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    General Hospital

    General Hospital

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    ABC
    General Hospital, the multi Emmy Award-Winning drama series hailed by critics as the 'The Greatest Soap Opera of All Time', will celebrate 50 years of broadcasting in 2013. The tradition of passion, intrigue, and adventure takes place in the fictional town of Port Charles, set in upstate New York. The glamour and excitement of those who have come to find their destinies in this familiar seaport town intertwine with the lives, loves, and fortunes of beloved, well-known faces. And, as always, love and danger continue to abound whether on the docks, in the ER, at brownstones, or trespassing on Quartermaine property with contemporary story lines and unforgettable characters. In the past several years, General Hospital has been praised by national organizations for elevating the public awareness of several important social issues. It has received three SHINE awards for its continued contribution to the awareness of sexual responsibility. The Ryan White Foundation presented its 1996 Ryan's Angels Award to "General Hospital" for the moving and thorough examination of HIV/AIDS through the characters of Robin, Stone, and the Nurses' Ball. The show was further honored by the American Red Cross for its HIV/AIDS-related storylines. Several other prestigious awards have been bestowed upon "General Hospital" for confronting sexual child abuse, organ donation, and other social issues as well. The program inspired Port Charles, the spin-off series that premiered in June 1997, and ended October 2003. In 2007 the 3rd spin-off General Hospital: Night Shift premiered which revolves around the interns and the doctors working the night shift at the hospital and ended October 2008. GH has had lots of movie and tv stars (and those in the making) over the years such as Demi Moore, Jack Wagner, Vanessa Marcil, Elizabeth Taylor, Ricky Martin, Rick Springfield, John Stamos, among others, as well as other soap opera stars. General Hospital is the longest-running dramatic serial on the ABC Network, and is the longest-running daytime drama produced on the West Coast. In May of 2000, General Hospital made Daytime Emmy history as the only Daytime drama to ever receive the prestigious Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama series a record seven times, marking the show's fifth win in six years (1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000). It had also garnered the Emmy Award as Outstanding Daytime Drama Series in 1980-81 and 1983-84. In the 40th Anniversary Special Edition of TV Guide, General Hospital was hailed as the "All-Time Best Daytime Soap." General Hospital was created by Frank and Doris Hursley. General Hospital currently airs Monday-Friday (2:00-3:00 p.m., ET; & 1:00-2:00 p.m., PT) on the ABC Television Network. GH also reruns current episodes at 10pm, 3am, and 10am-as well as a weekend marathon on SOAPnet, the 24 hour Soap Opera Network.moreless
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    77 Sunset Strip

    77 Sunset Strip

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    ABC (ended 1964)
    Private eye Stu Bailey is a suave, cultured former OSS officer who is an expert in languages. His partner, Jeff Spencer, is also a former undercover government agent, and like Bailey, a judo expert. The duo works out of an office at no. 77 Sunset Strip in Hollywood, but their cases lead them all over the world. The Stu Bailey character was originated by Roy Huggins in a story called "Death and the Skylark", published in Esquire Magazine in December 1952. Huggins later adapted this story into an episode of Warner Bros' ABC TV series Conflict entitled "Anything for Money", broadcast on 16 Apr 1957, starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr. This led to the idea of building a series around the private eye character.moreless
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    Dark Shadows

    Dark Shadows

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    ABC (ended 1971)
    Dark Shadows was a daytime soap opera on ABC-TV which aired weekdays during the afternoon. With vampires, witches, worlocks, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures, it became a surprising phenomenon, lasting for five years before it was cancelled.moreless
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    The Fugitive (1963)

    The Fugitive (1963)

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    ABC (ended 1967)
    Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen), wrongly accused of murdering his wife, escapes custody while en route to Death Row and must elude police and Lt. Philip Gerard (Barry Morse), who is obsessed with his capture. Kimble must constantly relocate and change his name while he continues his quest to find the real killer, a one-armed man (Bill Raisch) he saw leave the scene of the crime. The finale was the most-watched episode of all-time until the final episode of "M*A*S*H."

