When television was first invented, there was no such thing as a rerun. Heck, it wasn’t even possible to rerun something at first. TV shows weren’t recorded, merely broadcast live to whoever was watching. For years, technology was so primitive that the only way TV shows could be preserved was through the use of a “kinescope,” which is a very fancy term for pointing a film camera at TV monitor and filming what plays on it.
Videotape arrived by the end of the 1950s, and soon TV creators had to consider the long game as well as their immediate audience. Today, we live in a world where most of the vast history of American television exists right at our fingertips — for better and for worse.
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Modern audiences still watch and love some of the classic shows of yesteryear; series like I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, Gilligan’s Island, Cheers, The Golden Girls, Happy Days, and the original Star Trek all maintain devoted fanbases, and many continue to play well in syndication. Some TV shows are timeless that way.
And some are not. Shows like the ones on the list below, which were notable (or even hugely popular) in the past, but which look very different to modern sensibilities. A few are still on the air, but would almost certainly face a very different reception if they tried to launch in the 2020s. In a couple cases, it’s kind of shocking they were ever allowed on the air in the first place.
Here are some classic and vintage TV shows that could never get made today…
Famous TV Shows That Couldn’t Get Made Today
These well-known TV shows and franchises would have a lot of trouble getting on the air today.
80s Movies That Could Never Be Made Today