Favorite Shows Before My Time

by emailryang | created - 07 Feb 2017 | updated - 25 Jul 2017 | Public

This is a list of shows I've watched that were aired and/or ended before I was born. Shows ranged from the 1950s-1990s. Most of these I believe are still rerunning to this day luckily.

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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: 21,395

October 1951 - May 1957; 181 episodes

This is a definite classic that was a trendsetter for both sitcoms and female comediennes. Though dated, the plot is simple and the humor was still fresh by today's standards. Definitely recommended for anyone, and can be watched on any "classic tv" channels.

2. Bonanza (1959–1973)

TV-PG | 49 min | Western

The Wild West adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their Nevada ranch while helping the surrounding community.

Stars: Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts

Votes: 7,575

September 1959 - January 1973; 431 episodes

For a while, I was in a phase of where I had an obsession with anything about cowboys. Bonanza just had something that stuck out from the rest of the other western shows at the time.

3. Adam-12 (1968–1975)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Two regular police officers patrol Los Angeles.

Stars: Martin Milner, Kent McCord, Shaaron Claridge, William Boyett

Votes: 2,906

September 1968 - May 1975; 174 episodes

When my 7th grade substitute showed us the first episode, I immediately became hooked. I enjoyed at how it was suppose to portray how real cops do their job. I would say this show had started my tolerance for real cops and cop shows.

4. Fawlty Towers (1975–1979)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Hotel owner Basil Fawlty's incompetence, short fuse, and arrogance form a combination that ensures accidents and trouble are never far away.

Stars: John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth

Votes: 81,482

September 1975 - October 1979; 12 episodes

I enjoyed this British comedy for its smart-witted jokes and loveable jerk of a lead here. The tantrums and actions of Mr. Fawlty are really worth the time watching this series.

5. 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: 11,522

March 1977 - September 1984; 172 episodes

6. The Ropers (1979–1980)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Stanley and Helen Roper have sold their apartment complex and moved into a new one. Their trademark quirks are intact as they deal with new neighbors and frequent visits from Helen's sister.

Stars: Norman Fell, Audra Lindley, Jeffrey Tambor, Patty McCormack

Votes: 794

March 1979 - May 1980; 28 episodes

TBH I prefer the Ropers over Mr. Farley on Three's company, they were better at being funny and less annoying.

7. Mama's Family (1983–1990)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Mama's Family originated with Thelma "Mama" Harper, and her younger sister Fran living together in Mama's House.

Stars: Vicki Lawrence, Beverly Archer, Ken Berry, Dorothy Lyman

Votes: 4,279

January 1983 - February 1990; 130 episodes

Thelma Harper may come off as a stereotypical grouchy old lady, but boy does she deliver the best insults to people! I snicker every time she manages to get back at her family for being loonies and unbearable.

8. Kids Incorporated (1984–1993)

30 min | Comedy, Family, Music

A group of kids sing songs at a club for kids. They solve problems in-between performances.

Stars: Fergie, Moosie Drier, Rahsaan Patterson, Renee Sandstrom

Votes: 728

1984 - 1993; 154 episodes

I believe this show may have been created by Disney, which revolves around kids dealing with the problem of the day while performing hit songs of the time that fit into the plot. Imagine as a mix between Glee and Kids Bop, but in a cheesy, good way. Discovered the series after looking up covers of famous 80s songs.

9. Good Morning, Miss Bliss (1987–1989)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Recently-widowed Miss Carrie Bliss (Hayley Mills) teaches at a middle school in Indianapolis, where she helps her students tackle life lessons.

Stars: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Hayley Mills, Dustin Diamond, Dennis Haskins

Votes: 1,433

November 1988 - March 1989; 13 episodes

I prefer this over Saved By The Bell more. Having the teacher the star of a kids show is kind of unique. I felt the kid characters were more "realistic" and more likeable than the way the successor portrayed them in high school cliches.