    The original series aired from 1963-1967 (120 episodes) on ABC and inspired the 1993 movie, "The Fugitive," starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. CBS brought the series back in a modern-day version in 2000, which starred Timothy Daly as Dr. Kimble. The original series also inspired a format used in several other shows, such as "The Incredible Hulk" and "Quantum Leap."moreless
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    The Big Valley

    The Big Valley

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    ABC (ended 1969)
    The Big Valley is set in the 1870's in California's gorgeous San Joaquin Valley. The series tells the story of Stockton's richest and most powerful family, The Barkleys. Lead by the family matriarch and widow Victoria Barkley, they live on the Barkley Ranch managing their cattle, mines, citrus groves and logging camps. Victoria's four adult brood consists of her two sons Jarrod and Nick, daughter Audra and step-son Heath. Jarrod, a prominent lawyer, handles all of the families legal issues and manages his two law offices in Stockton and San Francisco. Nick, a strong built rancher, physically manages the family's holdings. Nick is aggressive, out-spoken and at times hot-headed. Victoria's youngest child is her beautiful daughter Audra. Audra is protected by all of the family members. Audra is very sensitive, caring, loves horses, and is a very talented rider. Heath, Victoria's step-son, helps Nick manage the family's possessions. Heath tends to be quiet, reserve and sincere but stands up for what he believes in and wears the Barkley name proudly. There was a fourth young son, Eugene, in the first season but he is gone without explanation after that. The Barkley family members bond together like glue when troubles arise such as land disputes, squatters, bank robbers, horse thieves, kidnapping, injuries and illness. They share strong family values, joy, laughter, heartache and pain as they deal with life's problems.moreless
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    Marcus Welby, M.D.

    Marcus Welby, M.D.

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    ABC (ended 1976)
    These are the cases of Marcus Welby and Steven Kiley, a Santa Monica Family Doctor and his young partner. At a time when doctors still made house calls, Marcus Welby, M.D. was both entertaining and informative. Welby is able to address many of the health issues of the era while also helping to educate the viewing public at the same time. It was the highest-rated show in prime time for the 1970-1971 season.moreless
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    Combat!

    Combat!

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    ABC (ended 1967)
    This WWII show centered on the lives of the men from King Company. For 5 1/2 years the men of King Co. faced the enemy starting with the landing on Omaha Beach-D Day June 6, 1944. You see how they evolved from a squad of men to a family.moreless
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    The Untouchables

    The Untouchables

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    ABC (ended 1963)
    The Untouchables is a classic crime drama series about an elite group of government law enforcement officers headed by the incorruptible Eliot Ness and their battles against organized crime and gang lords such as Al Capone, Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti, Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik, Joe "The Teacher" Kulak and others.
    The series, based on the auto-biography of the real Ness, ran from 1959 to 1963 on ABC and sparked great controversy in its day both for its violent content and its portrayal of Italian-Americans.moreless
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    The Outer Limits - Original

    The Outer Limits - Original

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    ABC (ended 1965)
    "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits."moreless
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    It Takes a Thief

    It Takes a Thief

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    ABC (ended 1970)
    Alexander Mundy was a cat burglar and professional thief who had style, class and talent. He made only one mistake -- getting caught. While serving a sentence in San Jobel Prison, he was contacted by representatives of the US Government spy agency, SIA. They offered to get him out if he would put his talents to work stealing for the government. Accepting the offer, he worked closely with an SIA department head, Noah Bain, who was his boss, aide, associate, friend and watchdog. During the second season he was now a free agent and his new SIA contact was Wallie Powers. Alexander's dad Alister became a semi-regular who was also a retired thief, from whom he had learned all his skills, and who occasionally teamed with his son on special jobs.
    First air date: January 9, 1968 Last air date: March 23, 1970 Original air time: Tuesday 8:30:00 pm (Eastern)moreless
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    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

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    ABC (ended 1968)
    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was the brainchild of Writer/Producer/Director Irwin Allen... the "Master of Disaster." It ran on ABC from September 14, 1964 to September 15, 1968 for 110 episodes (32 in black and white [1964-65] and 78 in color [1965-68]), and was for its four years of some of the best and most exciting science fiction on TV at the time. While the series became rather fanciful as it wore on, it remained an entertaining, action-filled adventure. Based on the 1961 20th Century-Fox movie of the same name, co-written, produced and directed by Allen and starring Walter Pidgeon and Joan Fontaine.Broadcast History (Eastern):September 1964-September 1965, ABC Monday 7:30-8:30 September 1965-September 1968, ABC Sunday 7:30-8:30moreless
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    Land of the Giants

    Land of the Giants

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    ABC (ended 1970)
    This two-season series details the adventures of the three crew and four passengers of the sub-orbital spacecraft Spindrift. They are drawn through a space warp that crashes them onto a planet where everything is 12 times normal size. The castaways struggle to repair their damaged craft and somehow get back to Earth while being hunted by the totalitarian government that rule the planet. Despite the inherent scientific impossibilities (something 12 times as large would weigh 144 times as much, making it impossible for the "giants" to move), Land of the Giants, the last of Irwin Allen's four 60's s.f. programs, was highly-budgeted (about $250,000 an episode: a record for the time), features some decent characterization, and is another of the 60's shows to feature a competent African-American in a leading role.moreless
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    The F.B.I.

