existed

'According to Jim,' 'Yes, Dear,' 'Cybill'
Touchstone Television CBS Productions, Carsey-Werner Company

How can a hit turn out to be such a miss?

Television is filled with the specter of success — there are scores of classic shows that live on in reruns, a reminder to viewers that the programs they loved are always going to be there. However, there’s also a slew of shows that achieve a more moderate level of success, but disappear from our memories, a sort of pop culture mind eraser that we can’t imagine will ever get the reboot treatment.

Sure, a series may stick around for a few years, but for whatever reason, there are some that recede into the junk bin of retro culture, proving that being loved, even if for only a short time, means so little. The cool kid in high school who’s now scrounging for hours at a frozen yogurt shop can attest to that. And so can these TV comedies, which enjoyed respectable runs and decent ratings while becoming part of the American zeitgeist for a brief moment.

We all know or remember the likes of Seinfeld, Cheers and Home Improvement. They were the lottery winners of the small screen. But dig deeper and you can find plenty of other sitcoms that people enjoyed that no one seems to remember. Here are 13 of them:

Yes, Dear

Network: CBS
Number of Seasons: 6
Number of Episodes: 122

Reviled by critics, this CBS vehicle pitched a time-honored TV concept: the odd living arrangement. Two sisters, their husbands and all their kids lived under one roof. And, naturally, the couples clashed: one is upper class and the other is more blue collar. Cue the hilarity. The show had some legs, but it’s one of those where you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who ever said, “I need to get home to watch Yes, Dear.”

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Just Shoot Me

Network: NBC
Number of Seasons: 7
Number of Episodes: 149

At one time, this comedy aired in the coveted spot between Friends and Seinfeld. Some would say this sitcom about the people who work at the fictitious fashion magazine Blush was never given a fair shake because it was constantly moved and never settled into a permanent time slot. The writing was good, the acting stellar and it all added up to a healthy, yet unappreciated, run.

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Veronica’s Closet

Network: NBC
Number of Seasons: 3
Number of Episodes: 67

Okay, “popular” may not be the right word. “High profile” may be more appropriate. This late ‘90s entry featured Kirstie Alley as the head of a lingerie company. It scored good ratings (that’ll happen when you’re on after Seinfeld one season and Frasier the next), but its numbers plummeted when it was placed after Suddenly Susan. Fun fact: Zooey Deschanel’s first on-camera role came on this show.

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Suddenly Susan

Network: NBC
Number of Seasons: 4
Number of Episodes: 93

Ahh, yes, Suddenly Susan. We can’t avoid this one here. Brooke Shields starred as a magazine writer learning to make it on her own (another popular TV trope).

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Caroline in the City

Network: NBC
Number of Seasons: 4
Number of Episodes: 97

She’s a single cartoonist in New York City with a wacky neighbor (yet another TV must-have). But, other than Lea Thompson, can you name one star? Didn’t think so. Here’s a fun fact: it won an Emmy. Yes, it was for Outstanding Graphic Design and Title Sequence, but an Emmy is an Emmy, right?

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Cybill

Network: CBS
Number of Seasons: 4
Number of Episodes: 87

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Cybill Shepherd played a middle-aged mom trying to become a star in Hollywood. If anything, this post-Moonlighting effort proved to be a breakout for Christine Baranski, who won an Emmy for her work on the series. Since this show was canceled, she’s been a dependable and highly sought-after actress.

Step By Step

Network: ABC
Number of Seasons: 7
Number of Episodes: 160

Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy are a man and woman who marry, mixing their families (they each had three kids). Naturally, not everyone gets along. The ABC show went to a whole other level with the introduction of Cody, the dim-witted nephew of Duffy’s character who lived in a van on the driveway. Because that makes total sense.

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Two Guys and a Girl

Network: ABC
Number of Seasons: 4
Number of Episodes: 81

Originally called Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, this show will best be remembered for bringing Ryan Reynolds into the public consciousness. Eventually, the pizza was left behind and it was a show about two guys and a girl.

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Still Standing

Network: CBS
Number of Seasons: 4
Number of Episodes: 88

Attractive wife/mother married to oafish husband/dad. Together they raise their kids. This otherwise nondescript comedy, which starred Jami Gertz, held its ground, despite the fact it blurred together with so many other shows of its kind.

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According to Jim

Network: ABC
Number of Seasons: 8
Number of Episodes: 182

The overweight doofus husband who somehow lands a good-looking, more mature woman is a sitcom staple and done to perfection by this ABC series. There were 182 episodes. Think about that. People were willing to watch Jim Belushi for 91 hours. That’s time you can’t get back, people.

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My Wife and Kids

Network: ABC
Number of Seasons: 5
Number of Episodes: 124

Damon Wayans used to be an edgy comedian. Then, one day you probably woke up, turned on the TV and saw him playing a dad on a cookie cutter comedy.

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Less Than Perfect

Network: ABC
Number of Seasons: 4
Number of Episodes: 81

Sara Rue headlined this series about a woman working at a TV network. It got solid ratings in its first two years before being booted to Friday nights, a death knell for most shows. It limped along for two more years before it got the axe.

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Becker

Network: CBS
Number of Seasons: 6
Number of Episodes: 129

Most things in life should be as dependable as Ted Danson, who played a grouchy doctor in this CBS offering, which ran for six seasons. The show was a top 20 staple in the Nielsen ratings for its first four seasons, airing after Everybody Loves Raymond, before it was exiled to Sunday nights and endured cast changes, sealing its fate.

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