10. Saved by the Bell (1989–2020)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

A close-knit group of six friends get through their teens together while attending Bayside High School in Palisades, California.

Stars: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Dustin Diamond, Lark Voorhies

Votes: 30,161

August 1989 - May 1993; 86 episodes

11. Seinfeld (1989–1998)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

The continuing misadventures of neurotic New York City stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his equally neurotic New York City friends.

Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander

Votes: 242,355

July 1989 - May 1998; 180 episodes

A show about nothing that actually has something to the point. Basically, I was surprise how plots can be made based off of little small details the gang notices around them.

12. The Nanny (1993–1999)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

After being fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend, a cosmetics saleswoman becomes the nanny to the three children of a rich English widower. As time passes, the two fall for each other.

Stars: Fran Drescher, Charles Shaughnessy, Daniel Davis, Lauren Lane

Votes: 35,930

November 1993 - June 1999; 146 episodes

13. The Magic School Bus (1994–1997)

TV-Y | 30 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

An eccentric school-teacher takes her class on wondrous educational field trips with the help of a magical school bus.

Stars: Lily Tomlin, Daniel DeSanto, Erica Luttrell, Tara Meyer

Votes: 7,805

September 1994 - December 1997; 52 episodes

A personal favorite of my childhood, but never recognized it until much later when it reran on Fox Kids in 2002. I loved how it was both exciting and informative at the same time, can't wait for the remake. This can be watched on any video site.

14. Ellen (1994–1998)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Romance

Ellen Morgan is a neurotic bookstore owner who deals with life through comedy and extensive rambling.

Stars: Ellen DeGeneres, David Anthony Higgins, Joely Fisher, Clea Lewis

Votes: 4,954

March 1994 -July 1998; 109 episodes

Skipping the first and last seasons of this show, I really did see that Ellen does have some of the best laughs for a 90's sitcom. I think that season 3 is where it really kicked off to the best of episodes.

15. Sailor Moon (1995–2000)

TV-Y | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The magical action-adventures of a teenage girl who learns of her destiny as the legendary warrior Sailor Moon and must band together with the other Sailor Scouts to defend the Earth and Galaxy.

Stars: Susan Roman, Jill Frappier, Katie Griffin, Ron Rubin

Votes: 11,271

August 1995 - November 2000; 200 episodes

There are reasons why this is one of the most epic anime of the 1990s. Not only did they managed to recreate some of the best showdowns, but also had an impact on U.S. TV too. This also improved where the manga faltered in expanding storylines and character development.

16. The Hardy Boys (1995)

TV-G | 28 min | Crime, Family, Mystery

Junior reporter Frank Hardy and Joe, his computer-hacker brother, work together to crack mysteries.

Stars: Paul Popowich, Colin K. Gray, Fiona Highet, Tracy Ryan

Votes: 61

September 1995 - December 1995; 13 episodes

Based on the Hardy Boys book series, this show attempted to modernize the series by making the brothers as young adults in the big city. Though aimed at a younger audience, and 30 min format, it is very pleasant for me it see a more "updated" look. Only 3 episodes can be found online.

17. Nancy Drew (1995– )

26 min | Crime, Family, Mystery

A young girl, Nancy Drew, solves crimes.

Stars: Tracy Ryan, Joy Tanner, Jhene Erwin, Scott Speedman

Votes: 143

September 1995 - December 1995; 13 episodes

Like the Hardy Boys above, this was another modernize attempt at the series. It got similar flaws to HB, but I thought the plots and production were a bit better on here.

18. Goosebumps (1995–1998)

TV-Y7 | 22 min | Family, Fantasy, Horror

A series of scary anthology stories based on the children's books by R.L. Stine. Series one was hosted by R.L. Stine.

Stars: R.L. Stine, Kathryn Short, Cody Jones, Scott Wickware

Votes: 11,414

October 1995 - November 1998; 74 episodes

19. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1996)

60 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Two spies are recruited by an intelligence agency. They pose as a married couple Mr. and Mrs. Smith when they are on their missions.

