70s TV The Best 70s Drama Shows  

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List Rules Any drama series that premiered in the 1970s

List of the best dramas on television in the 70s, as ranked by television critics and fans. The 1970s was not just about Farrah Fawcett haircuts and skinny jean fashion. The culture was also defined by the groundbreaking dramas that were popping up on television in both the UnitedStates and United Kingdom. Trends that were once popular in the 60s were beginning to die off, such as the televised western. Bonanza and Gunsmoke were the only two westerns that survived into the 70s.

Two genres steadily rose in the 70s: crime shows and science fiction dramas. The stars of crime dramas quickly became icons, with their feathered hair and serious dispositions. Many of the detectives from these shows became legends of the genre, from Kojak’s lollipop sucking detective skills to Columbo and his cunning ways of tricking a criminal into slipping up.Science fiction shows like Wonder Woman and Battlestar Galactica worked as a foundation for a drama genre that would continue to grow over the years.

This list answers the question, “What are the best TV dramas of the 70s?” The shows on this list range from family friendly period pieces like The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie to medical dramas like Quincy,M.E. These dramas truly capture the feel of the 70s.

list ordered by

1
47 13
Quincy, M.E. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Quincy, M.E. Jack Klugman, John S. Ragin, Robert Ito Quincy, M.E. is an American television series from Universal Studios that aired from October 3, 1976, to September 5, 1983, on NBC. It stars Jack Klugman in the title role, a Los Angeles County ...more

2
47 14
The Six Million Dollar Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
The Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks The Six Million Dollar Man is an American television series about a former astronaut with bionic implants working for a fictional government office known as OSI. The series is based on the ...more

3
64 26
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Columbo Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, ...more

4
51 17
Little House on the Prairie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Little House on the Prairie Little House on the Prairie is an American Western drama television series, starring Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, and Karen Grassle, about a family living on a farm in Walnut Grove, ...more

5
44 16
Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Hawaii Five-O Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Kam Fong Hawaii Five-O is an American police procedural drama series produced by CBS Productions and Leonard Freeman. Set in Hawaii, the show originally aired for 12 seasons from 1968 to 1980, and ...more

6
52 23
Dallas is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Dallas Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy Dallas is a long-running American prime time television soap opera that aired from April 2, 1978, to May 3, 1991, on CBS. The series revolves around a wealthy and feuding Texan family, the ...more

7
40 14
The Incredible Hulk is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
The Incredible Hulk Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno, Jack Colvin The Incredible Hulk is an American television series based on the Marvel Comics character The Hulk. The series aired on the CBS television network and starred Bill Bixby as David Banner, Lou ...more

8
39 14
The Streets of San Francisco is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
The Streets of San Francisco Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, Reuben Collins The Streets of San Francisco is a 1970s television police drama filmed on location in San Francisco, California, and produced by Quinn Martin Productions, with the first season produced in ...more

9
38 14
Kojak is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Kojak Telly Savalas, Dan Frazer, Kevin Dobson Kojak is an American television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak. Taking the time slot of the popular Cannon ...more

10
45 20
Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
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

11
42 18
Starsky and Hutch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Starsky and Hutch David Soul, Paul Michael Glaser, Antonio Fargas Starsky & Hutch is a 1970s American cop thriller television series, which consisted of a 70-minute pilot movie and 92 episodes of 50 minutes each. The show was created by William Blinn, ...more

12
42 18
Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Charlie's Angels Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith Charlie's Angels is an American crime drama television series that aired on ABC from September 22, 1976 to June 24, 1981, producing five seasons and 110 episodes. The series was created by Ivan ...more

The Best 1970s ABC Dramas

13
44 20
Hart to Hart is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Hart to Hart Robert Wagner, Stefanie Powers, Lionel Stander Hart to Hart is an American television series, starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers as Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, a wealthy couple who moonlight as amateur detectives, much in the style ...more

14
36 15
The Mod Squad is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
The Mod Squad Michael Cole, Clarence Williams III, Peggy Lipton The Mod Squad is an American crime drama series that ran on ABC from September 24, 1968 to August 23, 1973. It stars Michael Cole as Peter "Pete" Cochran, Peggy Lipton as Julie Barnes, ...more

15
38 18
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Wonder Woman Lynda Carter, Lyle Waggoner, Tom Kratochvil Wonder Woman is an American television series based on the DC Comics comic book superheroine of the same name. Starring Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and Lyle Waggoner as Steve ...more

