"Perfect Attendance Index" for TV shows

I started a thread a while back about how remarkable it was that the six principal actors on Friends each appeared in every one of the show’s 236 episodes, and I solicited examples of other shows with similar full-cast longevity. People responded with examples like Cheers and Seinfeld, which didn’t quite fit what I was getting at. I blame myself for not explaining the concept clearly.

So I came up with a way to express it numerically, with something I call the Perfect Attendance Index. The way it works is, you take any TV show, list the actors who appeared in every episode of said show, then multiply the number of actors in the list by the number of episodes in the series.


*Friends: *6 actors
Jennifer Aniston
Courteney Cox
Lisa Kudrow
Matt LeBlanc
Matthew Perry
David Scwimmer
x 236 episodes = PAI 1416.

*Cheers: *4 actors
Ted Danson
Rhea Perlman
John Ratzenberger
George Wendt
x 271 episodes = PAI 1084

*Seinfeld: *2 actors (Michael Richards and Julia Luis-Dreyfus did not appear in one episode each)
Jerry Seinfeld
Jason Alexander
x 173 episodes = PAI 346

The long-running *Law & Order *gets a big ol’ zero, as does ER, since nobody was in every episode. Gunsmoke gets a 635 on the shoulders of James Arness alone.
I wasn’t sure if I could find any series that could beat Friends’ 1416, but I did!

*Hill Street Blues: *10 actors
Daniel J. Travanti
Michael Warren
Bruce Weitz
James Sikking
Joe Spano
Taurean Blaque
Kiel Martin
Betty Thomas
Charles Haid
Veronica Hamel
x 144 episodes = PAI 1440

Before anybody mentions The Simpsons, which has an impressive PAI of 3075 and counting, I’m not including it for 2 reasons: 1. It’s an animated show. Voice work is a whole different animal, and I’m only going for live-action on-camera appearances here. (My game, my rules!) 2. It’s still in production. A single missed episode by one or more of the principal cast could send that number plummeting. So let’s not count our chickens before they’re hatched.

Can anybody find a show that beats Hill Street Blues? Remember, actors have to have been in every episode to be listed.

I was thinking Frasier had a shot, but 5 times 263 is 1315. If Eddie had been in every episode…

Sorry, there is one episode without Jason Alexander.

HSB may get it based on the number of actors involved. My first though - Frasier - has only 5 but they were in 263 episodes, for a 1315 PAI. Not good enough!

Out of curiosity, what are you basing the “perfect attendance” on? imdb.com? Because I don’t trust it - I was checking the stats for Married with Children, which lists Katey Sagal as appearing in all 263 episodes. That isn’t true - she missed several after suffering a miscarriage. They shipped her character Peggy off to Wanker county to account for her absence. True, she called back a few times, but there were a couple of episodes where she wasn’t seen or heard at all.

Right you are.

I was indeed trusting imdb for my calculations, though now that I look more closely (as in the above Seinfeld example) they include “credit only” listings in their count. Which brings my Hill Street Blues number into question. (But not Friends. I know for a fact that one’s accurate.)

Whenever I see that (for any show), I always assume that either all the actors took off for the same amount of episodes (so maybe there were 246 episodes and each actor took off for one week per season) or they are all have contracts that state they are to be listed in the credits for every episode even if they aren’t in that episode.
Either way, wiki specifically mentions that all 6 were in every single episode. That’s pretty good for 6 actors over 10 years.

Plus IMDb is including un-aired pilots a la “Lost in Space.”

Using IMDB Deep Space 9 has a score of 1211 and NCIS is 1220
I looked at Law & Order and SVU but not enough have been in every episode.

Any Soap Operas with even one every episode actor?


How does Gilligan’s Island rate?

Damn, not even Bob Barker (6719).

Try Wikipedia instead.

99 x 4 = 396. Russell Johnson, Tina Louise, and Dawn Wells are all listed as 98.

I don’t see where that page shows a comprehensive cast list. However, Wikipedia and imdb disagree on the total episode count. Interesting.

What I said up-thread: IMDb is including the un-aired pilot in that total. The real total should be 686.

3075 is not a multiple of six, so it appears to leave one of the regulars out - I am guessing Hank Azaria, as he was not in the “starring” credits in season 1. The fact that this includes 19 episodes that have not aired yet notwithstanding, Julie Kavner was not in “Krusty Gets Kancelled” (she had one line - she was in the traffic jam looking at the Gabbo billboard - but it was cut), so the actual current PAI = 596 x 4 = 2384.

Look for characters/actors listed as not appearing and compare that against IMDb.

Married with children? Ninjas!

Even before Drew Carey took over TPIR, Barker missed a day of taping in one of the earliest seasons, and Dennis James substituted for him for three episodes.

You’re DON PARDO, aren’t you?

Oh, the days when you could tape the whole week on Monday. >sniff<