This list of the best '50s TV shows ranks the decade's shows from best to worst based on your votes and votes from other television fans. In the 1950s, television was still relatively new. People were only just beginning to add a television set to their furniture collection. At the time there were only a handful of channels, and a very limited program selection. Since there were fewer TV show options, more people were watching the same shows and experiencing the same cultural phenomenons at the same time.
The most memorable shows that came from the '50s were sitcoms like I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, and The Honeymooners. These programs still rerun on TV to this day, due to their timeless nature. However, many of the programs that aired in the '50s did not stand the test of time. Many of these shows included ideals and jokes that are no longer relevant today. Most of the top shows from the 50s were variety comedy programs, starring the top comedians of the day including Jackie Gleason, Milton Berle, and Red Skelton. Many of the top programs were also game shows.
What are your favorite '50s programs? Which top shows from the 1950s deserve to be remembered for years to come? This list includes the highest-rated and most talked-about shows that aired in the '50s, so vote up the best shows of the decade.
- "The Twilight Zone" was the brainchild of Emmy Award-winner Rod Serling, who served as host and wrote over 80 episodes of the original show's 150-plus episode run. It's a strange mix of horror, ...more
- The adventures of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and friends.
- Ralph Kramden is a perpetually flustered but eternally optimistic New York City bus driver living with his wife, Alice, in a small Brooklyn apartment. Ralph's best friend is sanitation worker Ed ...more
- The familiar "plink, plink" of the theme song, accompanied by the line drawing of a man in profile immediately identifies the show as "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." The famed director opens almost ...more
- Defense attorney Perry Mason defends dozens of falsely accused people over the course of this long-running courtroom drama, and he manages to clear each and every one of them, usually by drawing out ...more
- Lucy Ricardo is the wacky wife of Cuban bandleader Ricky Ricardo. Living in New York, Ricky tries to succeed in show business while Lucy -- always trying to help -- usually manages to get in some ...more
- Marshal Matt Dillon maintains law and order in Dodge City.
- The Lone Ranger is an American western drama television series that aired on the ABC Television network from 1949 to 1957, with Clayton Moore in the starring role. Jay Silverheels, a member of the ...more
- It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a syndicated TV adaptation of the beloved DC Comics superhero! You know the drill: When he isn't fighting for truth, justice and the American way, the man in tights ...more
- This sitcom defines the "golly gee" wholesomeness of 1950s and `60s TV, where dad Ward Cleaver always gets home in time for dinner, mom June cleans the house wearing a dress and pearls, and kids ...more
- 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
- The Red Skelton Show is an American variety show that was a television staple for two decades, from 1951 to 1971. It was second to Gunsmoke and third to The Ed Sullivan Show in the ratings during ...more
- Life on the Ponderosa with the Cartwright clan.
- The adventures Bullwinkle and Rocky in Frostbite Falls, Minn.
- American Bandstand is an American music-performance show that aired in various versions from 1952 to 1989 and was hosted from 1956 until its final season by Dick Clark, who also served as producer. ...more
- Tom and Jerry is an American animated series of short films created in 1940, by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. It centers on a rivalry between its two main characters, Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse, and ...more
- An extraordinary collie helps humans with problems.
- Dragnet is an American radio, television and motion picture series, enacting the cases of a dedicated Los Angeles police detective, Sergeant Joe Friday, and his partners. The show takes its name from ...more
- The Maverick boys - Bret, Bart, Beau and Brent - are a clan of well-dressed dandies, gamblers who'd much rather make their money playing cards than messing up their fine clothing with actual work. ...more
- Jim Anderson copes with the everyday problems of his growing family.
- The Rifleman is an American Western television program starring Chuck Connors as rancher Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son, Mark McCain. It was set in the 1870s and 1880s in the town of ...more
- The McCoys move from West Virginia to Northern California.
- Starring in movies, Larry, Moe, Curly -- and sometimes Shemp -- manage to find time to get into slapstick situations and engage in plenty of comic violence. "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!"
- 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
- The adventures of Donna Stone, her pediatrician husband and her kids.