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Beverly Hills, 90210 is seen as the first teen drama of its kind, paving the way for others down the road like Dawson's Creek by creating a whole new genre.
The Law & Order franchise, still popular today, premiered in 1990 and changed the game for procedural television—and is credited with shaping America's perception of cops, for better and for worse.
A ratings stunt, L.A. Law featured the first romantic lesbian kiss on broadcast TV.
In 1992, Ryan Phillippe played Billy Douglas on One Life to Live, the first gay teen character on daytime TV.
MTV's The Real World premiered in 1992 and changed the landscape of TV programming, ushering in a new generation of reality TV shows.
The 1993 series finale of Cheers is the third most-watched non-sports TV program with 80.5 million viewers.
In 1994, viewers also met Pedro Zamora on The Real World: San Francisco. Pedro, an openly gay man who was HIV-positive, had the first real same-sex commitment ceremony broadcast on national TV. Zamora died shortly after the finale of his Real World season.
The series starring Margaret Cho was the first primetime sitcom to feature an Asian-American family at the center.
Wilson Cruz played primetime's first openly gay teen series regular character came was My So-Called Life's Enrique "Rickie" Vasquez.
"The Puppy Episode" of Ellen featured the main character, Ellen Morgan (Ellen DeGeneres), coming out as gay. This was the same time DeGeneres came out on the cover of Time magazine, making Ellen the first show to feature an out lesbian actress playing an out lesbian character.
One of the first shows to feature two gay main characters, Will & Grace is credited by many with helping shift the American public's views on homosexuality.
The WB drama featured the first romantic male gay kiss.
The first reality TV wedding between Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger was a ratings hit and the ensuing controversy surrounding the nuptials made no shortage of headlines.
The 2000 premiere of Survivor gripped the nation and redefined reality TV competitions.
American Idol became a ratings phenomenon, crushing the competition in its heyday. In 2002, Kelly Clarkson became the show's first winner and arguably the show's biggest success story.
In 2006, The WB and UPN ceased to be and The CW, a joint venture between Warner Bros. and CBS, was born. A mixture of programming from UPN and The WB made up the majority of the first year of programming and in 2007 Gossip Girl premiered, ushering in a new era of television for the fledgling network.
Bravo began The Real Housewives franchise with The Real Housewives of Orange County, a series still on today. It spawned a juggernaut reality TV franchise, defined Bravo, and has left a continuing mark on pop culture.
The Sopranos series finale had close to 12 million viewers, beating out many broadcast shows, but also igniting endless debate about the cut-to-black ending. Did Tony Soprano and his family survive? Many thought something happened to their TV sets.
When Scandal debuted, Kerry Washington became the first Black female lead character of a broadcast show in more than 40 years.
Orange Is the New Black's Laverne Cox became the first out transgender actor be nominated for an Emmy for her work.
The 2015 Super Bowl game had the biggest audience ever according to Nielsen ratings with 114,442,000 viewers.
Fresh Off the Boat premiered in 2015 and ran for six seasons, making it longest-running series with an Asian-American main cast.
NBC's trailer for This Is Us, then a new show in 2016, broke streaming records. When views across platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and NBC.com were included, it's estimated that the trailer was viewed between 70 and 80 million times.
Sonequa Martin-Green became the first Black woman lead of a Star Trek series.