Best TV Shows 1950 - 1980

by ksirnick | created - 26 Aug 2012 | updated - 24 May 2017 | Public

My favorite TV shows between 1950 & 1980, by Premiere date.

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1. I Love Lucy (1951–1957)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

A daffy woman constantly strives to become a star along with her bandleader husband and gets herself in the strangest situations.

Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley

Votes: 21,400

2. Gunsmoke (1955–1975)

TV-PG | 60 min | Western

Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in rough and tumble Dodge City.

Stars: James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Ken Curtis

Votes: 4,824

3. The Rifleman (1958–1963)

TV-PG | 30 min | Family, Western

The adventures of a Wild West rancher, wielding a customized rapid-fire Winchester rifle, and his son.

Stars: Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford, Paul Fix, Joe Benson

Votes: 2,970

4. The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)

TV-PG | 51 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Ordinary people find themselves in extraordinarily astounding situations, which they each try to solve in a remarkable manner.

Stars: Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts, Vaughn Taylor

Votes: 67,241

5. The Bugs Bunny Show (1960–1975)

TV-G | 30 min | Animation, Comedy

Bugs Bunny, the famous, Oscar-winning cartoon rabbit, hosts his first weekly television series, along with all his fellow Warner Brothers cartoon stars, including Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, ... See full summary »

Stars: Mel Blanc, June Foray, Jim Backus, Bea Benaderet

Votes: 30,348

6. The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Widower Sheriff Andy Taylor, and his son Opie, live with Andy's Aunt Bee in Mayberry, North Carolina. With virtually no crimes to solve, most of Andy's time is spent philosophizing and calming down his cousin Deputy Barney Fife.

Stars: Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts, Frances Bavier

Votes: 11,514

7. The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

The misadventures of a TV writer both at work and at home.

Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam

Votes: 8,266

8. McHale's Navy (1962–1966)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, War

The misadventures of a misfit PT boat crew during World War II.

Stars: Ernest Borgnine, Joe Flynn, Tim Conway, Carl Ballantine

Votes: 2,316

9. Doctor Who (1963–1989)

TV-PG | 45 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

The adventures in time and space of the Doctor, a Time Lord who changes appearance and personality by regenerating when near death, and is joined by companions in battles against aliens and other megalomaniacs.

Stars: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker

Votes: 34,390

10. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964–1968)

50 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

The two top Agents of the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.) fight the enemies of peace, particularly the forces of T.H.R.U.S.H.

Stars: Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, Leo G. Carroll, John Herman Shaner

Votes: 4,554

11. Gilligan's Island (1964–1992)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Seven men and women are stranded on an uncharted island following a torrential storm.

Stars: Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer

Votes: 12,092

12. I Dream of Jeannie (1965–1970)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

A United States astronaut finds his life vastly complicated when he stumbles on to a bottle containing a female genie.

Stars: Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Bill Daily, Hayden Rorke

Votes: 12,384

13. The Wild Wild West (1965–1969)

50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Two Secret Service Agents, equipped with a wide array of gizmos, work for the government in the Old West.

Stars: Robert Conrad, Ross Martin, Dick Cangey, Whitey Hughes

Votes: 4,116

14. Get Smart (1965–1970)

TV-G | 25 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Maxwell Smart, a highly intellectual but bumbling spy working for the CONTROL agency, battles the evil forces of rival spy agency KAOS with the help of his competent partner Agent 99.

Stars: Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, Edward Platt, Robert Karvelas

Votes: 10,479

15. The Big Valley (1965–1969)

TV-PG | 60 min | Western

The Wild West adventures of the Barkley family in California's San Joaquin Valley.

Stars: Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors, Linda Evans

Votes: 2,399

16. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

In the 23rd Century, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets.

Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols

Votes: 70,207

17. The Carol Burnett Show (1967–1978)

TV-G | 60 min | Comedy, Family

Television show featuring skits by Carol Burnett and her comedy troupe.

Stars: Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner

Votes: 4,522

18. Mannix (1967–1975)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Mannix worked originally for Wickersham at Intertect and then struck out on his own, assisted by Peggy Fair (whose cop-husband had been killed) and Police Department contact Tobias.

Stars: Mike Connors, Gail Fisher, Ward Wood, Ron Nyman

Votes: 2,496

19. The Benny Hill Show (1969–1989)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

A skit based show with Benny Hill, often containing smutty humour.

Stars: Benny Hill, Henry McGee, Jackie Wright, Bob Todd

Votes: 4,293

20. The Brady Bunch (1969–1974)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Family

The misadventures of a large family united when a widower and a widow marry.

Stars: Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis, Maureen McCormick

Votes: 11,855

21. The Bob Newhart Show (1972–1978)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy

The professional and personal misadventures of a psychologist and his family, patients, friends and colleagues.

Stars: Bob Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Bill Daily, Marcia Wallace

Votes: 4,616

22. Emergency! (1972–1979)

TV-G | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

The crew of Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 51, particularly the paramedic team, and Rampart Hospital respond to emergencies in their operating area.

