Butler Benson DuBois is the smartest (and possibly only sane) member of widowed Gov. Eugene Gatling's household staff. Benson always manages to keep his head, no matter what the staffers or the governor's family members throw at him. He begins his post on loan from his employer, Jessica Tate (Katherine Helmond) on the show "Soap," but soon wins a permanent place in the governor's staff and heart. His cool head and keen intellect are a perfect complement for the constant craziness that surrounds Gov. Gatling and his entourage.
A widower and former pro baseball player, Tony Micelli takes a job as a housekeeper for a high-powered divorced businesswoman, Angela Bower, and her son. He and his daughter, Samantha, move into the Bower residence, where Tony's laid-back personality contrasts with Angela's type-A behavior. Angela's man-hungry mother, Mona, is also in the mix.
When two single girls need a roommate to share their Santa Monica apartment, they decide to offer a room to the guy they find passed out in the bathtub after the going-away party for their last roommate. Hijinks ensue.
"We're moving on up, to the East Side, to a deee-luxe apartment in the sky ... ." This spinoff from "All in the Family" is about literal upward mobility - African- American couple George and Louise Jefferson move into a swanky high-rise building. George is an obstreperous, often rude guy who thinks his wealth should get him anywhere he wants to go. His wife is more levelheaded and often cuts him down to size when his schemes go awry.
Divorced mother Ann Romano moves to Indianapolis with her daughters, rebellious Julie and wisecracking Barbara, where she struggles to raise the teens on her own. Ann tries to maintain a balance between being a career woman and caring for the girls, who she wants to be able to offer the independence she never had as a young woman. Schneider, the building's quirky superintendent, is a frequent visitor to the Romanos' apartment, where he offers the family his usually-unwanted advice on various topics. As the series progresses and Julie and Barbara get older, they head off into the workforce and start their own marriages, and Ann continues to mend her relationship with ex-husband Ed.
"All in the Family" is touted as the series that brought reality to prime-time TV entertainment. The lead character, Archie Bunker, is a loudmouthed, uneducated bigot who believes in every stereotype he has ever heard. His wife, Edith, is sweet but not the sharpest knife in the drawer. They and their daughter, Gloria, and her husband, Mike, all live in a working-class home. Unfortunately for Archie, he can't avoid the people he disdains: His son-in-law -- whom Archie calls "Meathead" -- is an unemployed student and of Polish descent; the Jeffersons next door are black; Edith's cousin Maude is a feminist; and, later, his partners in a local tavern are Jewish.
Two black kids from Harlem, Arnold Jackson and older brother Willis, are welcomed into the family of wealthy New York businessman Philip Drummond when their mother, his housekeeper, passes away. The two brothers become part of the Drummond family and learn various lessons about life.
Sitcoms come and go. And then there's "Maude," the groundbreaking Norman Lear comedy. The show revolves around Maude Findlay, a very outspoken middle-class woman who wears her liberal politics on her sleeve and shares her home in suburban Tuckahoe, N.Y., with fourth husband Walter; her divorced daughter, Carol; and Carol's adolescent son, Phillip. Walter and Maude's best friends are next-door neighbors Dr. Arthur and Vivian Harmon. Among the domestic help that Maude helps "liberate" during the run of the show are Florida Evans and Mrs. Nell Naugatuck.
After her husband is killed in a trucking accident, Alice packs up the car and her son, Tommy, and heads to Hollywood, dreaming of a singing career. Her car breaks down in Phoenix, forcing her to take a job at Mel's Diner, a greasy spoon where gruff owner Mel barks orders to Alice and her fellow waitresses.
The series focuses on life in Greenwich Village's 12th Precinct station house. Initially, it looks at Capt. Barney Miller and his work and home life, but it gradually becomes about the officers of the precinct, including always-on-the-verge-of-retirement Detective Fish.