In a decade which saw political shifts and social revolutions, the most famous TV shows from the 1960's gave viewers a place to escape from the ongoing of life and enjoy themselves. Famous television shows in the 1960's featured a combination of Westerns, situational comedies and variety shows, showcasing some of the greatest actors and actresses of all time.
- "The Andy Griffith Show" Perhaps one of the most famous television shows of the 1960's, "The Andy Griffith Show" starred none other than Andy Griffith as a small town sheriff in the fictional town of Mayberry. The story line was responsible for another popular show of the decade "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." and lives on in syndication to this day.
"The Beverly Hillbillies" The 1960's sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies" was not only a popular show during the decade but also quickly became a national classic for generations to come. Featuring the Clampett family, the series looked on as the simple family dealt with the culture shock of Southern California and wealth after finding oil on their property.
"Bewitched" The 1964 to 1972 sitcom "Bewitched" followed Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery), a witch who attempts to become a normal housewife alongside wife Darren (Dick York and Dick Sargent). The series spawned several remakes and spin-offs, including the 2005 film of the same name with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell.
- "Bonanza" Like other Westerns of the 1960s, "Bonanza" ran for over a decade, starting in 1959. Pernell Roberts, Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker and Michael Landon led the cast, all of which portrayed members of the Cartwright family, living and working on a Nevada ranch.
"The Dick Van Dyke Show" Earning a highly impressive 15 Emmy Awards during its run from 1961 to 1966, "The Dick Van Dyke Show" starred the legendary Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Series creator Carl Reiner also appeared in the famous sitcom, which followed the creation of the fictional TV series "The Alan Brady Show."
- "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." Chronicling the continued adventures in the town of Mayberry from "The Andy Griffith Show," "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." features Jim Nabors as the title character, a gas station worker who joins the U.S. Marine Corps. Frank Sutton and Ronnie Schell also appeared in supporting roles during the famous 1960s television series.
- "Gunsmoke" Starting out as a radio show, "Gunsmoke" made the transistion to television and aired for two decades. The Western, which starred William Conrad, Howard McNear, Georgia Ellis and Parley Baer, was the most popular in 1960-61 and continued to rank in the top 20 most famous television shows for several years.
- "The Lucy Show" As a continuation of the wildly popular TV show "I Love Lucy," "The Lucy Show" and the legendary Lucille Ball won two Emmy Awards for the series as outstanding lead actress. Though the main cast was vastly different from the original series, featuring Vivian Vance, Gale Gordon and Mary Jane Croft, Ball held down the series from 1962 to 1968.
"The Red Skelton Show" Debuting in 1951 and running until 1970, "The Red Skelton Show" was one of the first successful variety shows, combining sketch comedy pieces with guest stars and the trademark final skit, "the silent spot." The show earned favorable ratings as well as two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award during its original run.
- "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" While it did not get its start until the late 1960s, "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" quickly became one of the most famous television shows of the decade. showcasing sketch comedy bits by a number of popular actors and actresses. The likes of Dan Rowan, Dick Martin, Goldie Hawn, Henry Gibson and Lily Tomlin made the show a success and an award winner, taking in numerous Emmy and Golden Globe wins and nominations.