10 Favorite English TV Shows From The 1900s

10 Most Loved English TV Shows From The 1900s

While I grew up watching Indian Hindi TV-serials on DD National, mostly involving kids or fantasy or mythology, or even the very popular family comedies like Ye Jo Hai Zindagi and Idhar Udhar, the advent of cable television in India, in the 90s, finally introduced me to English TV-shows, and I took an instant liking to some of them. In fact, as I mentioned in one of my previous posts - "10 Pick-Me-Ups That Always Work For Me" - I have an entire list of "feel good" shows from back then, that still manage to lift my spirits, even after so many decades!

These were originally aired between the 1950s to the 1990s, although I didn't watch the original runs of any of them - I saw the re-runs for Indian audience, in the late 90s and early 2000s, i.e. in MY early cable-TV days. Also, limited "TV time" ('coz I had so many other hobbies too, right!) meant that my list of "regulars" was fairly selective. So, putting it together wasn't that much of a herculean task.

So, here are 10 of my most loved English TV series from the latter half of the 1900s, that I still enjoy watching sometimes, if I get to know they're being aired somewhere. See how many of these you can remember...

10 Most Loved English TV-Shows From The 1900s

  1. The Wonder Years (1988–1993)

    The Wonder Years (1988–1993)
    imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094582/
    Kevin Arnold takes us on a journey through his growing-up years in the 60s in a typical American suburb, with his parents, two siblings, best friend Paul and childhood-crush-turned-girlfriend Winnie. This was one of the first English TV shows I saw, and I loved the whole concept of an adult Kevin narrating his early years. It was kind of like a video blog. I was also impressed by the acting of the young Kevin Arnold - such an expressive face!

  2. Small Wonder (1985–1989)

    Small Wonder (1985–1989)
    imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088610/
    An American science-fiction TV serial, featuring the family of a robotics engineer, Ted Lawson, who creates a robot, nick-named Vicki, that looks like a real human girl, and then tries to pass her off as his own daughter. The highlights of the show: Vicki's monotonous voice, inability to display emotions, her "cabinet" in her "brother" Jamie's bedroom, and their nosy neighbor's equally nosy daughter Harriet!

  3. I Dream of Jeannie (1965–1970)

    I Dream of Jeannie (1965–1970)
    imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058815/
    Another American TV show with the best fantasy concept one could ever dream of -- having their own personal Jeannie! Loved this show completely! Jeannie's impishness was so visible in her eyes, and yes the way she would blink her eyes to materialize anything, and how she kept getting her "master" Tony Nelson, in trouble, because of her over-eagerness to help! Hilarious!

  4. Dennis the Menace (1959–1963)

    Dennis the Menace (1959–1963)
    imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052461/
    This was the first TV show adaptation of Hank Ketcham's comic strip by the same name, featuring the adventures of the child menace, Dennis Mitchell, and his usual victim - their next-door neighbor Mr. Wilson. I didn't watch it as regularly as the first three, but whatever I did watch, I liked... especially Mr. Wilson!

  5. Diff'rent Strokes (1978–1986)

    Diff'rent Strokes (1978–1986)
    imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077003/
    The story of a widowed millionaire from Manhattan, who adopts the two orphaned black children of his late housekeeper from Harlem. I used to really like this show back then, but couldn't watch too many episodes of it when I first came across it. Luckily, it was televised again on one of the cable TV channels during the pandemic lockdown, and I was able to follow it properly then. The highlight of the show was, hands down, Arnold Jackson - the youger of the two brothers. Amazing spontaneity!

  6. Full House (1987–1995)

    Full House (1987–1995)
    imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092359/
    Danny Tanner raises his three little girls - D.J., Stephanie and Michelle - with help from his brother-in-law Jesse and best friend Joey, as their "house" keeps getting "fuller" over the years! This was by far our most favorite English TV show back then! ("Our" meaning my sister's and mine.) We followed it for the longest time, I guess. The girls were too cute... so was Jesse actually! LOL! :P

  7. Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989–1993)

    Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989–1993)
    imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096569/
    The story of the 16-year old genius doctor, Doogie Howser, and his best friend, Vinnie Delpino. Now, if we have teenage guys in the show, we will obviously have their girlfriends too, right? So, there are Wanda and Janine in the show. My favorite part of this show was actually Doogie's daily journal entry at the end of each episode. Micro-blogging, even before the birth of the internet! Very futuristic! And yes, Doogie's parents were perhaps the most sensible parents I have ever seen, even in fiction!

  8. Who's the Boss? (1984–1992)

    Who's the Boss? (1984–1992)
    imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086827/
    This is yet another American sitcom that my sister and I were crazy about. The entire concept of having a male housekeeper (and such a good-looking one too, sighhhhh!) was so novel that we fell in love with it from the very first day we saw it. Tony and his daughter Samantha, Angela and her son Jonathan, and the icing on the cake - Angela's man-crazy mother Mona Robinson! Funny and super cute!

  9. Remington Steele (1982–1987)

    Remington Steele (1982–1987)
    imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083470/
    Ahhh! One of those fictional characters I've had a serious crush on! And to think that he was originally a fictional character in the show as well... the fictitious "boss" of private detective Laura Holt, who one day, to the surprise of his creator, shows up in real! Couldn't watch this one for too long either, but it's on my to-watch list... if only I can find it online somewhere!

  10. The Crystal Maze (1990–1995)

    The Crystal Maze (1990–1995)
    imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098774/
    An amazing British game show that, for some reason, didn't become quite as popular here in India, but I used to love it! It was a game show for the common people... no celebrities, no brainiacs, no physically-skilled people. Just common men and women. The puzzles were creative and stimulating, and most found me on the edge of my seat too. Richard O'Brien was brilliant as a host, with his harmonica and his "mumsie", and the theme music was so catchy, I still remember it after all these years!

So these were my 10 most loved English TV shows from the latter half of the 1900s. Apart from these, there were a few more that I liked, but didn't follow as religiously as the above. Two of them were Blossom (1990 TV Series) and Bewitched (1964 TV Series).

When I'd originally shared this list on my old blog, in July 2013, I used to wish they'd dedicate an entire TV channel just for showing re-runs of these popular old sitcoms. And then I actually found a few of them on TV/OTT during the pandemic period! Some are even there on YouTube now! In fact, I recently started watching the original Crystal Maze on YouTube. It still feels as amazing as it did two decades ago, even though it's not in HD! :D

So anyway, have you watched English TV-shows from the previous century?
Which ones were your most favorite?
Have you watched any from my favorite list?

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