Sanford and Son
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17 Beloved Classic TV Shows You Can Still Watch

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Timeless Television

Remember when there were only three networks and you had to get up and cross the room to change the channel on your television? While not every show has survived the test of time, the good news is that many of your old favorites are just as sharp and entertaining as you remember — and thanks to modern technology, they’re available to watch whenever you want. Here are some shows you can find through streaming services you may already have or are available for a small fee. 


Related: These Are the Best (and Worst) Free Streaming Services for TV and Movies

I love lucy
Wikimedia Commons

I Love Lucy

1951-1957

Most people have a favorite episode of “I Love Lucy,” and the exploits of housewife Lucy and her bandleader husband (Lucille Ball’s real-life husband at the time, Desi Arnaz) are still laugh-getters today. Ever hear someone saying “uh-oh” in the studio audience when Lucy’s plans go awry? That was Lucille Ball’s mother, who attended every taping.


Stream Now: Amazon Prime, HuluParamount+, or buy DVD set


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Alfred Hitchcock: The Ultimate Collection
Amazon

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

1955-1965

Considered by Time magazine to be among the 100 Best TV Shows of All Time, this sometimes spooky, often thrilling anthology show that famously showed Hitchcock in profile during the opening also featured a plethora of stars, including Robert Redford, Bette Davis, Steve McQueen, and more.


Stream Now: Amazon PrimePeacock, Roku, or buy DVD set


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Leave it to Beaver
Pat McDermott Public Relations / WikiMedia Commons

Leave It to Beaver

1957-1963

Unique among family shows of the time for focusing on the children (the Beav and his older brother, Wally), the show was never a huge draw for ratings but became a much-loved slice of Americana when syndicated in the 1970s. The show was only canceled when it reached its natural conclusion — Wally was heading off to college, and the brothers would be in separate locations.


Stream Now: Amazon PrimeApple TVPeacockRoku, or buy DVD set


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Bewitched
Wikimedia Commons

Bewitched

1964-1972

Before there was “WandaVision,” there was another witch on television — Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery). This series about a witch and her regular-guy husband trying to navigate suburban life is worth seeing for the wacky set-ups and magnificent '60s-era costumes alone. 


Stream Now: Amazon PrimeApple TV, Roku, Tubi, or buy DVD set


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Gilligan’s Island
Amazon

Gilligan’s Island

1964-1967

Though that three-hour tour lasted just three seasons, the show was in constant rotation in syndication for years. Characters like the skipper, the millionaire and his wife, plus Ginger the movie star became iconic. Unfortunately, Bob Denver (Gilligan) struggled to find a role as memorable as that of the bumbling first mate of the S.S. Minnow. 


Stream Now: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, VuduYouTube TV, or buy DVD set


Related: 32 Legendary Vehicles From ’70s and ’80s TV Shows

Get Smart
NBC Television / WikiMedia Commons

Get Smart

1965-1970

This parody of spy films could verge on the silly (shoe telephone, anyone?) but it was as much fun as a series created by comedic legends Mel Brooks and Buck Henry should have been. The show became such a pop culture landmark that it spawned a movie in 2008 (starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway) — almost three decades after the original show went off the air. 


Stream Now: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, or buy DVD set


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I Dream of Jeannie
Amazon

I Dream of Jeannie

1965-1970

This series made a star of Barbara Eden, and Jeannie’s “master,” the astronaut Tony Nelson (Larry Hagman) didn’t do too badly, either — he eventually played J.R. Ewing in “Dallas.” The show, about a 2,000-year-old genie who falls in love with the man she rescues from a deserted island, was pure fluff, but a hit at the time and later in syndication.


Stream Now: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Roku, Tubi, Vudu, or buy DVD set

Dark Shadows
Amazon
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Amazon

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

1969-1974

This British sketch comedy was absurd, novel — and initially not a hit in the U.S. After some PBS stations started airing the British hit, it caught on and was popular enough to spawn several feature films, including “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” and “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.” 


Stream Now: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, FuboTV, Google Play, Netflix, or buy DVD set


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The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Wikimedia Commons

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

1970-1977 

This sitcom about a single woman who is “going to make it on her own” was a bit revolutionary for its time — she was considered a spinster at the ripe old age of 30 — but the comedy is surprisingly fresh even today. 


Stream Now: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Hulu, Pluto TV, Vudu, or buy DVD set


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Sanford and Son
Michael Ochs Archives/ Getty Images
M*A*S*H
Wikimedia Commons

M*A*S*H

1972-1983

With a series finale that stands as the most-watched in television history for drawing 105.9 million viewers, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this show about an emergency medical unit during the Korean War is much loved. While some might be surprised by some of its political incorrectness, especially in early episodes, much of the show still works. 


Stream Now: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Hulu, YouTube TV, or buy DVD set

Soap TV Show
Wikimedia Commons

Soap

1977-1981

A parody of daytime soap operas, the show was criticized for the openly gay character of Jodie (Billy Crystal). Some took offense to a gay character on television, while others felt Jodie’s desire for a sex change operation was unlikely. Still, the show racked up 17 Emmy nominations during its run, including three for Outstanding Comedy Series.


Stream Now: Fubo TV, Tubi, or buy DVD set

Hill Street Blues
Amazon

Hill Street Blues

1981-1987

While police procedurals have long been a regular part of television schedules, this series was considered revolutionary for its documentary-style of cinematography and its interest in telling the stories of people at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. In 1993, TV Guide named the series the All-Time Best Cop Show. 


Stream Now: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google PlayHulu, Vudu, or buy DVD set


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Cheers
Amazon
The Golden Girls
Amazon

The Golden Girls

1985-1992

Watching Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty, and Bea Arthur chatting over a midnight cheesecake was always a treat. The series, while happy to play with stereotypes about senior citizens, also gave older viewers a view of how much fun getting older could be as well as the pitfalls (such as needing roommates to pay the bills). 


Stream Now: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Hulu, Vudu, or buy DVD set


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Designing Women
Amazon

Designing Women

1986-1993

This sitcom following the challenges of a group of four women and one man working at a Southern design firm gave star Dixie Carter a platform for her character Julia Sugarbaker’s fast and feisty speeches defending women’s rights or other perspectives. While the show’s been off the air since the 1990s, many of Julia’s speeches are still timely.


Stream Now: Amazon Prime, Hulu, Pluto TV, or buy DVD set


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