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TV Shows & Series: Popular TV Shows/Series of the 1950s (1950-1959)

TV shows/series in chronological context: The 1950s (pronounced nineteen-fifties; commonly abbreviated as the "Fifties" or the " '50s") (among other variants) was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1950, and ended on December 31, 1959. Throughout the decade, the world continued its recovery from World War II, aided by the post-World War II economic expansion. The period also saw great population growth with increased birth rates and the emergence of the baby boomer generation. Despite this recovery, the Cold War developed from its modest beginnings in the late 1940s to a heated competition between the Soviet Union and the United States by the early 1960s. The ideological clash between communism and capitalism dominated the decade, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, with conflicts including the Korean War in the early 1950s, the Cuban Revolution, the beginning of the Vietnam War in French Indochina, and the beginning of the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957. Along with increased testing of nuclear weapons (such as RDS-37 and Upshot–Knothole), the tense geopolitical situation created a politically conservative climate. In the United States, a wave of anti-communist sentiment known as the Second Red Scare resulted in Congressional hearings by both houses in Congress. The begin... ()

TV Shows/Series of a single year: 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959


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562 TV shows/series found (page 1/19):

The Twilight Zone(1959-1964)

TV-PG
| 30min per episode | Drama, Mystery, Science-Fiction & Fantasy
4.2/5 (with 255 votes)

A series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, suspense, and/or horror, often concluding with a macabre or unexpected twist.

Bonanza(1959-1973)

TV-PG
| 49min per episode | Western, Action & Adventure
3.8/5 (with 121 votes)

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

Felix the Cat(1959-1960)

3.7/5 (with 110 votes)

Felix the Cat follows the offbeat adventures of that curious feline, Felix. Although he was quickly overshadowed by Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, America's favorite cat still remains a classic.

I Love Lucy(1951-1957)

TV-G
| 30min per episode | Comedy
4.1/5 (with 68 votes)

Cuban Bandleader Ricky Ricardo would be happy if his wife Lucy would just be a housewife. Instead she tries constantly to perform at the Tropicana where he works, and make life comically frantic in the apartment building they share with landlords Fred and Ethel Mertz, who also happen to be their best friends.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents(1955-1962)

30min per episode | Mystery, Drama
4.0/5 (with 57 votes)

A television anthology series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. The series features dramas, thrillers, and mysteries.

The Huckleberry Hound Show(1958-1961)

7min per episode | Animation, Comedy, Kids & Family
3.4/5 (with 33 votes)

The Huckleberry Hound Show is a 1958 syndicated animated series and the second from Hanna-Barbera following The Ruff & Reddy Show, sponsored by Kellogg's. Three segments were included in the program: one featuring Huckleberry Hound; another starring Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo Boo; and a third with Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks, two mice who in each short found a new way to outwit the cat Mr. Jinks. The Yogi Bear segment of the show proved more popular than Huckleberry's; it spawned its own series in 1961. A segment featuring Hokey Wolf and Ding-A-Ling was added, replacing Yogi Bear during the 1960–61 season. In 1961, the series became the first animated program to be honored with an Emmy Award. The Huckleberry Hound Show contributed to making Hanna-Barbera a household name, and is often credited with legitimizing the concept of animation produced specifically for television.

Perry Mason(1957-1966)

TV-PG
| 1h per episode | Mystery, Drama, Crime
4.0/5 (with 31 votes)

The cases of master criminal defense attorney Perry Mason and his staff who handled the most difficult of cases in the aid of the innocent.

Gunsmoke(1955-1975)

TV-G
| 45min per episode | Western, Action & Adventure
3.3/5 (with 31 votes)

Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West. The central character is lawman Marshal Matt Dillon, played by William Conrad on radio and James Arness on television.

Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy(1959-1961)

7min per episode | Animation, Comedy, Kids & Family
3.7/5 (with 24 votes)

Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy are Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters who debuted on The Quick Draw McGraw Show and appeared in their own segment of that show.

Zorro(1957-1959)

4.0/5 (with 23 votes)

Diego de la Vega, the son of a wealthy landowner, returns from his studies in Spain and discovers that Los Angeles is under the command of Capitan Monastario, a cruel man who relishes in the misuse of his power for personal gain. Knowing that he cannot hope to single-handedly defeat Monastario and his troops, Diego resorts to subterfuge. He adopts the secret identity of Zorro, a sinister figure dressed in black, and rides to fight Monastario's injustice.

