TV Shows in the 1960s

Bonanza

TV Shows in the early 1960s were mostly in black and white. But color started to catch on in the mid-60s and by 1967 every show was broadcast in color.

Bewitched, Andy Griffith and I Spy all enjoyed great runs. The Dick Van Dyke show won an Emmy just about every year it seems.

Read our yearly breakdown below!

TV Shows in 1960

The Top Ten TV Shows in 1960 were:

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1. Gunsmoke (CBS)
2. Wagon Train (NBC)
3. Have Gun Will Travel (CBS)
4. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
5. The Real McCoys (ABC)
6. Rawhide (CBS)
7. Candid Camera (CBS)
8. The Untouchables (ABC)
9. The Price is Right (NBC)
10. The Jack Benny Show (CBS)

TV Shows in 1961

The Top Ten TV Shows in 1961 were:

1. Wagon Train (NBC)
2. Bonanza (NBC)
3. Gunsmoke (CBS)
4. Hazel (NBC)
5. Perry Mason (CBS)
6. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
7. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
8. The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)
9. Dr. Kildare (NBC)
10. Candid Camera (CBS)

TV Shows in 1962

The Top Ten TV Shows in 1962 were:

1. The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
2. Candid Camera (CBS)
3. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
4. Bonanza (NBC)
5. The Lucy Show (CBS)
6. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
7. Ben Casey (ABC)
8. The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)
9. The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS)
10. Gunsmoke (CBS)

TV Shows in 1963

The Top Ten TV Shows in 1963 were:

1. The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
2. Bonanza (NBC)
3. The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS)
4. Petticoat Junction (CBS)
5. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
6. The Lucy Show (CBS)
7. Candid Camera (CBS)
8. The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS)
9. The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)
10. My Favorite Martian (CBS)

TV Shows in 1964

There were a number of TV casualties in 1964, including “The Judy Garland Show.” Forty percent of the TV shows in prime time were new.

Bewitched and Peyton Place were two of the most popular shows at that time.

Emmy Award winners included: “The Making of the President 1960”; “The Telephone Hour”; and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”

In 1964 there were about 2.8 million color TV sets in the home vs. 55 million black and white sets.

The top ten TV Shows in 1964 were:

1.) Bonanza (NBC)
2.) Bewitched (ABC)
3.) Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (CBS)
4.) The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
5.) The Fugitive (ABC)
6.) The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
7.) The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS)
8.) The Lucy Show (CBS)
9.) Peyton Place II (ABC)
10.) Combat (ABC)

TV Shows in 1965

Color TV was finally here. 96% of NBC, 50% of CBS and 40% of ABC’s shows were in color.

The new offerings in 1965 fared poorly however. Among the quickly axed shows were The Steve Lawrence Show and Convoy. Also dropped were several holdovers from 1964 like The King Family, Shindig, Rawhide, Mr. Novak and The Defenders.

Some of the most successful new shows were Get Smart!, Hogan’s Heroes (one of my dad’s favorites), Green Acres, and I Spy. In 1965, Bill Cosby became the first African-American actor to co-star in a network TV drama.

Frank Sinatra’s 50th birthday special was a big deal. As was the Pope’s visit to NYC.

An Emmy Award was given to 23-year-old rising star Barbra Streisand.

The Top Ten TV Shows in 1965 were:

1.) Bonanza (NBC)
2.) Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (CBS)
3.) The Lucy Show (CBS)
4.) The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
5.) Batman (Thursday) (ABC)
6.) The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
7.) Bewitched (ABC)
8.) The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
9.) Hogan’s Heroes (CBS)
10.) Batman (Wednesday) (ABC)

TV Shows in 1966

In 1966 there was growing evidence that a vast number of the nation’s living rooms were becoming family motion picture theaters. More networks were devoting prime time to old movies, and the ratings achieved by these films which had sat quietly in Hollywood vaults for years, were indeed startling.

Batman, a campy version of the comic strip, was a surprise late 1965, but its ratings dropped as 1966 progressed and the top rated shows in 1966 were holdovers from 1965. Shows like Lucy, Bonanza, Green Acres, Red Skelton, Gomer Pyle and Andy Griffith. The more successful new shows were A Family Affair and Rat Patrol.

The Dick Van Dyke show won four more Emmys. Emmys were also won by A Charlie Brown Christmas and Bill Cosby in I Spy.

By the fall of 1966, programming on all three major networks was 99% in color. The color TV buying public was buying them so fast manufacturers had difficulty keeping up!

The Top Ten TV Shows in 1966 were:

1.) Bonanza (NBC)
2.) The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
3.) The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
4.) The Lucy Show (CBS)
5.) The Jackie Gleason Show (CBS)
6.) Green Acres (CBS)
7.) Daktari (CBS)
8.) Bewitched (ABC)
9.) The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
10.) Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (CBS)

TV Shows in 1967

The Top Ten TV Shows in 1967 were:

1. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
2. The Lucy Show (CBS)
3. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (CBS)
4. Gunsmoke (CBS)
5. Family Affair (CBS)
6. Bonanza (NBC)
7. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
8. The Dean Martin Show (NBC)
9. The Jackie Gleason Show (CBS)
10. NBC Saturday Night Movie (NBC)

TV Shows in 1968

The Top Ten TV Shows in 1968 were:

1. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (NBC)
2. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (CBS)
3. Bonanza (NBC)
4. Mayberry R.F.D (CBS)
5. Family Affair (CBS)
6. Gunsmoke (CBS)
7. Julia (NBC)
8. The Dean Martin Show (NBC)
9. Here’s Lucy (CBS)
10. The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)

TV Shows in 1969

The Top Ten TV Shows in 1969 were:

1. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (NBC)
2. Gunsmoke (CBS)
3. Bonanza (NBC)
4. Mayberry R.F.D. (CBS)
5. Family Affair (CBS)
6. Here’s Lucy (CBS)
7. The Red Skelton Hour (CBS)
8. Marcus Welby, M.D. (ABC)
9. Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color (NBC)
10. The Doris Day Show (CBS)

Browse 1960s TV Shows below!

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Last modified: Apr 07, 2013 | Written by Paul Phipps