TV

Top 100 TV shows of the ’60s

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February 6, 2021
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Top 100 TV shows of the ’60s

On May 9, 1961, the newly elected chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Newton Minow, gave his first speech at a meeting of the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington D.C. After praising the professionals in the broadcasting industry and laying out his belief that television should uphold the public interest, he infamously slammed the state of the medium as a “vast wasteland,” declaring that “when television is bad, nothing is worse.” His speech, unsurprisingly, was not universally appreciated.

The point Minow was trying to make was that good television should go beyond entertainment—and that it should be used particularly to further America’s Cold War-era ideals, such as the battle for democracy to defeat communism. Political grandstanding or not, attendees at the meeting took Minow’s speech as a threat, understanding that if they didn’t begin to produce better programming, their network licenses might be revoked. So they stepped up: Throughout the ’60s, networks began offering more educational and informational programming, as well as a wider variety of shows. In time, Minow would grudgingly approve the changes, saying in 2011 that “television had become less of a wasteland.”

The 1960s were one of the most interesting times in American history for a handful of sociopolitical reasons. The culmination of a hard-fought battle in the form of the Civil Rights Movement saw Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. iconized for his contributions to the marked betterment of the quality of life of African Americans in this country—and a handful of international conflicts, most notably the Vietnam War and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, helped shape the decade as one of turmoil and general unease. While these are topics which of course do not intrinsically evoke laughter, there has been a consistent history in Hollywood of television and politics influencing each other heavily, and it goes without saying that some of the greatest comic relief and more thought-provoking takes on screen would not have been made possible without serious things happening around the world.

In celebration of some of the great television that came from this turbulent decade in American history, Stacker referenced IMDb to compile a list of the top 100 TV shows of the 1960s. For the purposes of this story, we only considered shows in English that received a minimum of 500 votes on IMDb, then ranked them according to their viewer ratings.

Read on to see which iconic programs, Minnow-approved or otherwise, from “The Andy Griffith Show” to “Hogan’s Heroes” to “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!,” have stood the test of time and have proven to be classics more than half a century later.

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1 / 100
Don Fedderson Productions

#100. Family Affair (1966–1971)

- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Votes: 2,168

Veteran actor Brian Keith stars as Bill Davis, a wealthy engineer and bachelor residing in New York City, in the late-’60s hit “Family Affair.” The family-centric sitcom follows Davis, his “gentleman’s gentleman” or butler, Mr. Giles French (Sebastian Cabot), and Davis'  teenage niece and her twin siblings who he is caring for following the death of their parents. While individual episodes weren’t all that original or inspired, the show stood apart for the frank, direct way it dealt with death and grief.

2 / 100
Anglo-EMI Film Distributors

#99. The Likely Lads (1964–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Votes: 663

The Likely Lads” is a black-and-white BBC sitcom about two working-class friends: Terry, cynical and content with his lot in life, and Bob, aspirational and intent on moving into the middle class. There were 20 episodes of the original series, which ran for three seasons, but only 10 are thought to survive (including two which were found in 2019). After a brief hiatus, the BBC brought Bob and Terry back in “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?,” which ran for two seasons and was far more popular than the initial iteration of the show.

3 / 100
NBC Enterprises

#98. Kimba the White Lion (1965–1967)

- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Votes: 904

Kimba the White Lion,” a Japanese anime series that ran on NBC for several seasons, is perhaps best known for the controversy that surrounds it. When Disney released its animated film “The Lion King” in the ’90s, anime fans were quick to point out that several scenes, as well as many plot points, appeared to be directly stolen from the ’60s cartoon. Still, creator Osamu Tezuka and his company, Tezuka Productions Co., never pursued litigation against the entertainment giant, saying, “There may not be as strong of a notion of stealing and plagiarism in Japan when it comes to borrowing or parodying characters from pop culture texts.”

4 / 100
London Weekend Television (LWT)

#97. On the Buses (1969–1973)

- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Votes: 1,955

Long before “The Office” became the world’s favorite workplace comedy, “On the Buses” was making fans laugh on ITV. The series, which was rejected by the BBC, revolves around the #11 bus, its driver Stan Butler, its conductor Jack Harper, and their nemesis, inspector Cyril Blake. The series was so popular that its first spinoff film, released in 1971, outperformed the James Bond flick “Diamonds are Forever” and was the top film in the U.K. for that year.

5 / 100
Filmways Television

#96. Petticoat Junction (1963–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Votes: 2,493

Paul Henning, one of the most successful television producers of the ’60s, began work on “Petticoat Junction” a year after the premiere of his most popular series, “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Set in the same universe as its predecessor, “Petticoat Junction” tells the story of the Bradly family (mother Kate and her three daughters, Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, and Betty Jo) who run the Shady Rest Hotel. Many of the series’ storylines came from the real-life experiences of Henning’s wife’s family, who owned a similar hotel in Eldon, Missouri.

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6 / 100
Andy Griffith Enterprises

#95. Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964–1969)

- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Votes: 2,879

A spinoff of “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Gomer Pyle: USMC” featured Mayberry’s bumbling, guileless gas station attendant, played by Jim Nabors, who joins the Marines, bungles his way through basic training, and, by way of his frequent misadventures, redeems the modern world. Despite its military storylines, the show never touched on the Vietnam War, instead choosing to exist in a wholesome universe where peace was never threatened. The series launched Nabors into the stratosphere, making him a bona fide star, which he remained until his death in 2017.

7 / 100
MCA Television

#94. My Three Sons (1960–1972)

- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Votes: 3,073

One of the longest-running shows of the ’60s, “My Three Sons” had not one but two network homes, ABC and CBS. The sitcom stars Fred MacMurray as a single father who’s raising his three sons with the help of his father-in-law (William Frawley) after the death of his wife. The show is notable for the fact that it was filmed entirely out of sequence using a method known as the MacMurray Method, in which all the scenes in one location would be completed before moving on to the next one.