    The F.B.I.

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    ABC (ended 1974)
    The F.B.I. was Quinn Martin Productions's longest running series. It was unique as its stories were loosely supervised by at the time, current FBI director J. Edgar Hoover himself who watched over the presentation of proper bureau procedure.

    After each week's episode, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. would step from behind the part of Inspector Erskine and directly address the audience, asking for help to catch real criminals that were on the run.

    The show was sponsored by the Ford company which provided numerous vintage cars for chasing, crashing, and, occasionally, simple transportation.

    After the Watergate scandal, the public's perception of the American government and its institutions was tarnished and changed forever. In 1974, The F.B.I. was cancelled after 9 years and 240 episodes.moreless
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    One Step Beyond

    One Step Beyond

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    ABC (ended 1961)
    Outside the known is irreality, and one step beyond that is Surrealism. John Newland introduces reported cases of supernatural phenomena, whose poetry is revealed in magnificent and almost brutally compressed dramatizations. One Step Beyond was mainly filmed at M-G-M Studios, Hollywood, and partly at M-G-M British Studios, Borehamwood, Herts. It premiered nine months before The Twilight Zone, and was also known as Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond. All episodes are directed by Newland himself, a dab hand whose trademark is subtle, balletic camera work. This series fed the nation's growing interest in paranormal suspense in a different way. Rather than creating fictional stories with supernatural twists and turns, this program sought out 'real' stories of the supernatural, including ghosts, disappearances, monsters, etc., and re-creating them for each episode. No solutions to these mysteries were ever found, and viewers could only scratch their heads and wonder, "what if it's real?"moreless
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    The Mod Squad

    The Mod Squad

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    ABC (ended 1973)
    The Mod Squad involved three hipper-than-hip undercover cops with a touch of menace and plenty of attitude. Younger looking than they were, these three police officers were able to earn the confidence of the bad guys, infiltrate their domain, and then bust their backsides while still looking good. Miami Vice was still a decade away. The Mod Squad paved the way for hip and happening PO-lice on TV!moreless
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    Peyton Place