The Honeymooners(1952-2004)

NR
| 30min per episode | Comedy
3.9/5 (with 23 votes)

A bus driver and his sewer worker friend struggle to strike it rich while their wives look on with weary patience. One of the most influential situation comedy television series in American history.

Directed by Frank Satenstein - With Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows, Art Carney, Joyce Randolph

Leave It to Beaver(1957-1963)

TV-G
| 30min per episode | Comedy, Kids & Family
3.5/5 (with 19 votes)

Leave It to Beaver is an American television situation comedy about an inquisitive and often naïve boy named Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver and his adventures at home, in school, and around his suburban neighborhood. The show also starred Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont as Beaver's parents, June and Ward Cleaver, and Tony Dow as Beaver's brother Wally. The show has attained an iconic status in the US, with the Cleavers exemplifying the idealized suburban family of the mid-20th century. The show was created by writers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher. These veterans of radio and early television found inspiration for the show's characters, plots, and dialogue in the lives, experiences, and conversations of their own children. Leave It to Beaver is one of the first primetime sitcom series written from a child's point-of-view. Like several television dramas and sitcoms of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Leave It to Beaver is a glimpse at middle-class, white American boyhood. In a typical episode Beaver got into some sort of trouble, then faced his parents for reprimand and correction. However, neither parent was omniscient; indeed, the series often showed the parents debating their approach to child rearing, and some episodes were built around parental gaffes.

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Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks(1958-1961)

7min per episode | Kids & Family, Animation, Comedy
3.5/5 (with 18 votes)

Pixie & Dixie and Mr. Jinks is a Hanna-Barbera cartoon that featured as a regular segment of the television series The Huckleberry Hound Show from 1958 to 1961.

Lassie(1954-1973)

24min per episode | Action & Adventure, Drama
3.2/5 (with 18 votes)

Lassie is an American television series that follows the adventures of a female Rough Collie dog named Lassie and her companions, human and animal. The show was the creation of producer Robert Maxwell and animal trainer Rudd Weatherwax and was televised from September 12, 1954, to March 24, 1973. One of the longest-running series on television, the show chalked up seventeen seasons on CBS before entering first-run syndication for its final two seasons. Initially filmed in black and white, the show transitioned to color in 1965. The show's first ten seasons follow Lassie's adventures in a small farming community. Fictional eleven-year-old Jeff Miller, his mother, and his grandfather are Lassie's first human companions until seven-year-old Timmy Martin and his adoptive parents take over in the fourth season. When Lassie's exploits on the farm end in the eleventh season, she finds new adventures in the wilderness with a succession of United States Forest Service Rangers. After traveling without human leads for a year, Lassie finally settles at a children's home for her final two syndicated seasons. Lassie received critical favor at its debut and won two Emmy Awards in its first years. Stars Jan Clayton and June Lockhart were nominated for Emmys. Merchandise produced during the show's run included books, a Halloween costume, clothing, toys, and other items. Campbell's Soup, the show's lifelong sponsor, offered two premiums, and distributed thousands to fans. A multi-part episode was edited into the feature film Lassie's Great Adventure and released in August 1963. In 1989, the television series The New Lassie brought Lassie star Jon Provost back to television as Steve McCullough. Selected episodes have been released to DVD.

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show(1959-1963)

30min per episode | Animation, Comedy, Kids & Family
3.6/5 (with 15 votes)

The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show is an American animated television series that originally aired from November 19, 1959, to June 27, 1964, on the ABC and NBC television networks. Produced by Jay Ward Productions, the series is structured as a variety show, with the main feature being the serialized adventures of the two title characters, the anthropomorphic moose Bullwinkle and flying squirrel Rocky. The main adversaries in most of their adventures are the Russian-like spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Supporting segments include Dudley Do-Right, Peabody's Improbable History, and Fractured Fairy Tales, among others. Rocky & Bullwinkle is known for quality writing and wry humor. Mixing puns, cultural and topical satire, and self-referential humor, it appealed to adults as well as children. It was also one of the first cartoons whose animation was outsourced; storyboards were shipped to Gamma Productions, a Mexican studio also employed by Total Television. Thus the art has a choppy, unpolished look and the animation is extremely limited even by television animation standards. Yet the series has long been held in high esteem by those who have seen it; some critics described the series as a well-written radio program with pictures.