8 / 100
Screen Gems

#93. The Jetsons (1962–1963)

- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Votes: 18,651

It will likely come as a surprise to many that despite its continued cultural relevance, “The Jetsons,” a cartoon about a family living in the future, only ran for a single season before being canceled (and then revived in the ’80s). The series was the first show ever broadcast in color on ABC and is considered, according to the Smithsonian Magazine, the “single most important piece of 20th-century futurism.” In spite of the fact that it’s an animated comedy, the show sincerely affected how Americans thought—and continue to think—about the future.

9 / 100
Banner Productions

#92. Tarzan (1966–1968)

- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 775

A slight spin on the classic story, this ’60s TV show saw Lord Greystoke (Ron Ely), tired of civilization and the upper-class lifestyle he’d been pushed into, return to the jungle to live freely. Chock-full of fighting and action sequences, the show features plenty of exotic animals like Cheetah the Chimp, as well as storylines about a young orphan boy named Jai Tarzan who is essentially adopted by Greystoke. What’s conspicuously missing, however, is any mention of Jane, as the sexual connotations she would have inspired were deemed “unsuitable.”

10 / 100
MGM Television

#91. Daktari (1966–1969)

- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 869

Inspired by the real-life work of animal conservationist couple Dr. A.M. and Sue Harthoon, “Dakarti” chronicles the fictional adventures of a veterinarian, Dr. Marsh Tracy, and his daughter, Paula, who work together to save animals from poachers at the Wameru Study Centre for Animal Behavior in East Africa. The children’s show began as a movie called “Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion” before being spun off into a four-season show for CBS.

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11 / 100
DePatie-Freleng Enterprises

#90. The Ant and the Aardvark (1969–1972)

- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 1,209

A popular show with a surprisingly simple premise, “The Ant and the Aardvark” chronicles a blue aardvark’s desperate pursuit of a red ant. There are only 17 episodes of this “Tom & Jerry”-esque show, each with a runtime of only six minutes. Still, the bit’s slapstick comedy style proved wildly popular with audiences, so much so that it became an official part of “The Pink Panther Show” in 1972.

12 / 100
3F Productions

#89. I Spy (1965–1968)

- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 1,956

The first dramatic TV series to star a Black man, “I Spy” featured Bill Cosby and Robert Culp as international spies who traveled the world and chased villains, while undercover as two tennis pros. Because the show so prominently featured a Black man, many NBC affiliates in the South refused to air the program. In spite of this racism, Cosby became the first Black actor to win an Emmy Award, taking home trophies for his role in 1966, ’67, and ’68. Cosby was convicted of assault in 2018 and is serving a three- to 10-year sentence.

13 / 100
Daisy Productions

#88. That Girl (1966–1971)

- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 2,206

Marlo Thomas led the cast of “That Girl,” a midcentury sitcom about an aspiring actress who leaves her small hometown behind and heads to New York City in pursuit of fame (taking on a few odd jobs along the way). While not a direct spinoff of “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “That Girl” is closely connected to the other sitcom, sharing its writers, producers, sets, and even storylines. For example, the series’ creators, Bill Persky and Sam Denoff, had acted as writers on that show before striking out on their own.

14 / 100
Hanna-Barbera Productions

#87. Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines (1969–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 3,194

One of several “Wacky Races” spinoffs, “Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines” was a Saturday morning cartoon set during World War I about two evil Vulture Squadron flying aces who are in constant pursuit of Yankee Doodle Carrier Pigeon. Of course, their nefarious plans almost always fail, and the carrier pigeon remains just a step or two ahead. All the characters in the cartoon series were brought to life by two voice actors, Paul Winchell and Don Messick.

15 / 100
Screen Gems

#86. Top Cat (1961–1962)

- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 6,813

Another Hanna-Barbera production, “Top Cat” is an animated sitcom about a gaggle of Manhattan alley cats: T.C., Fancy-Fancy, Spook, Benny the Ball, Brain, and Choo-Choo. Throughout the show’s single season, this gang of cats is constantly in pursuit of a quick buck, running illegal scams and dodging the local copper. The cartoon is a direct parody of “The Phil Silver Show,” which made it an appealing watch for both adults who understood the references and children charmed by its animation style.

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16 / 100
Famous Studios

#85. Popeye the Sailor (1960–1962)

- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Votes: 10,052

Popeye made his first television appearance in the ’50s, but it was this continuation of his adventures that cemented his status as a cultural icon. Almost every episode of “Popeye the Sailor” sees our favorite strongman engaging in his everyday rituals: wooing Olive Oil, fighting Bluto for her heart, and eating tons of spinach. Each episode also includes a “public service” portion where Popeye educates his nephews and the general public on things like the dangers of smoking and the importance of a well-rounded diet.

17 / 100
American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

#84. The Porky Pig Show (1964–1967)

- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 940

The Porky Pig Show” packaged together new and previously aired cartoon segments that all featured Warner Bros.’ funny, stuttering pig. The series also regularly featured other Warner Bros. characters including Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. Each episode wrapped with Porky uttering his trademark phrase, “That’s all folks!”

18 / 100
MGM Television

#83. The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1969–1972)

- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 1,134

In “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” a 7-year-old boy named Eddie schemes with his housekeeper, Mrs. Livingston, to get his widower father, a magazine publisher, remarried. The TV series was based on a movie of the same name, which itself was based on a novel. Eventually, the show was canceled when its star, Bill Bixby, feuded with producer James Komack.

19 / 100
Chrislaw Productions

#82. The Patty Duke Show (1963–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 1,183

After Patty Duke won an Oscar for her portrayal of Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker,” ABC capitalized on her rising fame with “The Patty Duke Show.” In the show, Duke plays identical cousins, the rambunctious, rock-’n’-roll loving Patty and the prim-and-proper Cathy. It is rumored that the show’s creator Sidney Sheldon came up with the concept after observing Duke’s two personalities (the actress suffered from bipolar disorder). Duke died in 2016.

20 / 100
Screen Gems

#81. Hazel (1961–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 1,388

For 75 years, the single-panel comic strip “Hazel” ran in newspapers like The Saturday Evening Post. To date, this ’60s sitcom is the only TV series to bring to life the story about a competent maid and her employers, the Baxter family. Shirley Booth starred as the title character and received two Emmy Awards for her work over the course of the show’s five seasons.