    Peyton Place

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    ABC (ended 1969)
    Peyton Place was America's first truly successful primetime serial. The series was the brainchild of veteran producer Paul Monash. Impressed with the success of Britain's monster hit Coronation Street, Monash wanted to import that UK series; however, ABC executives felt that US audiences would not cotton to the thick British accents and kitchen-sink drama. Monash countered with a slightly revamped version of Peyton Place, which had been a wildly popular novel by Grace Metalious and subsequent Hollywood film starring Lana Turner and Diane Varsi. While the book and series centered on the pious, hypocritical behavior of New England residents, the TV series eschewed most of that lasciviousness and told the story of life in a small New England village. In many ways, the TV program resembled a dramatic version of The Andy Griffith Show, featuring a recurring cast of warm, sympathetic characters who lived, loved, and died in a quaint town. Like the former series, Peyton Place was remarkably well-written and superbly acted by a cast of veteran actors and talented newcomers, several of whom were rewarded with Emmy nominations for their work. By far, the most popular performers were Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, and Barbara Parkins playing, respectively, confused young adults Allison MacKenzie, Rodney Harrington, and Betty Anderson. Before the program went on the air, Monash consulted with veteran soap producer Irna Phillips who had created and wrote top-rated daytime serials As the World Turns and Guiding Light. Phillips made several crucial decisions that ensured a long, healthy run for Peyton Place. First, she switched core character Michael Rossi's profession from high school principal to town doctor. This gave him a logical reason to participate actively in the lives of all Peyton Place residents, not just the school-age teens. Secondly, Phillips wisely dropped the novel and film's incest story involving Selena Cross. While this plot played well in the film and book, it was highly inappropriate for an evening network drama. After two years, Mia Farrow decided to exit the story to seek fame in films and concentrate on her highly publicized marriage to Old Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra. At that point, Barbara Parkins' Betty, who originally had been slated to die after the first twelve episodes, became the central character in Peyton Place intrigue. Subsequent ingenues like Leigh Taylor-Young and Joyce Jillson were brought in to help replace Allison's innocence, but none of these characters ever truly captured the imagination of PP's audience. Finally, in 1968, Dorothy Malone and Tim O'Connor were given their walking papers as Connie and Elliot Carson. That fall, Leslie Harrington and Martin Peyton were also disposed of. In its final season, Peyton Place attempted to recapture Nielsen popularity by restoring its original formula. Barbara Rush and Elizabeth "Tippy" Walker were brought in as the Mackenziesque mother/daughter duo Marsha and Carolyn Russell. Also, in a nod to the "relevance" campaign of the late 60's, the soap added an African-American neurosurgeon and his confused son to the cast, but these changes were unable to stop the slide in ratings. By the winter of 1969, Peyton Place ceased its two-episode telecasts, airing just once once a week. With abysmal ratings, the series quietly left the air in June 1969, leaving all loose plot threads untied. Although the series enjoyed only a modest five-year run, it proved that primetime soaps could be enormously successful, and it paved the way for similar hits such as Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Knot's Landing, and Melrose Place. Peyton Place also set records. At 514 episodes, it ranks number two in the production of more episodes than any other dramatic series in primetime history, second only to Gunsmoke which accumulated over 600 episodes. Additionally, every single episode of Peyton Place was an original telecast, giving it the most consecutive, original episodes of any television program in US primetime history. NBC launched a daytime soap opera entitled Return to Peyton Place in 1972. Although several actors from the original primetime show appeared, the soap failed to satisfy viewers who hoped the daytime version would conclude the previously dangling storylines. In fact, the character of Allison Mackenzie was heavily featured on the daytime soap (played by Kathy Glass and later Pamela Susan Shoop) even though she had mysteriously vanished on the primetime series. In 1977, NBC aired a reunion TV-movie entitled Murder in Peyton Place. A few former characters appeared, played by the original actors. Then in 1985, with nighttime soaps suddenly in vogue, NBC produced Peyton Place: The Next Generation, another attempt at reviving the infamous serial. Unfortunately, both TV movies were for the most part unfaithful to the parent program's narrative and didn't perform well enough in the ratings to launch a new weekly series. Peyton Place Broadcast History: September 1964 - June 1965 Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-10:00 pm (Eastern Time) June-October 1965 Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 9:30-10:00pm (ET) November 1965-August 1966 Monday/Tuesday/Friday 9:30-10:00pm (ET) September 1966-January 1967 Monday/Wednesday 9:30-10:00pm (ET) January-August 1967 Monday/Tuesday 9:30-10:00pm (ET) September 1967-September 1968 Monday/Thursday 9:30-10:00pm (ET) September 1968-January 1969 Monday 9:30-10:00pm (ET) Wednesday 8:30-9:00pm (ET) January-June 1969 Monday 9:00-9:30pm (ET) Nielsen Ratings Top 25: #9 Thursday episode 1964-65 #20 Tuesday episode 1964-65moreless
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    The Asphalt Jungle

    The Asphalt Jungle

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    ABC (ended 1961)
    One of the numerous Untouchables clones which popped up after the success of that show. The storyline of The Asphalt Jungle concerned Deputy Police Commissioner Matthew Gower who was one of the specialists fighting organized crime in a big city. He set up a special squad of select men headed by Gus Honochek and Danny Keller to infiltrate these organizations. Jack Warden starred as Gower with Arch Johnson and William Smith in support as Honochek and Keller respectively. One memorable aspect of this police series was the background music, composed by the great jazz musician Duke Ellington.moreless
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    Cheyenne

    Cheyenne

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    ABC (ended 1963)
    Cheyenne Bodie was a big man, a former army scout who went west after the American Civil War and drifted from job to job, here a cowboy, there a lawman, and always a larger-than-life hero.moreless
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    Lawman (1958)

    Lawman (1958)

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    ABC (ended 1962)
    Dan Troop is the new marshall in Laramie, Wyoming. He quickly hires Johnny McKay as his deputy, and together they work to clean up the town. Each week, the two lawmen are engaged in helping the citizens solve problems, fight injustice, and keep peace. Dan is tall, taciturn, and has the highest moral standards. Johnny tries hard to live up to Dan's example. After the first year, Lily Merrill opens the Bird Cage Saloon, and soon the three lonely people form a bond, much as a family, looking out for one another's interests. This western was a highly professional show in the midst of a time when formula westerns were the norm. It ran four years before it was cancelled.moreless
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    The Felony Squad

    The Felony Squad

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    ABC (ended 1969)
    Felony Squad was filmed in Los Angeles and dealt with two detectives, the older hardened pro and the young up and coming rookie. Their commanding officer Captain Nye sent Det. Sgts. Stone and Briggs out on the streets to solve crime.moreless
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