Classic TV: The 50s : The most popular shows of the 1950's

The most popular shows of the 1950's

Could any of you make a list of the most popular TV shows from the 1950's that people are still aware of today ?

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

You are referring to US television, I presume? More countries had TV in the 1950s than you might expect...even Sweden and Japan had TV.

"Most Popular in the 1950s" and "1950s Series Most Popular Today" are two different things.

"Kraft Television Theatre" was very popular in the 1950s and got very positive critical response, but has fallen into obscurity.

"I Married Joan" is well-known today, but it was never a Top 30 success during its original run. It was popular enough to last for 3 seasons, but it was hardly one of the more popular series during its original became much more popular when it went into re-runs.

Then there's British TV. Popular UK series still remembered today include "The Adventures of Robin Hood", "The Larkins", "Hancock's Half Hour", and the various "Quatermass" TV mini-series ("The Quatermass Experiment", "Quatermass II", "Quatermass and the Pit"). It helps that they are on DVD.

But despite being quite popular at the time, "The Grove Family", "BBC Sunday Night Theatre", and "Life with the Lyons" are totally forgotten, along with many other popular UK series of the era. It does not help that most 1950s UK television is lost, due to BBC and ITV not having archival policies until the 1970s.

Australian TV is difficult because ratings information is scarce. It is likely the "Shell Presents" series of TV plays were popular, as they won a Logie award (which awards series based on popularity), but virtually nobody in Australia remembers the series today (although the play "Pardon Miss Westcott" is better remembered than the others). "The Bobby Limb Show" (1959-1961) was probably also popular, but has fallen into relative obscurity.

I haven't been playing dead! You know that, right, Kankuro?

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

In addition to those listed above

Truth or Consequences
Milton Berle
Arthur Godfrey
Your Show of Shows
Ed Sullivan
The Red Skelton Show
Make Room for Daddy (Danny Thomas)
See It Now
You Are There
This is Your Life
What's My Line
Art Linkletter shows
Disneyland/Wonderful World of Disney
Your Hit Parade
The Dinah Shore Show
Today show - still on

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

A few off the top of my head

Have Gun Will Travel
The Rebel
Peter Gunn
The Rifleman
Leave It To Beaver
Ozzie and Harriet
My Little Margie
Father Knows Best
M Squad
The Mickey Mouse Club
American Bandstand
Queen For A Day

To God There Is No Zero. I Still Exist.

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

OK then. These, I think, we're not "Top 30", but they sure had a lot of fans:
"Life is Worth Living"
"Rocky King, Detective"
"Captain Video and His Video Rangers"
"The Trouble with Father"
"Cavalcade of Stars"
"The Pinky Lee Show" (despite being short-lived, it was popular)
"Watch Mr. Wizard"
"The Beulah Show"

I haven't been playing dead! You know that, right, Kankuro?

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

'50s shows that people remember today....

Some of those listed are pretty obscure, even if you lived in the '50s as I did. ("Rocky King"???)

Surprised no one has mentioned GUNSMOKE, which ran thru the '60s.

Re: The Most Popular Shows of the 1950's

I Love Lucy

Volker Flenske: (While torturing David) I don't know why you're doing this to yourself!

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

"Studio One" and "Four Star Playhouse" were popular in the 1950s, and are still fairly popular today.

They should release more films and TV shows on DVD and Blu-ray

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

Here are some of mine:

December Bride
I Married Joan (This show may have helped I Love Lucy since they were similar types of sitcoms)
Life with Elizabeth (Betty White was very young then)
The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
Candid Camera (Allen Funt)
Phil Silvers
My Little Marggie
The Range Rider
Hopalong Cassidy
Roy Rodgers
The Life of Riley

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

** I Love Lucy **

The Honeymooners
The Twilight Zone
Leave it to Beaver
Make Room for Daddy
The Donna Reed Show
Dennis the Menace
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Father Knows Best

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

The Untouchables
Gene Autry
Wyatt Earp
Tales of Welles Fargo
Racket Squad
Highway Patrol
D.A.'s Man
Pantomine Quiz
Rin Tin Tin
Broadway Open House
Amos 'n Andy
Ed Wynn
George Gobel
Tic Tac Dough

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

Not from personal opinion, but what the ratings said.

The two top shows of the 1950's were I Love Lucy during the first half,

and Gunsmoke during the second half.

Game shows--the most popular were You Bet Your Life, and I've Got a Secret. What's My Line is also still remembered, although it was never in the top ten I believe.

Big money game shows had a vogue in mid-decade, and The $64,000 Question actually rated #1, but these faded fast and I have never seen one reshown.

The Danny Thomas Show was actually the second most popular sit-com after Lucy. It does not seem as well remembered as Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best among others.

Perry Mason didn't dominate the ratings back then, but was one of the most popular in syndication.

Dragnet was the highest rated cop show of the fifties. Highway Patrol was syndicated and therefore didn't appear in the primetime ratings, but I think was very popular.

So was Sea Hunt.

The highest rated anthology was The General Electric Theatre hosted by Ronald Reagan.

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

And, let's not forget our little freckled friend "Howdy Doody."

Re: The most popular shows of the 1950's

A couple more, which may not be so popular nowadays(or even in the 50s) and probably not remembered by all that many viewers:
1)The Thin Man
2)Johnny Staccato