100 Greatest Retro TV Shows

by jordanhores | created - 17 Feb 2016 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

This list is a list of the greatest TV shows in 1950s-mid 1960s based on popularity, and cultural significance. Excluding animated, soap operas and news shows. No specific ranking. -50 Greatest Westerns Bonanza Gunsmoke HaveGunWillTravel TheLoneRanger Rawhide BatMasterson TheRifleman WantedDeadorAlive Maverick WagonTrain TheDeputy DeathValleyDays JudgeRoyBean TheAdventuresofRinTinTin Lawman TheCiscoKid Laramie AdventuresofWildBillHickok TalesofWellsFargo Fury SkyKing Sugarfoot TheRestlessGun TheRangeRider TheRebel JohnnyRingo Bronco TheLife&LegendofWyattEarp Colt45 LawofthePlainsman TheHighChaparral TheBigValley ShotgunSlade TheTallMan StagecoachWest TheCalifornians CimarronCity TheRoughRiders TombstoneTerritory TheLoner Frontier Trackdown CimarronStrip TheLegendofJesseJames TalesoftheTexasRangers StoriesoftheCentury TheSheriffpfCochise Mackenzie'sRaiders TheAdventuresofKitCarson TheAdventuresofChampion

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1. I Love Lucy (1951–1957)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

A daffy woman constantly strives to become a star along with her bandleader husband and gets herself in the strangest situations.

Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley

Votes: 20,170

2. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)

TV-14 | 25 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Series of unrelated short stories covering elements of crime, horror, drama, and comedy about people of different backgrounds committing murders, suicides, thefts, and other sorts of crime caused by certain motivations, perceived or not.

Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams, Patricia Hitchcock

Votes: 12,363

3. The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)

TV-PG | 51 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Ordinary people find themselves in extraordinarily astounding situations, which they each try to solve in a remarkable manner.

Stars: Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts, Vaughn Taylor

Votes: 56,918

4. Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

The misadventures of a suburban boy, family and friends.

Stars: Jerry Mathers, Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow

Votes: 5,563

5. Adventures of Superman (1952–1958)

TV-G | 30 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

The Man of Steel fights crime with help from his friends at the Daily Planet.

Stars: George Reeves, Noel Neill, John Hamilton, Bill Kennedy

Votes: 2,735

6. Mister Ed (1958–1966)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

The misadventures of a wisecracking talking horse and his human owner.

Stars: Allan Lane, Alan Young, Connie Hines, Mister Ed

Votes: 2,952

7. The Honeymooners (1955–1956)

30 min | Comedy, Family

A bus driver and his sewer worker friend struggle to strike it rich while their wives look on with weary patience.

Stars: Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows, Joyce Randolph

Votes: 4,077

8. Bonanza (1959–1973)

TV-PG | 49 min | Western

The adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their ranch while helping the surrounding community.

Stars: Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts

Votes: 6,692

9. Perry Mason (1957–1966)

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The cases of a master criminal defense attorney, handling the most difficult of cases in the aid of the innocent.

Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper, Ray Collins

Votes: 3,950

10. Zorro (1957–1959)

30 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Don Diego de la Vega opposes the corrupt tyrants of Spanish California as the masked swordsman, Zorro.

Stars: Guy Williams, Gene Sheldon, Henry Calvin, Don Diamond

Votes: 2,564

11. Dennis the Menace (1959–1963)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Television episodes built around the same sorts of incidents found in Hank Ketcham's long-running comic strip.

Stars: Herbert Anderson, Jay North, Gloria Henry, Billy Booth

Votes: 1,473

12. The Donna Reed Show (1958–1966)

30 min | Comedy, Family

The Stones consist of loving homemaker Donna, her pediatrician husband Alex, and their children Mary and Jeff. Many situations arise like when they found a baby on their doorstep or take in... See full summary »

Stars: Donna Reed, Paul Petersen, Carl Betz, Shelley Fabares

Votes: 1,107

13. The Phil Silvers Show (1955–1959)

30 min | Comedy, Family

Sergeant Ernie Bilko is the ultimate con man. He runs the motor pool at a small Kansas U.S. Army Camp. Colonel Hall, nominally in charge of the base, tries to keep Bilko's plans in check. ... See full summary »

Stars: Phil Silvers, Harvey Lembeck, Paul Ford, Allan Melvin

Votes: 1,190

14. The Loretta Young Show (1953–1961)

30 min | Drama

A drama anthology series hosted by actress Loretta Young. In addition to hosting the series, she played the lead in various episodes.