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21 / 100
Leonardo Productions

#80. Underdog (1964–1973)

- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 2,043

Rhyming superhero pup Underdog defeated villains and came to the aid of his love interest, Polly Purebred, over and over again in this ’60s cartoon. The show was so popular that an Underdog balloon was added to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade just one year after the series premiered.

22 / 100
Paramount Television

#79. The Lucy Show (1962–1968)

- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 2,267

Lucille Ball’s follow up to “I Love Lucy,” “The Lucy Show” was produced by her ex-husband, Desi Arnaz, for their company Desilu productions. An incredibly successful series, the show began with Ball and Vivian Vance living together with their children after death and divorce and claimed their respective husbands. In later seasons, the action moved outside the home when Ball began working in a bank. Eventually, the series was canceled after Desilu Productions was sold to Paramount Pictures.

23 / 100
Filmways Television

#78. Green Acres (1965–1971)

- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Votes: 5,756

A fish-out-of-water sitcom, “Green Acres” chronicles the hilarious adventures of a couple who move from New York City to Hooterville, giving up their glamorous life to become farmers. Real-life friends Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor starred in the series, which ran for six seasons before being purged by CBS.

24 / 100
United Productions of America (UPA)

#77. The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo (1964–1965)

- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 558

In “The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo” Jim Backus’ Quincy Magoo character starred in child-friendly adaptations of various literary masterpieces like “Don Quixote,” “Treasure Island,” and “Snow White.” Beloved by audiences, critics, and educators, the show won the George Foster Peabody award in 1965.

25 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#76. Till Death Us Do Part (1965–1975)

- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 815

Despite the fact that it regularly drew in audiences of some 20 million viewers, “Till Death Us Do Part” remained one of the most controversial shows on ITV during the 1960s. This is largely because of its main character, Alf Garnett, a conservative, ignorant, working-class bigot who regularly gives his opinion on everything, much to the chagrin of his family (and folks all over Britain). The show is thought to be the inspiration for the American hit “All in the Family.”

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26 / 100
AP Films (APF)

#75. Stingray (1964–1965)

- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 1,055

The first British television series to appear in color, “Stingray” also stands apart as the first marionette show on our list. Set in 2065, the series follows the crew of the Stingray, a submarine under the control of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol, as they embark on various adventures. Among the crew are Commander Shore (Ray Barret), Lieutenant Phones (Robert Easton), and a mute princess of the underwater kingdom Pacifica named Marina.

27 / 100
NBC

#74. The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (1968–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 1,503

The predecessor to costumed character shows like “Barney” and “Teletubbies,” “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour” was a children’s variety show featuring a fictional band called the Banana Splits. Hanna-Barbera Productions worked in conjunction with Kellogg’s (who sponsored the show) to bring the series to life. While the show, the first of its kind, never won any awards, its theme song “The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)” is considered one of the best TV theme songs of all time.

28 / 100
Hanna-Barbera Productions

#73. Space Ghost (1966–1968)

- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 1,529

A 30-minute cartoon, “Space Ghost” actually contained two entirely unrelated segments: “Space Ghost” and “Dino Boy in the Lost Valley.” The first segment saw the title hero fighting outer-space villains alongside his sidekicks Jace, Jan, and their monkey, Blip. In “Dino Boy in the Lost Valley,” the title character crash-lands in a South American valley where dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, cavemen, and fantastical beings roam.

29 / 100
CBS

#72. My Favorite Martian (1963–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 2,142

An anthropologist from Mars crash-lands on Earth and is saved by a Los Angeles reporter in this science fiction sitcom. Ray Walston and Bill Bixby co-starred in the series, which ran for three seasons. Despite the fame it brought Walston, he reportedly regretted taking the role, as it kept him from landing more substantial work.

30 / 100
Warner Bros. Television

#71. F Troop (1965–1967)

- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 2,451

When the inept Capt. Wilton Parmenter leads a cavalry charge the wrong way, he accidentally becomes a hero and is put in charge of the remote Fort Courage. There, he and his gang must contend with the local Native Americans who are sometimes friends, sometimes foes. This satirical Wild West sitcom, which played fast and loose with history, relied heavily on slapstick and physical comedy for its laughs, garnering a substantial viewership in spite of its short run.

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31 / 100
CBS

#70. Hawaii Five-O (1968–1980)

- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 5,681

Until “Law & Order” knocked it off its pedestal, “Hawaii Five-O” was the longest-running police procedural in television history. The show was about an elite four-man police force who, beholden only to Gov. Philip Grey, investigated “organized crime, murder, assassination attempts, foreign agents, felonies of every type.” Although the series was nominated for multiple Emmy Awards, its only two wins didn’t come until the 1970s.

32 / 100
CBS

#69. Gilligan's Island (1964–1967)

- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Votes: 12,831

Seven castaways, including a millionaire, an actress, a professor, and a farm girl, find themselves stranded on a desert island after their tour boat crashes in a typhoon. The group was stuck on the island for three seasons, never making it back to civilization before the series was canceled in favor of “Gunsmoke.” The sitcom made headlines at the end of 2020 when actress Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann Summers, died from COVID-19 complications.

33 / 100
Arwin Productions

#68. The Doris Day Show (1968–1973)

- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 584

Perhaps best known for its frequently changing premise, “The Doris Day Show” began with Day moving from San Francisco to a rural ranch with her two young sons following the death of her fictional husband. In later seasons, the trio moves back to the city, with Day taking on various jobs, before the entire cast (including her two sons) are written out and Day is reimagined as an independent career woman. Never a huge fan of the show herself, Day was committed to the series without her knowledge by her husband, who had squandered the fortune she had previously earned in movies.

34 / 100
Smallfilms

#67. The Clangers (1969–1974)

- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 598

A family of pink, knitted, mousy creatures who live inside a remote, moon-like planet were the main protagonists in “The Clangers,” a stop-motion children’s TV show. The Clanger family only spoke in whistles, so a helpful narrator (Oliver Postgate) guided children through the action. Each episode delivered a poignant message about how earthlings were ruining things, committing offenses like polluting our own planet and sending “space garbage” out into the universe.

