Lucy, Lassie, The Beav: What Were The Best '50s TV Shows?

Left: Tony Dow as Wally Cleaver and Jerry Mathers as Beaver Cleaver in 'Leave It to Beaver,' circa 1960. Right: James Arness and Amanda Blake in 'Gunsmoke.' Source: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images; IMDB

In the '50s, TV was breaking new ground -- the medium was young, and the shows created were setting templates that would exist for decades to follow. We were seeing the first TV sitcoms, the first dramas; we were watching storytelling evolve from radio and movies into a serial format delivered to our living rooms ever week. The creators could hardly know the permanence of their work -- shows like The Honeymooners, Ozzie And Harriet, and Leave It To Beaver would keep people laughing for years and years afterward as they were re-run in syndication. Thanks to specialty networks and streaming services, we can still watch Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and The Twilight Zone today. Here's a look back at some of the best viewing from the golden age of television.