50 TV Shows Every Kid Should See at Least Once

Guess which media type kids and teens love most. Social media? Nope. Video games? Nope. It's TV. That's right, kids still love good old-fashioned television. But finding good shows can be challenging. So why not share some of your old faves? If you think back over the past, oh, 50 years or so, you're bound to come up with shows that affected you in some way. Maybe it was the amiable leadership of Captain Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation or a groundbreaking cartoon like The Simpsons. Watching older shows gives your kids a new sense of pacing -- and perspective. Below are 50 shows that shouldn't be missed -- though you'll want to choose the right time to introduce them. Hopefully this list will help you and your kids bond while you enjoy and discuss.

Browse 50 TV Shows Every Kid Should See at Least Once

The Muppet Show TV Poster Image
Classic Muppet series mixes stars and kid-friendly content.
Network: Syndicated
(2008)
(1976)
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The Andy Griffith Show TV Poster Image
Cheery classic has positive, kid-friendly lessons.
Network: TV Land
(2005)
(1960)
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I Love Lucy TV Poster Image
Classic clowning from comic genius; for all ages.
Network: Syndicated, TV Land
(2005)
(1951)
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Pee-wee's Playhouse TV Poster Image
Brilliant, double-edged silliness has broad appeal.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2006)
(1986)
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Bill Nye the Science Guy TV Poster Image
Fantastically fun classic is perfect formula for learning.
Network: PBS Kids
(2015)
(1998)
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Looney Tunes TV Poster Image
Classic 'toons are violent but still wildly entertaining.
Network: Boomerang
(2015)
(1930)
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Little House on the Prairie TV Poster Image
Classic pioneer drama is one for the books.
Network: Hallmark Channel, Syndicated
(2005)
(1974)
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The Legend of Korra TV Poster Image
Strong heroine, positive messages make great fantasy series.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2012)
(2012)
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Star Trek: The Next Generation TV Poster Image
Still going boldly, updated series is fun for all.
Network: Syndicated
(2006)
(1987)
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Star Trek: The Original Series TV Poster Image
A cultural icon that's lived long and prospered.
Network: G4, Syndicated, TV Land
(2005)
(1966)
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MythBusters TV Poster Image
Witty team puts urban legends to the scientific test.
Network: Discovery Channel
(2005)
(2003)
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Adventure Time TV Poster Image
Original, if nonsensical, hilarity; expect minor weapons.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2010)
(2010)
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Doctor Who TV Poster Image
Long-running British sci-fi series still thrills fans.
Network: BBC America, Syfy
(2006)
(1963)
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NOVA TV Poster Image
Stellar science series expands curious minds.
Network: PBS
(2005)
(1974)
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The Twilight Zone TV Poster Image
Classic morality tales still make you think.
Network: Syfy, Syndicated
(2005)
(1959)
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The Facts of Life TV Poster Image
Wholesome '80s coming-of-age sitcom tackles serious issues.
Network: NBC
(2006)
(1979)
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Family Ties TV Poster Image
Classic 1980s sitcom's messages still ring true today.
Network: Syndicated, Discovery Family Channel
(2007)
(1982)
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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air TV Poster Image
Good-natured sitcom that the family can enjoy together.
Network: Nickelodeon, Syndicated, TeenNick
(2005)
(1990)
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Quantum Leap TV Poster Image
Classic sci-fi series hops and skips through time.
Network: Syfy
(2005)
(1989)
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The Simpsons TV Poster Image
Clever, fast-paced cartoon with edgy humor.
Network: Fox
(2004)
(1989)
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The Wonder Years TV Poster Image
Nostalgic coming-of-age sitcom still charms.
Network: Syndicated, Discovery Family Channel
(2006)
(1988)
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV Poster Image
Cult vampire series has witty bite and strong role model.
Network: FX
(2005)
(1997)
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M*A*S*H TV Poster Image
Stellar war dramedy classic mixes humor, pathos.
Network: Hallmark Channel, Syndicated
(2005)
(1972)
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Modern Family TV Poster Image
Brilliant, poignant comedy series has mature content.
Network: ABC
(2009)
(2009)
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Portlandia TV Poster Image
Quirky comedy about hipsters is mild but meant for adults.
Network: IFC
(2011)
(2011)
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Ugly Betty TV Poster Image
Underdog heroine is a model of charm and appeal.
Network: ABC, Syndicated
(2006)
(2006)
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The X-Files TV Poster Image
Brilliant sci-fi drama for brave teens and up.
Network: Syfy, TNT
(2005)
(1993)
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Community TV Poster Image
College comedy's wit trumps some stereotyping.
Network: NBC
(2009)
(2009)
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Degrassi TV Poster Image
Superb, socially conscious drama deals with tough issues.
Network: TeenNick
(2005)
(2001)
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Freaks and Geeks TV Poster Image
Stellar teen dramedy explores angst, experimentation.
Network: Syndicated
(2011)
(1999)
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Friday Night Lights TV Poster Image
Poignant football drama scores; OK for teens.
Network: Freeform, NBC
(2006)
(2006)
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Friends TV Poster Image
Hilarious sitcom for adults and older teens.
Network: NBC, Syndicated
(2003)
(1994)
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Gilmore Girls TV Poster Image
Fun coming-of-age drama that's great for teens.
Network: Freeform, CW
(2005)
(2000)
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Lost TV Poster Image
Excellent, sometimes scary drama for fearless families.
Network: ABC
(2005)
(2004)
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Monty Python's Flying Circus TV Poster Image
Madcap, classic sketch comedy with adult themes.
Network: PBS
(2005)
(1969)
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My So-Called Life TV Poster Image
Mature teen angst at its best.
Network: TeenNick
(2005)
(1994)
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 TV Poster Image
Silly/smart bad-movie commentary is a teen geek's delight.
Network: Comedy Central
(2012)
(1988)
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The Office TV Poster Image
Workplace spoof is hilarious but filled with mature humor.
Network: NBC, Syndicated
(2006)
(2005)
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Parks and Recreation TV Poster Image
Local government spoof for mature viewers is goofy at heart.
Network: NBC
(2009)
(2009)
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Saturday Night Live TV Poster Image
Legendary late-night show funny for teens and up.
Network: NBC
(2005)
(1975)
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Seinfeld TV Poster Image
Yadda, yadda, yadda -- a classic for teens and up.
Network: NBC, Syndicated
(2005)
(1989)
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Twin Peaks TV Poster Image
Surreal cult hit might be too disturbing for teens.
Network: ABC
(2010)
(1990)
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30 Rock TV Poster Image
SNL alums craft clever media satire.
Network: NBC
(2006)
(2006)
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Arrested Development TV Poster Image
Brilliant, innovative comedy for mature viewers.
Network: Fox, Netflix, Syndicated
(2005)
(2003)
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Battlestar Galactica TV Poster Image
Exciting space drama has complex adult themes.
Network: Syfy
(2005)
(2004)
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Key & Peele TV Poster Image
Witty sketch comedy series takes on race, stereotypes.
Network: Comedy Central
(2012)
(2012)
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Veronica Mars TV Poster Image
Strong female teen private eye digs into serious topics.
Network: CW
(2006)
(2004)
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The West Wing TV Poster Image
Intelligent political drama for mature viewers.
Network: NBC
(2005)
(1999)
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Chappelle's Show TV Poster Image
Edgy, brilliant comedy that's best for adults.
Network: Comedy Central
(2006)
(2003)
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Supernatural TV Poster Image
Terrifying guilty pleasure is iffy for sensitive teens.
Network: CW, TNT
(2005)
(2005)
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