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205 voters

The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens

Updated June 9, 2021 1.0k votes 205 voters 29.5k views44 items

List RulesVote up the best shows featuring the stories and characters of people who could qualify for a senior discount.

Looking for some good shows about senior citizens to catch? Of the many different types of people underrepresented on television, none are as rarely depicted as senior citizens. It's strange when you consider the ever-increasing population of elderly folk, but most of television is devoted to the 18-34 demographic, which means the majority of characters shown on screen are in their 20s or 30s. That isn't to say a senior citizen doesn't make an appearance in those shows, but they rarely stand as a main character. Fortunately, Hollywood hasn't completely ignored the elder demographic and there are some fabulous series on television viewers of all ages can enjoy.

The series most people immediately think of when coming up with a good series about senior citizens is Golden Girls—featuring the beloved TV grump Sophia Petrillo—and it's far from the only one. Recent additions like Downton Abbey feature a large cast of seniors while classics like Matlock were filmed well into the actors' early seventies. In short, there's a decent list of shows about older people—and you can find the best of them here. It's not all retirement villages for senior characters, in both Bosch and Columbo, they're solving crimes (and not just between writing novels). In series like The Crown, Homeland, and One Day at a Time, older characters are a vital part of ensemble casts.

For some great recommendations on shows about the elderly, browse this list and vote up your favorite shows staring older folks and senior citizens. You can also check out some movies featuring seniors and shows that focus specifically on old folks who have retired.

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    The Golden Girls

    Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan

    PremieredSeptember 14, 1985

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    The Golden Girls is an American sitcom, created by Susan Harris, that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992. Starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle...  more

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    56
    35

    Grace and Frankie

    Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin

    PremieredMay 8, 2016

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Grace and Frankie (Netflix, 2015) is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris. Finding out that their husbands have been romantically involved for...  more

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  • 3
    40
    22

    Murder, She Wrote

    Angela Lansbury, William Windom

    Premiered1984

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Crime, Procedural drama, Drama, Cozy mystery

    This show is a television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes from 1984 to 1996 on the...  more

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    31
    17

    Downton Abbey

    Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Period drama

    Downton Abbey (ITV, 2010) is a British historical drama television series created by Julian Fellowes. A chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the...  more

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  • 5
    36
    24

    Hot in Cleveland

    Valerie Bertinelli, Betty White

    PremieredJune 16, 2010

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Hot in Cleveland is an American sitcom on TV Land starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White. The series, which is TV Land's first original scripted series, premiered on...  more

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  • 6
    29
    18

    The Cool Kids

    Vicki Lawrence, Martin Mull

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    The Cool Kids (Fox, 2018) is an American sitcom television series created by Charlie Day and Paul Fruchbom. Three guy friends (David Alan Grier, Martin Mull, Leslie Jordan) in a retirement community...  more

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    29
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    Matlock

    Andy Griffith, Julie Sommars

    PremieredMarch 3, 1986

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Mystery

    Matlock is an American television legal drama, starring Andy Griffith in the title role of attorney Ben Matlock. The show, produced by The Fred Silverman Company, Dean Hargrove Productions, Viacom...  more

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    20
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    Soap

    Rod Roddy, Katherine Helmond

    PremieredSeptember 13, 1977

    Genres (Tv)Soap opera, Sitcom, Comedy, Serial

    Soap is an American sitcom that originally ran on ABC from 1977 into 1981. The show was created as a night-time parody of daytime soap operas, presented as a weekly half-hour prime time comedy....  more

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  • 9
    27
    21

    Columbo

    Peter Falk, Mike Lally

    PremieredSeptember 15, 1971

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama

    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, popularized...  more

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  • 10
    23
    16

    Dallas

    Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy

    PremieredApril 2, 1978

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    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 Ewings,...  more

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    19
    14

    Blue Bloods

    Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg

    PremieredSeptember 24, 2010

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama

    Blue Bloods is an American police procedural drama series shown on CBS in the United States and Canada and on Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom. The series is filmed on location in New York City...  more

