These are the best 1970s Black TV shows, ranked from best to worst by user votes. From good 1970s African American TV series that were trendsetting comedies, to others that were heartbreaking dramas. A few of the top 70s Black TV shows even featured live performance, music, and interviews.
What shows appear on this best 1970s Black TV shows list? Of course, Sanford and Son should probably appear near the top of this list. This groundbreaking comedy ran from 1972-1977 and it is often listed as one of the best TV shows of all time. The Jeffersons is another one of the greatest Black TV shows that aired during the 1970s.
When Soul Train premiered in 1971, it featured cutting edge music, dance and fashion. Other good shows that appear on this top 1970s Black TV shows list include Good Times, Roots and Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.
What are television's best Black '70s shows? Vote up the 1970s shows that center both Black stories and Black characters that were the best of the decade and see where the Black shows of the '70s you loved to watch rank.
- Photo: Sanford & Son1259 VOTES
As a trailblazer in the realm of Black sitcoms, Sanford and Son set the standard with its uproarious humor and unforgettable characters. Starring the iconic Redd Foxx as junk dealer Fred G. Sanford, the show delved into his daily shenanigans and complex relationship with his enterprising son Lamont, portrayed by Demond Wilson. Apart from delivering belly laughs, the duo often served up poignant moments, providing a perfect balance of comedy and commentary that kept viewers tuning in each week. With its undeniable status as one of the 1970s' most popular series, Sanford and Son indubitably holds a special place in the annals of television history.
- Photo: CBS2211 VOTES
Growing out of the shadows of All in the Family, The Jeffersons featured an upwardly mobile African American family, showcasing their lives and challenges as they moved on up to a posh Manhattan high-rise. Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford led the cast as George and Louise Jefferson, who juggled the demands of their successful business and personal lives, while rubbing elbows with an eclectic array of neighbors. With its groundbreaking themes of racial integration and upward mobility, The Jeffersons set the stage for future sitcoms and played a crucial role in breaking down barriers in American television.
- 3238 VOTES
Set in the projects of Chicago, Good Times captured the hearts of viewers for its relatable depiction of a working-class Black family striving to survive in a difficult world. Helmed by Esther Rolle as the strong-willed matriarch Florida Evans and John Amos as her steadfast husband James, the beloved series tackled pressing themes like poverty, crime, and racism. With legendary catchphrases and unforgettable performances, including a young Jimmie Walker as the magnetic older sibling J.J., Good Times left an indelible mark on the genre of family sitcoms, maintaining its popularity well beyond its '70s heyday.
- 4190 VOTES
A light-hearted romp through the lives of three inseparable teenage friends, What's Happening!! offered a comedic glimpse into their experiences in their diverse neighborhood in Watts, Los Angeles. Featuring Ernest Thomas as Raj, Fred Berry as Rerun, and Haywood Nelson as Dwayne, the charismatic trio maneuvered through adolescence with a backdrop of topical issues and memorable one-liners. With its snappy banter, engaging storylines, and the irresistible charm of the effortlessly entertaining trio, What's Happening!! continues to be a beloved staple of 1970s Black TV.
- 5134 VOTES
A unique entry on this list, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids emerged not from the world of sitcoms, but rather as an animated series. Created by the legendary Bill Cosby, the show followed the adventures of the rotund, good-hearted Fat Albert and his friends as they navigated the challenges of growing up in a gritty urban environment. Equal parts educational and entertaining, the show brought important lessons to life through vibrant animation and catchy musical numbers, making it a standout from other Saturday morning cartoons.
- Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use6137 VOTES
Taking viewers on a non-stop ride through that sweet, sweet soul music, Soul Train established itself as a cultural institution by providing a platform for Black musical artists to gain wider exposure. Hosted by the late, great Don Cornelius, the iconic series featured live performances, dance contests, and interviews with luminaries of the music industry. With its groovy outfits, hypnotic dance moves, and unforgettable performances, Soul Train carved out a unique niche in TV history, bringing the soulful sounds of African American musicians into the living rooms of fans everywhere.