'The Cosby Show' Takes '80s Family Top Honor in Nat Geo's Survey
In this 1992 file photo originally released by NBC, Phylicia Rashad, portraying Clair Huxtable, left, talks on the telephone while Clarice Taylor, portraying Anna Huxtable, center, and Bill Cosby, portraying Dr. Cliff Huxtable and Raven Symone portraying Olivia, right, look on in a scene from "The Cosby Show. Clarice Taylor, the actress and comedian best known for playing grandmothers on "The Cosby Show" and "Sesame Street," died of congestive heart failure in her home in Englewood, N.J., on Monday, May 30, 2011, said her son, William Taylor. She was 93. (AP Photo/NBC, file)
"The Cosby Show" has been off the air for more than 20 years, but the Huxtables, that tight-knit, hilarious modern family of the '80s, has certainly not been forgotten -- and now we have statistical proof.
National Geographic (in collaboration with Kelton Research) conducted a pop-culture survey in support of its six-part miniseries, "The '80s: The Decade That Made Us," narrated by Rob Lowe, that explores how the radical, tubular, and totally fresh '80s still affect our 21st-century lives. And the fun-loving Huxtables took top honors when more than 1,000 nationally representative Americans (ages 18 and older) were asked the all-important question "Which of the following '80s TV families would you most want to be adopted by?" The Huxtables won with 38 percent of the vote.
Not only did the Brooklyn-based African American household with two successful working parents redefine the classic TV family -- they did it with style, humor, thoughtfulness, and love. Has there ever been a TV couple as in sync and in love as Clair and Cliff? We think not!
Runners up were the Keatons ("Family Ties") and the Ewings ("Dallas"), tied for second with 17 percent each; the Seavers ("Growing Pains") in third with 16 percent; and the Drummonds ("Diff'rent Strokes") in last place with 7 percent.
The gist of the survey revealed that now, more than ever, Americans are sentimental for a seemingly simpler and more fun decade. DVRs and online streaming have made TV watching a lot more flexible, but the majority of those surveyed still feel that '80s "appointment-viewing only" TV is better than in 2013. According to Kelton's results, 52 percent opted for the rad small-screen programs of the '80s over those of today.
[Related: Memorable Images From the '80s]
Another testament to TV's awesome power is that -- along with the fall of the Berlin Wall (37 percent) and the "Miracle on Ice" (7 percent) -- 12 percent of those surveyed picked the premiere of MTV as the seminal moment of the decade.
"The '80s: The Decade That Made Us" (a three-night, six-part event) gets started on Sunday, April 14, at 8 PM on the National Geographic Channel.