The 10 best TV shows the '50s often centered around families, variety acts and animals. It is hard to imagine that the beginning of television would lend itself to so many classic shows. Take a look at the ten best TV shows that were being watched in the '50s and are still being watched today.
- "The Honeymooners" This 30-minute sitcom followed the lives of a lower middle class couple, The Kramdens, and their neighbors the Nortons. Ralph Kramden, a bus driver, always had a get-rich-quick scheme up his sleeve. His neighbor, Ed Norton, often got caught up in the schemes. Their loving wives were always there to get them out of trouble.
- "I Love Lucy" One of the best TV shows of the '50s, featured female comedienne Lucille Ball. The popular "I love Lucy" show ran for six seasons on CBS. Lucille Ball played lovable housewife Lucy Ricardo. Her husband Ricky was played by real-life spouse Desi Arnaz. "I Love Lucy" centers around Lucy, and all the trouble that only she could cause.
- "Leave it to Beaver" Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver showed us what it was like to be a boy growing up in the 1950s. With his loving parents, his older brother, and good friends it seemed as if “the Beaver” could tackle any problem life threw at him.
- "Dragnet" The stories in Dragnet were based on true crimes. Two detectives, Joe Friday and Bill Gannon, showed the audience how crimes were solved. This drama was definitely one of the best TV shows of the '50s.
- "Father Knows Best" This 30-minute comedy often dealt with very dramatic issues. The themes often centered on family dynamics. The episodes always ended with wholesome and family-oriented results.
- "Lassie" The "Lassie" series lasted for seventeen seasons. The story lines centered around an intelligent collie named Lassie and her human friends. The humans on the show changed many times, but this courageous and loyal dog was always there to give them a helping hand.
- "Dennis the Menace" Jay North played a sweet young boy who always seemed to find trouble. It was his unfortunate neighbor, Mr. Wilson, who was the victim of many of Dennis’s helpful, yet oh-so-troublesome, schemes
- "The Twilight Zone" This show always seemed to be ahead of its time and is one of the best TV shows of the '50s. A long running science fiction series, it dealt with the unnatural, the unusual, and the unbelievable.
- "The Donna Reed Show" Donna Reed was the iconic figure of what a 1950s television housewife was suppose to be. Donna never had a hair out of place as she dealt with the twists and turns of life.
- "The Ed Sullivan Show" Originally called "Toast of the Town”, Ed Sullivan’s variety show was must-watch television in the 1950s. Families would tune in every week to see the finest talent that Hollywood had to offer. "The Beatles" made their first American television appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show".
These are shows that will continue to entertain for many generations. The problems of families in the 1950s are some of the same problems that people face today. Even with the invention of colored film and better special effects, the ten best TV shows of the '50’s will always have a special place in our hearts.