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Classic TV Shows That Aired On ABC


Beginning television operations in 1948, the American Broadcasting Company or ABC got its start a few years after its rivals. Although the youngest of the "big three networks", ABC has had a long storied history of producing and airing many of the most successful primetime television shows of all-time.
Tune in below to browse our collection of the best TV shows that aired during primetime on ABC from 1950 to the present day.

1964-1966 | ABC
The Addams Family is a sitcom based on the characters in Charles Addams' New Yorker cartoons that aired for two seasons on ABC from 1964 to 1966. It is often compared to its working-class rival, The Munsters, which ran for the same two seasons, and achieved somewhat higher ratings. The show is the first adaptation of the characters to feature "The Addams Family Theme".
1952-1966 | ABC
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet is a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1952 until 1966 starring the real life Nelson family. After a long run on radio, the show was brought to television where it continued its success, running on both radio and TV for a couple of years. The series attracted large audiences, and although it was never a top-ten hit, it became synonymous with the 1950s ideal American family life. It is the longest-running live-action sitcom in US TV history.
1966-1969 | ABC
The Avengers is a spy-fi TV series set in 1960s Britain focused on Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry) and his assistant John Steed (Patrick Macnee).
1966-1968 | ABC
Batman is an action series, based on the DC comic book starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin — two crime-fighting heroes who defend Gotham City.
1964-1972 | ABC
Bewitched is a sitcom that aired for eight seasons on ABC from 1964 to 1972 about a witch who marries a mortal and tries to lead the life of a typical suburban housewife.
1980-1982 | ABC
Bosom Buddies was a sitcom that starred Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari and ran from 1980 to 1982 on ABC that followed the misadventures of two single men, working in creative advertising, struggling in their industry while disguising themselves as women in order to live in the one apartment they could afford.
1969-1974 | ABC
The Brady Bunch is a 1970s sitcom aired from 1969 to 1974 on ABC centered around the daily lives of newly blended Brady family.
1976-1981 | ABC
Charlie's Angels is a crime drama series about three women who work for a private investigation agency, and is one of the first shows to showcase women in roles traditionally reserved for men. The show aired on ABC from 1976 to 1981.The
1978-1985 | ABC
Diff'rent Strokes is an sitcom that aired on NBC from 1978 to 1985, and on ABC from September 1985 to March 1986. The series stars Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges as Arnold and Willis Jackson, two African American boys from Harlem who are taken in by a rich white Park Avenue businessman named Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain) and his daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato), for whom their deceased mother previously worked.
1989-1993 | ABC
Doogie Howser, M.D. is an comedy-drama starring Neil Patrick Harris as a 16-year-old doctor who also faces the problems of being a normal teenager. Created by Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley, ABC aired the show from 1989 to 1993 for four seasons totaling 97 episodes.
1995-2004 | ABC
The Drew Carey Show is a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1995 to 2004 set in Cleveland, Ohio, and revolved around the retail office and home life of "everyman" Drew Carey, a fictionalized version of the actor.
1965-1967 | ABC
F Troop was a comedy series set during the Civil War-era that aired on ABC from 1965 to 1967 about a Private who is given a field promotion to Captain and given command of Fort Courage. The problem is that he received his promotion because he accidentally "saved the day" when he led a cavalry charge in the wrong direction. This theme continues throughout the series as Captain Parmenter continually messes up but ends up on top.
1989-1998 | ABC, CBS
Family Matters is a sitcom about a middle-class African-American family living in Chicago, Illinois, which aired for nine seasons. The series was a spin-off of Perfect Strangers, but revolves around the Winslow family. Midway through the first season, the show introduced the Winslows' nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel (played by Jaleel White), who quickly became its breakout character and eventually a main character. Family Matters aired from 1989 to 1997 on ABC and on CBS from September 1997 to July 1998.
1987-1995 | ABC
Set in San Francisco, family-friendly sitcom Full House centers around the adventures of a widowed father, his three children, and his two best friends. Danny (Bob Saget) is a straight-laced local television personality, Joey (David Coulier) is a fun-loving stand-up comedian, and brother-in-law Jesse (John Stamos) is an Elvis-obsessed rocker. Danny's children include 11-year-old D.J. (Candace Cameron), five-year-old Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and baby Michelle (big-eyed future superstars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen). Created by Jeff Franklin (Laverne and Shirley), the show ran on ABC for eight seasons.
1981-1983 | ABC
The Greatest American Hero is a comedy-drama series that aired for three seasons from 1981 to 1983 on ABC about flying crime fighter.
