10 Best TV Shows of the 60s

Updated May 25, 2018
7 min read

The 60’s was a time when the Television transitioned from black and white to colour, a time when the internet and social media were non-existent, the film and television industry were the only industries that catered to the people’s growing demand to get entertained. There was a growing evidence that a vast number of the nation’s living rooms were becoming family motion picture theaters. In the 60’s there were about 2.8 million color TV sets in the home vs. 55 million black and white sets in the US. From the Batman TV series to I Dream of Jeanie, the 60’s did produce the best television shows. Here’s the list of top television shows that dominated the 60’s.

10. Bonanza

Bonanza was a television western series that aired on the NBC, the series ran from 1959 to 1973, lasting 14 seasons. Bonanza was ranked as the second-longest-running western series on U.S. network television. The show chronicled the weekly adventures of the Cartwright family, headed by the thrice-widowed patriarch Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene). The show focuses on the adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons running and defending their ranch while helping the surrounding community.

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9. The Andy Griffith Show

The Andy Griffith show was an American situation comedy about a Widower Sheriff Andy Taylor, and his son Opie who live with Andy’s Aunt Bee in Mayberry, North Carolina. The plot mostly focused on how Andy’s time is spent philosophizing and calming down his cousin Deputy Barney Fife with virtually no crimes to solve. The show aired on CBS from October 3, 1960, to April 1, 1968, with a total of 249 half-hour episodes spanning over eight seasons.

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8. Gilligan’s Island

Gilligan’s Island was an American sitcom created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz via United Artists Television, which centered around the charter boat SS Minnow’s two men crew and five passengers on a trip to Honolulu. However the crew and its passengers run into a tropical storm and get shipwrecked on an uncharted island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

The show lasted three seasons from September 26, 1964, to April 17, 1967. On December 17, 2013, Deadline Hollywood reported that Josh Gad would star and co-write the film adaptation for Gilligan’s Island with Benji Samit and Dan Hernandez.

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7. Hogan’s Heroes

Hogan’s Heroes was an American television sitcom series, which was set in a German prisoner of war (POW) camp during World War II. The premise of the show focused on the inmates of a German World War II (prisoner of war camp) conducting an espionage right under the noses of their warders. The mastermind behind the whole operation is none other than the senior ranking prisoner US Army Air Forces Colonel Robert Hogan and his staff of experts in covert operations consisting of two Americans, one British serviceman, and one Frenchman. Hogan’s Heroes won two Emmy Awards out of twelve nominations and ran for 168 episodes from September 17, 1965, to April 4, 1971, on the CBS network.

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6. The Munsters

The Munsters is an American sitcom which was created by Allan Burns & Chris Hayward. The show is basically a satire of both traditional monster movies and the wholesome family fare of the era. The series depicted the home life of a family of benign monsters starring Fred Gwynne as Frankenstein’s monster, Yvonne De Carlo as his vampire wife, Lily Munster, Al Lewis as Grandpa. The series originally aired on Thursday at 7:30 pm on CBS from September 24, 1964, to May 12, 1966

The plot of the series is about the misadventures of a family of friendly monsters who lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane in the city of Mockingbird Heights, a fictional suburb in California, they never quite understood why people reacted to them so strangely in the first place.

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5. Lost In Space

Lost in Space is an American science fiction television series that was created by Created by Irwin Allen and it aired from 1965-1968. The show ran for three seasons with 83 episodes. Lost in Space was inspired by the space-faring Robinson family comic book published by Gold Key Comics. Lost in Space received a 1966 Emmy Award nomination for Cinematography-Special Photographic Effects but did not win, and again lost in 1968 for Achievement in Visual Arts & Makeup. The plot of the show is about the struggles of space colony family to survive when their ship is hopelessly thrown off course by accidental stowaway.

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4. I Dream of Jeannie

I Dream of Jeannie is an American fantasy sitcom which was created by Sydney Sheldon and starred the gorgeous Barbara Eden along with Larry Hagman. The show was produced by Screen Gems, the series aired from September 18, 1965 to May 26, 1970 with new episodes, and through September 1970. Hanna-Barbera Productions produced an animated series Jeannie. Which was completely separate from the Eden live-action series and it was broadcast from September 1973 to 1975. The plot of the series was about a United States astronaut who stumbles on to a bottle containing a female genie which further complicates his life.

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3. The Flintstones

The Flintstones is an american sitcom which was created by William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, the show was produced under their production company Hanna Barbera productions. The show aired from September 30, 1960, to April 1, 1966. The Flintstones was one of the most financially successful animated franchise for three decades until the Simpsons dethroned them. The plot of the series focuses on the misadventures of two modern-day Stone Age families, the Flintstones and the Rubbles.

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2. The Jetsons

The Jetsons is an animtated American sitcom which was produced by Hanna Barbera productions, Since the Flintstones (another Hanna Barbera creation) focused more on the stone age aspect, Jetsons lived in a comical version of the future, with elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions.

The series comprised of 24 episodes and they began airing on ABC networks from 1962, continuing its reruns through September 22, 1963. According to Animation historian Christopher P. Lehman The Jetsons shared theme of science fiction with the animated series Funderful Suburbia (1962). Both the shows featured people involved in space colonization. The plot of The Jetsons centers around the misadventures of a family residing in Orbit City.

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1. Batman

Batman was an american live action television series which was based on the DC comic book character of the same name. The series was Created by William Dozier. The series ran for three seasons from January 12, 1966, to March 14, 1968 and aired on ABC network. Batman was ranked the 82nd greatest American television show of all time in 2016. The show starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The plot of the show focused on The Caped Crusader along with his young ward who defends Gotham city from numerous villains consisting of the Penguin, Riddler, Joker and Catwoman.

Although the show was quite goofy, upbeat and far from being dark (Frank miller’s and Tim Burton’s take on the character), it still was universally loved by audiences of all ages and paved the path for a Superman movie which was directed by Richard Donner.

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