Syndicated Fun

by grendelkhan | created - 02 Jan 2013 | updated - 02 Jan 2013 | Public

These are shows that were most often encountered in syndication. Some may have originated as network shows, but had long lives in syndication. I have left off the network favorites that then aired in syndication, sticking to smaller shows or ones that had much bigger syndication lives.

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1. Romper Room and Friends (1953–1994)

60 min | Family

Children's program that was often franchised rather than syndicated (meaning, local television stations could use their own hostesses in lieu of national hosts if they chose). A typical ... See full summary »

Stars: Sally Claster Gelbard, Bruce Edward Hall, Molly McCloskey, Nancy Claster

Votes: 101

Not so much a syndicated show as a franchised show. We had a local version in Decatur, IL, near where I grew up. My brother appeared on it, before I was aware of anything beyond feedings and diaper changes. The show had songs and games and little lessons. It was better known through some of their official merchandise.

2. Space Angel (1962– )

Not Rated | 30 min | Animation, Family, Sci-Fi

Scott McCloud is the Space Angel, a secret agent for EBI (Earth Bureau of Investigation) on board the spaceship Starduster fighting hard to protect the solar system.

Stars: Ned Lefebver, Margaret Kerry, Hal Smith, Johnny Coons

Votes: 60

From Cambria, the people who gave us Clutch Cargo, came this sci-fi series, featuring Scott McLoud and his companions Taurus and Crystal. Our trio soars the spaceways, as they encounter various villains and dangerous situations. The show is notorious for it's use of "synchro-vox," where human mouths were superimposed on the cartoon characters. The show featured rather static animation, but made up for it with designs from comic greats Alex Toth and Doug Wildey.

3. Clutch Cargo (1959– )

4 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The adventures of a pilot who takes on dangerous assignments.

Stars: Richard Cotting, Hal Smith, Margaret Kerry, Emil Sitka

Votes: 151

Cambria's earlier adventure show, though I have only seen clips of it. Space Angel was the more imaginative of the two shows.

4. The New 3 Stooges (1965)

Comedy, Family, Animation

The animated adventures of the crazy trio.

Stars: Joe DeRita, Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Hal Smith

Votes: 248

More from Cambria. This featured the Stooges in cartoon form (with voice actors like Pat Harrington) while the real Stooges appeared in linking segments, recorded on film. The theme song is one of the earliest tv earwigs.

5. Urutoraman: Kûsô tokusatsu shirîzu (1966–1967)

30 min | Sci-Fi, Family, Adventure

A human member of a defense force is given the life and ability to change into a giant super-hero to battle the monsters that wrecks havoc on Earth.

Stars: Susumu Kurobe, Sandayû Dokumamushi, Masaya Nihei, Bin Furuya

Votes: 359

The first of the Ultra shows (unless you count Ultra Q, which wasn't exactly the same kind of show). It was dubbed into English and syndicated across the country. It was quite a change from most things on tv, where Ultraman fights battles against various monsters. Plenty of fighting to entertain the young action fan.

6. Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot (1967–1968)

30 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A young boy aids in the fight against a mechanized terrorist organization as the sole controller of a prototype giant robot.

Stars: Mitsunobu Kaneko, Toshiyuki Tsuchiyama, Kôichi Chiba, Akio Itô

Votes: 413

Another from Japan, where it was known as Giant Robo. Jonny is a young boy who, alongside a Unicorn security agent, encounters an alien terrorist group. Together, they steal the Giant Robot and bring him to Unicorn. Johnny then works alongside Unicorn to fight the alien menace, while ducking child welfare officials, no doubt. Fun show with lots of action and monsters. Plenty of james Bond-style violence, too.

7. Sûpâ Robotto Reddo Baron (1973–1974)

30 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Super Science Institute member Ken Kurenai pilots the giant robot Red Baron, entrusted to him by its inventor, his older brother, to avenge his murder at the hands of the Iron Mask Party, led by the evil President Deviler.

Stars: Yôsuke Okada, Hisashi Katô, Rei Maki, Isao Tamagawa

Votes: 25

More from Japan. This features a giant robot that is piloted by the security team, fighting other robots and menaces.

8. Speed Racer (1967–1968)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Teenager Gô Mifune aspires to be the world's best race-car champion with the help of his friends, family and his father's high-tech race-car, the Mach 5.