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    20
    16

    Betty White's Off Their Rockers

    Richard Herd, Ted Lange

    Premiered2012

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Reality television

    Betty White's Off Their Rockers (NBC, 2012) is an American comedy television series based on the Belgian television format Benidorm Bastards. The elderly play pranks on members of the younger...  more
  • 13
    17
    14

    In the Heat of the Night

    Carroll O'Connor, Howard E. Rollins

    PremieredMarch 6, 1988

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama

    In the Heat of the Night is an American television series based on the film and the novel of the same title. It starred Carroll O'Connor as the white police chief William Gillespie, and Howard...  more

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  • 14
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    19

    Dynasty

    John Forsythe, Linda Evans

    PremieredJanuary 12, 1981

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Dynasty (ABC, 1981) is an American prime time television soap opera created by Richard and Esther Shapiro. The trials and tribulations of two feuding families, the Carringtons and the Colbys, both...  more

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    0
    1

    Me and My Grandma

    Eva Gutowski, Shelby Rabara

    Genres (Tv)Comedy

    Me and My Grandma (YouTube Red, 2017) is an American comedy web series created by Eva Gutowski and Annie Stamell. College graduate Janey (Eva Gutowski) and her grandmother (Rhea Perlman) move to...  more

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    15

    The Waltons

    Jon Walmsley, Mary Beth McDonough

    Premiered1972

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    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 Virginia...  more

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  • 17
    12
    9

    Last Tango in Halifax

    Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid

    PremieredNovember 20, 2012

    Genres (Tv)Romantic comedy

    Last Tango in Halifax is a British romantic drama series that started airing on BBC One on 20 November 2012. The series was written by Sally Wainwright, who was inspired by witnessing the happiness...  more
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    10
    7

    Harry's Law

    Kathy Bates, Nate Corddry

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Comedy-drama, Legal drama

    Harry's Law is an American legal comedy-drama television series created by David E. Kelley, which ran from January 17, 2011, to May 27, 2012. On May 12, 2011, NBC renewed the show for a second...  more

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  • 19
    0
    1

    Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light

    Yudai Chiba, Ren Osugi

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light (Netflix, 2017) is a Japanese miniseries. A son tries to reconnect with his father by secretly interacting with him in the fantasy MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online...  more

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    15
    15

    Call The Midwife

    Jenny Agutter, Annabelle Apsion

    PremieredJanuary 15, 2012

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Medical

    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....  more

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    9
    8

    Midsomer Murders

    Neil Dudgeon, Nick Hendrix

    PremieredMarch 23, 1997

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Mystery

    This is a British television detective drama that has aired on ITV since 1997. The show is based on Caroline Graham's Chief Inspector Barnaby book series, as originally adapted by Anthony Horowitz....  more

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    13
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    House of Cards

    Robin Wright, Michael Kelly

    PremieredFebruary 1, 2013

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Politics

    House of Cards (Netflix, 2013) is an American political drama television series developed by Beau Willimon, and an adaptation of the BBC mini-series based on the novel by Michael Dobbs. Congressman...  more

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    16
    21

    The West Wing

    Martin Sheen, John Spencer

    PremieredSeptember 22, 1999

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Politics

    The West Wing (NBC, 1999) is an American serial political drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin. The series is set primarily in the West Wing of the White House, where the Oval Office and...  more

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  • 24
    13
    17

    Bleep My Dad Says

    William Shatner, Jonathan Sadowski

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    $#*! My Dad Says is an American television sitcom produced by Warner Bros. Television that aired on CBS. It was based on the Twitter feed Shit My Dad Says, created by Justin Halpern and consisting of...  more
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    8
    12

    Men of a Certain Age

    Ray Romano, Scott Bakula

    PremieredDecember 7, 2009

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Men of a Certain Age is an American comedy-drama television series, which premiered on TNT on December 7, 2009. The hour-long program stars Ray Romano, Andre Braugher, and Scott Bakula as three best...  more

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