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The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s

Updated January 6, 2020 27.4k votes 2.7k voters 116.9k views70 items

List RulesVote 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.

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  • 1
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    204

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord
    The Twilight Zone is a 1959 American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is...  more

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  • 2
    890
    282

    I Love Lucy

    Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz
    I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance,...  more

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  • 3
    608
    189

    The Honeymooners

    Jackie Gleason, Art Carney
    The Honeymooners is an American sitcom, based on a recurring 1951–55 sketch of the same name....  more

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  • 4
    712
    160

    Looney Tunes

    Mel Blanc, June Foray
    Looney Tunes is an American animated series of comedy short films produced by Warner Bros....  more

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  • 5
    732
    246

    Leave It to Beaver

    Jerry Mathers, Hugh Beaumont
    Leave It to Beaver is an American television situation comedy about an inquisitive and often...  more

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  • 6
    450
    123

    Adventures of Superman

    George Reeves, Noel Neill
    Adventures of Superman is an American television series based on comic book characters and...  more

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  • 7
    543
    166

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents

    Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler
    Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series hosted by Alfred...  more

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  • 8
    449
    134

    The Ed Sullivan Show

    Ed Sullivan, Bern Bennett
    The Ed Sullivan Show was an American TV variety show that ran on CBS from Sunday June 20, 1948...  more

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  • 9
    427
    116

    The Lone Ranger

    Clayton Moore, Jay Silverheels
    The Lone Ranger is an American western drama television series that aired on the ABC...  more

    More 

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  • 10
    434
    120

    The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show

    Bill Scott, June Foray
    The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show is an American animated television series that originally aired...  more

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  • 11
    434
    123

    Bonanza

    Lorne Greene, Michael Landon
    Bonanza is an NBC television western series that ran from September 12, 1959, to January 16,...  more

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  • 12
    468
    135

    Perry Mason

    Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale
    Perry Mason is an American legal drama series originally broadcast on CBS television from...  more

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  • 13
    439
    120

    Tom and Jerry

    Tom Kenny, Rick Zieff
    Tom and Jerry is an American animated series of short films created in 1940, by William Hanna...  more

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  • 14
    454
    144

    Gunsmoke

    James Arness, Milburn Stone
    Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman...  more

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  • 15
    337
    93

    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,...  more
  • 16
    374
    114

    Lassie

    June Lockhart, Andy Clyde
    Lassie is an American television series that follows the adventures of a female Rough Collie...  more

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  • 17
    395
    136

    Dragnet

    Jack Webb, Harry Morgan
    Dragnet is an American radio, television and motion picture series, enacting the cases of a...  more

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  • 18
    414
    143

    Father Knows Best

    Robert Young, Jane Wyatt
    Father Knows Best is an American radio and television comedy series which portrayed a middle...  more
  • 19
    473
    154

    The Three Stooges

    Moe Howard, Larry Fine
    A handful of Three Stooges shorts first aired on television in 1949, on the American...  more

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  • 20
    350
    97

    The Yogi Bear Show

    Daws Butler, Don Messick
    The Yogi Bear Show is an animated television series and the first incarnation produced by...  more

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  • 21
    314
    103
    American Bandstand is an American music-performance show that aired in various versions from...  more

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  • 22
    360
    105

    The Rifleman

    Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford
    The Rifleman is an American Western television program starring Chuck Connors as rancher Lucas...  more

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  • 23
    334
    94

    Maverick

    Jack Kelly, James Garner
    Maverick is an American Western television series with comedic overtones created by Roy...  more

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  • 24
    296
    107

    The Mickey Mouse Club

    Jimmie Dodd, Tommy Cole
    The Mickey Mouse Club is an American variety television show that aired intermittently from...  more

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  • 25
    274
    97

    Candid Camera

    Suzanne Somers, Dom DeLuise
    Candid Camera (ABC, 1948) is an American hidden camera reality television series created by...  more

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