Stars: Katsuji Mori, Peter Fernandez, Corinne Orr, Jack Grimes

Votes: 1,986

aka Mach Go GO Go. Speed and his friends and family compete in races around the globe, while battling crooks, terrorists and other ne'rdowells. A longtime favorite of action and rather fevered voicework. Often unintentionally funny.

9. Battle of the Planets (1978–1985)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

A five-member superhero team called G-Force fights to defend Earth and its space colonies from the threat of the planet Spectra.

Stars: Alan Young, Keye Luke, Ronnie Schell, Janet Waldo

Votes: 1,381

Sandy Frank version of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman (Science Ninja Team Gatchaman). The show features the adventures of the teen heroes of G-Force, as they battle the forces of the evil planet Spectra, led by Zoltar. This version reworked the original episodes, placing the action in outer space, instead of Earth, while removing a lot of the violence. New bridging sequences were added with the new character, 7-Zark-7. The show tried to cash in on the Star Wars success, but succeeded in its own right. It featured voicework from H-B vets Janet Waldo and Kasey Casem, as well as Ronnie Schell (Gomer Pyle USMC) and Alan Young (Mr. Ed, Duck Tales). Great show!

10. Star Blazers (1979– )

22 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

In the year 2199, a starship must make a dangerous voyage to the distant planet Iscandar and back to save Earth from an alien invasion.

Stars: Eddie Allen, Michael Bertolini, Amy Howard Wilson, Lydia Leeds

Votes: 978

English version of Space Battleship Yamato. The three series of Yamato were combined and characters were renamed and dubbed. The original storyline finds an Earth devastated by alien attack, where a small group of spacemen travel to a distant planet to find a cure for the radiation that is killing the people of Earth. Plenty of melodrama and action to satisfy anyone.

11. Robotech (1985– )

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

An alien spaceship crash lands on Earth and the technology and secrets she bears lead Earth into three destructive interplanetary wars.

Stars: Robert Axelrod, Bill Capizzi, Frank Catalano, Richard Epcar

Votes: 2,917

Series blending 3 different Japanese tv shows into one grand epic. This show helped fully launch the anime boom in the US, though the shows of the late 60s and 70s paved the way.

12. Voltron: Defender of the Universe (1984–1985)

TV-Y7 | 24 min | Animation, Family, Sci-Fi

This series focuses on five lion robots and their pilots as they fight the evil forces of King Zarkon and Prince Lotor.

Stars: Jack Angel, Michael Bell, Peter Cullen, Neil Ross

Votes: 3,409

Another redubbed Japanese show, inspired by the Sentai shows of Japan (Power Rangers). The series actually features two different cartoons.

13. TranZor Z (1972–1974)

30 min | Action, Animation, Sci-Fi

Teenager Koji Kabuto pilots the amazing super-robot Mazinger Z to avenge its inventor (his grandfather) against the Mycene Empire, led by the evil mad scientist Doctor Hell.

Stars: Joan Borràs, Santiago Cortés, Julia Gallego, Camilo García

Votes: 811

English version of Mazinger Z, based on the manga by Go Nagai. Giant robot mecha vs various menaces. Part of the early anime wave.

14. Underdog (1964–1973)

TV-G | Animation, Action, Comedy

The adventures of a rhyming canine superhero.

Stars: George S. Irving, Wally Cox, Allen Swift, Norma MacMillan

Votes: 1,561

Originated on network tv, but had a long life in syndication, plus a 90s revival on Nickelodeon. Humble, loveable Shoeshine Boy takes his super vitamin pill to become Underdog, champion of the people, figthing the likes of Riff-Raff and Simon Bar Sinister. Wally Cox did the rhyming voice. Companion cartoons featured Commander McBragg, Klondike Cat, and the Go-Go Gophers. Often paired with Tennessee Tuxedo and other Total Television cartoons in syndication.

15. Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (1963–1966)

30 min | Animation

The educational misadventures of a fast-talking penguin and his dumb walrus friend.

