Television In The 1950s...
Classic TV

Although the first television was sold after the war in 1947, they really didn't offer too much to watch. But as they grew in popularity, the variety of shows that were on grew as well. And there were some pretty good ones. After all, we still watch some of them today!

If you get the TV Land channel you will see many of the great shows that became popular in the fifties and beyond. If you want to be entertained, you have to watch!

In the late 1940s you could watch shows like:

  • 1947 - 1960 - Howdy Doody - A kids show that was loved by children and their parents alike.

  • 1948 - 1971 - The Ed Sullivan show (started out as "The Toast of the Town") - A variety show considered to be one of the most popular shows in history.

  • 1948 - 1956 - The Texas Star Theatre starring Milton Berle becomes everyone's favorite show very quickly. Full of great comedy, much needed at the time.

The fifties became known as "the golden age of television", and quickly became the most popular form of media entertainment for families. They would move the TV so they could watch during dinner and gather with friends and family in front of it as the prime source of entertainment in the evening.

Television has changed a lot since it all began. If you watch re-runs of I Love Lucy, Bonanza or Dragnet, the first thing you'll notice is the innocents and simple nature of the shows. They focused on the "good" and even on the "crime" shows, you saw the good guys going after the bad guys, with an innocents you won't find on the TV shows of today.

Television in the 1950s changed lives, built long careers and gave the viewers a window to the world.

If you are having a 1950s rock n roll party You may want to get a few of the great shows to have on hand to watch as the party winds down, as it gets started or just to have running in the background.

Watching these shows, you can learn a lot about life in the fifties. Between 1950s music and 1950s fashion you can use these markers to plan your creative party theme ideas and plan a great teen party! 1950 television had been the inspiration for many themed party ideas, my favorite is the 1950s rock n roll party. So what were the most watched shows?

Here are some of the most popular shows of television in the 1950s!

  • The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - By todays standards this is a much tamer version of reality TV! This show starred the real life Nelson family as well as additional cast members to play friends and neighbors. The show focused on the everyday trials and tribulations of everyday life.

  • Toast of the Town with Ed Sullivan - This show soon became The Ed Sullivan Show. This was a classic variety show with great acts you won't see today such as vaudeville acts as well as great musical guests.

  • Father Knows Best - Another show surrounding the everyday life of a small Ohio family. This show however cast all actors, not related. The focus of the show is doing what's right, teaching a lesson through the shows characters. Some of the more popular lingo you'd hear watching would be "creepers" and "criminy." Very cool, huh?

  • Dragnet - I love this show! A police drama based in Los Angeles, California, this show is about Detective Sargent Joe Friday and his partner, Frank Smith and their lives as detectives investigating crimes in L.A. The great thing about this show is it is a true classic. The stories were taken from the L.A.P.D cases but it was different than any other show. It was narrated by Joe Friday, as it went through the show and focused on the details of of solving the cases. Check this one out!

  • The Honeymooners - A comedy surrounding the lives of Ralph and Alice Kramdon and Ed and Trixie Norton, friends living in apartments one floor from each other in Brooklyn, New York as they try to to better their lives. Ralph works as a bus driver and Norton is a sewer worker, while, as the time would indicate, the women take care of their homes and husbands. Lot's of funny stuff in this show!

  • The Lone Ranger - The theme song was enough to get you hooked, but then the lone ranger and his sidekick Tonto rode to keep order from the outlaws. And you can't forget his trusty horse Silver!

  • I Love Lucy - One of the best comedies on Television, I love Lucy will still make you laugh today! Lucy and Ricky Ricardo live in New York, he is a cuban band leader working in the entertainment industry and she is always finding herself in some kind of trouble, usually with her friend Ethel Mertz.

  • Leave it To Beaver - The series surrounds the life of the Cleaver family but is focused on the two boys as they make their way through childhood and the teen years and the situations they go through. A bit corny, but a classic still.

  • Lassie - Another favorite is Lassie, who is a beautiful collie and the show is about all the adventures that Lassie goes on with both human friends and animal friends. A real feel good show.



You Can Still Watch 1950s Television



If you want to take a look at what television in the 1950s is all about we have some favorites here! Get ready to go back in time!

  • Dragnet
  • Very Best of the Honeymooners
  • Father Knows Best - Season One
  • The Best of the Lone Ranger [3 Discs]
  • Ozzie & Harriet - The Collection
  • The Women Who Made Television Funny: Ten Stars of 1950s Sitcoms
  • I Love Lucy: Behind the Scenes
  • The Gene Autry Show: The Complete 1950s Television Recordings
  • The Decade That Shaped Television News: CBS in the 1950s
  • What Women Watched: Daytime Television in the 1950s
  • Lassie Come Home/Son of Lassie/Courage of Lassie
  • Leave It To Beaver - The Complete First Season


  • More 1950s Links

    1950s Era


    1950s Candy


    1950s Facts


    1950s Slang


    1950s rock n roll party

    If you love the 1950s you will love all the cool Retro Gifts from Retro Planet

    We Love Television In The 1950's!

    Return from television in the 1950s to rockin teen parties

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