Top 10 Classic TV Shows about Fathers

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Father’s Day will be here soon. Many great classic TV shows have featured fathers. Here are 10 of my favorites.

10. Rifleman

1958-1963

This fun half hour western centers on widower, Lucas, who has a reputation with a rifle. Luke and his son, Mark, are trying to build a new life on their ranch.

Starring: Chuck Conners, Johnny Crawford, Paul Fix

9. Seventh Heaven

1996-2007

A minister and his wife raise seven children while trying to keep their sense of humor.

Starring: Stephen Collins, Catherine Hicks, Barry Watson, David Gallagher, Jessica Biel, Beverley Mitchell, Mackenzie Rosman, Nikolas Brino, Lorenzo Brino

8. Courtship of Eddie’s Father

1969-1972

This is a remake of a tear-jerker movie with Glenn Ford. Eddie works hard to try to find a wife for his widowed father.

Starring: Bill Bixby, Brandon Cruz

7. Home Improvement

1991-1999

Even though I’m not big on bungling fathers, this is one of the funniest shows I’ve ever watched.

Starring: Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman, Zachery Ty Bryan, Richard Karn, Jonathan Taylor Thomas

6. Bonanza

1959-1973

In one of the best westerns ever made, Ben and his three sons build a ranch in the Old West.

Starring: Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts

5. Family Affair

1966-1971

This is a tear-jerker that is rarely even seen on reruns. A teenager, and a twin boy and girl lose their mother and father. In their grief, they are separated and passed from relative to relative until they are all dropped off at Uncle Bill’s New York high rise condominium. Bill is a playboy and a bachelor with a butler and a string of girlfriends, but these orphans touch his heart and change his life.

Starring: Brian Keith, Sebastian Cabot, Kathy Garver, Johnny Whittaker, Anissa Jones

4. Andy Griffith Show

1960-1968

This show is about a community more than a family, but the relationship between widower Andy and son Opie is an important dynamic to it.

Starring: Andy Griffith, Ronnie Howard, Don Knotts

3. The Bill Cosby Show

1984-1992

I love how this show made us all relate and laugh at ourselves. I don’t approve of Bill Cosby’s actions, but I don’t approve of most TV actors and their lifestyles. That being said, a list like this wouldn’t be complete without this show.

Starring: Bill Cosby, Fred Pinkard, Joyce Buifant, Lee Weaver, Olga James, Sid McCoy

2. My Three Sons

1960-1972

This is a show about a widowed father raising his three sons. It’s funny, heartwarming, and will sometimes bring a tear to your eyes. I especially like the later episodes with Willian Demarest, Barry Livingstone, and Tina Cole.

Starring: Fred MacMurray, William Demarest, Don Grady, Stanley Livingston, Barry Livingston, Tim Considine, William Frawley, Meredith MacRae, Tina Cole, Beverly Garland, Dawn Lyn, Ronne Troup, Daniel, Joseph, and Michael Todd

1. Leave It to Beaver

This show is my all time favorite when it comes to shows about fathers. On the surface, it looks like a typical 1950s family show, but it has so many nuances like the fact that Ward sometimes struggles to be a good father, and June doesn’t always agree with Ward about raising children.

1957-1963

Starring: Barbara Billingsley, Hugh Beaumont, Tony Dow, Jerry Mathers

So do you have a favorite TV show featuring fathers?

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