Stars: Scott Bakula, Maria Bello, Roy Dotrice, Aida Turturro

Votes: 527

September 1996 - December 1996; 13 episodes

20. Student Bodies (1997–1999)

30 min | Animation, Family, Comedy

"Student Bodies" is the weekly newspaper at fictional Thomas A. Edison High School, where this teenage sitcom takes place. It mixes real-life characters with cartoon segments in between ... See full summary »

Stars: Nicole Lyn, Ross Hull, Kate McIninch, Miklos Perlus

Votes: 754

1997 - 1999; 65 episodes

Every time I watched this, I always believed that this was superior than Saved By The Bell. It had animated joke sequences and the topics they discuss sometimes are ones most U.S. kid shows would not really cover much. Glad all episodes are available to watch on YouTube

21. Animorphs (1998–2000)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Five kids and an alien with the ability to turn into any beast they touch vs. an army of parasitic aliens who are slowly infiltrating Earth.

Stars: Shawn Ashmore, Brooke Nevin, Boris Cabrera, Nadia-Leigh Nascimento

Votes: 1,177

September 1998 - October 1999; 26 episodes

TBH I never read the Animorphs books when I discovered there was a show made of it. As much as cheesy the show was, I admire how they took a few liberties in changing the book plots a little, give a different view of some of the characters, and tried to make their own original ideas with it.

22. Pet Shop of Horrors (1999– )

TV-14 | Animation, Fantasy, Horror

Count D, a quite interesting pet shop owner from an area called Chinatown, sells rare and hard to come by pets to people longing for something special, but with each sale comes a contract. ... See full summary »

Stars: Masaya Onosaka, Toshihiko Seki, Miho Yamada, John DeMita

Votes: 800

March 1999; 4 episodes

Developed as a miniseries in Japan, it was left uncensored (thank goodness) in U.S. dubbing. While it mainly focused on the horror aspects, it does dive into bringing a mysterious, calming atmosphere at the same time. All episodes can be watched YouTube or on DVD.

23. Let Them Eat Cake (1999)

30 min | Comedy, History

It's 1782 and welcome to the fabulous Palace of Versailles, France. Outside the gates, the peasants are on the verge of revolting (already well past vile), whilst inside lives one of the ... See full summary »

Stars: Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Adrian Scarborough, Lucy Punch

Votes: 629

September 1999 - October 1999; 6 episodes

A rather weird, but funny British take of the pre-French Revolution era. Best known to star comedy duo Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders as inhabitants of the Palace of Versailles, who go about their insinuating lives among the other nobles. Watched on YouTube when searching info on Marie Antoinette.

24. Cybersix (1999)

TV-Y7 | Animation, Sci-Fi, Action

A female android battles her evil creator's forces as a mysterious superhero.

Stars: Cathy Weseluck, Michael Dobson, Alex Doduk, Janyse Jaud

Votes: 462

September 1999 - November 1999; 13 episodes

A co-production between Canada & Japan of adapting an Argentinian comic. It was known for its beautiful animation and dark tone, despite aiming at preteens. Since its cancellation, it has developed a strong cult following. I discovered this on YouTube after seeing it listed in the programs Fox Kids was broadcasting in its final years.

25. The Nightmare Room (2001–2002)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Family, Fantasy, Horror

Anthology series centered on teens facing supernatural threats, many based on the books by R.L. Stine.

Stars: James Avery, Keiko Agena, Kyle Gibson, Michael Galeota

Votes: 433

August 2001 - March 2002; 13 episodes

I found out that this was Kid's WB only live-action show they had and if it was by R.L. Stine, of course I'd be interested. It's similar (plot-wise) to Goosebumps. But the horror and seriousness of each situation really brought out the dark atmosphere this show had. If anything, it was much darker than either Goosebumps and The Haunting Hour.

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