21 TV Shows From the 1960s That are Still Impacting Culture Today

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The 1960s were a transformative era in television history. The decade birthed a variety of groundbreaking shows that reflected the societal change that was taking place at the time.

These cultural shifts can be felt in all genres of entertainment, from hard-hitting dramas to irreverent comedies. Today, we would like to take a look at some of the most influential TV shows from this period.

1. Star Trek

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

It is hard to fathom that the original Star Trek was canceled after only three seasons. Although the series only ran from 1966 to 1969, it left a lasting mark on the worlds of pop culture and science fiction. Star Trek provides audiences with an optimistic version of the future in which society has moved past resource scarcity.

This utopian vision allows the series to tackle modern societal and economic issues futuristically. Star Trek’s impact can still be seen today in homages to the series and the constant pop culture references made in contemporary TV shows.

2. The Addams Family

Photo Credit: Filmways Television.

This dark comedy set the bar for the perfect marriage way back in 1964. The Addams Family follows the kooky exploits of the ultimate goth family. The series produced two seasons airing between 1964 through 1966.

The Addams Family is fondly remembered for its spooky characters and offbeat humor. The series also showed viewers that people can be different from us while still being a wonderful family. The Addams Family continues to live on today through movies and the hit Netflix series, Wednesday.

3. Bewitched

Photo Credit: Ashmont Productions.

This 1964 series is the original “Who Did I Marry?”. Bewitched follows a young witch who marries a mortal man to try and live an everyday life. The series aired for 8 seasons from 1964 through 1972.

Bewitched was a unique show for its time. The series explored themes of marriage equality, power dynamics, and gender roles in the home. Bewitched also popularized the magical partner trope, which still lives on today and can be seen in shows like WandaVision.

4. The Beverly Hillbillies

Photo Credit: Filmways Television.

This popular series may be considered insensitive today, but The Beverly Hillbillies was a massive hit in the 60s. This series ran for an impressive 9 seasons from 1962 through 1971. The Beverly Hillbillies followed the wacky antics of a poor rural family who hits it big and moves to Beverly Hills, California.

The series focused on the hilarious culture clash between the rural family and their upper-class neighbors. The Beverly Hillbillies “fish out of water” resonated with audiences of the time and is a mainstay trope in modern sitcoms.

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5. The Munsters

Photo Credit: CBS.

Another nontraditional family favorite, The Munsters, follows a family of monsters trying to make a go of it while living in a human neighborhood. Similarly to The Addams Family, the series highlighted that we shouldn’t focus on our differences. Instead, we should embrace the things that make us the same.

The Munsters was a huge hit in the 1960s and ran for two seasons from 1964 through 1966. This series contributed to the cultural phenomenon that transformed monsters from creepy figures of the night to related and complex creatures. This shift can still be seen today in many horror television series.

6. I Dream of Jeannie

Photo Credit: Screen Gems Television.

This fantasy series follows an astronaut and his genie companion. I Dream of Jeannie cemented the genie’s three wishes trope to American audiences. The series produced five seasons from 1965 to 1970.

I Dream of Jeannie showcased the absurd and comedic legalism of genie wish fulfillment. Audiences loved the fantastical elements of the show as well as its genuinely romantic themes. The slow-built romance trope can still be seen in modern romantic comedies.

7. The Flintstones

Photo Credit: Screen Gems Television.

This series features the most rockin’ family around. The Flintstones features a prehistoric family living in the caveman days who use dinosaurs and rocks to recreate modern technology. The series produced six seasons between 1960 and 1966.

The Flintstones created the episodic sitcom genre of children’s cartoons that has become a staple today. Viewers would tune in each week to watch the Flintstone family set off on new fantastical adventures that the whole family could learn from.

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8. Batman

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

Audiences still adore this campy Batman. The Adam West adaptation of Batman ran for two seasons from 1966 to 1968. Similar to the Batman films of today, the Caped Crusader would tackle social and political issues of the time.

There is no doubt that Batman is one of the most iconic superheroes of all time. The character has been revamped for each generation of audiences to resounding success. But it all started with Adam West and the wacky antics of the 1960’s series.

9. The Twilight Zone

Photo Credit: CBS.

Possibly the most influential show of all time, The Twilight Zone ran for five seasons from 1959 to 1964. Rod Sterling heralded in the first golden age of television with his inventive and captivating writing for The Twilight Zone.

This anthology would present audiences with a new fantasy/horror episode each week that would challenge the societal or political aspects of American life. The Twilight Zone is still praised for its exploration of morality and technology. These themes can still be witnessed in shows such as Black Mirror.

10. The Andy Griffith Show

Photo Credit: CBS.

This series depicts the ideal American life of the 1960s. The Andy Griffith Show is set in a little southern town where nothing much happens. This cozy format allowed the series to highlight the importance of community and togetherness.

The Andy Griffith Show ran for eight seasons from 1960 to 1968. Its wholesome atmosphere is still enjoyed by many today and has set the bar for family entertainment. The Andy Griffith Show lives on through its constant pop culture references and homages to the series.

11. Gilligan’s Island

Photo Credit: CBS.

This comedic sitcom was the original bottle episode. Gilligan’s Island produced three seasons from 1964 to 1967. The series followed seven castaways on an uncharted island after being shipwrecked and struggling to survive.

