Following our recent UK list of classic TV on Amazon Prime Video, We have scoured the US library to unearth some American television from yesteryear. Considering the amount of quality material available on the platform, this list is not in any order of preference.
5) Perry Mason
The first in our list is a classic American legal drama, and was Hollywood’s first weekly one-hour series filmed for television
Starring Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale and William Hopper, Perry Mason originally aired on CBS from 1957-’66. It follows criminal defence lawyer Mason (Burr) as he investigates and fights injustice.
Distributed by CBS, five seasons of the show are available to stream. It is unclear whether the rest will find their way to the platform in the future.,
4) The Andy Griffith Show
The second in our list, is an iconic American sitcom from the 1960s.
The Andy Griffith Show, starring Andy Griffith, Ron Howard and Don Knotts, started on CBS in 1960; running for 249 episodes. It followed the life of Maybury sheriff Andy Taylor (Griffith), and the surrounding community.
Distributed by CBS, all eight seasons are available to stream.
3) Green Acres
Our third selection began life as a radio show in the 1950s, before being conceived as a sister show to ‘Petticoat Junction’.
Starring Eva Gabor and Eddie Albert, this sitcom followed the life of a married couple who move to the country to run a farm. It originally aired on CBS, running for 170 episodes from 1965-1971.
Distributed by MGM, all six seasons are available to stream.
2) The Dick Van Dyke Show
The fourth show in our list is a classic sitcom from the 1960s, featuring an amazing all-star cast.
Created by Carl Reiner, it starred Dick Van Dyke as TV writer Rob Petrie; focusing primarily on his work and home life. The cast also featured the talents of Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, and Larry Mathews. Broadcast on CBS over five seasons, it would run for 158 episodes from 1961-1966.
All five seasons, produced in black and white, are available to stream.
1) What’s My Line
The fifth choice is the American version of a timeless game show. Created in 1950 by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, What’s My Line has the accolade of being the longest-running US primetime network television game show. Hosted by well-known news anchor – usually referred to as “moderator” – John Charles Daly, the show’s initial run continued until 1967, with a revival hosted first by Wally Bruner and then Larry Blyden.
The game consisted of a panel of four celebrities, for many years comprised of Dorothy Kilgallen, Arlene Francis and Bennet Cerf with the “guest” chair occupied by various semi-regulars and one-off appearances. The panel would have to guess the occupation of each contestant by asking questions with a possible “yes” or “no” answer. Each time they got a “no”, Daly would flip over a card. If all 10 cards were flipped without the panel guessing, the contestant would win the prize money. In the Mystery Guest round, the panellists would be blindfolded while trying to guess the identity of a celebrity guest.
Distributed by Buzzr, 40 episodes from 1955 are available to stream.
Can’t see your favorite here? We shall be creating more lists of classic TV contained on Amazon Prime and Netflix in the future! What would you like to see on a streaming service?