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419 voters

The Greatest Period TV Shows Set in the '50s

Updated January 12, 2021 2.2k votes 419 voters 21.5k views58 items

List RulesIf you're adding to the list, be sure to only add shows set in the 1950s, as opposed to shows simply filmed and released then. Shows where only a season of a few episodes are set in the '50s are fair game.

Of all the various TV programs set in different time periods, TV shows set in the '50s brought us some great content. The 1950s graced decades to come with style, great music, and much more, so it only makes sense some of the top TV shows would be set in this classic era. As you can imagine, it's more modern TV shows set in the '50s that make up this list, as there wasn't much going on in television before 1950. 

The hit sitcom Happy Days is easily one of the best TV shows set in the '50s—who doesn't love the Fonz? Similarly, you can't forget the great Laverne & Shirley—as these are two absolutely classic shows. More modern '50s-set series include American Horror Story: Freak Show, The Company, and M*A*S*H. Then you have animated shows set in the '50s like Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks and The Little Lulu Show

Which of these top shows set in the 50s is your favorite? Check out the extensive list below and vote up your choices, while voting others down accordingly. While you're at it, check out the best shows set in the 1980s.

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    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

    Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Zegen
    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Video, 2017) is an American period comedy-drama web...  more

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    108
    30

    Happy Days

    Ron Howard, Henry Winkler
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    95
    29

    Call The Midwife

    Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart
    Call the Midwife (BBC, 2012) is a British period drama series created by Heidi Thomas. The...  more

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    82
    27

    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers
    M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970...  more

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  • 5
    42
    1

    The Queen's Gambit

    Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Camp
    The Queen's Gambit (Netflix, 2020) is an American drama miniseries based on the 1983 novel by...  more

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    60
    25

    Laverne & Shirley

    Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams
    Laverne & Shirley is an American television sitcom that ran on ABC from January 27, 1976 to...  more

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  • 7
    37
    24

    Father Brown

    Mark Williams, Sorcha Cusack
    Father Brown is a British television period drama which began airing on BBC One on 14 January...  more

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  • 8
    20
    5

    Hollywood

    Patti LuPone, Elizabeth Smidth
    Hollywood (Netflix, 2020) is an American drama television series created by Ryan Murphy and...  more
  • 9
    27
    23

    AfterMASH

    Rosalind Chao, Jamie Farr
    AfterMASH is an American situation comedy that aired on CBS from September 26, 1983, to May...  more

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    20
    14

    Velvet

    Paula Echevarría, Miguel Ángel Silvestre
    Velvet is a Spanish television series produced by Bambú Producciones for Antena 3. Its budget...  more
  • 11
    22
    18

    The Little Lulu Show

    Vanessa Lengies, Tracey Ullman
    The Little Lulu Show is an animated television series, based on the Marjorie Henderson Buell...  more
  • 12
    19
    18

    Boone

    Amanda Peterson, Robyn Lively
    Boone is a dramatic television series which was broadcast on NBC from 1983 to 1984. It starred...  more
  • 13
    17
    15

    Always and Ever

    Bobby Au-yeung, Esther Kwan
    Always and Ever is an 2013 Hong Kong TVB television romance drama serial starring Bobby...  more
  • 14
    15
    13

    Young Hyacinth

    Jerry Howard, Debra Stephenson
  • 15
    19
    20

    The Doctor Blake Mysteries

    Craig McLachlan, Nadine Garner
    The Doctor Blake Mysteries is an Australian television series which premiered on ABC1 on...  more
  • 16
    19
    19

    Grantchester

    James Norton, Robson Green
    Grantchester is a British ITV detective drama, set in the 1950s Cambridgeshire village of the...  more

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    18
    19

    The Thorn Birds

    Christopher Plummer, Barbara Stanwyck
    The Thorn Birds is a television mini-series broadcast on ABC between 27 and 30 March 1983. It...  more

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    21
    24

    Masters of Sex

    Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan
    This series is an American period drama television series that premiered on September 29,...  more

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    22

    Back to the '50s

    Tina Barrett, Paul Cattermole
    Back to the '50s is the first TV movie from the British pop group S Club 7. It first aired...  more
  • 20
    22
    25

    Roots: The Next Generations

    Marlon Brando, James Earl Jones
    Roots: The Next Generations is a television miniseries, introduced in 1979, continuing, from...  more

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    16
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    Miss Marple

    Joan Hickson, Gwen Watford
    Miss Marple is a British television series based on the Miss Marple murder mystery novels by...  more

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    15
    18

    All Creatures Great and Small

    Christopher Timothy, Robert Hardy
    All Creatures Great and Small is a British television series, based on the books of the...  more
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    4
    2

    Lovecraft Country

    Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett-Bell
    Lovecraft Country (HBO, 2020) is a drama horror television series based on the novel by Matt...  more

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    Private Eye

    Josh Brolin, William Sadler
    Private Eye is an American crime drama that aired from September 13, 1987 until January 8,...  more
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    14
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    Brooklyn Bridge

    Jenny Lewis, Marion Ross
    Brooklyn Bridge is an American television program which aired on CBS between 1991 and 1993. It...  more

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