In 1970 Monday Night Football debuts on (ABC) Mary Tyler Moore and All My Children premiere, as does the BBC Nine O’Clock News and The Goodies in the UK.
In 1973 Large-screen projection color TVs hit the market in the USA. The Young and the Restless, Match Game and Pyramid begin hugely successful daytime TV runs. Last of the Summer Wine premieres on BBC1.
1977 in television – The miniseries Roots airs on ABC; first episode of Three’s Company. Dad’s Army ends on BBC1.
In 1976 Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America and Wheel of Fortune premiere; Sony introduces the Betamax, a home video tape recorder; Fawlty Towers premieres in Britain on BBC2.
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.
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.
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 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.
At the start of the decade, long-standing trends in American television were finally reaching the end of the road. The Red Skelton Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, long-revered American institutions, were finally canceled after multi-decade spans. The “family sitcom”, popularized by the travails of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson in the 1950s and 1960s, saw its last breath at the start of the new decade with The Brady Bunch, which ran for five seasons. Although the show was never highly rated during its original run, it has been broadcast in syndication continuously since 1974, and many children have grown up with it, causing them to think of the Bradys as the quintessential family — not only in 1970s television, but quite possibly all of American television. In the early 1970s the high concept sitcoms like I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched began to lose American interest with I Dream of Jeannie ending its run in 1970 and Bewitched ending in 1972.
By the mid-to-late 1970s, viewers tired of socially responsible sitcoms. Former CBS head of programming Fred Silverman defected to struggling ABC started the trend of TV centered on sexual gratification and bawdy humor and situations, nicknamed “jiggle television.” Jiggle TV shows included the crime-fighting television series Charlie’s Angels, which starred up-and-coming sex symbols Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, and Kate Jackson and the risqué sitcom such as Three’s Company, modeled after the British series Man About the House, in which swinging single-man Robin Trip pretended to be gay in order to live in an apartment with two single women. Mildly controversial at the time, the show quickly became a Top Ten hit in the ratings.