Stars: Loretta Young, John Milton Kennedy, Robert Foulk, John Newland

Votes: 174

15. Science Fiction Theatre (1955–1957)

25 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

In this science-fiction anthology series host Truman Bradley introduces stories extrapolated from actual scientific data available in the 1950's, concentrating on such concepts as space ... See full summary »

Stars: Truman Bradley, Marshall Thompson, Michael Fox, Peter Hansen

Votes: 276

16. Dragnet (1951–1959)

30 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Sgt. Joe Friday and his partners methodically investigate crimes in Los Angeles.

Stars: Jack Webb, Ben Alexander, Olan Soule, Vic Perrin

Votes: 1,505

17. Father Knows Best (1954–1960)

30 min | Comedy, Family

The popular radio show comes to life in this hit sitcom about a wise family man, Jim Anderson, his common-sense wife Margaret and their children Betty, Bud and Kathy. Whenever the kids need... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Billy Gray, Lauren Chapin

Votes: 1,511

18. Gunsmoke (1955–1975)

TV-PG | 60 min | Western

Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in rough and tumble Dodge City.

Stars: James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Ken Curtis

Votes: 4,181

19. Have Gun - Will Travel (1957–1963)

Approved | 25 min | Western

The adventures of a gentlemanly gunfighter for hire.

Stars: Richard Boone, Kam Tong, Hal Needham, Stewart East

Votes: 1,932

20. I Married Joan (1952–1955)

Not Rated | 30 min | Comedy

The adventures of the scatterbrained wife of a respected city judge.

Stars: Joan Davis, Jim Backus, Geraldine Carr, Beverly Wills

Votes: 257

21. Lassie (1954–1974)

30 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

The ongoing saga of the Martin family and their beloved collie, Lassie.

Stars: Lassie, Jon Provost, June Lockhart, Hugh Reilly

Votes: 2,399

22. The Lone Ranger (1949–1957)

TV-G | 30 min | Western

The adventures of the masked hero and his Native American partner.

Stars: Jay Silverheels, Clayton Moore, John Hart, Chuck Courtney

Votes: 1,623

23. Make Room for Daddy (1953–1965)

30 min | Comedy, Family

Danny Williams, a successful nightclub singer, encounters a variety of difficult or amusing situations in trying to balance his career with his family: his outspoken wife Kathy, teenage ... See full summary »

Stars: Danny Thomas, Rusty Hamer, Marjorie Lord, Angela Cartwright

Votes: 725

24. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959–1963)

30 min | Comedy, Family

Sensitive teenager Dobie Gillis exasperates his grocer father Herbert T. Gillis and is the apple of his mother Winnie Gillis' eye. Dobie has an almost singular focus on the opposite sex, ... See full summary »

Stars: Dwayne Hickman, Bob Denver, Frank Faylen, Florida Friebus

Votes: 1,197

25. Rawhide (1959–1965)

TV-PG | 50 min | Western

Gil Favor is trail boss of a continuous cattle drive. He is assisted by Rowdy Yates. The crew runs into characters and adventures along the way.

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Paul Brinegar, Steve Raines, Eric Fleming

Votes: 2,660

26. The Addams Family (1964–1966)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Horror

The misadventures of a blissfully macabre but extremely loving family.

Stars: John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, Ted Cassidy

Votes: 11,218

27. The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Widower Sheriff Andy Taylor, and his son Opie, live with Andy's Aunt Bee in Mayberry, North Carolina. With virtually no crimes to solve, most of Andy's time is spent philosophizing and calming down his cousin Deputy Barney Fife.

Stars: Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts, Frances Bavier

Votes: 10,160

28. The Beverly Hillbillies (1962–1971)

TV-G | 25 min | Comedy, Family

A nouveau riche hillbilly family moves to Beverly Hills and shakes up the privileged society with their hayseed ways.

Stars: Buddy Ebsen, Donna Douglas, Irene Ryan, Max Baer Jr.

Votes: 6,363

29. Bewitched (1964–1972)

TV-G | 25 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

A witch married to an ordinary man cannot resist using her magic powers to solve the problems her family faces.

Stars: Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Dick Sargent, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 13,900

30. The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

The misadventures of a TV writer both at work and at home.

Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam

Votes: 7,465

31. Get Smart (1965–1970)

TV-G | 25 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Bumbling Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for CONTROL, battles the evil forces of KAOS with the help of his competent partner Agent 99.

Stars: Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, Edward Platt, Robert Karvelas

Votes: 9,399

32. Gilligan's Island (1964–1992)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Seven men and women are stranded on an uncharted island following a torrential storm.

Stars: Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer

Votes: 10,698

33. Mission: Impossible (1966–1973)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

An elite covert operations unit carries out highly sensitive missions subject to official denial in the event of failure, death or capture.

