Watchworthy

The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens 

Ranker TV
Updated April 21, 2020 710 votes 149 voters 18.3k views 27 items

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 below.

For some great recommendations on shows about the elderly, browse this list and feel free to add any similar shows you think are missing! You can also check out some movies featuring seniors and shows that focus specifically on old folks who have retired.

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1
The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

Premiered: 1985

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

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 ...more

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2
Grace and Frankie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston

Premiered: 2015

Genres (Tv): Comedy

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 ...more

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3
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak

Premiered: 1984

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

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 ...more

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4
Hot in Cleveland is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick

Premiered: 2010

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

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, ...more

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5
Matlock is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Andy Griffith, Linda Purl, Kene Holiday

Premiered: 1986

Genres (Tv): Police procedural, Drama, Comedy-drama, Legal drama, Legal

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, ...more

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6
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan

Premiered: 1968

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

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

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7
The Cool Kids is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Vicki Lawrence, Martin Mull, David Alan Grier

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 ...more

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8
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

Premiered: 2010

Genres (Tv): Period drama

Downton Abbey (PBS, 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 ...more

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9
Dynasty is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins

Premiered: 1981

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, 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, ...more

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10
Dallas is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy

Premiered: 1978

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, 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 ...more

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11
Betty White's Off Their ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Richard Herd, Ted Lange

Premiered: 2012

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
12
In the Heat of the Night... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Carroll O'Connor, Howard Rollins, Anne-Marie Johnson

Premiered: 1988

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, 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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13
The Waltons is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Jon Walmsley, Mary Beth McDonough, Eric Scott

Premiered: 1972

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 ...more

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14
The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney

Premiered: 1999

Genres (Tv): Political drama, Drama, Serial drama

The West Wing is an American serial political drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin that was originally broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1999, to May 14, 2006. The series is set ...more

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15
Last Tango in Halifax is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Sarah Lancashire, Nicola Walker
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 ...more
16
Blue Bloods is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes

Premiered: 2010

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Crime, Drama, Adventure film, + more

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 ...more

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17
Call The Midwife is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart, Laura Main

Premiered: 2012

Genres (Tv): Drama

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.

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18
Soap is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Rod Roddy, Katherine Helmond, Richard Mulligan

Premiered: 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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19
Harry's Law is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Kathy Bates, Nate Corddry, Christopher McDonald

Premiered: 2011

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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20
Midsomer Murders is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Suzi Quatro, John Nettles, Neil Dudgeon

Premiered: 1997

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Action

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 ...more

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21
Men of a Certain Age is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, Andre Braugher

Premiered: 2009

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

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 ...more

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22
Amazing Stories is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Charles Durning, Douglas Seale, Louis Giambalvo

Premiered: 1985

Genres (Tv): Anthology, Anthology series, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Amazing Stories is a fantasy, horror, and science fiction television anthology series created by Steven Spielberg. It ran on NBC from 1985 to 1987, and in 1992 was somewhat erratically screened ...more

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23
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly

Premiered: 2013

Genres (Tv): Political drama, Political thriller

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. ...more

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24
Golden Sisters is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
Golden Sisters
25
New Amsterdam is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Senior Citizens
New Amsterdam Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Zuleikha Robinson, Alexie Gilmore

Premiered: 2008

Genres (Tv): Police procedural, Drama, Fantasy

New Amsterdam (Fox, 2008) is an American television drama. The series stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as "John Amsterdam", an immortal Dutch man born in 1607, who has lived in New York ...more