50s The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s  

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List Rules Vote up the most quintessential TV shows that aired between 1950 and 1959.

List of the top TV shows of the 1950s, as ranked by television enthusiasts and 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 less 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 is your favorite 1950s show? This list features the highest rated, critically acclaimed, and fan favorite shows of the 50s.

list ordered by

1
267 90
I Love Lucy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
I Love Lucy Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley. The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951, to May 6, ...more

2
241 78
Leave It to Beaver is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
Leave It to Beaver Jerry Mathers, Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsley Leave It to Beaver is an American television situation comedy about an inquisitive and often naïve boy named Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver and his adventures at home, in school, ...more

3
258 71
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
The Twilight Zone Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts The Twilight Zone is an American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, ...more

4
178 49
Looney Tunes is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Looney Tunes Mel Blanc, June Foray, Arthur Q. Bryan Looney Tunes is an American animated series of comedy short films produced by Warner Bros. from 1930 to 1969 during the golden age of American animation, alongside its sister series Merrie ...more

5
165 47
Alfred Hitchcock Presents is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. The series featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. By the time the show premiered on October ...more

6
190 65
The Honeymooners is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
The Honeymooners Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows The Honeymooners is an American sitcom, based on a recurring 1951–55 sketch of the same name. It originally aired on the DuMont network's Cavalcade of Stars and subsequently on the CBS network's ...more

7
151 45
The Ed Sullivan Show is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
The Ed Sullivan Show Ed Sullivan, Bern Bennett, Ralph Paul 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 ...more

8
149 48
Gunsmoke is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
Gunsmoke James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman Macdonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during ...more

9
149 45
Perry Mason is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
Perry Mason Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper Perry Mason is an American legal drama series originally broadcast on CBS television from September 21, 1957, to May 22, 1966. The title character, portrayed by Raymond Burr, is a fictional Los ...more

10
135 40
The Three Stooges is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added The Three Stooges Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard

11
131 46
Dragnet is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
Dragnet Jack Webb, Harry Morgan, Don Ross 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 ...more

12
111 31
Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Bonanza Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker Bonanza is an NBC television western series that ran from September 12, 1959, to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons and 430 episodes, it ranks as the second longest running western series, and ...more

TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

13
128 48
Father Knows Best is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
Father Knows Best Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Elinor Donahue Father Knows Best is an American radio and television comedy series which portrayed a middle class family life in the Midwest. It was created by writer Ed James in the 1940s, and ran on radio ...more

14
112 34
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show Bill Scott, June Foray, Paul Frees The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show is an American animated television series that originally aired from November 19, 1959, to June 27, 1964, on the ABC and NBC television networks. Produced by Jay ...more

15
101 29
Adventures of Superman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Adventures of Superman George Reeves, Noel Neill, Bill Kennedy Adventures of Superman is an American television series based on comic book characters and concepts created in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The show is the first television series to ...more

16
90 23
American Bandstand is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added American Bandstand Dick Clark 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 ...more

17
107 37
Tom and Jerry is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Tom and Jerry Tom Kenny, Rick Zieff, Gary Cole 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 ...more

The Best Animated Films Ever

18
88 26
The Untouchables is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added The Untouchables Robert Stack, Jerry Paris, Walter Winchell The Untouchables is an American crime drama that ran from 1959 to 1963 on the ABC Television Network, produced by Desilu Productions. Based on the memoir of the same name by Eliot Ness and Oscar ...more

19
114 40
Lassie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
Lassie June Lockhart, Andy Clyde, Pamelyn Ferdin Lassie is an American television series that follows the adventures of a female Rough Collie dog named Lassie and her companions, both human and animal. The show was the creation of producer ...more

20
99 32
The Lone Ranger is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added The Lone Ranger The Lone Ranger is a fictional masked former Texas Ranger who fought outlaws in the American Old West with his native American friend, Tonto. The character has been called an enduring icon of ...more

