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Classic Adventure Television Hits: 6 TV Shows That Had Highest Ratings

By    |   Thursday, 07 Apr 2016 09:10 PM

Adventure series were popular on television from the beginning of the medium, taking people from their familiar surroundings to places far away.

The key to adventure stories was to bring to experiences to the mind and heart of people, to place them in new circumstances and places, and see how they would have fared.

Here are some of the most popular classic adventure TV shows of all time, judging by their ratings:

1. "The Adventures of Robin Hood"

Everyone knows this story: Robin of Loxley, aka Robin Hood, and like-minded freedom fighters in Sherwood Forest protected England from internal ruin by Prince John while King Richard was fighting in the Crusades.

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"The Adventures of Robin Hood" ranked No. 20 in the Nielsen ratings from 1955 to 1957, but after two more seasons it lost its place in the TV landscape as Westerns began to dominate the ratings, according to ClassicTVHits.com.

2. "Lassie"

At 19 seasons, "Lassie" is one of TV's longest running shows, although it took several forms, beginning as "Jeff's Collie" in 1954. Many people remember the show as "Timmy and Lassie."

This family drama featured the adventures of a young boy, Timmy Martin, and his collie, Lassie, on their rural homestead. "Lassie," which appeared on CBS, ranked in the top 30 in the Nielsen ratings in 1956 to 1960.

3. "Route 66"

CBS-TV's "Route 66" followed the adventures of two young men drifting across the country and stopping in different locations at a time when regional differences were more pronounced than they are today.

"Route 66" rated No. 30 in the Nielson ratings its first year (1966) and No. 27 its third year. It lasted four seasons.

4. "Daktari"

Another show that lasted four seasons on CBS, "Daktari" was a family adventure show that featured Americans Dr. Marsh Tracy (Marshall Thompson), and his daughter Paula (Cheryl Miller) as they ran a wildlife preserve in Africa and played with animal stars Clarence the cross-eyed lion and Judy the chimp.

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"Daktari" ranked No. 14 and No. 7 respectively in its first two seasons (1966 and 1967).

5. "Gentle Ben"

Another animal-related show on CBS was "Gentle Ben," which was a family adventure series that featured Florida game warden Tom Wedloe (Dennis Weaver) living in the Everglades with his wife, son and tame bear Ben.

"Gentle Ben" rated No. 19 in the Nielsen ratings in its first year, 1967-68, and lasted two seasons in total.

6. "Kung Fu"

The year 1972 saw the debut of "Kung Fu," an adventure drama on ABC. Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine) was a Shaolin monk in the American West after the Civil War. He sought to solve problems peacefully but used kung fu when needed.

"Kung Fu" ranked No. 28 in the Nielsen Ratings in the 1973-74 season and ran for three seasons.

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Adventure series were popular on TV from the beginning of the medium, taking people from their familiar surroundings to places far away. Here are some of the most popular classic adventure TV shows of all time, judging by their ratings.
classic, adventure, tv, ratings
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2016-10-07
Thursday, 07 Apr 2016 09:10 PM
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