In 1974 Happy Days premieres on ABC. Monty Python’s Flying Circus ends in the UK, and comes to American TV audiences for the first time. Australian TV tests color transmissions (full-time color comes in ’75.)
The top ten highest-grossing films of the decade are (in order from highest to lowest grossing): Star Wars, Jaws, Grease, The Exorcist, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, The Godfather, Saturday Night Fever, Rocky, and Jaws 2. Two of these movies came out on the same day, June 16, 1978.
In 1971 All in the Family premieres. Open University broadcasts begin on the BBC. John Chancellor becomes the sole anchor of the NBC Nightly News.
On November 28, 1979, Air New Zealand Flight 901 crashed on the flanks of Mount Erebus in Antarctica, killing all 257 people on board.
The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on July 1, 1971, lowering the voting age for all federal and state elections from 21 years to 18 years. The primary impetus for this change was the fact that young men were being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War before they were old enough to vote.
In 1978 Dallas paves the way for the return of prime time soaps in the United States. Abarembo Shogun begins 25-year run in Japan. Grange Hill premieres on BBC1 in the United Kingdom.
In 1976 South Africa has television service for the first time; Family Feud premieres on ABC; UK punk group the Sex Pistols cause controversy and outrage by swearing on Today; a Thames Television regional early evening show.
1977 in television – The miniseries Roots airs on ABC; first episode of Three’s Company. Dad’s Army ends on BBC1.
Oscar winners of the decade were Patton (1970), The French Connection (1971), The Godfather (1972), The Sting (1973), The Godfather Part II (1974), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Rocky (1976), Annie Hall (1977), The Deer Hunter (1978), and Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).
In 1979 43 million viewers watch Elvis! on ABC. All-sports cable channel ESPN is launched. The Pinwheel Channel changes its name to Nickelodeon. A technician’s strike forces ITV off air for eleven weeks (except in the Channel Islands) while BBC2 launches the first computer generated ident in the world.