430 voters

The Best 1970s Black TV Shows

Updated July 27, 2021 1.8k votes 430 voters 39.3k views10 items

List RulesVote up the best shows that center both Black stories and Black characters and aired new episodes between 1970 and 1979.

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: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    Soul Train is an American musical variety television program, which aired in syndication from 1971 until 2006. In its 35-year history, the show primarily featured performances by R&B, soul, and hip hop artists, although funk, jazz, disco, and gospel artists have also appeared. The series was created by Don Cornelius, who also served as its first host and executive producer. Production was suspended following the 2005–06 season, with a rerun package airing for two years subsequently. As a nod to Soul Train's longevity, the show's opening sequence contained a claim that it was the "longest-running first-run, nationally syndicated program in American television history," with over 1,100...  more
    • Actors: Nick Cannon, Rosie Perez, Don Cornelius, Jermaine Stewart, Dorian Gregory
    • Premiered: 1971
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    #35 of 167 The Best Black TV Shows Of All Time#19 of 37 The Best Dance TV Shows#13 of 37 The Best 1990s Black TV Shows

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    Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids is an animated series created, produced, and hosted by comedian Bill Cosby, who also lent his voice to a number of characters, including Fat Albert himself. Filmation was the production company for the series. The show premiered in 1972 and ran until 1985. The show, based on Cosby's remembrances of his childhood gang, centered on Albert, and his friends. The show features an educational lesson in each episode, emphasized by Cosby's live-action segments. In addition, at the end of the early episodes, the gang typically gathers in their North Philadelphia junkyard to play a song on their cobbled-together instruments, summarizing the show's lesson....  more
    • Actors: Bill Cosby, Jan Crawford, Lou Scheimer, Gerald Edwards, Erika Scheimer
    • Premiered: September 1, 1972
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    This award-winning six-part historical epic was one of the first examples of the miniseries format and one of the highest-rated television programs in broadcasting history. Based on the best-selling novel by author Alex Haley, Roots chronicles the progress of Haley's own family across many generations. Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton) is a young tribesman of coastal Africa who has passed the rituals marking his transition into manhood. Searching for wood to build a drum, he is set upon by slavers who sell him in the United States after a nightmarish Atlantic crossing. ...  more
    • Actors: LeVar Burton, Ed Asner, Georg Stanford Brown, Maya Angelou, Moses Gunn
    • Premiered: January 23, 1977
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    #153 of 206 The TV Shows With The Best Writing#54 of 390 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time#22 of 92 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories

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    Benson is an American television sitcom which aired from September 13, 1979, to April 19, 1986, on ABC. The series was a spin-off from the soap opera parody Soap; however, Benson discarded the soap opera format of its parent show in favor of a more conventional sitcom structure. The series was created by Susan Harris, and produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions....  more
    • Actors: Robert Guillaume, James Noble, Inga Swenson, Missy Gold, Caroline McWilliams
    • Premiered: September 13, 1979
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    #39 of 96 The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time#123 of 299 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History#33 of 61 The Best ABC Comedies of All Time