21
116 38
Maverick is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
Maverick Jack Kelly, James Garner, Roger Moore Maverick is an American Western television series with comedic overtones created by Roy Huggins. The show ran from September 22, 1957 to July 8, 1962 on ABC and stars James Garner as Bret ...more

22
89 28
The Yogi Bear Show is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added The Yogi Bear Show Daws Butler, Don Messick, Jimmy Weldon The Yogi Bear Show is an animated television series and the first incarnation produced by Hanna-Barbera about a picnic basket stealing bear named Yogi. The show debuted in syndication on January ...more

The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

23
112 38
The Red Skelton Show is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
The Red Skelton Show Ginger Rogers, Red Skelton 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 ...more

24
107 45
The Adventures of Ozzie and Ha... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Ozzie Nelson, Harriet Hilliard, David Nelson The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet is an American sitcom, airing on ABC from October 3, 1952, through March 26, 1966, starring the real-life Nelson family. After a long run on radio, the show ...more

25
90 33
The Rifleman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added The Rifleman Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford, Paul Fix 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 ...more

26
117 44
Have Gun – Will Travel is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
Have Gun – Will Travel Richard Boone, Kam Tong, Hal Needham Have Gun – Will Travel is an American Western television series that aired on CBS from 1957 through 1963. It was rated number three or number four in the Nielsen ratings every year of its first ...more

27
87 32
The Mickey Mouse Club is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
RobLein added The Mickey Mouse Club Jimmie Dodd, Tommy Cole, Eileen Diamond The Mickey Mouse Club is an American variety television show that aired intermittently from 1955 to 1996. Created by Walt Disney and produced by Walt Disney Productions, the program was first ...more

The Best Movies Based on TV Shows

28
90 35
Zorro is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Zorro Guy Williams, Gene Sheldon, George J. Lewis Zorro is an American action-adventure western drama series produced by Walt Disney Productions. Based on the well-known Zorro character, the series premiered on October 10, 1957 on ABC. The ...more

29
71 26
Captain Kangaroo is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Captain Kangaroo Robert Keeshan, James E. Wall, Deborah Weems Captain Kangaroo is an American children's television series that aired weekday mornings on the American television network CBS for nearly 30 years, from October 3, 1955 until December 8, 1984, ...more

30
72 28
Wagon Train is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Wagon Train Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson, Robert Horton Wagon Train is an American Western series that ran on NBC 1957–62 and then on ABC 1962–65, although the network also aired daytime repeats, as Major Adams, Trailmaster and Trailmaster, from ...more

31
72 28
The Donna Reed Show is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
josh-gillin added The Donna Reed Show Donna Reed, Paul Petersen, Carl Betz The Donna Reed Show is an American situation comedy starring Donna Reed as the middle-class housewife Donna Stone. Carl Betz co-stars as her pediatrician husband Dr. Alex Stone, and Shelley ...more

32
67 27
Sea Hunt is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Sea Hunt Lloyd Bridges, Ron Ely Sea Hunt is an American adventure television series that aired in syndication from 1958 to 1961 and was popular in syndication for decades afterwards. The series originally aired for four ...more

The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

33
71 31
Rawhide is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Rawhide Clint Eastwood, John Ireland, Charles Gray Rawhide is an American Western TV series starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood that aired for eight seasons on the CBS network on Friday nights, from January 9, 1959 to September 3, 1965, ...more

34
72 32
Candid Camera is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Candid Camera Suzanne Somers, Dom DeLuise, Arthur Godfrey Candid Camera is an American hidden camera/practical joke reality television series created and produced by Allen Funt, which initially began on radio as The Candid Microphone June 28, 1947. ...more

35
95 43
The Jack Benny Program is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
The Jack Benny Program Mel Blanc, Jack Benny, Dennis Day The Jack Benny Program, starring Jack Benny, is a radio-TV comedy series that ran for more than three decades and is generally regarded as a high-water mark in 20th-century American comedy.

