30. 'Police Squad!'
In a sense, the gag-driven humor of the Zucker-Abrams-Zucker trinity behind Airplane! was better suited for the small screen, where the brief length of a 20-minute episode made integrating jokes into an overarching story less onerous. The ratings for Police Squad! (Z-A-Z sure did like their exclamation points) might not have supported that theory, but the six episodes they made before it was abruptly cancelled made a strong case for less being more. The goofball density of their cop-show parody extended to the credits: Each show began with a narrator announcing the episode's title, which invariably differed from the one on screen, and ended with a simulated freeze-fame which the actors inevitably failed to hold. Leslie Nielsen's Lieutenant Frank Drebin eventually crossed over to the multiplex with The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, whose subtitle served less to alert the show's tiny handful of fans than to say, "See? We told you this would work."—SAM ADAMS