Vintage TV shows available on Freevee live channels

In the UK, the sources for vintage television are becoming narrower and narrower. It is especially rare to get any classic American programming, apart from the episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza etc which are in the public domain.

Scrolling through the free arm of Amazon PrimeFreevee–I came across quite a nice selection of their live channels which feature some lesser-seen titles.

Freevee has a section of live channels, each of which is generally dedicated to one show played one-after-another. For example, there is a Hell’s Kitchen channel which plays the culinary challenge show non-stop all day.

Well, there are now 5 channels dedicated to shows from the 1950s to the 80s.

1. Lassie

The Lassie TV show ran for 19 seasons, with 591 episodes from 1954 to ’73. The show centred around an intelligent and loyal Collie dog named Lassie getting into scrapes and adventures. Due to the long run of the show, it went through various different eras, with two different child leads in 10 years, then moved to forest rangers as Lassie’s human companions.

2. The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger ran from 1949 to ’57 on TV, after starting and gaining popularity on radio. Clayton Moore starred as the Lone Ranger for the majority of the run. However he was replaced during 1952 and ’53 by John Hart. Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s Native American friend was played by Canadian Aboriginal actor Jay Silverheels. The show follows a Texas Ranger-turned-masked-hero, who catches baddies and ensures justice is served, along with Tonto and his famous horse Silver.

3. The Bionic Woman

The Bionic Woman ran for 3 seasons, from 1976 to ’78. In a spin off from Six Million Dollar Man, Lindsay Wagner stars as Jaime Sommers, the titular character. She tackles high risk missions assigned by the government in this exciting action series.

4. The Addams Family

The Addams Family originally aired from 1964 to ’66. There were 64 episodes over 2 seasons. The show starred Carolyn Jones, John Astin, Jackie Coogan, Ted Cassidy, Blossom Rock, Ken Weatherwax and Lisa Loring as the characters best described in the title song as “creepy” and “kooky”. It is  basically a family sitcom, based on Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons.

5. The Pink Panther

The Pink Panther is a series of animated shorts, featuring the wily Pink Panther character first seen in the 1963 comedy film of the same name. The TV series ran from 1969 to ’78. The Pink Panther featured well known voices such as Rich Little, Mel Blanc and June Foray, as well as many others.

6. The Dick Van Dyke Show

The Dick Van Dyke Show starred Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam. Van Dyke played Rob Petrie, a TV writer whom the show follows both at home and at work. The sitcom was written by Carl Reiner and ran for 5 seasons from 1961 to ’66.

This could still seem like rather slim pickings, but it’s encouraging to see vintage TV shows available for free (with ads). Especially vintage American shows being made available in the UK – this can be fairly rare.

Although it isn’t part of Freevee‘s on-demand collection, you can drop into the channels at any time and find any episode playing. Binge-watching sessions are eminently possible with these channels.

You can find all these channels inside Amazon Prime Video in the Live TV tab.

Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer is an experienced writer, broadcaster, musician and social media marketer. He enjoys Old Time Radio, vintage TV, collecting vinyl and supporting the New York Knicks.

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