Entertainment 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
570 163
I Love Lucy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
478 150
Leave It to Beaver is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
385 96
Looney Tunes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added 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
4
525 124
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts
The Twilight Zone is a 1959 American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, ...more
5
332 94
Alfred Hitchcock Presents is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
295 83
The Ed Sullivan Show is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
7
363 118
The Honeymooners is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
8
285 92
Gunsmoke is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
273 84
Perry Mason is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
250 85
Father Knows Best is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
11
270 90
The Three Stooges is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard
12
245 66
Adventures of Superman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added 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
13
225 62
The Lone Ranger is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added
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
14
246 64
Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added 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
15
237 84
Dragnet is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
16
224 70
Tom and Jerry is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added 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
17
227 61
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added 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
18
197 55
The Yogi Bear Show is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added 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
19
198 60
The Rifleman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added 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
20
218 75
Lassie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
21
181 53
American Bandstand is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added 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
22
166 61
The Untouchables is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
slaft added Robert Stack, Jerry Paris, Walter Winchell
The Untouchables is an American 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
23
202 65
The Red Skelton Show is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
201 87
The Adventures of Ozzie and Ha... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
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
164 58
The Donna Reed Show is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s
josh-gillin added 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