Adventures of Superman(1952-1958)

3.2/5 (with 14 votes)

With powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, Superman battles for truth and justice.

The Rifleman(1958-1963)

30min per episode | Action & Adventure, Western
3.7/5 (with 14 votes)

The Rifleman is an American Western television program starring Chuck Connors as rancher Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son, Mark McCain. It was set in the 1880s in the town of North Fork, New Mexico Territory. The show was filmed in black-and-white, half-hour episodes. "The Rifleman" aired on ABC from September 30, 1958 to April 8, 1963 as a production of Four Star Television. It was one of the first prime time series to have a widowed parent raise a child.

The Adventures of the Mole(1957-2002)

5min per episode | Animation, Kids & Family
3.6/5 (with 13 votes)

Created by Czech director and animator Zdeněk Miler in 1956, Krtek, or The Mole in English, was an international hit with children. Because the cartoons were presented with no dialogue, Krtek was held to no national boundaries. Milers daughter voiced the noises and grunts that Krtek made, and gave Miler the feedback from a child's perspective he needed to keep his stories focus on his young fans.

Directed by Zdeněk Miler

Have Gun – Will Travel(1957-1963)

30min per episode | Western, Action & Adventure
4.0/5 (with 12 votes)

Have Gun – Will Travel is an American Western television series that aired on CBS from 1957 through 1963. It was rated number three or number four in the Nielsen ratings every year of its first four seasons. It was one of the few television shows to spawn a successful radio version. The radio series debuted November 23, 1958. The television show is presently shown on the Encore-Western channel. Have Gun – Will Travel was created by Sam Rolfe and Herb Meadow and produced by Frank Pierson, Don Ingalls, Robert Sparks, and Julian Claman. There were 225 episodes of the TV series, 24 written by Gene Roddenberry. Other contributors included Bruce Geller, Harry Julian Fink, Don Brinkley and Irving Wallace. Andrew McLaglen directed 101 episodes and 19 were directed by series star Richard Boone.

Wanted: Dead or Alive(1958-1961)

30min per episode | Western
3.4/5 (with 10 votes)

Wanted: Dead or Alive is an American Western television series starring Steve McQueen as the bounty hunter Josh Randall. It aired on CBS for three seasons from 1958–61. The black-and-white program was a spin-off of a March 1958 episode of Trackdown, a 1957–59 western series starring Robert Culp. Both series were produced by Four Star Television in association with CBS Television. The series launched McQueen into becoming the first television star to cross over into comparable status on the big screen.

Rawhide(1959-1965)

1h per episode | Western
3.8/5 (with 9 votes)

Rawhide is an American Western series starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood that aired for eight seasons on the CBS network on Friday nights, from January 9, 1959 to September 3, 1965, before moving to Tuesday nights from September 14, 1965 until January 4, 1966, with a total of 217 black-and-white episodes. The series was produced and sometimes directed by Charles Marquis Warren, who also produced early episodes of Gunsmoke. Spanning seven and a half years, Rawhide was the fifth-longest-running American television Western, exceeded only by eight years of Wagon Train, nine years of The Virginian, fourteen years of Bonanza, and twenty years of Gunsmoke.

Dragnet(1951-1959)

30min per episode | Drama, Crime
3.3/5 (with 9 votes)

Dragnet is a radio, television and motion picture series, enacting the cases of a dedicated Los Angeles police detective, Sergeant Joe Friday, and his partners. The show takes its name from the police term "dragnet", meaning a system of coordinated measures for apprehending criminals or suspects.

