8 criminally underrated shows of the 1960s

We wish Gidget would have lasted more than one season.

Image: Everett Collection

The 1960s produced a lot of classic shows we know and love, but it also produced some great ones that don't get much recognition today. Whether it was because of low ratings or expensive production, these eight series were canceled in their prime. 

While they went on to become critical darlings and cult classics, in many cases not enough episodes were produced for syndication. So even if these shows don't have the legacy of Gilligan's Island and Star Trek, they have a place in our hearts and minds.

We'll always have the memories of Gidget hitting the beach, or Tony and Doug traveling through time. Were you a fan of these shows?

1. The Time Tunnel (1966-1967)

Why it was underrated: Unlike most shows at the time, there was a new set every week. We learned a lot by watching Tony and Doug jump from historic events like the sinking of the Titanic, the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the eruption of Krakatoa. It was a history lesson disguised as a TV show, but it was so fun to watch. 

2. Gidget (1965-1966)

Why it was underrated: It was like a teen beach movie we could watch every week on TV. Sally Field was so relatable as the boy-crazy Gidget, especially when breaking the fourth wall and talking to us directly. It's like we were her friends, which is why we're still mad this show was canceled after one season. 

Image: Sony Pictures Television

3. The Flying Nun (1967-1970)

Why it was underrated: Because Sally Field is awesome at everything she does. After Gidget, the network gave her a starring role on The Flying Nun, about a nun whose small stature and massive habit allow her to take flight and solve problems. It was campy and funny, which is everything we wanted out of a sitcom in the late '60s. 

Image: Sony Pictures Television

4. The Outer Limits (1963-1965)

Why it was underrated: A science fiction show that's better than The Twilight Zone? That's what fans of The Outer Limits claim. With more focus on science fiction stories rather than fantasy, this series attracted a large audience its first season. Star Trek even borrowed a few monsters and props from the series, too.  

Image: Wikipedia

5. Honey West (1965-1966)

Why it was underrated: Honey West was one the first female private detectives on TV, which was refreshing to see in the boys club of P.I. shows. The series also serves as the inspiration of Charlie's Angles, as both shows were produced by Aaron Spelling.  

6. It's About Time (1966-1967)

Why it was underrated: It's About Time had the dubious distinction of premiering two days after the other time-traveling show on this list. But unlike The Time Tunnel, this show had a goofy vibe to it, making it seem like a prehistoric Gilligan's Island. That wasn't a bad thing!

Image: YouTube

7. Flipper (1964-1967)

Why it was underrated: It was aquatic Lassie. We fell in love with Flipper, and secretly wanted a pet dolphin of our own. This show is all the more special today because there will probably never be another one like it. And even though it was pretty big in the ratings during its run, it hasn't had the same legacy as other shows. We weep for the kids today who won't know about the intelligent Flipper.

Image: Orion Television

8. The Green Hornet (1966-1967)

Why it was underrated: Bruce Lee! The popularity of Batman prompted TV networks to come up with more superhero programming. So, in the fall of 1966 The Green Hornet premiered, albeit with a far more serious tone, foreshadowing the modern superhero show. The series was a worthy companion to its campier counterpart, and the two even had a crossover episode. Who doesn't love those?!

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