10 Best ’60s TV Shows

Have you ever wondered what the ten best '60s TV shows are? Out of the many that were made it's not easy to choose. You're tired of reality shows about chefs with anger issues and don't really care about who's gettin' jiggy with whom on prime time drama. You want good quality classic TV.  We've done our homework, checked with experts (translation: old people) and have compiled our list.

  1. "The Prisoner." A secret agent retires and ends up abducted to a seemingly Utopian village. What it is, is really a bizarre prison where each person is assigned a number. In 2004 it was ranked #7 in the 25 best cult TV classics ever by TV Guide. The writing is brilliant and foreshadowing of the future is so spot-on it's scary. This too-short series is simply the best TV show of the '60s.
  2. "Star Trek." We gave it the number 2 spot due to its popularity. "Star Trek" was campy, poorly written and always involved Captain Kirk chasing a skirt. However, it spawned an entirely new genre of TV shows and movies, plus it made being a nerd a little more socially acceptable.
  3. "Bonanza." Consistently in the top 10 throughout the decade, "Bonanza" kicked "Gunsmoke's" ass almost every season. After rocketing into the number 2 spot in '61, the Cartwrights of the Ponderosa firmly embedded themselves into American hearts. No one can contemplate great '60s TV and not think of "Bonanza."
  4. "Martin and Rowan's Laugh-In." Any show that was instrumental in putting a man in the White House had to be great, right? When Richard Nixon famously proclaimed, "Sock it to me," not only did that launch him into the big time, it was a defining moment in American politics.
  5. "The Andy Griffith Show." You can't think of fishing without envisioning Andy and Opie walking hand-in-hand along a dirt road. This is some serious father-son bonding, and it's beautiful. We also get to marvel at the dumb-ass stuff Barney Fife did. It was eight years of small-town bliss.
  6. "The Wild, Wild West." Old-fashioned western, meet modern science. Two dudes travel the country aboard a luxury train equipped with a lab. The mission? Protect President Grant from egregious acts of terror.
  7. "Gunsmoke." Matt Dillon, Miss Kitty, and Festus: you gotta recognize some of these names. The series was so consistently popular that it ran for 20 seasons from 1955 to 1975 and remains the longest-running live-action drama in American TV history. Ratings slipped when it was lengthened to an hour and was nearly cancelled. It wasn't, and it survived until 1975 in a new time slot.
  8. "The Twilight Zone." "Next stop, the Twilight Zone." Rod Serling's brilliant imagination challenged our way of thinking and presented social realities that gave us pause. The episode, "Time Enough at Last," is perhaps the show's best episode. "The Twilight Zone" was so great, it influenced the creation of other great '60s shows, like "The Outer Limits."  
  9. "The Addams Family." They're altogether ooky, and that's why our love affair with "The Addams Family" has endured. Not only that, the animal attraction between Morticia and Gomez was strikingly rare for TV at the time. Seriously, Andy Taylor wouldn't be caught dead making love to his girlfriend's arm the way Gomez did Morticia's.
  10. "That Girl." Marlo Thomas plays a single, independent woman living alone in New York. It was groundbreaking, and blazed a trail for other successful shows that focused on independent women. Mary Tyler Moore should kiss Marlo's feet for that.

We know some of your favorites like "Batman" and "Bewitched weren't included in our list of the ten best '60s TV shows. Hell, we wanted to include "The Monkees," but just couldn't bring ourselves to. Sorry, Mickey.

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