35 / 100
Kent Gavin // Getty Images

#66. Burke's Law (1963–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 693

Gene Barry, “Television’s Cary Grant,” played Capt. Amos Burke, the millionaire leader of the LAPD homicide division who was chauffeured around town in his Rolls Royce while solving the city’s toughest crimes in this ’60s hit. Aaron Spelling produced the lighthearted whodunnit series (“Burke’s Law” was his first real success), which featured a rotating cast of celebrity guest stars. In its third season, the show was converted to more of a spy drama and retitled “Amos Burke, Secret Agent.”

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36 / 100
Filmation Associates

#65. The New Adventures of Superman (1966–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 777

“The New Adventures of Superman” was the first animated television series based on a DC Comics title to hit the airwaves. Typically, the show consisted of two Superman animated segments sandwiched around a Superboy segment, although its format did fluctuate throughout its run.

37 / 100
Warner Bros. Television

#64. The F.B.I. (1965–1974)

- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 893

Quinn Martin produced this crime series that featured real-life FBI cases ranging from extortion plots and the capture of Communist spies to counterfeiting operations. Incredibly realistic, the series employed J. Edgar Hoover (the former director of the FBI) as a consultant and other notable agents as technical advisors. The show was so beloved that in 2009 FBI Director Robert Mueller made Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (who played the show’s lead, Inspector Lewis Erskine) an honorary member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

38 / 100
Sid & Marty Krofft Television Productions

#63. H.R. Pufnstuf (1969–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 1,524

Sid and Marty Krofft’s first show to make it to television, “H.R. Pufnstuf” is about a boy named Timmy who, along with his magical flute, is transported to Living Island, where he is almost captured by the evil Witchiepoo. Thankfully, a dragon named H.R. Pufnstuf swoops in just in time and saves both the boy and his flute. Despite the show’s abundant drug imagery (there’s a whole episode about magic mushrooms), the Kroffts have always vehemently denied any intentional connections to illicit substances.

39 / 100
Sto-Rev-Co Productions

#62. McHale's Navy (1962–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 2,428

Beginning as a TV play titled “Seven Against the Sea,” “McHale’s Navy” revolves around the tension between the relaxed, con-artist Lt. Commander Quinton McHale (Ernest Borgnine) and his superior officer, the rule-following Capt. Binghamton (Joe Flynn). The two men’s vastly different approaches to life and leadership are often at odds, yet the men of PT 73, who are blindly loyal to McHale, are typically successful in combat and life, much to the chagrin of Binghamton.

40 / 100
20th Century Fox Television

#61. The Green Hornet (1966–1967)

- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 2,583

Created by the same team that brought the Adam West “Batman” series to life, “The Green Hornet” was yet another show attempting to capitalize on the superhero craze of the mid-’60s. Starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee, the show was adapted from the 1930s radio show of the same name. Despite its well-choreographed action scenes and exciting plots, the show never achieved quite the same success as “Batman” and was canceled after a single season.

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41 / 100
Marvel Enterprises

#60. Spider-Man (1967–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 3,204

Speaking of superheroes, Peter Parker made his small-screen debut in 1967’s “Spider-Man.” The web-slinger’s first-ever cartoon came just five years after his comic book debut, but its low production budget, stiff animation, and bizarre storylines did little to earn the crime fighter more fans. Today, the series, which Stan Lee consulted on, is probably best remembered for its theme song, including the iconic line, “...does whatever a spider can.”

42 / 100
NBC

#59. The Monkees (1966–1968)

- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 3,663

Unapologetically riding on the coattails of The Beatles’ fame, the sitcom followed a four-member boy band as they attempted to make it big. While the TV show was fictional and completely scripted, the band was real and outsold both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in 1967 in terms of record sales. Despite the competition between the two groups, it’s said that The Beatles didn’t mind The Monkees copying them, and were, in fact, thankful that the group was willing to provide the comedy and pop entertainment fans wanted while leaving the Fab Four free to pursue more serious and experimental work.

43 / 100
Screen Gems

#58. I Dream of Jeannie (1965–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Votes: 13,264

NBC’s response to “Bewitched,” “I Dream of Jeannie” was a supernatural sitcom about a handsome astronaut (Larry Hagman) who uncovers a mysterious bottle on one of his missions and finds that it contains a beautiful young genie (Barbara Eden). Of course, the duo fall in love at first sight and wind up getting married later in the series. Despite the show’s massive success, work on the series wasn’t a pleasant experience for everyone, including Hagman, who turned to drug and alcohol abuse in an effort to cope with it.

44 / 100
Desi Arnaz Productions

#57. The Mothers-In-Law (1967–1969)

- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 510

The plot of “The Mothers-In-Law” is probably best described as every young married couple’s worst nightmare. When Suzie and Jerry get married and move into the garage apartment of Suzie’s family home (which is coincidentally right next door to Jerry’s family), they get more than they bargained for when both of their contrasting mothers become overly involved in their lives. A Desi Arnaz production, the series wasn’t very popular when it first aired, as many fans complained that it recycled too many storylines from “I Love Lucy.”

45 / 100
Four Star Productions

#56. Honey West (1965–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 573

A surprisingly progressive show for the pre-feminist ’60s, “Honey West” was a crime series about a young female detective (played by Anne Francis) who took on even the toughest cases with the help of her partner Sam Bolt and her pet ocelot Bruce. Produced by Aaron Spelling, the show was based on a series of pulpy novels by a husband-and-wife team writing under the pen name G.G. Fickling. Although the series was groundbreaking and featured a gorgeous actress with a killer wardrobe, it may have been a little ahead of its time, as it was canceled after a single season.

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46 / 100
Madison Productions

#55. Branded (1965–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 636

A true Western series, “Branded” follows a cowboy and West Point graduate named Jason McCord who sets out to prove his bravery after being kicked out of the army for alleged cowardice. In reality, McCord was merely a victim of his commanding officer, who was mentally incompetent. Rather than call out his superior’s failures, McCord spends two seasons wandering around untamed America, righting wrongs of all types and proving his mettle.

