70s TV The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s  

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List Rules Any drama series that aired during 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
81 30
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, ...more

2
72 25
Little House on the Prairie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

3
60 20
Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

4
60 22
Quincy, M.E. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

5
61 23
The Six Million Dollar Man is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

6
68 28
Dallas is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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
51 18
The Streets of San Francisco is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

8
56 23
Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

9
57 24
Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith Charlie's Angels is an American 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 Goff ...more

10
48 20
Kojak is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

11
53 24
Hart to Hart is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

12
51 23
Starsky and Hutch is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

13
45 20
The Incredible Hulk is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

14
41 19
Kolchak: The Night Stalker is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

15
42 20
Roots is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

16
45 22
The Mod Squad is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Michael Cole, Clarence Williams III, Peggy Lipton The Mod Squad is an American 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

17
40 18
Marcus Welby, M.D. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

18
48 26
Emergency! is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

19
47 29
The Waltons is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

20
40 21
Eight Is Enough is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

21
37 20
Barnaby Jones is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

22
44 27
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

23
36 21
McMillan & Wife is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

24
41 26
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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
35 22
Kung Fu is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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
33 23
Gunsmoke is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

27
29 21
Buck Rogers in the 25th Centur... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

28
31 23
S.W.A.T. is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

29
31 23
Dragnet is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

30
33 25
Knots Landing is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

31
28 21
Ironside is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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
32 29
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

33
2 0
The Rockford Files is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos The Rockford Files is an American television drama series starring James Garner that aired on the NBC network between September 13, 1974, and January 10, 1980, and has remained in syndication to ...more

34
2 0
The Jeffersons is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Marla Gibbs The Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through July 2, 1985, lasting 11 seasons and a total of 253 episodes. The show was produced by the T.A.T. ...more

35
4 3
Fantasy Island is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Ricardo Montalban, Hervé Villechaize, Christopher Hewett Fantasy Island is an American television series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company network from 1977 to 1984. A revival of the series originally aired on the same network ...more

36
1 0
Mork & Mindy is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, Ralph James Mork & Mindy is an American sitcom broadcast from 1978 to 1982 on ABC. It stars Robin Williams as Mork, an extraterrestrial who comes to Earth from the planet Ork in a small, one-man ...more

37
1 0
Barney Miller is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Steve Landesberg Barney Miller is an American situation comedy television series set in a New York City Police Department police station in Greenwich Village. The series originally was broadcast from January 23, ...more

38
1 0
The Brady Bunch is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis The Brady Bunch is an American sitcom created by Sherwood Schwartz that originally aired from September 26, 1969, to March 8, 1974, on ABC. The series revolves around a large blended family with ...more

39
1 0
All in the Family is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner All in the Family is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971, to April 8, 1979. In September 1979, a new show, Archie Bunker's Place, ...more

40
1 0
Laverne & Shirley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, David L. Lander Laverne & Shirley is an American television sitcom that ran on ABC from January 27, 1976 to May 10, 1983. It starred Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, ...more

41
1 0
The Love Boat is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Gavin MacLeod, Bernie Kopell, Ted Lange The Love Boat is an American television series set on a cruise ship, which aired on the ABC Television Network from September 24, 1977, until February 27, 1987. The show revolves around the ...more

42
20 25
Upstairs, Downstairs is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

43
0 0
The Rookies is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Kate Jackson, Georg Stanford Brown, Michael Ontkean The Rookies is an American crime drama series that aired on ABC from 1972 until 1976. It follows the exploits of three rookie police officers working in an unidentified city for the fictitious ...more

44
0 0
Welcome Back, Kotter is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
Gabe Kaplan, Ron Palillo, John Travolta Welcome Back, Kotter ist eine US-amerikanische Sitcom.

45
0 0
Three's Company is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers Three's Company is an American sitcom that aired from March 15, 1977 to September 18, 1984 on ABC. It is based on the British sitcom Man About the House. The story revolves around three single ...more

46
5 36
The Duchess of Duke Street is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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

47
4 34
Flying High is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best TV Drama Shows of the 1970s
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