Entertainment

The Best 1950s Action TV Series  

Ranker TV
760 votes 194 voters 2.6k views 34 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite action series that aired on TV in the '50s

This group of the best 1950s Action TV series, ranked from best to worst by user votes, is full of television trendsetters. I mean, it's the 1950s, so these shows really laid the groundwork for the entire artistic medium of TV.  These great 50s action shows fall right in line with the old aesthetic of a Hollywood hero in the same vein as John Wayne. This was when the "manly man" was king. Good 1950s action shows were almost exclusively Westerns, but crime dramas and even superhero shows started to creep in to the zeitgeist. So, what are the greatest 1950s action TV series?

What shows will you find on this top 1950s action TV shows list? Bonanza, of course. This great 50s action show premiered back in 1959. Gunsmoke is another good action series that aired in the 1950s as is The Adventures of Robin Hood.

“It's a bird. It's a plane.” It's the Adventures of Superman. This action series ran on ABC from 1952 through 1958. Other top shows that appear on this list of good 50s action TV shows include Maverick, The Lone Ranger and The Rifleman.

Do you have a favorite action show from the 1950s? Vote the best series up to the top of this list and join in on the discussion in the comments section.
list ordered by
1
The Lone Ranger is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Jay Silverheels, Clayton Moore, John Hart
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Lone Ranger is the central character of an American animated television series that ran 26 episodes on CBS from September 10, 1966, to September 6, 1969. The series was produced by Herb ...more
2
Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Bonanza is an NBC television western series that ran from September 12, 1959, to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons and 430 episodes, it ranks as the second longest running western series, and ...more
3
Gunsmoke is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake
Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman Macdonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during ...more
4
The Rifleman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford, Paul Fix
The Rifleman is an American Western television program starring Chuck Connors as rancher Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son, Mark McCain. It was set in the 1870s and 1880s in the town ...more
5
Davy Crockett is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Fess Parker, Buddy Ebsen, Kenneth Tobey
Davy Crockett is a five-part serial which aired on ABC in one-hour episodes on the Disneyland series. The series stars Fess Parker as real-life frontiersman Davy Crockett and Buddy Ebsen as his ...more
6
Wagon Train is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson, Robert Horton
Wagon Train is an American Western series that ran on NBC 1957–62 and then on ABC 1962–65, although the network also aired daytime repeats, as Major Adams, Trailmaster and Trailmaster, from ...more
7
Maverick is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Jack Kelly, James Garner, Roger Moore
Maverick is an American Western television series with comedic overtones created by Roy Huggins. The show ran from September 22, 1957 to July 8, 1962 on ABC and stars James Garner as Bret ...more
8
Adventures of Superman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
George Reeves, Noel Neill, Bill Kennedy
Adventures of Superman is an American television series based on comic book characters and concepts created in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The show is the first television series to ...more
9
Zorro is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Guy Williams, Gene Sheldon, George J. Lewis
Zorro is an American action-adventure western drama series produced by Walt Disney Productions. Based on the well-known Zorro character, the series premiered on October 10, 1957 on ABC. The ...more
10
Cheyenne is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Clint Walker, Russ McCubbin
Cheyenne is an American western television series of 108 black-and-white episodes broadcast on ABC from 1955 to 1963. The show was the first hour-long western, and in fact the first hour-long ...more
11
Rawhide is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Clint Eastwood, John Ireland, Charles Gray
Rawhide is an American Western TV series starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood that aired for eight seasons on the CBS network on Friday nights, from January 9, 1959 to September 3, 1965, ...more
12
Have Gun – Will Travel is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Richard Boone, Kam Tong, Hal Needham
Have Gun – Will Travel is an American Western television series that aired on CBS from 1957 through 1963. It was rated number three or number four in the Nielsen ratings every year of its first ...more
13
The Adventures of Wild Bill Hi... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Andy Devine, Guy Madison
The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok is an American Western television series which ran for eight seasons from 1951 through 1958. The Screen Gems series began in syndication, but ran on CBS from ...more
14
The Adventures of Robin Hood is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Donald Pleasence, Ian Hunter, Paul Eddington
The Adventures of Robin Hood is a British television series comprising 143 half-hour, black and white episodes broadcast weekly between 1955 and 1959 on ITV. It stars Richard Greene as the ...more
15
The Life and Legend of Wyatt E... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
John Anderson, Hugh O'Brian, Denver Pyle
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp was the first western television series written for adults, premiering four days before Gunsmoke on September 6, 1955. It is loosely based on the life of ...more
16
Bat Masterson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Gene Barry
Bat Masterson is an American Western television series which showed a fictionalized account of the life of real-life marshal/gambler/dandy Bat Masterson. The title character was played by Gene ...more
17
The Cisco Kid is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Leo Carrillo, Duncan Renaldo
The Cisco Kid is a half-hour American Western television series starring Duncan Renaldo in the title role, The Cisco Kid, and Leo Carrillo as the jovial sidekick, Pancho. Cisco and Pancho were ...more
18
Sea Hunt is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Lloyd Bridges, Ron Ely
Sea Hunt is an American adventure television series that aired in syndication from 1958 to 1961 and was popular in syndication for decades afterwards. The series originally aired for four ...more
19
Sky King is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Monte Blue, Kirby Grant, Chubby Johnson
Sky King was an American radio and TV series. Its lead character was Arizona rancher and aircraft pilot Schuyler "Sky" King. The series may have been based on a true-life personality ...more
20
Highway Patrol is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Broderick Crawford, Art Gilmore, William Boyett
Highway Patrol is a syndicated action crime drama series produced from 1955 to 1959.
21
Flash Gordon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Henry Beckman, Savage Steve Holland, Irene Champlin
Flash Gordon is a science fiction television series based on the characters of the Alex Raymond-created comic strip of the same name. Diverging from the storyline of the comics, the series set ...more
22
The Roy Rogers Show is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Reed Howes
The Roy Rogers Show is an American Western television series that broadcast one hundred episodes on NBC for six seasons between December 30, 1951 and June 9, 1957. The show starred Roy Rogers as ...more
23
Peter Gunn is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Craig Stevens, Herschel Bernardi, Lola Albright
Peter Gunn is an American private eye television series which aired on the NBC and later ABC television networks from 1958 to 1961. The show's creator was Blake Edwards. It was also directed by ...more
24
H.G. Wells' Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Deborah Watling, Tim Turner, Lisa Daniely
25
Adventures in Paradise is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 1950s Action TV Series
Gardner McKay, James Holden, Lani Kai
Adventures in Paradise is an American television series created by James Michener which ran on ABC from 1959 until 1962, starring Gardner McKay as Adam Troy, the captain of the schooner Tiki ...more