47 / 100
Hanna-Barbera Productions

#54. The Herculoids (1967–1969)

- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 963

An Alex Toth original, “The Herculoids” was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. A science fiction cartoon, the series is about a family of space barbarians who fight alongside their alien pets (the Herculoids) to save their planet from all sorts of invaders. An incredibly original and inventive show, “The Herculoids” had a massive impact on the genre, as traces of it can be seen in iconic franchises such as “Star Trek” and “Star Wars.”

48 / 100
Mirisch-Rich Productions

#53. The Rat Patrol (1966–1968)

- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 1,426

The Rat Patrol” was an action show set in Northern Africa during World War II following a group of Allied soldiers whose mission was to “attack, harass, and wreak havoc on Field Marshal Rommel’s vaunted Afrika Corps.” A hit with history junkies and action aficionados alike, the show ran for two seasons in the United States but was canceled after just six episodes in the U.K. after a group of servicemen began complaining about its accuracy.

49 / 100
Thames Television

#52. The Benny Hill Show (1969–1989)

- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 4,466

British institution Benny Hill's self-titled series was a comedy sketch program filled with smutty jokes, slapstick humor, zany monologues, and cheeky songs. The show began on the BBC but eventually aired on every major network in the world before being canceled in 1989. “The Benny Hill Show” won many awards including the British Academy Best Comedy Show award and the Golden Rose of Montreux.

50 / 100
Hanna-Barbera Productions

#51. Wacky Races (1968–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 5,948

One of Hanna-Barbera’s most unique shows, each episode of “Wacky Races” featured 11 different cars driven by a variety of Hanna-Barbera characters, racing around different locations in the United States. Inspired by the movie “The Great Race” and originally conceived as a game show, the series wound up being canceled in 1970 after a parent’s group complained that it glorified violence.

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51 / 100
Ashmont Productions

#50. Bewitched (1964–1972)

- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 17,169

Elizabeth Montgomery starred as nose-twitching witch Samantha Stephens, who marries a mortal named Darrin in ABC’s smash hit “Bewitched.” Despite agreeing to become a normal suburban housewife after her marriage, Samantha finds she can’t give up her magical powers, which leads to plenty of chaos in the young couple’s life.

52 / 100
20th Century Fox Television

#49. Batman (1966–1968)

- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 18,866

Fans of the DC Comics superhero have long debated whether this incredibly popular ’60s TV adaptation is genius or utterly horrible. Adam West’s “Batman” series was campy and silly with black-and-white morality and tons of celebrity guests. Many of the original comic’s diehard fans felt that the series was tonally off and essentially amounted to a parody, while others argued that it embodied the spirit of the ’50s and ’60s strips and launched the Batman character into well-deserved superstardom.

53 / 100
Screen Gems

#48. The Flintstones (1960–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Votes: 32,809

Hanna-Barbera Productions struck gold again with “The Flintstones,” an animated take on “The Honeymooners” set in the Stone Age. Premiering in a prime-time slot, the show remained an evening fixture for its entire original run of six seasons. It would hold the record as the longest-running prime-time cartoon until 1989, when “The Simpsons” eclipsed it.

54 / 100
NBC

#47. Jeopardy! (1964–1975)

- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 621

This quiz show is often described as “America’s favorite” and has brought home more Daytime Emmy Awards than any other game show. If you answered, “What is “Jeopardy!”?” you’d be correct. The first iteration of the show, which was masterminded by Merv Griffin, ran until 1975 when it was canceled by NBC, returning twice more before the version we know today, hosted by TV icon Alex Trebek, came to be.

55 / 100
Screen Gems

#46. Here Come the Brides (1968–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 700

“Here Come the Brides” was loosely based on the Asa Mercer project, which sought to import or recruit women into moving to the Pacific Northwest in the 1860s in order to balance gender dynamics and bring some civilization to the wild country. In this fictionalized telling, the three Bolt brothers bring 100 women to the undeveloped Seattle area to marry their logging crew, who have grown mutinous over the lack of women available to them. In the crooked deal the Bolts make with the man who funded this harebrained scheme, if any of the women should leave before a year is up, the trio will lose their land, which makes them all the more invested in the matchmaking process.

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56 / 100
ABC Television // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Room 222 (1969–1974)

- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 823

Set in an integrated high school in Los Angeles, “Room 222” was a comedy-drama about a group of dedicated teachers, led by Black history teacher Pete Dixon, who taught their students lessons in tolerance, understanding, and acceptance. The show often tackled difficult topics like drug use, racism, sexism, gun violence, and teenage pregnancy without coming off as preachy or dry. The show was so good that it took home the Emmy Award for Outstanding New Series in its first season.

57 / 100
Incorporated Television Company (ITC)

#44. The Champions (1968–1969)

- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 951

Part detective, part sci-fi show “The Champions'' was about a trio of elite agents from the fictional intelligence organization Nemesis who find themselves saddled with supernatural powers after a Himalayan tribe saves them from a plane crash. Once they acquire these powers in the first episode, the group is able to use them to help solve their other cases, often finding that they have a sizable advantage over those seeking to cause harm.

58 / 100
Incorporated Television Company (ITC)

#43. My Partner the Ghost (1969–1971)

- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 1,092

Originally titled “Randall & Hopkirk: Deceased” this British series about two private detectives was renamed “My Partner the Ghost” in the United States. When a curse leaves detective Marty Hopkirk, who is killed in a hit-and-run accident in the first episode, stranded on Earth, he continues to assist partner Jeff Randall in solving cases and investigating crimes, despite the fact that Randall is the only one who can see him. The show was rebooted in 2000, but audiences didn’t care for the remake nearly as much as the original.

59 / 100
Universal Television

#42. Dragnet 1967 (1967–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 2,274

Another crime drama, “Dragnet 1967” follows Sgt. Joe Friday and his partner Bill Gannon as they deal with illegal activity all over Los Angeles. Director Jack Webb mined the real LAPD for material and was known to pay officers $25 for any real-life story he could use on the show. As a result, the series had a very realistic feel and was even used as training material by police departments.

