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Old TV Shows from the 50s: Forgotten and Obscure Edition

Most old TV shows from the 50s have been forgotten by modern audiences … or we never knew about them in the first place! But if you missed out on these classics, then you’re missing out on nothing less than television history. These dusty old TV shows from the 50s helped build the tube into a staple of life that we still can’t shake even all these years later.

The Lone Ranger

The old west was a dangerous place, but it had its heroes too. The Lone Ranger is the most iconic of them all and this old western TV series set in Texas has him fighting for justice as he rode with his faithful Indian companion Tonto to help those that were being wronged.

The Adventures of Robin Hood

The old black and white TV show The Adventures of Robin Hood was an old British series that aired for a good five years. You had the hero, the villain, and all sorts of side characters who make this classic old TV show worth checking out if you’re into medieval history or just love old tales in general.

Velocity Trap

Velocity Trap is an old TV show from the 50s that ran for only one year. The premise of this old series was about a scientist who invented a high-speed device with which he could travel back in time and change history, but it had to be used sparingly because too much tampering would cause havoc throughout space and time.

Racket Squad

Racket Squad revolved around a group of police officers who tracked down racketeers. The interesting premise is what makes this old series worth checking out if you’re into crime procedurals or just want to see how crime fighting has changed over time.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Alfred Hitchcock Presents was a TV series that aired old episodes of Hitchcock’s shorter masterpieces. It ran from 1955-1962 and the premise is quite simple – each episode would introduce with an opening sequence, followed by some short unrelated segments before concluding with one longer story at the end. Two notable characters to mention are Inspector Andrew Fraser and old black marketer Lansdale.

I Love Lucy

I Love Lucy was one of the first smash hits on television and established the medium as a modern family staple. The premise involved an American redhead named Lucy who moves to Italy with her husband, Ricky Ricardo, and their best friends Ethel (played by Vivian Vance) and Fred Mertz (played by William Frawley). Ricky is a singer with a popular nightclub band.

The show was filmed in black and white while it ran from 1951-1957 and had one of the first live studio audiences (a rarity at that time). In total, there are 180 episodes during its original run.

The Honeymooners

The Honeymooners was a comedic show that aired on CBS from 1955-1956. The premise involved Ralph Kramden (played by Jackie Gleason), an overworked bus driver, and his wife Alice who live in Brooklyn with their best friends Ed Norton (played by Art Carney) and Trixie Norton (played by Audrey Meadows). The show would have the four share a small apartment in Brooklyn.

The characters of Ralph, Alice, Ed and Trixie all constantly bickered and teased one another as they navigated through their daily lives with old fashioned catchphrases such as “One of these days, Alice!” (which was typically said by Ralph).

Superman

Starring George Reeve, Noel Neil, and John Hamilton, Superman aired on ABC from 1952 to 1958. Although the plot may have been predictable at times with Superman having to go out and save Lois Lane or some other damsel in distress, it has become a classic staple of old TV shows. There were no episodes made after 1957 because of George Reeve’s death.

The Huckleberry Hound Show

The Huckleberry Hound Show aired on ABC from 1958 to 1961, and was produced by Hanna-Barbera. Throughout the show’s run, Huck would be joined by Yogi Bear and Quick Draw McGraw (both of whom were also characters in other old TV shows), as they went out into the forest for adventures with their pals.

You Bet Your Life

This classic game show had contestants trying their luck against the “Dragnet” star, Jack Webb. The set-up was simple: if a contestant could successfully answer three questions to win $10,000 (in later years) then they would be asked more difficult and obscure trivia for which they would earn additional money per question.

Leave It to Beaver

Leave It to Beaver was the old TV show that captured what it meant to grow up as a child in the 1950s. The series follows the adventures of an all-American family living on their small suburban street, with parents Ward and June Cleaver.

The Jack Benny Show

The Jack Benny Show aired on both radio and TV. The old-time comedian was known for his comedic timing, quick wit, and ability to talk about anything that came up in the show without breaking character.

Dragnet

This old tv show set off in 1949 and aired until 1959. It starred the well-known actor, Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday. The series followed two LAPD detectives who took on investigations of various crimes. Each episode always ended with Friday reciting the famous lines, “Just the facts ma’am.”

Gunsmoke

This old tv show aired for 20 seasons and starred actor James Arness. It ran from 1955 to 1975 and followed Marshal Matt Dillon in his work at a fictional Wyoming cattle town called Dodge City. The series was set during the post-Civil War era and Dillon had to protect the town from would-be criminals.

(Like TV Shows from the 50s? Then you might like our article on TV Shows of the 1980s, click here. Or how about 90s Sitcoms, click here.)

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