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.
Genres (Tv): ComedyA handful of Three Stooges shorts first aired on television in 1949, on the American... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Western, Action/AdventureThe Lone Ranger is the central character of an American animated television series that ran 26... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Sketch comedy, Variety show, Comedy, Family Film, Reality televisionThe Ed Sullivan Show was an American TV variety show that ran on CBS from Sunday June 20, 1948... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Western, Action/Adventure
Genres (Tv): Comedy, Reality televisionCandid Camera (ABC, 1948) is an American hidden camera reality television series created by... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Children's television series, PuppetHowdy Doody is an American children's television program that was created and produced by E.... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Children's television series, Comedy, Family Film, PuppetKukla, Fran and Ollie is an early American television show using puppets, originally created... more on Wikipedia
Kraft Television Theater
Ted Mack Amateur Hour
Genres (Tv): Children's television series, Science FictionCaptain Video and His Video Rangers is an American science fiction television series, which... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Variety show, ComedyTexaco Star Theatre is an American comedy-variety show, broadcast on radio from 1938 to 1949... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Game showTruth or Consequences is an American television show originally hosted on NBC radio by Ralph... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Comedy
- 15The Fred Waring Show is an American television musical variety show that ran from April 17,... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): SitcomThe Morey Amsterdam Show is an American sitcom which ran from 1948-1949 on CBS Television and... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Anthology, Anthology series, DramaKraft Television Theatre is an American drama/anthology television series that began May 7,... more on Wikipedia
- 18The Original Amateur Hour is an American radio and television program. The show was a... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Police proceduralMan Against Crime starring Ralph Bellamy, one of the first television programs about private... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Anthology, Anthology series, DramaThe Philco Television Playhouse is an American anthology series that was broadcast live on NBC... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): News, Public affairsMeet the Press is a weekly American television news/interview program that is broadcast on... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Soap operaA Woman to Remember is a soap opera which ran on the DuMont Television Network from February... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Talent show, NewsHollywood Screen Test is an American talent show which aired on ABC from 1948 to 1953.
- 25They Stand Accused is an American dramatized court show broadcast on the now-defunct DuMont... more on Wikipedia