60 / 100
Four Star Productions

#41. The Big Valley (1965–1969)

- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 2,505

The Big Valley” is an hour-long Western drama about the Barkleys, one of the wealthiest ranching families in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Matriarch Victoria Barkley leads the family after the death of her husband Tom (which occurs before the series begins), proving that women are just as capable as men of ruling the Wild West—and also making this series the only Western of the time to be led by a female character. The show was canceled in 1969 when the major networks began phasing out all Westerns in favor of more modern and unique series.

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61 / 100
DePatie-Freleng Enterprises

#40. The Pink Panther Show (1969–2011)

- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Votes: 15,903

“The Pink Panther Show” is a collection of three cartoon shorts featuring either the Pink Panther himself, a cartoon cat with the manners of an English aristocrat, or The Inspector, an animated version of Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau. The pink cat was originally created for the opening credits of the Sellers movies but wound up getting its own series due to its popularity with fans. The show would add in new characters and remove others throughout its decades-long run.

62 / 100
20th Century Fox Television

#39. The Ghost & Mrs. Muir (1968–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 1,101

Based on the movie of the same name, “The Ghost & Mrs. Muir'' follows a young widow who moves with her two children and her faithful housekeeper into a seaside cottage that’s haunted by a 19th-century sea captain. While the movie is a romantic fantasy tale, the series, which stars Hope Lange, is a comedy that often plays up its paranormal aspect for laughs. Lange won two Best Actress Emmy Awards for her work on the program.

63 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#38. Benny Hill (1962–1963)

- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 1,270

Before “The Benny Hill Show” got underway, the British comedian starred in a single season of another self-titled comedy, “Benny Hill.” Showcasing the comic’s unique sense of humor, this series is an anthology of single-episode sitcoms, with Hill playing a different character in each one. While not nearly as well-known as his variety show, the higher rating suggests that fans consider this show the better of the two offerings.

64 / 100
NBC

#37. Car 54, Where Are You? (1961–1963)

- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 1,320

Classic sitcom “Car 54, Where Are You?” tells the story of two of New York’s finest: a short, dim-witted officer named Toody and a tall, intellectual officer named Muldoon. Despite its realistic setting (it was actually filmed at a studio in the Bronx), the show sees Toody and Muldoon encounter mostly comedic scenarios, instead of more serious crimes.

 

65 / 100
Lancer Productions Limited

#36. Route 66 (1960–1964)

- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 1,356

A truly unique adventure drama, “Route 66” follows two young men (Martin Milner and George Maharis) as they drive around the country in a corvette seeking to understand themselves and the world a little bit better. What really made the show stand apart from every other anthology series on network TV was that it was shot on location, with the entire cast and crew traveling to a new state for every episode. If the premise of the show sounds familiar, it may be because it bears plenty of similarities to Jack Kerouac’s book “On the Road,” which the author claimed provided the basis for the show.

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66 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#35. Steptoe and Son (1962–1974)

- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Votes: 2,775

A show about a father and son in the rag-and-bone business, “Steptoe and Son” ran for a total of eight seasons on the BBC before branching out into feature films and radio programs. The basis for the American series “Sanford and Son,” it focuses heavily on the intergenerational differences between an old man set in his ways and a young, more forward-thinking son who has social aspirations.

67 / 100
Universal Television

#34. Laredo (1965–1967)

- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 543

Straddling the line between sitcom and drama, “Laredo” is an hour-long Western program about a group of Texas Rangers who enforce the law and impose justice in their small Southern county. The series is often comedic but features no laugh track, and characters often die, keeping it from falling fully into the sitcom genre. Several well-known Western stars (like George Kennedy from “Cool Hand Luke”) made guest appearances throughout the course of the show.

68 / 100
CBS

#33. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967–1993)

- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 1,211

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” blazed a trail for today’s late-night satirists like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and launched the careers of other well-known comedians like Steve Martin and Rob Reiner. Led by Tom and Dick Smothers, the variety series features skits, monologues, and performances from major musical acts like The Who. The left-leaning brothers frequently ran into trouble with CBS’s censorship department, as they spoke openly on air about their disgust for the Vietnam War, the political establishment, and religion.

69 / 100
Hanna-Barbera Productions

#32. Jonny Quest (1964–1965)

- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 4,160

Hanna-Barbera Productions struck gold once again with “Johnny Quest,” an animated science fiction show. The series follows a young boy who accompanies his research scientist father around the world, helping him solve various mysteries and defeat adversaries. Due to high production costs, the series was canceled after a single season, though it spent years in syndication.

70 / 100
CBS

#31. The Munsters (1964–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Votes: 12,471

This mid-’60s sitcom follows the misadventures of a family of friendly monsters as they try to fit it with their human neighbors. Fred Gwynne led the cast as Herman Munster (Frankenstein’s monster) alongside Yvonne De Carlo, who played his wife Lily (a vampire). Grandpa Munster (another vampire), son Eddie (a werewolf), and niece Marilyn (a human) rounded out the eclectic family. A black-and-white series, “Munsters” was canceled in 1966 when “Batman,” the color adventure series, began attracting the time slot’s viewers, dropping “Munsters” ratings.

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71 / 100
Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS)

#30. Ultraman: A Special Effects Fantasy Series (1966–1967)

- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 546

Eiji Tsuburaya created “Ultraman,” a live-action Japanese science fiction series that became a pop culture phenomenon at home as well as in the United States. The show follows an officer of the Science Patrol who is given the life force and abilities of an alien and uses them to fight a host of destructive, larger-than-life monsters attacking Earth.

72 / 100
Incorporated Television Company (ITC)

#29. Danger Man (1960–1962)

- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 1,001

Although similarly titled to “Ultraman,” “Danger Man,” a show about a secret James Bond-esque agent, had nothing in common with the Japanese series. A British series, “Danger Man” wasn’t very popular with American audiences, in spite of its action sequences and exotic locales, and only a single season aired in the United States. Americans’ distaste for the series may be tied to the fact that Patrick McGoohan refused to allow his character to become intimate with any woman or to use a gun as a means of killing any of his enemies, therefore losing much of the fireworks they had come to appreciate.