Stars: Kenny Delmar, Don Adams, Bradley Bolke, Larry Storch

Votes: 255

As with Underdog, it started on Saturday mornings network programming, but lived longer in syndication. Tennessee and Chumley (the walrus) get caught up in another scheme and need Mr. Whoopee's help to get them out. Mr. Whoopee adds education, via the 3DBB (3-Dimensional Blackboard), where he outlines basic scientific principles and history. Don Adams and Larry Storch provided the voices of Tennessee and Mr. Whoopee, with talents from many other voice artists. Loads of fun.

16. Gigantor (1964)

TV-PG | 25 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

When terrorist groups, evil criminals and aliens become too strong even for Earth's over-stretched armed forces, the virtually-indestructible robot, Gigantor, is built to combat them.

Stars: Ray Owens, Billie Lou Watt, Peter Fernandez, Gilbert Mack

Votes: 140

One of the earlier Japanese cartoons to make it to American shores, faturing one of the earlier giant robots.

17. Bozo's Circus (1961–1980)

Family

An iconic children's show on Chicago's WGN television station. Children would go home from school at noon to have lunch and watch the show! They had a terrific band and funny skits with ... See full summary »

Stars: Bob Bell, Roy Brown, Frazier Thomas, Marshall Brodien

Votes: 64

There were actually many Bozo franchise shows across the country. Most featured Bozo as the host of a variety show of cartoons and studio skits and games. This is the Chicago version, from WGN.

18. AWA All-Star Wrestling (1960–1990)

Action, Sport

Syndicated series featuring wrestling matches as promoted by the American Wrestling Association (AWA).

Stars: Gene Okerlund, Jaianto Baba, Ox Baker, Penny Banner

Votes: 73

I just picked this as a placemarker. There were various syndicated wrestling shows, produced by the promoters or different territories. Usually, the syndication package aired in the same markets where live events were promoted. In my area (central Illinois), we had, at different times, the WWA, from Indianapolis, ICW from Lexington KY (the family of Randy Savage), and Central States from Kansas City. Most promotions were members of the NWA, or at least had working agreements with them (including the AWA in Minnesota and WWWF in New York). Each week, the shows featured studio or small arena matches which advanced storylines, which led to the big shows at the main arena of the territory. Cable expansion and bad promotion led to the decline of the territories and syndication became the home of the few promotions to thrive: the WWF and the Turner Cable-produced NWA/WCW promotion. By the end, only Vince Mcmahon's WWF/E survived.

19. Thundercats (1985–1989)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

A team of humanoid cats fight evil in their adopted home world.

Stars: Bob McFadden, Larry Kenney, Earl Hammond, Lynne Lipton

Votes: 13,815

One of the better syndicated cartoons of the 80s. The show featured excellent stories and above average voicework, plus exciting animation. A cut above some of the other shows out there, more concerned with good storytelling than selling toys.

20. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983–1985)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The most powerful man in the universe, He-Man, goes against the evil forces of Skeletor to save the planet Eternia and to protect the secrets of Castle Grayskull.

Stars: John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer, Linda Gary, Lou Scheimer

Votes: 13,747

Filmation cartoons, based on the Mattel toy line. Like most Filmation work, it reused a lot of footage and the plots were rather repetitive; but, it was one of the most popular shows in syndication. Also in keeping with the Filmation tradition, it featured moral lessons as part of each story. It also helped launch a wave of cartoons that were designed to sell toys, leading to new Federal guidelines which prohibited the shows from also airing commercials for the toy line.

21. G.I. Joe (1985–1986)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

An elite special missions force fights against the terrorist forces of Cobra.

Stars: Jackson Beck, Christopher Collins, Michael Bell, Neil Ross

Votes: 3,925

Cartoon series based on the popular toyline. It was launched in conjunction with the Marvel Comics series, featuring tons of battles and explosions, but no one ever gets hurt. Probably the biggest offender in regards to being glorified advertising, though it had generally well written stories. Voicework was never anything special.

22. The Transformers (1984–1987)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Two opposing factions of transforming alien robots engage in a battle that has the fate of Earth in the balance.

Stars: Frank Welker, Peter Cullen, Corey Burton, Christopher Collins

Votes: 18,044

The tv series that launched a series of awful movies. Based on the Japanese toy line, the show featured advertisements, I mean cartoons, about the battle between the alien autobots and Deceptikons. Fairly repetitive (as most cartoon shows are) and willfully fudging scale when the robots transformed to and from their vehicle forms. It was hugely popular, though.

