The Best TV Shows of the 1940s
List of the best shows from the 1940s, as ranked by television fans. Although television was invented in the 1920s, it wasn’t until the early 40s that the average person began adding a television to their home. In fact, television was so rare that in 1948, only 10% of Americans claimed to have even seen a TV set with their own eyes, let alone own one. Due to World War II, many television programs and stations shut down, leaving options for TV watchers very limited. Since the television medium was only just beginning, there were only 4 networks, NBC, DuMont, ABC, and CBS. DuMont is the only one that no longer exists, although it was better known for manufacturing television sets.
However, there were a few television programs that entertained the small audience of TV watchers. Many of these shows were variety shows, starring the top comedians and personalities of the time, such as Fred Waring, Ted Mack, and Ed Sullivan. Children’s TV shows were among the most popular programs, with Howdy Doody and Captain Video.
Have you seen any of these 1940s TV shows? If so, which is your favorite? This list includes the top programs of the 1940s, when TV was still a baby.
The Ed Sullivan Show was an American TV variety show that ran on CBS from Sunday June 20, 1948 to Sunday June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. It was replaced ...more
- Premiered: June 20, 1948
- Genres: Sketch comedy, Variety show, Comedy, Family Film, Reality television
Slapstick comedy from Larry, Moe, Curly and occasionally Shemp.
- Premiered: May 5, 1934
- Genres: Comedy
The Lone Ranger and Tonto avenge wrongs throughout the Old West.
- Premiered: September 15, 1949
- Genres: Adventure
Candid Camera (ABC, 1948) is an American hidden camera reality television series created by Allen Funt. The show involves concealed cameras filming ordinary people being confronted with unusual ...more
- Premiered: August 10, 1948
- Genres: Comedy, Reality
A loner travels with his horse companion chasing villains across the frontier.
- Premiered: June 24, 1949
- Genres: Crime,Drama
Texaco Star Theatre is an American comedy-variety show, broadcast on radio from 1938 to 1949 and telecast from 1948 to 1956. It was one of the first successful examples of American television ...more
- Premiered: January 1, 1948
- Genres: Comedy