Entertainment

The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s  

Ranker TV
725 votes 128 voters 5.3k views 44 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, and some of the best TV shows set in the '60s can weigh in here. 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.

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
Mad Men is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner. The series premiered on July 19, 2007 on the cable network AMC and is produced by Lionsgate Television. The ...more
2
Laverne & Shirley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
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
3
11.22.63 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
11.22.63 James Franco, Sarah Gadon, George MacKay
4
American Horror Story: Asylum is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
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
5
China Beach is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Dana Delany, Michael Boatman, Robert Picardo
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
6
Roots: The Next Generations is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Marlon Brando, James Earl Jones, Henry Fonda
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
7
The Astronaut Wives Club is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Yvonne Strahovski, Odette Annable, Joanna García
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
8
Call The Midwife is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Vanessa Redgrave, Helen George, Laura Main
Call the Midwife is a BBC period drama series about a group of nurse midwives working in the East End of London in the 1950s and 1960s. It stars Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart, Helen George, Bryony ...more
9
American Dreams is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Gail O'Grady, Tom Verica, Brittany Snow
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
10
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Dirty Dancing Constance Marie, Melora Hardin, Paul Feig
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
11
The Thorn Birds is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Christopher Plummer
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
12
Aquarius is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Emma Dumont, Whitney Rose Pynn, Claire Holt
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
13
Masters of Sex is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin FitzGerald
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
14
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Leonardo DiCaprio, Billy Bob Thornton, David Arquette
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
15
Rags to Riches is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Tisha Campbell-Martin, Sarah Buxton, Joseph Bologna
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
16
Brewster Place is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Oprah Winfrey, Oscar Brown Jr., Olivia Cole
Brewster Place is a short lived American drama series which aired on ABC in May 1990. The series was a spinoff of the 1989 miniseries The Women of Brewster Place, which was based upon Gloria ...more
17
Crime Story is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Dennis Farina, Bill Smitrovich, Steve Ryan
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
18
American Horror Story: Murder ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters
American Horror Story: Murder House is the first season of the FX television series American Horror Story, aired between October 5, 2011, through December 21, 2011. It centers on the Harmon ...more
19
Ms Fisher's Modern Murder Myst... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Geraldine Hakewill, Joel Jackson, Catherine McClements
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
20
Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (19... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Don Messick, Larry Storch, Howard Morris
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
21
Delta House is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Michelle Pfeiffer, Bruce McGill, John Vernon
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.
22
Tour of Duty is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Terence Knox, Stephen Caffrey, Tony Becker
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
23
Mrs Wilson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Ruth Wilson, Iain Glen, Keeley Hawes
Mrs Wilson (BBC One, 2018), is a British television drama starring and executive produced by Ruth Wilson, who plays the role of her real-life grandmother. In 1963, Alison Wilson's happy home ...more
24
Public Morals is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Donal Logue, Louis Ferreira, Peter Gerety
Public Morals is an American situation comedy that aired on the CBS network in October 1996. Created and executive produced by Steven Bochco, the series was poorly received and was canceled ...more
25
The Playboy Club is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1960s
Randy Steinmeyer, Eddie Cibrian, David Krumholtz
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