23. Silverhawks (1986– )

TV-Y7 | 23 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Family

A team of cyborgs protects Limbo from Mon Star and his gang.

Stars: Bob McFadden, Earl Hammond, Larry Kenney, Peter Newman

Votes: 2,155

Another series in the vein of Thundercats. I think there were toys, at one point, but it existed more to entertain than sell. It was decent, though nowhere near as imaginative as Thundercats.

24. Inspector Gadget (1983–1986)

TV-Y | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

A bumbling bionic police inspector stumbles about on his cases, while his niece and dog secretly do the real investigative work.

Stars: Don Adams, Holly Berger, Frank Welker, Luc Durand

Votes: 15,157

Popular tv series featuring Don Adams as the voice of our hero. The stories were often the same, but lively voicework and inventive ideas propelled the show. Producers, DIC, never had the budgets to rival the show from Japan, but they did decent work. The young girl character, Penny, would go on to become the subject of some rather lurid fan fiction on the internet.

25. Ghostbusters (1986–1987)

TV-Y7 | 25 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

A squad of supernatural investigators are Earth's only defense against an evil ghost wizard and his minions.

Stars: Pat Fraley, Peter Cullen, Alan Oppenheimer, Linda Gary

Votes: 2,183

This was the Filmation series, based on their older live-action series (which starred Larry Storch and Forrest Tucker). It came about thanks to the Ghostbusters movies, where those guys would be surprised to find that they didn't own the trademark on the name. The movie-based cartoon would have to call itself Real Ghostbusters. The Filmation series was typical of their output and was inferior to the movie-based cartoon show.

26. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987–1996)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The adventures of a quartet of humanoid warrior turtles and their friends.

Stars: Cam Clarke, Barry Gordon, Rob Paulsen, Townsend Coleman

Votes: 26,156

The independent comic book phenomenom became a tv and toy phenomenom. Hugely popular, though rather annoying to anyone over the age of 12, and featuring some stiff animation. That didn't seem to matter (anymore than it did for the classic H-B shows) and it had huge ratings and sold boatloads of toys. The creators made enough money to buy Batmobiles and fund comic book grants.

27. Urutora sebun (1967–1968)

30 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror

An alien superhero from M-78 protects Earth from extraterrestrial threats in this popular classic follow-up to the original "Ultraman" TV series.

Stars: Shôji Nakayama, Kôji Moritsugu, Yuriko Hishimi, Sandayû Dokumamushi

Votes: 196

Sequel to Ultraman, with a new version of the hero, a new support organization and vehicles, and new monsters. Otherwise, more of the same. It would be a while before another Ultra show would hit these shores, apart from places like Hawaii.

28. The Saint (1962–1969)

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

Simon Templar, a wealthy adventurer known as The Saint, travels around the world in his white Volvo P1800S.

Stars: Roger Moore, Ivor Dean, Leslie Crawford, Justine Lord

Votes: 3,431

Popular ITV series that was shown in US syndication. Roger Moore is Simon Templar, freelance adventurer. The Saint of the novels and earlier movies was a criminal on the side of the angels, while this one was less criminal and more hero.

29. The Avengers (1961–1969)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A quirky spy show of the adventures of an eccentrically suave British agent and his predominately female partners.

Stars: Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman, Linda Thorson

Votes: 5,323

Syndicated in the US during and after the Emma Peel years. Loads of exciting and strange fun.

30. The Muppet Show (1976–1981)

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

Kermit the Frog and his friends struggle to put on a weekly variety show.

Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz

Votes: 19,051

More adult show from the creators of Sesame Street, with backing from Lew Grade's ITC. A variety show put on by a group of weird amateurs, with special guest stars. The humans often found themselves drawn into strange sketches but most seemed to have a ball. It struggled early on to get quality guests, but soon became a high profile gig. It would later launch the film franchise.

31. New Zoo Revue (1972– )

30 min | Musical, Family, Comedy

Syndicated half-hour children's television show that ran from 1972-1977, New Zoo Review, is a 196-episode musical comedy show. Through song, dance and games, The New Zoo Revue teaches the ... See full summary »

Stars: Hazel Shermet, Jesse White, Doug Momary, Emily Peden

Votes: 169

Children's show, featuring performers in animal character costumes. It was a fairly entertaining show, as I vaguely recall. I believe it was later revived.