73 / 100
Century 21 Television

#28. Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967–1968)

- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 1,445

Gerry and Silvia Anderson’s follow-up to “Thunderbirds,” “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” is about a group of specialists from an agency called Spectrum who find themselves waging war against an invisible species of alien, the Mysterons, who can co-opt people and objects for their own malicious ends. The series was made using Supermarionation, or electronic marionette puppets, which was popular in British television at the time.

74 / 100
AP Films (APF)

#27. Thunderbirds (1965–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 3,922

The Andersons’ first hit series, “Thunderbirds,” also employed Supermarionation to bring its characters to life. In this series, the Tracy family run International Rescue, an organization whose primary mission is to save human lives. The group uses five super-craft called the Thunderbird machines that can travel through space, sea, air, and on land to aid in their daring rescue missions.

75 / 100
Bing Crosby Productions

#26. Hogan's Heroes (1965–1971)

- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 8,626

Hogan’s Heroes” has perhaps the most interesting (and complicated) setting of any comedic series on this list: a Nazi prisoner of war camp during WWII. Trapped behind enemy lines, the American soldiers, under the leadership of Col. Hogan (Bob Crane), concoct schemes to sabotage the Germans’ war efforts and collect classified information. In 2019, it was announced that the series would be getting a reboot, although it hasn’t hit the airwaves yet.

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76 / 100
Hanna-Barbera Productions

#25. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (1969–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Votes: 30,015

The first installment in the long-running franchise, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” was yet another Hanna-Barbera Productions offering. Scooby and the gang, who solve fantastical mysteries in each episode, were originally rejected by CBS, who thought the series would be too scary for kids, but after Hanna-Barbera reworked the show and moved the famous canine to the starring role, the show was picked up.

77 / 100
Romart Inc.

#24. Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967–1973)

- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 2,560

The inspiration for disparate shows like “Sesame Street,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” popularized the rapid-vignette style many series would adapt. The comedy show was originally concocted as a one-time special but was so successful that NBC gave it its own regular time slot. Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin both worked as series regulars on the show at the beginning of their careers.

78 / 100
Universal Television

#23. Night Gallery (1969–1973)

- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 4,775

Rod Serling’s follow-up to his series “The Twilight Zone,” “Night Gallery” was a horror and science-fiction anthology series told through the lens of a series of paintings hung in an old museum. The show included original tales mixed with stories written by well-known authors like H.P. Lovecraft and Algernon Blackwood.

79 / 100
Filmways Television

#22. The Addams Family (1964–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Votes: 14,451

“The Addams Family,” a sitcom about a macabre family and their unique lifestyle, was based on a series of cartoons Charles Addams wrote for The New Yorker. The real Mr. Addams had very little to do with the creation of the series aside from naming the characters, but he gave it his seal of approval.

80 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#21. The Morecambe & Wise Show (1968–1977)

- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 738

Comedy duo Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise struck gold with their third foray into television, “The Morecambe & Wise Show,” which ran, in color, on BBC 2. The variety sketch show became a foundational part of British television, with its Christmas special bringing in 28 million viewers in its final year. Like many other shows of its type, “Morecambe & Wise” frequently had celebrity guest stars like Elton John and Peter Cushing.

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81 / 100
20th Century Fox Television

#20. 12 O'Clock High (1964–1967)

- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 932

12 O’Clock High” is a war drama that chronicles the movements of the 918th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Eighth Air Force as they move through Europe under varying leadership. The series is based on the 1949 movie of the same name. When lead Robert Lansing was fired early in the series, TV Guide claimed to receive the most letters to their publication since John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

82 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#19. Dad's Army (1968–1977)

- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 5,605

This BBC One series revolves around a volunteer militia composed of men too old or ineligible for regular military service in a coastal English town during WWII. Over 80 episodes of the series were made during its nine-season run, as well as a radio edition, a stage show, and two feature films. Today, the series is still recognized as one of Britain's most popular sitcoms.

83 / 100
Children's Television Workshop

#18. Sesame Street (1969–present)

- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Votes: 12,002

The only show on our list that is both still in its initial run and still on the air, “Sesame Street” has been educating generations of children for more than 50 years. Created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett, the program has used Jim Henson’s puppets in all 4,500 episodes. Regularly featuring celebrity guest stars, the series has won more Emmy Awards than any other show in television history, an incredible 189.

84 / 100
Incorporated Television Company (ITC)

#17. Secret Agent (1964–1967)

- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 1,124

Agent John Drake of “Danger Man” fame returned to TV in “Secret Agent,” the second series to follow the spy’s various adventures. With hour-long episodes, “Secret Agent” allowed for more character development than “Danger Man,” but star Patrick McGoohan still insisted that his alter ego hold to a higher moral standard (no guns, no women) than his fictional contemporaries.

85 / 100
Hubbell Robinson Productions

#16. Thriller (1960–1962)

- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 1,226

Yet another anthology series, “Thriller” was hosted by horror icon Boris Karloff. The hour-long episodes would feature various tales of Gothic horror, crime, and suspense. The show was canceled after two short seasons when “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” returned to the air and stole many of its viewers.

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86 / 100
CBS

#15. Get Smart (1965–1970)

- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Votes: 10,944

An American version of the popular secret agent tale, “Get Smart” is part spy adventure, part comedy. It follows a brilliant but bumbling agent named Maxwell Smart and his partner Agent 99 as they undertake missions for the top-secret counterintelligence agency CONTROL. Don Adams and Barbara Feldon star in the show, which was created by comedy legends Mel Brooks and Buck Henry.

87 / 100
ABC Weekend Television

#14. Callan (1967–1972)

- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 615

Almost an anti-spy series, BBC’s “Callan” focuses on the underside of special agent work, reminding audiences that the job is far from glamorous, despite what James Bond may lead them to believe. The show’s main character, David Callan, is the top agent for Great Britain’s Security Service but, despite his success, performs all his professional duties under duress, never taking any pleasure in them. As with many other BBC shows from the ’60s, there are several episodes of the complete run that have been lost to history.