36
97 46
The Jackie Gleason Show is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
The Jackie Gleason Show Tina Louise, Bettie Page, Jackie Gleason The Jackie Gleason Show is the name of a series of popular American network television shows that starred Jackie Gleason, which ran from 1952 to 1970, in various forms.

37
67 34
Dennis the Menace is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Dennis the Menace Mary Wickes, Charles Lane, Jay North Dennis the Menace is an American sitcom based on the Hank Ketcham comic strip of the same name and preceded The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday evenings on CBS from October 1959 to July 1963. The ...more

The Most Influential People in 2018

38
57 28
Highway Patrol is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
RobLein added Highway Patrol Broderick Crawford, Art Gilmore, William Boyett Highway Patrol is a syndicated action crime drama series produced from 1955 to 1959.

39
79 46
Sgt Bilko is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
WilliamBennet added Sgt Bilko

40
81 44
What's My Line? is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
What's My Line? Lucille Ball, Tony Randall, Steve Allen What's My Line? is a panel game show which originally ran in the United States on the CBS Television Network from 1950 to 1967, with several international versions and subsequent U.S. revivals. ...more

41
76 40
77 Sunset Strip is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
77 Sunset Strip Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Edd Byrnes, Roger Smith 77 Sunset Strip is an American television private detective series created by Roy Huggins and starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Roger Smith and Edd Byrnes. Each episode was one hour long. The show ...more

42
70 40
The Danny Thomas Show is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
The Danny Thomas Show Annette Funicello, Danny Thomas, Pat Carroll The Danny Thomas Show is an American sitcom which ran from 1953 to 1957 on ABC and from 1957 to 1964 on CBS. A revival series known as Make Room for Granddaddy aired on ABC from 1970 to 1971. ...more

TV Shows That Would Have Been Better As Movies

43
23 4
Amos 'n' Andy is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
1518109816144 added Amos 'n' Andy Jester Hairston, Amanda Randolph, Tim Moore Amos 'n' Andy is an American radio and television sitcom set in Harlem, Manhattan's historic black community. The original radio show, which was popular from the 1920s through the 1950s, was ...more

44
41 26
The Roy Rogers Show is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
The Roy Rogers Show Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Reed Howes The Roy Rogers Show is an American Western television series that broadcast one hundred episodes on NBC for six seasons between December 30, 1951 and June 9, 1957. The show starred Roy Rogers as ...more

45
51 39
Felix the Cat is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Felix the Cat Jack Mercer Felix the Cat is a funny animal cartoon character created in the silent film era. The anthropomorphic black cat with his black body, white eyes, and giant grin, coupled with the surrealism of ...more

46
27 13
Our Miss Brooks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
TimRodriguez added Our Miss Brooks Eve Arden, Gene Barry, Richard Crenna Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast on CBS from 1948 to 1957. When the show was ...more

47
55 40
You Bet Your Life is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
You Bet Your Life Groucho Marx You Bet Your Life is an American quiz show that aired on both radio and television. The original and best-known version was hosted by Groucho Marx of the Marx Brothers, with announcer and ...more

48
52 40
I've Got a Secret is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
I've Got a Secret Teri Garr, Steve Allen, Richard Dawson I've Got a Secret was a panel game show produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman for CBS television. Created by comedy writers Allan Sherman and Howard Merrill, it was a derivative of ...more

49
36 32
Truth or Consequences is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
RobLein added Truth or Consequences Ralph Edwards, Jack Bailey Truth or Consequences is an American television show originally hosted on NBC radio by Ralph Edwards and later on television by Edwards, Jack Bailey, Bob Barker, Bob Hilton and Larry Anderson. ...more

50
35 32
The Ruff & Reddy Show is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added The Ruff & Reddy Show Don Messick, Daws Butler, Jimmy Blaine The Ruff and Reddy Show is an American animated television series created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for NBC. The series follows the adventures of Ruff, a smart and steadfast cat, and ...more