32. Davey and Goliath (1960–2004)

TV-G | 15 min | Animation, Family

In this stop-action animated series, young Davey Hansen and his best friend (and dog) Goliath live ordinary suburban American lives. In each episode, Davey and Goliath experience some form ... See full summary »

Stars: Hal Smith, Dick Beals, Norma MacMillan, Nancy Wible

Votes: 307

Not sure if this debuted on network tv, but it had a long life in syndication. produced by a religious organization, it featured moralistic dillemas for our hero Davey, and his dog and conscience, Goliath. It wrote the book on preachy, but it was pretty darn entertaining.

33. The Gumby Show (1956–1968)

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

Innovative "Claymation" adventures of Gumby and his horse Pokey.

Stars: Bobby Nicholson, Dal McKennon, Art Clokey, Norma MacMillan

Votes: 1,092

This lived on in syndication, with our pals Gumby and Pokey. Another that had a later resurgence.

34. Jeopardy! (1984– )

TV-G | 30 min | Game-Show

A returning champion and two challengers test their buzzer skills and their knowledge in a wide range of academic and popular categories.

Stars: Alex Trebek, Johnny Gilbert, Jimmy McGuire, Sarah Whitcomb Foss

Votes: 4,717

Originally a network game show, hosted by Art Fleming. In the 80s, it became a syndication juggernaut, hosted by Alex Trebeck. Viewers match wits with tv contestants. I usually won, but, then again, I haven't appeared on the show.

35. Wheel of Fortune (1983– )

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

Hosted by Pat Sajak, this game show features 3 contestants who try to solve a puzzle by spinning the wheel and guessing letters in a word or phrase.

Stars: Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Charlie O'Donnell, Jim Thornton

Votes: 2,058

Another that began life as a daytime network game show, hosted by Chuck Woolery. It became an evening hit with Pat Sajak and Vanna White.

36. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995–1999)

44 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Hercules, aided by his best friend Iolaus, goes on many adventures helping people and slaying mythical monsters using his half-god strength.

Stars: Kevin Sorbo, Michael Hurst, Kevin Smith, Robert Trebor

Votes: 23,942

Sam Raimi-produced show featuring the decidedly non-Greek adventures of Hercules (or Herakles, if you prefer). Kevin Sorbo was our muscular hero, who with his partner Iolaus, fights dictators and monsters while he bums around. Pretty entertaining, but lacking Xena's spark.

37. Xena: Warrior Princess (1995–2001)

TV-PG | 45 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Xena, a mighty Warrior Princess with a dark past, sets out to redeem herself. She is joined by small town bard, Gabrielle. Together they journey the ancient world and fight for the greater good against ruthless Warlords and Gods.

Stars: Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor, Ted Raimi, Kevin Smith

Votes: 36,249

Spin-off from Hercules, featuring Lucy Lawless as Xena, accompanied by her sidekick Gabrielle. Tons of action and plenty of sexual undetrtones. It kept things relatively innocent, which is probably why it had such a diverse fanbase. The concept owes quite a bit to Wonder Woman and illustrates how a Wonder Woman movie or tv show ought to be conceived.

38. Babylon 5 (1994–1998)

45 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

In the mid 23rd Century, the Earth Alliance space station Babylon 5, located in neutral territory, is a major focal point for political intrigue, racial tensions and various wars over the course of five years.

Stars: Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs, Stephen Furst, Andreas Katsulas

Votes: 24,782

It began in syndication, but ended up on TNT. The series that proved that you could produce an adventure drama that tells a bigger story across each season and have a definite conclusion. It also proved you could have a successful sci-fi series, besides Star Trek. It also showed how disjointed Warner Brothers is as a company, as there was little cross-promotion for the show.

39. Superboy (1988–1992)

30 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

The adventures of the Man of Steel in his teenage years.

Stars: Stacy Haiduk, Gerard Christopher, Peter Jay Fernandez, Zevi Wolmark

Votes: 918

Before Smallvile, there was Superboy. It had its ups and downs, with recasting of the lead and changes in the concept. It also had some weak stories, but it had its fans.

40. Bionic Six (1987– )

22 min | Animation, Action, Family

A family of cyborg superheroes fights evil around the world.