Quick Draw McGraw(1959-1960)

3.5/5 (with 9 votes)

The Quick Draw McGraw Show is the third cartoon television production created by Hanna-Barbera, starring an anthropomorphic cartoon horse named Quick Draw McGraw

Maverick(1957-1962)

1h per episode | Comedy, Western
3.8/5 (with 9 votes)

Maverick is an American Western television series with comedic overtones created by Roy Huggins. The show ran from September 22, 1957 to July 8, 1962 on ABC and stars James Garner as Bret Maverick, an adroitly articulate cardsharp. Eight episodes into the first season, he was joined by Jack Kelly as his brother Bart, and from that point on, Garner and Kelly alternated leads from week to week, sometimes teaming up for the occasional two-brother episode. The Mavericks were poker players from Texas who traveled all over the American Old West and on Mississippi riverboats, constantly getting into and out of life-threatening trouble of one sort or another, usually involving money, women, or both. They would typically find themselves weighing a financial windfall against a moral dilemma. More often than not, their consciences trumped their wallets since both Mavericks were intensely ethical. When Garner left the series after the third season due to a legal dispute, Roger Moore was added to the cast as their cousin Beau Maverick. Robert Colbert appeared later in the fourth season as a third Maverick brother, Brent Maverick. No more than two of the series leads ever appeared together in the same episode, and usually only one.

Dennis the Menace(1959-1963)

30min per episode | Comedy, Kids & Family
3.5/5 (with 9 votes)

This 1959-1963 television situation comedy series follows the lives of the Mitchell family, Henry, Alice, and their only child Dennis, an energetic, trouble-prone, mischievous, but well-meaning boy, who often tangles with his peace-and-quiet-loving neighbor George Wilson, a retired salesman, or, later, with George's brother John, a writer. Dennis is basically a good, well-intentioned boy who always tries to help people, but who winds up making situations worse – often at Mr. Wilson's expense.

Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color(1954-1990)

4.0/5 (with 7 votes)

Walt Disney Productions has produced an anthology television series under several different titles since 1954. The original version of the series premiered on ABC, Wednesday night, October 27, 1954. The same basic show has since appeared on several networks, with its latest revival debuting in 2012 on Disney Junior. The show is the second longest showing prime-time program on American television, behind its rival, Hallmark Hall of Fame. However, Hallmark Hall of Fame was a weekly program only during its first five seasons, while Disney remained a weekly program for more than forty years.

The Woody Woodpecker Show(1957-)

3.4/5 (with 7 votes)

Woody Woodpecker cartoons were first broadcast on television in 1957 under the title The Woody Woodpecker Show, which featured Lantz cartoons bookended by new footage of Woody and live-action footage of Lantz. Lantz produced theatrical cartoons longer than most of his contemporaries, and Woody Woodpecker remained a staple of Universal's release schedule until 1972, when Lantz finally closed down his studio.

Father Knows Best(1954-1960)

30min per episode | Comedy
3.5/5 (with 6 votes)

Father Knows Best is an American radio and television comedy series

Directed by Peter Tewksbury - With Robert Young

The Phil Silvers Show(1955-1959)

30min per episode | Comedy
3.3/5 (with 6 votes)

The Phil Silvers Show, originally titled You'll Never Get Rich, was a sitcom which ran on CBS from 1955 to 1959 for 142 episodes, plus a 1959 special. The series starred Phil Silvers as Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko of the United States Army. The series was created and largely written by Nat Hiken, and won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Best Comedy Series. The show is sometimes titled Sergeant Bilko or simply Bilko in reruns, and is very often referred to by these names, both on-screen and by viewers. The show's success transformed Silvers from a journeyman comedian into a star, and writer-producer Hiken from a highly-regarded behind-the-scenes comedy writer into a publicly recognized creator.

The Untouchables(1959-1963)

1h per episode | Drama
3.8/5 (with 6 votes)

The Untouchables is an American crime drama that ran from 1959 to 1963 on ABC. Based on the memoir of the same name by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley, it fictionalized Ness' experiences as a Prohibition agent, fighting crime in Chicago in the 1930s with the help of a special team of agents handpicked for their courage and incorruptibility, nicknamed the Untouchables. The book was later made into a film in 1987 by Brian De Palma, with a script by David Mamet, and a second less successful TV series in 1993. A powerful, hard-hitting crime drama, The Untouchables won series star Robert Stack an Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series in 1960 .

Directed by Walter Grauman - With Robert Stack, Abel Fernandez, Nicholas Georgiade, Paul Picerni, Steve London, Bruce Gordon, ...
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