Stars: Peter Graves, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus

Votes: 6,645

34. My Favorite Martian (1963–1966)

30 min | Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi

A sarcastic Martian comes to live with a hapless young Terran on Earth.

Stars: Ray Walston, Bill Bixby, Pamela Britton, Alan Hewitt

Votes: 1,642

35. My Three Sons (1960–1972)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Widower Steve Douglas raises three sons with the help of his father-in-law, and is later aided by the boys' great-uncle. An adopted son, a stepdaughter, wives, and another generation of sons join the loving family in later seasons.

Stars: Fred MacMurray, Stanley Livingston, Don Grady, Barry Livingston

Votes: 2,513

36. Petticoat Junction (1963–1970)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy

The misadventures of the family staff of The Shady Rest Hotel and their neighbors of Hooterville.

Stars: Edgar Buchanan, Linda Henning, Bea Benaderet, Frank Cady

Votes: 2,014

37. What's My Line? (1950–1967)

30 min | Family, Game-Show

Four panelists must determine guests' occupations - and, in the case of famous guests, while blindfolded, their identity - by asking only "yes" or "no" questions.

Stars: John Daly, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf, Dorothy Kilgallen

Votes: 1,144

38. The Ed Sullivan Show (1948–1971)

TV-G | 60 min | Comedy, Music

The classic prime time variety show most famous for its vaudeville acts and rock music performances.

Stars: Ed Sullivan, Johnny Wayne, Frank Shuster, Roberta Peters

Votes: 994

39. 77 Sunset Strip (1958–1964)

60 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Stu Bailey and Jeff Spencer were the wisecracking, womanizing private detective heroes of this Warner Brothers drama. Stu and Jeff worked out of an office located at 77 Sunset Strip in Los ... See full summary »

Stars: Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Edd Byrnes, Roger Smith, Jacqueline Beer

Votes: 1,008

40. Sea Hunt (1958–1961)

30 min | Action, Adventure

Mike Nelson is a S.C.U.B.A. diver in the days when it was still very new. He works alone, and the plot was mostly carried through his voice-over narrations. These gave the show a flavor of ... See full summary »

Stars: Lloyd Bridges, Ken Drake, Courtney Brown, Jan Harrison

Votes: 916

41. The Roy Rogers Show (1951–1957)

30 min | Western

The Double R Ranch featured "The King of the Cowboys" Roy, his "Smartest Horse in the Movies" Trigger, "Queen of the West" Dale, her horse Buttermilk, their dog Bullet, and even Pat's jeep, Nellybelle.

Stars: Dale Evans, Roy Rogers, Trigger, Pat Brady

Votes: 499

42. Bat Masterson (1958–1961)

30 min | Western

Dressed-up dandy (derby and cane), gambler and lawman roams the West charming women and defending the unjustly accused. His primary weapon was his wit (and cane) rather than his gun.

Stars: Gene Barry, Allison Hayes, Allen Jaffe, Ken Drake

Votes: 716

43. This Is Your Life (1952–1987)

30 min | Biography, Family, Reality-TV

Each week, an unsuspecting celebrity would be lured by some ruse to a location near the studio. The celebrity would then be surprised with the news that they are to be the featured guest. ... See full summary »

Stars: Ralph Edwards, Bob Warren, Jack Benny, Penny Singleton

Votes: 192

45. The Rifleman (1958–1963)

TV-PG | 30 min | Family, Western

The adventures of a Wild West rancher wielding a customized rapid fire Winchester rifle and his son.

Stars: Chuck Connors, Johnny Crawford, Paul Fix, Joe Benson

Votes: 2,618

46. The Red Skelton Hour (1951–2016)

TV-G | 60 min | Comedy

Long-running weekly show that spotlighted legendary comedian and beloved television clown, Red Skelton. Each show featured comedy skits, gags, and vignettes starring Skelton and guest performers.

Stars: Red Skelton, David Rose and His Orchestra, Art Gilmore, Tom Hansen Dancers

Votes: 865

47. Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958–1961)

TV-PG | 30 min | Western

A Civil War veteran with a sawed-off rifle as a holstered weapon makes a living as a bounty hunter in the Wild West of the 1870s.

Stars: Steve McQueen, Wright King, Olan Soule, Mort Mills

Votes: 1,547

48. Maverick (1957–1962)

60 min | Comedy, Western

Bret and Bart Maverick (and in later seasons, their English cousin, Beau) are well dressed gamblers who migrate from town to town always looking for a good game. Poker (five-card draw) is ... See full summary »

Stars: Jack Kelly, James Garner, Roger Moore, Lane Chandler

Votes: 2,107

49. The Real McCoys (1957–1963)

30 min | Comedy