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The Most Popular TV Shows Of The 1950s

Updated 6 Jan 2020 2.0k views16 items

Good television shows aren't always synonymous with popular programming, although there's often overlap. During the 1950s, as the medium of television found its footing, the most-watched shows blended nostalgia, social conformity, and just plain fun.

As a decade characterized by variety shows, Westerns, and early sitcoms, 1950s television introduced viewers to rising stars like Elvis, took them across the country on wagon trains, and placed them into Lucy and Desi's living room. Many of these shows are well known, but there's a host of programs you may never have heard of. Television in the 1950s set the foundation for decades of future programs and its formulas still provide the foundation for a large portion of modern programming. 

TV ProgramsTVEntertainment1950sWeird History