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The Best 1970s Black TV Shows

Updated October 17, 2019 1.6k votes 374 voters 31.8k views10 items

List RulesVote up your favorite black TV Series that aired in the '70s

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.

Do you have a favorite Black TV show from the 70s? Give the best series a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

  • Sanford and Son
    Photo: Sanford and Son / NBC
    Sanford and Son is an American sitcom, based on the BBC's Steptoe and Son, that ran on the NBC television network from January 14, 1972, to March 25, 1977. Known for its edgy racial humor, running gags and catch phrases, the series was adapted by Norman Lear and considered NBC's answer to CBS's All in the Family. Sanford and Son has been hailed as the precursor to many other African American sitcoms. It was a ratings hit throughout its six-season run. While the role of Fred G. Sanford was known for his bigotry and cantankerousness, the role of Lamont Sanford was that of a conscientious peacemaker. At times, both characters would involve themselves in schemes. Other colorful/unconventional...  more
    • Actors: Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page
    • Premiered: 1972
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  • Good Times is an American sitcom that originally aired from February 8, 1974, until August 1, 1979, on CBS. It was created by Eric Monte and Mike Evans, and developed by Norman Lear, the series' primary executive producer. Good Times is a spin-off of Maude, which is itself a spin-off of All in the Family....  more
    • Actors: BernNadette Stanis, Ralph Carter, Jimmie Walker
    • Premiered: 1974
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  • What's Happening!! is an American television sitcom that aired on ABC from August 5, 1976 to April 28, 1979. The show premiered as a summer series. With good ratings and reviews, and after the failure of several other shows on the network, What's Happening!! returned in November 1976 as a weekly series. It remained a regular show until 1979; ratings were modest. What's Happening!! was loosely based on the motion picture Cooley High, also written by Eric Monte. From 1985-88, a sequel series called What's Happening Now!! aired in first-run syndication, with several actors reprising their roles....  more
    • Actors: Fred Berry, Danielle Spencer, Shirley Hemphill, Haywood Nelson, Mabel King
    • Premiered: 1976
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  • The Jeffersons
    Photo: The Jeffersons / CBS
    The Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through July 2, 1985, lasting 11 seasons and a total of 253 episodes. The show was produced by the T.A.T. Communications Company from 1975 to 1982 and by Embassy Television from 1982 to 1985. The Jeffersons is one of the longest-running sitcoms in the history of American television. The show focuses on George and Louise Jefferson, an affluent African-American couple living in New York City. The show was launched as the second spin-off of All in the Family, on which the Jeffersons had been the neighbors of Archie and Edith Bunker....  more
    • Actors: Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Marla Gibbs
    • Premiered: 1975
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