1985-1992 | CBS
Growing Pains is sitcom starring Alan Thicke about an upper middle class family, residing in Huntington, New York, with a working mother and a stay-at-home psychiatrist father raising three children together, that aired on ABC from 1985 to 1992. For those who grew up with the Seavers, and in need of a retro blast of '80s nostalgia, Growing Pains will still, to quote the theme song, show you that smile again.
1974-1984 | ABC
Happy Days is a sitcom that aired from 1974 to 1984 on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series showcased an idealized vision of life in mid-1950s to mid-1960s America.
1986-1991 | ABC
Head of the Class is a sitcom aired on ABC from 1986 to 1991 that follows a group of gifted students in the Individualized Honors Program (IHP) at the fictional Monroe High School (later Millard Fillmore High School) in Manhattan, and their history teacher Charlie Moore (Howard Hesseman). The program was ostensibly a vehicle for Hesseman, best known for his role as radio DJ Dr. Johnny Fever in the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. Hesseman left Head of the Class in 1990 and was replaced by Billy Connolly as teacher Billy MacGregor for the final season.
1991-1999 | ABC
Home Improvement is a sitcom starring Tim Allen that aired on ABC from 1991 to 1999. In the 1990s, it was one of the most watched sitcoms winning many awards. The show's title refers to physical improvement of houses, as well as to improving life with family, friends, work, and school.
1976-1983 | ABC
Laverne & Shirley is a sitcom that ran on ABC from 1976 to 1983 starring Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, roommates who worked in a fictitious Milwaukee brewery called "Shotz Brewery".
1957-1963 | CBS, ABC
Leave It to Beaver is a sitcom about an inquisitive but often naïve boy named Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver and his adventures at home, in school, and around his suburban neighborhood. The show also starred Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont as Beaver's parents, June and Ward Cleaver, and Tony Dow as Beaver's brother Wally. The show has attained an iconic status in the United States, with the Cleavers exemplifying the idealized suburban family of the mid-20th century.
1949-1957 | ABC
The Lone Ranger is a western TV series that aired on ABC from 1949 until 1957 about the adventures about a cowboy and his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early West. This was by far the highest-rated television program on ABC in the early 1950s and its first true "hit".
1977-1986 | ABC
The Love Boat is sitcom set on a cruise ship that aired on ABC from 1977 until 1986. The show starred Gavin MacLeod as the ship's captain. It was part of ABC's popular Saturday night lineup that included Fantasy Island until the latter show ended in 1984.
1985-1992 | ABC
MacGyver is an action-adventure series that ran for seven seasons on ABC and follows secret agent Angus MacGyver, played by Richard Dean Anderson. MacGyver prefers non-violent resolutions where possible, and refuses to handle a gun. He works as a troubleshooter for the fictional Phoenix Foundation in Los Angeles. He is a resourceful agent with an encyclopedic knowledge of science, able to solve complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand, along with his ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army knife.
1953-1964 | ABC, CBS
The Danny Thomas Show (known as Make Room for Daddy during the first three seasons) is a sitcom which ran from 1953 to 1957 on ABC and from 1957 to 1964 on CBS th followed the misadventures in the lives of the Williams family.
1969-1976 | ABC
Marcus Welby, M.D. is a medical drama series that aired on ABC from 1969 to 1976 that starred Robert Young as family practitioner, Marcus Welby, whose thoroughness and dedication involved him in the lives of all sorts of patients.
1962-1966 | ABC
McHale's Navy was a war comedy series that aired on ABC from 1962 to 1966 about a misfit PT boat crew in the South Pacific during World War II. Their unmilitary antics repeatedly got them in trouble with their commander but he always ended out having to "look the other way" in the end because the crew typically stopped an enemy attack or prevented some other catastrophe.
1978-1982 | ABC
Mork & Mindy is a science fiction sitcom that aired on ABC from 1978 until 1982 that starred Robin Williams as Mork, an alien who comes to Earth from the planet Ork in a small, one-man egg-shaped spaceship. Pam Dawber co-starred as Mindy McConnell, his human friend and roommate. In 1997, the episode "Mork's Mixed Emotions" was ranked #94 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time list.
1985-1990 | ABC
Mr. Belvedere is a sitcom that aired on ABC 1985 until 1990 that is based on the Lynn Aloysius Belvedere character created by Gwen Davenport for her 1947 novel Belvedere, which was later adapted into the 1948 film Sitting Pretty. The sitcom stars Christopher Hewett in the title role, who takes a job with an American family headed by George Owens, played by Bob Uecker.
