LB’s NOTE: Herbie is back at TVWriter™ to discuss a subject very dear to his heart – his 10 best TV series. I may not agree with all your choices, old friend, but I salute your bravery in this article. I mean, you don’t see me writing a post like this, do you?
An Objective List In Alphabetical Order
by Herbie J Pilato
Due to opinion, taste, age, and mindset, it’s pretty much impossible to come up with the ideal mainstream list of what may be considered the best of anything, much less an optimum lineup of favorite television shows. But here’s my personal take on the Top Ten TV series from the primetime schedules of all time, most of which hail from (although not limited to) the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, including dramas, comedies, and sci-fi/fantasy — presented in alphabetical order.
“Bewitched” (ABC, 1964–1972)
The scripts were superior, particularly the first two black and white seasons. The themes were ahead of its time (prejudice, strong work ethic, true love). And Elizabeth Montgomery made you like and believe in witches because she was so likable and believable in the role of twitch-witch Samantha Stephens. Into this magic mix, Dick York and Dick Sargent’s double-take on Sam’s mortal husband Darrin remains historic, as does a host of supporting, recurring and special guest stars including Agnes Moorehead’s fiercely appealing performance as Endora, Samantha’s mystical mom, and David White’s no-holds-barred interpretation of Larry Tate, Darrin’s self-absorbed ad-man boss.
“The Bionic Woman” (ABC/NBC, 1976–1978)
Lee Majors thinks The Six Million Dollar Man, a.k.a. Steve Austin, needs to have a girlfriend. ABC hires Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers, The Five Million Dollar Woman (because her parts are cheaper). The character is originally killed off in a two-part episode of Six, and the viewers are outraged. Amidst tense negotiations by Wagner’s ace manager (Ron Samuels, who also manages (and is married to) ABC’s other super female Lynda Wonder Woman Carter), The Bionic Woman returns for a second two-part episode of Six, and then ultimately her own weekly series….
Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato is the host of the TV talk show THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, now streaming on Amazon Prime and the author of several pop-culture/media tie-in books. He has been part of TVWriter™ for over 20 years and is Contributing Editor Emeritus. Learn more about Herbie J HERE