Stars: Norman Bernard, Carol Bilger, Samantha Paris, Alan Oppenheimer

Votes: 526

Another cartoon series from the 80s, featuring design work from Alex Toth and animation by Tokyo Movie Shinsa. Not bad for a series that wasn't selling toys or just a reworked Japanese show.

41. Jem (1985–1988)

TV-Y7 | 22 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

Jerrica Benton is secretly the leader of the glamorous and exciting music group, Jem and the Holograms.

Stars: Samantha Newark, Patricia Alice Albrecht, Cathianne Blore, Cindy McGee

Votes: 2,085

Essentailly a Barbie knock-off, featuring a singing heroine. For girls only.

42. BraveStarr (1987–1989)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Family

A Native American marshal and his friends keep the peace on the frontier planet of New Texas.

Stars: Pat Fraley, Erika Scheimer, Susan Blu, Lou Scheimer

Votes: 1,956

Another 80s adventure cartoon, mixing a western with sci-fi. Pretty much mid-range fare.

43. Bizarre (1980–1985)

25 min | Comedy

A half hour sketch comedy show that is not politically correct. It showcased the talents of veteran performers John Byner (the host) and Bob Einstein as Super Dave Osbourne.

Stars: Sandy Webb, Brian George, John Byner, Jim Chad

Votes: 425

Sketch series, featuring John Byner. Mostly late night fare, due to content.

44. Fernwood Tonight (1977)

30 min | Comedy, Talk-Show

Barth Gimble and Jerry Hubbard are the host of a talk show produced in the fictitious town of Fernwood, Ohio (also the setting of "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman"). The show featured parodies ... See full summary »

Stars: Martin Mull, Fred Willard, Frank De Vol, Tommy Tedesco

Votes: 498

Comedy series featuring Fred Willard and Martin Mull. Very groundbreaking, though not widely seen. Would help inspire things like Spinal Tap and Best in Show.

45. War of the Worlds (1988–1990)

45 min | Action, Drama, Horror

Humanity must resume its war against the Martians when they revive after decades of hibernation following their defeat in the 1950s.

Stars: Jared Martin, Lynda Mason Green, Philip Akin, Richard Chaves

Votes: 947

Sequel to the HG Wells book and the George Pal movie. The Martians have come back and are opposed by a group of humans. It had a decent run in syndication, though never had success of the Star Trek proportion.

46. Space: 1999 (1975–1977)

50 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

The crew of Moonbase Alpha must struggle to survive when a massive explosion throws the Moon from orbit into deep space.

Stars: Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Nick Tate, Zienia Merton

Votes: 5,625

Shown in syndication and on some PBS stations. Live action series from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. It was hampered by bad scripts and lackluster acting (mostly from bored actors), but it tried and often succeeded. It was expensive and lasted for only about 2 seasons or so.

47. Star Trek (1966–1969)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets.

Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols

Votes: 62,116

I'm bending my rule about ntework shows here (though I've already included a few others); but, Star Trek owes its success to long time syndication moreso than its network run. It had 3 years on network tv, but about 10 years in syndication before its relaunch as a movie franchise. My generation discovered it in syndication and fell in love with it. It would inspire movies and tv, as well as scifi books, for years to come.

48. Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future (1987–1988)

Not Rated | 30 min | Action, Sci-Fi

A group of guerilla fighters battle the evil machine forces that dominate a future Earth.

Stars: Tim Dunigan, Peter MacNeill, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Maurice Dean Wint

Votes: 1,029

Launched as sales tool for an odd toy, it grew into something more. The series was designed to interact with a toy that projected a beam of light that would react to certain effects in the series. The game didn't prove that popular, but the series developed a cult following due to above average writing, from people like Joe Straczynski (Babylon 5).

49. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994)

TV-PG | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

Set decades after Captain Kirk's five-year mission, a new generation of Starfleet officers set off in a new Enterprise on their own mission to go where no one has gone before.

Stars: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton

Votes: 79,609

Launched as part of a Paramount Network that ended up as more of a syndication distributor than a real network. It was a little shakey at the beginning, as it was finding its way, but grew into its own entity and lasted 7 years. I prefer the classic series as it didn't take itself quite as seriously as this one did, but the series spent a lot of money and it was on the screen. The series drowned in technobabble and political correctness, but had plenty of adventure.

50. American Gladiators (1989–1997)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Game-Show, Sport