16
32 15
Kolchak: The Night Stalker is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Kolchak: The Night Stalker Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jack Grinnage Kolchak: The Night Stalker is an American television series that aired on ABC during the 1974–1975 season. It featured a fictional Chicago newspaper reporter—Carl Kolchak, played by Darren ...more

17
33 16
Roots is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Roots LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole, Robert Reed This award-winning six-part historical epic was one of the first examples of the miniseries format and one of the highest-rated television programs in broadcasting history. Based on the ...more

The Most Annoying TV and Film Characters Ever

18
30 14
Marcus Welby, M.D. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Marcus Welby, M.D. Robert Young, James Brolin, Elena Verdugo Marcus Welby, M.D. was an American medical drama television program that aired on ABC from September 23, 1969 to July 29, 1976. It starred Robert Young as a family practitioner with a kind ...more

19
36 20
Emergency! is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Emergency! Randolph Mantooth, Kevin Tighe, Julie London Emergency! is an American television series that combines the medical drama and action-adventure genres. It was produced by Mark VII Limited and distributed by Universal Studios. It debuted as a ...more

20
37 23
The Waltons is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
The Waltons Jon Walmsley, Mary Beth McDonough, Eric Scott The Waltons is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer's Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name. The show is centered on a family in a rural ...more

21
29 16
Eight Is Enough is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Eight Is Enough Dick Van Patten, Lani O'Grady, Connie Needham Eight Is Enough is an American television comedy-drama series that ran on ABC from March 15, 1977, until August 29, 1981. The show was modeled after syndicated newspaper columnist Thomas Braden, ...more

22
26 14
McMillan & Wife is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
McMillan & Wife Rock Hudson, Julie Newmar, Stefanie Powers McMillan & Wife was a lighthearted American police procedural that aired on NBC from September 17, 1971, to April 24, 1977. Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James in the title roles, the ...more

The Best Talk Shows of the 1970s

23
29 20
Knots Landing is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Knots Landing Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark Knots Landing is an American primetime television soap opera that aired from December 27, 1979 to May 13, 1993 on CBS. A spin-off of Dallas, it was set in a fictitious coastal suburb of Los ...more

24
29 21
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Battlestar Galactica Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction television series, created by Glen A. Larson, that began the Battlestar Galactica franchise. Starring Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk ...more

25
25 18
Kung Fu is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Kung Fu David Carradine, Keye Luke, Radames Pera Kung Fu is an American action-adventure martial arts western drama television series starring David Carradine. The series aired on ABC from October 1972 to April 1975 for a total of 63 episodes. ...more

26
29 22
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more

27
24 18
Dragnet is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
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

28
22 17
Buck Rogers in the 25th Centur... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Gil Gerard, Erin Gray, Felix Silla Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is an American science fiction adventure television series produced by Universal Studios. The series ran for two seasons between 1979–1981, and the feature-length ...more

29
23 18
Barnaby Jones is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Barnaby Jones Lee Meriwether, Buddy Ebsen, John Carter Barnaby Jones is a television detective series starring Buddy Ebsen and Lee Meriwether as a father and daughter-in-law who run a private detective firm in Los Angeles, California. The show ran ...more

30
24 20
Gunsmoke is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
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

31
21 17
Ironside is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Ironside Bruce Lee, Raymond Burr, Don Galloway Ironside is a Universal television series that ran on NBC from September 14, 1967, to January 16, 1975. The show starred Raymond Burr as a paraplegic Chief of Detectives, Robert T. Ironside. The ...more

32
22 19
S.W.A.T. is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
S.W.A.T. Steve Forrest, Robert Urich, Rod Perry S.W.A.T. is an American action/crime drama series about the adventures of a Special Weapons And Tactics team operating in an unidentified California city. A spin-off of The Rookies, the series ...more

33
14 21
Upstairs, Downstairs is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Upstairs, Downstairs Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh Upstairs, Downstairs is a British television drama series originally produced by London Weekend Television and revived by the BBC. It ran on ITV in 68 episodes divided into five series from 1971 ...more

34
5 29
The Duchess of Duke Street is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
The Duchess of Duke Street June Brown, Lalla Ward, Richard Vernon The Duchess of Duke Street is a BBC television drama series set in London between 1900 and 1925. It was created by John Hawkesworth, previously the producer of the ITV period drama Upstairs, ...more

35
3 25
Flying High is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best 70s Drama Shows
Flying High Connie Sellecca, Howard Platt, Kathryn Witt Flying High is an American comedy-drama series that aired on CBS from August 28, 1978 until January 23, 1979. Created by Dawn Aldredge and Martin Cohan, the series stars Connie Sellecca, Pat ...more