Each Gilligan’s Island character represented an archetypal role of American society, and their conflicts reflected the significant cultural change that was taking place at the time. Despite its similarities to other silly sitcoms of the time, Gilligan’s Island featured a critical message about the importance of acceptance that still resonates with audiences today.

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12. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

Photo Credit: Hanna-Barbera Productions.

This series helped create the monster of the week format many modern shows still rely on. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? ran for two seasons from 1969 to 1970. The series followed a group of teenagers and their talking dog as they tracked down local mysteries.

Scooby-Doo is one of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time. The franchise is beloved for highlighting economic and societal issues in a fun and digestible way. Scooby-Doo has left a lasting mark on pop culture and still pops up in shows like The Venture Bros.

13. Sesame Street

Photo Credit: Children’s Television Workshop.

The series is still airing today and features 4500 episodes for fans to enjoy. Sesame Street is one of American television’s longest-running series. The show first aired in 1969 and continues to provide outstanding educational content for children.

Each week, Sesame Street provides children with emotional education with the use of puppets and animation. Characters such as Big Bird have become beloved parts of American pop culture, and the series continues to influence children around the globe.

14. The Outer Limits

Photo Credit: Villa Di Stefano.

This series pushed the concepts of sci-fi to the limit. The Outer Limits is an anthology series similar to The Twilight Zone. However, The Outer Limits highlighted the dangers of scientific advancement in a more serious tone than its competitor.

The Outer Limits ushered in the age of dark intellectual science fiction, also known as hard science fiction. This new wave of science fiction enormously impacted the genre and can still be seen in shows like Devs and Westworld.

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15. Doctor Who

Photo Credit: BBC.

This science fiction series still entertains audiences today. Doctor Who follows a time-traveling alien known only as The Doctor. The series premiered in 1963 and has a whopping 39 seasons under its belt, making it the longest-running science fiction series ever produced.

Doctor Who is a pop culture phenomenon and a cornerstone of British television. The series format and constantly changing cast keeps the show feeling fresh and new. Doctor Who remains relevant today by focusing on themes such as intolerance, war, and inequality.

16. The Three Stooges Show

Photo Credit: WTTV.

This slapstick series first aired in the 1930s. Although The Three Stooges Show technically ended in 1957, this iconic series still influenced the 1960s via constant reruns. The Three Stooges Show followed the hijinks of Moe, Larry, and Curly.

The Stooge’s unique brand of humor is a touchstone of American humor. The series is parodied and referenced in contemporary media and showcases the evolution of television comedy. Audiences still revisit the feisty trio for their hilarious physical comedy and iconic mannerisms.

17. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Photo Credit: Carson Productions.

This series invented the late-night talk show format. The Tonight Show first premiered in 1954 and is the longest-running talk show still on the air. Although the show’s original host was Steve Allen, the show hit its stride with famed host Johnny Carson.

The Tonight Show, Starring Johnny Carson, had a massive impact on American culture and is the blueprint for all the late-night shows that have followed. Caron’s natural wit and charm have cemented him as a national treasure and one of the most influential people in media history.

18. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

Photo Credit: Shamley Productions.

This series features the original king of horror. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour is an anthology series that ran for three seasons from 1962 to 1965. Each week, audiences tuned in for another installment of fear from the famed director.

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour highlighted the limits of human depravity and the macabre. It is one of the first horror anthologies and inspired shows like Tales from the Crypt and Creepshow.

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19. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Animation.

Everyone’s favorite agent of chaos appears in this 1960s Saturday morning cartoon. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour was released in 1960 and aired in various formats for nearly four decades. The series follows the antics of the Looney Tune characters.

Although Saturday morning cartoons first appeared in the 1950s, the genre hit its stride in the 1960s with hits like The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour. The series has left an unremovable mark on pop culture and still entertains families today.

20. Mister Rogers Neighborhood

Photo Credit: Family Communications.

The world’s best neighbor changed television with this hit series. Mister Rogers Neighborhood produced 31 seasons from 1968 until 2001, making it one of the longest-lasting children’s TV shows ever produced.

The series taught children valuable lessons about community and compassion. While also tackling societal issues such as segregation. Mister Rogers Neighborhood has left an endearing legacy on the entertainment world with its brave stances on social issues and its commitment to kindness.  

21. Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Photo Credit: BBC.

This surreal series changed the world of comedy forever. Monty Python’s Flying Circus produced five seasons from 1969 to 1974. This irreverent sketch comedy show pushed the limit of what was acceptable to be put on television.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus featured a stream-of-consciousness approach to comedy that would go on to influence shows like The Simpsons and South Park. The series is fondly remembered as an essential turning point in television comedy.

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Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

So we’re sharing our top black-and-white films with you today! From the contained drama of 12 Angry Men to the eerie Nosferatu and the heart-achy Casablanca, we’re rounding up 20 of the myriad old films that have made it to the status of legends; whether they’re can’t-miss classics or films with a niche cult following, they’re all excellent in some way.

20 Timeless Black and White Films That We Absolutely Love


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Photo Credit: Vertigo Films.

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20 Hilarious Movies That Aren’t Actually Comedies

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