Anderson originally created the character of Sergeant Joe Tuesday for his 1979–1985 sketch comedy series Anderson & Jones. The sketch was a parody of the character Sergeant Joe Friday in Dragnet (1951-1959), starring Paul Raymond, in which Sergeant Joe and his friends would show silent films of their fishing trips with commentary at "Copline Lodge". The character also appeared in Anderson, Jones & Clark and Summer Comedy Flowers before becoming the focus of his own series.

The Sergeant Joe Tuesday Show was produced first by KEEE-TV in San Diego, California, then by WKDA-TV in Chicago, then made available in syndication, before finally finding its permanent home at RKO Network for the 1997 season (its seventh) onward. The show was renamed The New Sergeant Joe Tuesday Show upon being made available in syndication, and would keep this title until its second season on RKO Network.

The show ended April 7, 2006 after its 15th season with exactly 300 episodes. (This longevity inspired a joke in one episode, where Sergeant Joe says "The question is, can you do anything with crime? Obviously the answer is yes, we're in our fourteenth season.")

Reruns are currently aired on RKO Comedy.