88 / 100
Calvada Productions

#13. The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966)

- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 8,723

Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore led the all-star cast of “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” a sitcom about the work and home life of a TV writer and family man. Airing for five seasons, the series, one of the few filmed in front of a live audience at the time, took home 15 Emmy Awards. The show remains popular with TV lovers, thanks in large part to a strategic choice by the writing team to keep ’60s-era references and slang out of its scripts, a decision that keeps the material feeling fresh and relevant.

89 / 100
CBS

#12. The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968)

- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 12,209

One of the most wholesome shows to ever hit the airwaves, “The Andy Griffith Show” was born from an episode of “The Danny Thomas Show” in which Griffith guest-starred. The episode (“Danny Meets Andy Griffith”) was so well-received that CBS decided to turn the storyline, about a small-town, widower sheriff and his young son, into its own sitcom. Set in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, it would end up running for eight seasons, bringing home two Emmy Awards and ending while still at the top of the Nielsen ratings.

90 / 100
Desilu Productions

#11. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)

- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Votes: 73,306

Set in the 23rd century, “Star Trek: The Original Series” follows the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, which includes Captain Kirk, Commander Spock, and Dr. Bones McCoy, as they embark on a five-year mission in outer space to explore new worlds, find new life, and “boldly go where no man has gone before.” Brought to the small screen by Desilu Productions and Lucille Ball, the show ran for three seasons before being canceled for low ratings. However, thanks to its large, devoted fan base, the franchise has been brought back to life on screens big and small a record number of times.

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91 / 100
Selmur Productions

#10. Combat! (1962–1967)

- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Votes: 2,255

Television’s longest-running WWII drama, “Combat!” follows an American infantry squad as they battle their way across Europe from D-Day forward. Praised for its realism and the way it handled the struggle of retaining one’s humanity in the midst of such horror, the show watches more like a collection of movies than individual episodes. This is in large part thanks to the fact that alternating episodes feature different protagonists, Lt. Gil Hanley and Sgt. Chip Sanders, which allows the series to focus on a single story at a time rather than divide its attention.

92 / 100
NBC

#9. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962–1992)

- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Votes: 3,155

“The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” established the late-night talk show genre that is so ubiquitous today. Despite his affable on-screen presence, it is rumored that Carson was a difficult person who often didn’t get along with the celebrities he was interviewing. Regardless of any behind-the-scenes drama, the show was a runaway success, earning 40 Emmy nominations and taking home six trophies during its 30 years on the air.

93 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#8. Doctor Who (1963–1989)

- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Votes: 35,289

In the science fiction classic “Doctor Who,” an immortal Time Lord accompanied by various companions, travels across the universe in his shape-shifting spaceship to prevent evil forces from wreaking havoc on humanity. Holding the title as the longest-running science fiction series on television, “Doctor Who” has had multiple casts and iterations of the doctor throughout its many seasons. The original run of the series was canceled in 1989 due to low ratings and increased competition from other networks.

94 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#7. The Forsyte Saga (1967–1969)

- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Votes: 904

The last BBC soap opera to be produced in black-and-white, “The Forsyte Saga” details the fortunes and dramas of the Forsyte family from the end of the Victorian era through the inter-war years. The show primarily focuses on the fates of Soames and Jolyon, two wealthy cousins who choose remarkably different paths in life. It proved a universal hit as “Forsyte mania” swept all of Europe, with many countries closing businesses early on Sundays (when new episodes of the show aired) so everyone could head home to watch.

95 / 100
Shamley Productions

#6. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962–1965)

- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Votes: 3,877

A continuation of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” is an anthology series featuring a collection of shorter drama, mystery, and thriller stories in each episode. Many of these stories are about fictional murders and often contain twist endings. While the stories themselves have proven to be rather forgettable, many fans will recall the series’ opening and closing sequences where Hitchcock addresses the camera directly while the show’s theme song, “Funeral March for a Marionette,” plays in the background.

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96 / 100
Warner Bros. Television

#5. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour (1968–1978)

- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Votes: 9,434

Following the successful debut of “The Bugs Bunny Show,” Warner Bros. rolled out the carpet for “The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour,” a longer version of the original featuring seven cartoon segments interspersed with interaction sequences between the characters. Each episode of the show opens with the theme song “This Is It,” which plays while all of the characters, from Bugs Bunny and Road Runner to Wile E. Coyote and Elmer Fudd, march across the screen.

97 / 100
Family Communications

#4. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968–2001)

- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Votes: 7,489

One of the most beloved television programs of all time, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was a half-hour show for preschoolers that explored educational and emotional themes. The series is perhaps best remembered for the frank, honest, and age-appropriate manner in which Fred Rogers dealt with the trickier parts of life such as anger, divorce, and war. The show was so timeless and impactful that reruns are still regularly shown on PBS stations around the country.

98 / 100
ABC

#3. The Bugs Bunny Show (1960–1975)

- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Votes: 31,119

Each episode of “The Bugs Bunny Show” features three separate cartoon segments and several members of the Warner Brothers cartoon cast, including Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, the Tasmanian Devil, and Tweety Bird. The series was originally part of ABC’s prime-time lineup, but after two seasons moved to a Saturday morning time slot, where it remained for decades.

99 / 100
CBS

#2. The Carol Burnett Show (1967–1978)

- IMDb user rating: 8.8
- Votes: 4,828

“The Carol Burnett Show” was one of the first variety shows led by a woman and remains one of the most critically acclaimed variety shows of all time. Known for sketches like “The Family” and “Went with the Wind!” as well as characters like the Charwoman, the series had a relatively small cast (Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway were the only other regulars). However, during the 11 seasons it spent on air, nearly every famous face in Hollywood, from Ronald Reagan to Robin Williams to Lucille Ball, made a guest appearance.

100 / 100
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#1. Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–1974)

- IMDb user rating: 8.8
- Votes: 67,240

Called “television’s most influential comedy series,” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” is known for its absurd sketches, innuendo-laden jokes, and risque humor. Despite almost being canceled after its first episode—BBC1 controller Paul Fox believed that the show went “over the edge of what was acceptable”—the series ran for four successful seasons before the troop decided to call it quits. Stars Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam, along with director Ian MacNaughton, were the creative minds behind the landmark program.

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