Stars: Randolph Mantooth, Kevin Tighe, Julie London, Bobby Troup

Votes: 3,641

23. M*A*S*H (1972–1983)

TV-PG | 25 min | Comedy, Drama, War

The staff of an Army hospital in the Korean War find that laughter is the best way to deal with their situation.

Stars: Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr

Votes: 48,776

24. Police Story (1973–1987)

120 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Classic anthology series, which details the personal lives of the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department. The stories ranged from highly dramatic to extremely funny. Even though... See full summary »

Stars: Scott Brady, Mel Scott, Don Meredith, Joe Santos

Votes: 749

25. Happy Days (1974–1984)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Music

The Cunningham family live through the 1950s with help and guidance from the lovable and almost superhuman greaser, Fonzie.

Stars: Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross, Tom Bosley

Votes: 15,278

26. The Rockford Files (1974–1980)

TV-PG | 50 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The cases of an easy going ex-convict turned private investigator.

Stars: James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos, Luis Delgado

Votes: 6,529

27. Barney Miller (1975–1982)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

The Captain of the NYPD 12th Precinct and his staff handle the various local troubles and characters that come into the squad room.

Stars: Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Max Gail, Steve Landesberg

Votes: 4,558

28. Police Woman (1974–1978)

120 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Follows Sergeant "Pepper" Anderson, LAPD's top undercover cop. A member of the Criminal Conspiracy Unit, Pepper works the wild side of the street, where she poses as everything from a gangster's moll to a streetwalker to a prison inmate.

Stars: Angie Dickinson, Earl Holliman, Charles Dierkop, Ed Bernard

Votes: 1,529

29. The Six Million Dollar Man (1974–1978)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

After a severely injured test pilot is rebuilt with nuclear-powered bionic limbs and implants, he serves as an intelligence agent.

Stars: Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks, Lindsay Wagner

Votes: 8,871

30. Space: 1999 (1975–1977)

50 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

The crew of Moonbase Alpha must struggle to survive when a massive explosion throws the Moon from orbit into deep space.

Stars: Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Nick Tate, Zienia Merton

Votes: 6,891

31. S.W.A.T. (1975–1976)

50 min | Action, Crime, Drama

The missions of a major city's police department's Special Weapons and Tactics unit.

Stars: Steve Forrest, Robert Urich, Rod Perry, Mark Shera

Votes: 1,446

32. The Bionic Woman (1976–1978)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

After fully recovering from her nearly fatal bout of bionic rejection, Jaime Sommers, the first female cyborg, is assigned to spy missions of her own.

Stars: Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks, Ford Rainey

Votes: 5,832

33. The Muppet Show (1976–1981)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Music

Kermit the Frog and his fellow Muppets put on a vaudeville show at their theatre, bringing in a famous celebrity to help out for each episode.

Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz

Votes: 21,820

34. In Search of... (1976–1982)

30 min | Documentary, Sci-Fi

Leonard Nimoy hosts investigations into various mysteries.

Stars: Leonard Nimoy, Francis Hitching, George O. Abell, Sylvia Browne

Votes: 830

35. Three's Company (1976–1984)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The misadventures of two women and one man living in one apartment and their neighbors.

Stars: John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers, Richard Kline

Votes: 11,535

36. Battle of the Planets (1978–2012)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

A five-member superhero team called G-Force fights to defend Earth and its space colonies from the threat of the planet Spectra.

Stars: Alan Young, Keye Luke, Ronnie Schell, Janet Waldo

Votes: 1,635

37. Soap (1977–1981)

30 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

The soap-operish antics of two families: the Campbells and the Tates.

Stars: Katherine Helmond, Rod Roddy, Richard Mulligan, Cathryn Damon

Votes: 5,655

38. Battlestar Galactica (1978–1979)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

39 Metascore

After the destruction of the Twelve Colonies of Mankind, the last major fighter carrier leads a makeshift fugitive fleet on a desperate search for the legendary planet Earth.

Stars: Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, Herbert Jefferson Jr.

Votes: 13,248

39. WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The misadventures of the staff of a struggling Top 40 rock radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Stars: Gary Sandy, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson, Howard Hesseman

Votes: 7,501

40. Centennial (1978–1979)

TV-PG | 1,256 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The economic and cultural growth of Colorado spanning two centuries from the mid 1700s to the late 1970s.

Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Carrera, Richard Chamberlain, Robert Conrad

Votes: 2,733

41. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979–1981)

60 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A 20th century astronaut emerges out of 500 years of suspended animation into a future time to become Earth's greatest hero.

Stars: Gil Gerard, Erin Gray, Felix Silla, Mel Blanc

Votes: 7,296

42. Benson (1979–1986)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Jessica Tate's sharp-tongued former butler, Benson DuBois, moves up in the world, becoming first the governor's "director of household affairs," then the state's budget director, then lieutenant governor and candidate for the executive mansion.

Stars: Robert Guillaume, James Noble, Inga Swenson, Missy Gold

Votes: 2,661



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