1960-1972 | ABC, CBS
My Three Sons is sitcom that ran from 1960 to 1965 on ABC, and moved to CBS until its end 1972, that chronicles the life of a widower and aeronautical engineer named Steven Douglas (Fred MacMurray), raising his three sons.
1970-1995 | ABC
The Odd Couple is a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1970 until 1975 that starred Tony Randall as Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as Oscar Madison, based upon the play of the same name, which was written by Neil Simon. Felix and Oscar are two divorced men. Felix is a neat freak while Oscar is sloppy and casual. They share a Manhattan apartment, and their different lifestyles inevitably lead to conflicts and laughs.
1986-1993 | ABC
Perfect Strangers is a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1986 to 1993 that chronicled the rocky coexistence of midwestern American Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) and his distant cousin from eastern Mediterranean Europe, Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot).
1988-1997 | ABC
Roseanne is a sitcom that aired on ABC 1988 until 1997 that revolved around the Conners, an Illinois working class family. The series reached #1 in the Nielsen ratings becoming the most watched television show in the United States from 1989 to 1990, and remained in the top four for six of its nine seasons, and in the top twenty for eight.
1978-1982 | ABC, NBC
Taxi is a sitcom that aired from 1978 to 1982 on ABC and from 1982 to 1983 on NBC that chronicled the everyday lives of a handful of New York City taxi drivers and their abusive dispatcher. Taxi won won 18 Emmy Awards, including three for "Outstanding Comedy Series".
1977-1984 | ABC
Three's Company was a hit sitcom that aired on ABC from 1977 until 1984 that revolves around three single roommates: Janet Wood, Chrissy Snow and Jack Tripper who all platonically share Apartment 201 in a Santa Monica, California apartment building owned by Mr. and Mrs. Roper.
1983-1987 | ABC
Webster is sitcom that aired on ABC from 1983 until 1987 that starred Emmanuel Lewis. Like NBC's earlier hit Diff'rent Strokes, it featured a young African American boy adopted by a white family.
1975-1979 | ABC
Welcome Back, Kotter is a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1975 until 1979 and starred Gabe Kaplan as Mr. Kotter, who returns to his alma mater to teach a group of remedial students, and a young John Travolta, the head of Kotter's high school misfits, the Sweathogs.
1984-1992 | ABC
Who's the Boss? is a sitcom that aired on ABC 1984 until 1992 and starred Tony Danza as a retired major league baseball player who relocates to Fairfield, Connecticut to work as a live-in housekeeper for a divorced advertising executive, played by Judith Light. Also featured were Alyssa Milano, Danny Pintauro, and Katherine Helmond.
1988-1993 | ABC
The Wonder Years was a hit comedy-drama series that aired on ABC from 1988 until 1993 that starred Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold, a boy facing rites of passage on his way to adulthood .
Meet The Flintstones in this prehistoric Hanna-Barbera production. Primetime's first animated series was also the longest running until The Simpsons came along. Not so coincidentally, the two shows aren't all that different--even if the former emerged in the sixties, the latter in the eighties. Fred (Alan Reed), patriarch of the cave-dwelling clan, may be marginally more intelligent than the similarly blue collar Homer, but most storylines still revolve around his more dunderheaded moves.
Fan-rrific! Hanna-Barbera's Hong Kong Phooey was the Saturday-morning cartoon answer to the mid-'70s martial-arts craze. Mild-mannered janitor Penry (voiced by Scatman Crothers) works in the police station alongside switchboard operator Rosemary (Kathy Gori) and beleaguered Sergeant Flint (Joe E. Ross), humans who never suspect that the diligent dog is actually "America's secret weapon against crime."
The Jetsons (1962) was the third primetime series from the Hanna-Barbera Studio, after The Flintstones (1960) and Top Cat (1961). Although the show was cancelled after its first season, it proved a durable Saturday-morning favorite, running for more than 14 years on all three networks.
Spider-Man ran from 1967 through 1970 on ABC, and imprinted its theme song, "Spider-Man, Spider-Man/ Does whatever a spider can / Spins a web, any size / Catches thieves--just like flies" on a generation of viewers.
So the swinging theme song immortalizes, "the chief, he's the king, but above everything: he's the most tiptop Top Cat!"... In the tradition of great screen conmen--one of the few with a visible tail--"Top Cat" holds a top spot in the hearts of cartoon fans.

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