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The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s 

Ranker TV
Updated March 26, 2020 1k votes 227 voters 10.3k views 49 items

List Rules Vote up the best shows set in the 1960s. If you're adding an item to the list, be sure it's a period piece set in the '60s, not a series released during that decade.

The 1960s were a wild time to be alive, which is shown in the best TV shows set in the '60s. From the birth of classic rock as we know it to the cool fashion, and even the whole hippie movement, remnants of this eclectic era can be found everywhere. In fact, a wide variety of TV series set in the '60s give us some pretty cool perspective on just what life was like back then. Regardless, these '60s-set shows have provided some great entertainment over the years. 

When it comes to modern TV shows set in the '60s, no series has done it better than Mad Men. The hit drama starring Jon Hamm provides a glimpse into the corporate world of the 1960s, with plenty of entertaining content to keep things interesting. Then you have the classic sitcom Laverne & Shirley, not to mention the exciting crime series Aquarius—featuring the character of a pre-murderous Charles Manson. While the era didn't make for a great deal of decade-based shows, like shows about the future, there are certainly some good TV shows based in the '60s. 

What do you think are the top shows set in the '60s? Check out the list of shows below and vote up your favorites. Feel free to vote shows down and add any others that may be missing from the list—so long as they aren't TV shows from the '60s.

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list ordered by
1
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

Premiered: 2007

Mad Men (AMC, 2007) is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner. Womanizing advertising executive Don Draper (Jon Hamm) balances work and pleasure, while harboring ...more
2
11.22.63 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
11.22.63 James Franco, Sarah Gadon, George MacKay

Premiered: 2016

3
American Horror Story: A... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Zachary Quinto, Joseph Fiennes, Sarah Paulson

Premiered: 2012

American Horror Story: Asylum is the second season of the FX horror television series American Horror Story. It originally aired from October 17, 2012 to January 23, 2013. The season begins in ...more
4
Laverne & Shirley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, David L. Lander

Premiered: 1976

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
5
The Astronaut Wives Club... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Yvonne Strahovski, Odette Annable, Joanna García

Premiered: 2015

The Astronaut Wives Club is an upcoming American drama television series that was originally scheduled to air on ABC during the 2013–14 American television season. It was officially ordered ...more
6
Masters of Sex is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin FitzGerald

Premiered: 2013

This series is an American period drama television series that premiered on September 29, 2013, on Showtime. Set in the 1950s and 1960s, the series tells the story of Dr. William Masters and ...more
7
China Beach is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Dana Delany, Michael Boatman, Robert Picardo

Premiered: 1988

China Beach is an American dramatic television series set at an evacuation hospital during Vietnam. The title refers to My Khe beach in the city of Đà Nẵng, Vietnam, which was nicknamed ...more
8
Call The Midwife is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart, Laura Main

Premiered: 2012

Call the Midwife (BBC, 2012) is a British period drama series created by Heidi Thomas. The lives of a group of midwives living in East London are documented in the late-1950s to mid-1960s.
9
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Leonardo DiCaprio, Billy Bob Thornton, David Arquette

Premiered: 1990

The Outsiders is an American drama series that aired from March to July 1990 on Fox. Based on the characters from the 1967 novel of the same title by S. E. Hinton, the series' executive producer ...more
10
The Thorn Birds is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Christopher Plummer

Premiered: 1983

The Thorn Birds is a 1977 best-selling novel by Colleen McCullough, an Australian author. In 1983 it was adapted as a TV mini-series that, during its television run 27–30 March, became the ...more
11
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Dirty Dancing Constance Marie, Melora Hardin, Paul Feig

Premiered: 1988

Dirty Dancing is a 1988 television series on the CBS network. It is based on the film Dirty Dancing but had none of the original cast or staff. It stars Patrick Cassidy as Johnny and Melora ...more
12
American Dreams is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Gail O'Grady, Tom Verica, Brittany Snow

Premiered: 2002

American Dreams was an American television drama program broadcast on the NBC television network, produced by Once A Frog and Dick Clark Productions in association with Universal Network ...more
13
Roots: The Next Generati... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Marlon Brando, James Earl Jones, Henry Fonda

Premiered: 1979

Roots: The Next Generations is a television miniseries, introduced in 1979, continuing, from 1882 to the 1960s, the fictionalized story of the family of Alex Haley and their life in Henning, ...more
14
Aquarius is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Emma Dumont, Whitney Rose Pynn, Claire Holt

Premiered: 2015

Aquarius (NBC, 2015) is an American period crime drama television series created by John McNamara. The show aired from May 28, 2015, to September 10, 2016. In 2015, the series was among seven ...more
15
Why Women Kill is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Lucy Lui, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kirby Howell-Baptiste

Premiered: 2019

Why Women Kill (CBS All Access, 2019) is an American dark comedy-drama web television series created by Marc Cherry. Following the stories of a housewife in the ‘60s, a socialite in the ‘80s and ...more
16
Ms Fisher's Modern Murde... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Geraldine Hakewill, Joel Jackson, Catherine McClements

Premiered: 2019

Ms Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries (Seven, 2019), also stylised as Ms Fisher's MODern Murder Mysteries, is an Australian drama television miniseries and a spin-off of the drama series Miss ...more
17
Tour of Duty is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Terence Knox, Stephen Caffrey, Tony Becker

Premiered: 1987

Tour of Duty is an American drama television series on CBS. It ran for three seasons from September 1987 to April 1990 as 58 one-hour episodes. The show was created by Steve Duncan and L. Travis ...more
18
The Playboy Club is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Randy Steinmeyer, Eddie Cibrian, David Krumholtz

Premiered: 2011

The Playboy Club is an American television series that ran on NBC from September 19 to October 3, 2011. Set in 1961, the series centers on the employees of the original Playboy Club operating in ...more
19
Crime Story is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Dennis Farina, Bill Smitrovich, Steve Ryan

Premiered: 1986

Crime Story is an American television drama, created by Gustave Reininger and Chuck Adamson, that premiered in 1986 and ran for two seasons on NBC. The executive producer was Michael Mann, who ...more
20
When We Rise is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
When We Rise Rachel Griffiths, Austin P. McKenzie, Mary-Louise Parker

Premiered: 2017

21
Vegas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, Carrie-Anne Moss

Premiered: 2012

Vegas is an American period drama television series that ran on CBS from September 25, 2012 to May 10, 2013. The series starred Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis. The series was co-created by Las ...more
22
Sabrina, The Teenage Wit... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Sabrina, The Teenage Witch Don Messick, Larry Storch, Howard Morris

Premiered: 1971

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is an American low-budget animated sitcom television series produced by Filmation that aired on CBS from 1971 to 1974. A spinoff of The Archie Comedy Hour, the show ...more
23
Delta House is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Michelle Pfeiffer, Bruce McGill, John Vernon

Premiered: 1979

Delta House is an American sitcom that was adapted from the 1978 film National Lampoon's Animal House. The series aired from January to April 1979 on ABC.
24
State of Grace is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Mae Whitman, Faye Grant, Michael Mantel

Premiered: 2001

State of Grace is an American comedy-drama series that ran for two seasons on the Fox Network's Fox Family channel during 2001 and 2002.
25
Rags to Riches is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Tisha Campbell-Martin, Sarah Buxton, Joseph Bologna

Premiered: 1986

Rags to Riches is an American musical comedy drama series that was broadcast on NBC for two seasons from 1987 to 1988. Set in the 1960s, the series tells the story of Nick Foley, a self-made ...more