Early Television Sitcoms

An incomplete list of television sitcoms from before 1951. If anyone knows of any shows I can add, please send me a private message with info.
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1.
Pinwright's Progress (1946 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Misadventures of a multiple store proprietor. (30 mins.)
“ The world's first television sitcom. It aired on the BBC for a total of 10 episodes (a full season in British terms). The series pre-dated the ability to preserve television broadcasts via kinescope. Is it not known if scripts survive. ” - Thor-Delta
 
2.
Mary Kay and Johnny (1947 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
In a pattern that many domestic sitcoms would follow over the next 15 years, the plotlines followed the exploits of zany Mary Kay... (30 mins.)
“ The world's second television sitcom, and the first to air in the United States. Broadcast live, some episodes were 30-minutes, while others were 15-minutes. The first sitcom to show a married couple sharing the same bed, and the first to feature on-screen pregnacy. Few of the episodes were preserved. ” - Thor-Delta
 
3.
At Our House (1948 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
A sitcom aired in a 15-minute time-slot, about a constantly bickering husband and wife. (15 mins.)
Director: Jack Gibney
“ Aired on WENR-TV in Chicago. ” - Thor-Delta
 
4.
The Laytons (1948 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(30 mins.)
“ The first sitcom to feature an African-American in a regular supporting role, albeit a stereotypical one (a maid). The series aired on the now-defunct DuMont Television Network. Nothing survives of it today. ” - Thor-Delta
 
5.
The Growing Paynes (1948 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(30 mins.)
“ Aired live on the now-defunct DuMont Television Network. An episode is held by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, while a couple additional episodes are held by the Paley Center for Media. ” - Thor-Delta
 
6.
The Aldrich Family (1949 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Based on a popular radio show, this middle class American family comedy is built around the life of the Aldrich family of Elm Street... (30 mins.)
“ Based on the popular radio sitcom. Aired live on NBC.

Archival status unknown. ” - Thor-Delta
 
7.
Apartment 3-C (1949 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
A situation comedy about a married couple. It aired live, and aired in a 15-minute time-slot. (15 mins.)
“ New York City only. ” - Thor-Delta
 
8.
Easy Aces (1949 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
This show was a longtime radio program that lasted six months on TV. It was basically a talk show with Goodman Ace the witty... (15 mins.)
“ Based on the popular radio sitcom. Aired live on the now-defunct DuMont Television Network. A single episode may survive at the Library of Congress. ” - Thor-Delta
 
9.
The Goldbergs (1949 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Comedy-drama about a Jewish family living in New York City. In the final season the family moved into the suburbs. (30 mins.)
“ Based on the popular radio series, an excellent mix of sitcom and drama, and still very entertaining today. The series originally aired on CBS, then moved to NBC, then moved to DuMont, before moving to first-run syndication for the final (1955-1956) season.

Most of the time it aired as a 30-minute series (25 minutes with ads removed), while for a short time it was a 15-minute series (12 minutes with ads removed)

6 episodes survive from 1949, along with 1 from 1950, 1 from 1951, 2 from 1952, 1 from 1953, 22 fom 1954, and 39 from 1955-1956. Of the surviving episodes, 71 are on DVD (an additional episode seems to have been located after the release of the DVD) ” - Thor-Delta
 
10.
The Hartmans (1949 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(30 mins.)
“ NBC series. Archival status is unknown, though it is likely lost. ” - Thor-Delta
 
11.
The Life of Riley (1949 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Riley worked in an aircraft plant in California, but viewers usually saw him at home, cheerfully disrupting... (30 mins.)
“ Mediocre sitcom starring Jackie Gleason and based on the popular radio series. 26 episodes were produced. One of the first sitcoms produced directly on film, and aired on NBC.

A second television series based on the radio show was produced several years later. ” - Thor-Delta
 
12.
Mama (1949 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
This well-received series was a drama-comedy about an immigrant family living in 1910s San Francisco. (30 mins.)
“ An excellent mix of sitcom and drama, based on the book "Mama's Bank Account" and aired on CBS. Most episodes are lost, but dozens have nevetheless survived. Why isn't this on DVD? ” - Thor-Delta
 
13.
Wesley (1949 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
This live show was about the Eggleston family in a rural community. Wesley is a 12-year-old boy on the... (30 mins.)
“ CBS series. Archival status unknown, though likely lost. ” - Thor-Delta
 
14.
The Jack Benny Program (1950 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
The comic misadventures of the skinflint comedian and his friends. (30 mins.)
“ Airing for a few occasional episodes in 1950, before becoming a regular, long-running and very popular series.

An excellent & unusual mix of sitcom, sketch and variety, based on the popular radio series. ” - Thor-Delta
 
15.
Beulah (1950 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A comedy series of a family with the central role pointed to their Negro domestic who pulls the weekly family situations together with more common sense than all of the other family members. (30 mins.)
Director: Jean Yarbrough
“ The first sitcom to star an African-American woman, and the first "Black" sitcom. Based on the popular radio series of the same name.

"Beulah" was a "Negro" maid who solved the everyday problems and comedic situations faced by her white employers.

Not quite as offensive as it sounds, and kinda fun to watch. One of the first sitcoms to be produced directly on film, the show is notable for being an early example of a sitcom that didn't use a laugh-track or studio audience. In that sense, very ahead of its time!

Aired on ABC.

Archival status is unknown. ” - Thor-Delta
 
16.
The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Neighbor Blanche Morton frequently joins Gracie in escapades which annoy hubby Harry and provide George with an opportunity to offer a humorous soliloquy. (30 mins.)
“ Like many (but not all) popular sitcoms of the early days of TV, this was based on a radio sitcom. An excellent and VERY FUNNY series, aired on CBS.

Like most 30-minute series on US television at the time, it was 25 minutes with the commercials removed.

Status unclear, but all the filmed episodes survive, and it seems many of the early live episodes exist as well. ” - Thor-Delta
 
17.
The Stu Erwin Show (1950 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Stu Erwin played a mild-mannered high-school principal, with June Collyer as his wife. (30 mins.)
“ Aired on ABC, this pleasant series was one of the first to be shot directly on film. Until the last batch of episodes, the series did not use a laugh-track or studio audience.

Notable for featuring early example of an African-American in a regular supporting role, and a bit less stereotypicial than usual.

Presumed to survive intact... ” - Thor-Delta
 
18.
The Hank McCune Show (1950 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(30 mins.)
Director: Charles Maxwell
“ Forgotten today, this was the first series to use a laugh-track. Presumed to survive intact.... ” - Thor-Delta
 
19.
The Buster Keaton Show (1950 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Live show with Buster recreating and updating his classic routines. (30 mins.)
“ This series aired on a single station....it was only seen in the city of
Los Angeles. Only a single episode is known to survive. ” - Thor-Delta
 
20.
Mama Rosa (1950 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
(30 mins.)
“ Nine complete episodes of this ABC series survive at the UCLA Film and Television Archive, along with an additional incomplete (half-only) episode. ” - Thor-Delta