Looking for some entertaining shows about the golden years? It’s surprising how rarely television showcases the lives of senior citizens, despite their growing numbers. Most TV shows tend to focus on the younger crowd, with characters in their prime stealing the limelight. However, fear not, as there are some captivating series that put senior citizens front and center, adding a dash of zest to the screen.
One show that immediately springs to mind is the ever-popular Golden Girls, featuring the beloved TV grump Sophia Petrillo. But the options don’t end there! Recent hits like Downton Abbey boast a diverse cast of seasoned individuals, while classics like Matlock kept going strong well into the actors’ golden years. So, there’s a fine selection of shows celebrating older characters that can be enjoyed by viewers of all ages.
But it’s not just about retirement villages for these senior stars. In thrilling series like Bosch and Columbo, they actually crack the case, while in shows like The Crown, Homeland, and One Day at a Time, older characters play pivotal roles in captivating ensemble casts.
If you’re keen on discovering some fantastic shows featuring the elderly, dive into this exciting list and share your love for your favorite shows starring seasoned individuals and golden-age heroes. You can also explore movies that shine a spotlight on seniors and shows that specifically revolve around retired individuals.
1. The Golden Girls
This iconic sitcom takes us on a journey with four spirited and amazing senior women who share a home in Miami. Through a killer combination of humor, heart, and sass, these ladies show us that age is truly irrelevant. They fearlessly face the trials and tribulations of life, including love, friendship, and the inevitable hurdles that come with growing older.
Premiered: September 14, 1985
Actors: Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Betty White
2. Murder, She Wrote
Get ready to put your sleuthing skills to the test with this classic whodunit! In this captivating mystery series, Angela Lansbury takes on the role of a mystery writer who becomes an amateur detective. With her razor-sharp wit and uncanny intuition, our beloved protagonist tackles perplexing cases, all while proving that age is no barrier when it comes to being sharp and clever.
Premiered: September 30, 1984
Actor: Angela Lansbury
America’s beloved silver-haired attorney is back in action, once again fighting for justice in this timeless legal drama. With his charm, wit, and relentless determination, Andy Griffith proves that wisdom and experience can lead to hard-earned victories in the courtroom.
Premiered: March 3, 1986
Actors: Andy Griffith, Julie Sommars, Linda Purl
Lieutenant Columbo, portrayed by Peter Falk, is known for his rumpled trench coat and his uncanny ability to crack murder mysteries using a combination of clever wit and disarming charm. Our unpretentious protagonist proves that a sharp mind and meticulous observation can apprehend even the most elusive wrongdoers.
Premiered: September 15, 1971
Actors: Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan
5. Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
Guess what? Seniors can totally rock a wicked sense of humor! In this awesome hidden-camera comedy show, you’ll get to meet a bunch of hilarious oldies who love pulling pranks. And guess who’s leading the pack? The one and only Betty White, a legendary prankster herself! Get ready to watch as these mischievous seniors dish out some seriously funny payback to unsuspecting victims. It’s going to be a riot!
Premiered: January 16, 2012
Actors: Richard Herd, Ted Lange
6. In the Heat of the Night
Set in the deep South, this crime drama has received critical acclaim for its portrayal of an aging police chief and a black detective working together to solve cases in the midst of racial tensions. The show’s gripping storylines and powerful performances highlight the importance of wisdom and cooperation in overcoming adversity.
Premiered: March 6, 1988
Actors: Carroll O’Connor, Howard E. Rollins, Anne-Marie Johnson
7. Grace and Frankie
In this awesome comedy, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star as two women who face a surprising twist when their husbands come out as gay and admit to having an affair. As they adapt to this new reality, these unexpected buddies discover comfort and laughter in each other, showing that it’s never too late to begin fresh.
Premiered: May 8, 2016
Actors: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen
8. Waiting for God
Retirement home life takes on a hilarious spin in this British sitcom. We meet a feisty former photojournalist and a cheerful ex-accountant, who show us the importance of asserting ourselves and embracing the unexpected twists of life.
Premiered: June 28, 1990
Actors: Graham Crowden, Stephanie Cole, Janine Duvitski
9. The Waltons
Step into the past with this cherished family drama that takes place during the Depression and WWII. Experience heartwarming tales about life, love, and the significance of staying united no matter what, all through the insightful perspective of wise grandparents.
Premiered: September 14, 1972
Actors: Jon Walmsley, Mary Beth McDonough, Eric Scott
10. Hot in Cleveland
This hilarious sitcom revolves around three fabulous ladies enjoying their golden years in Cleveland. As they make the move from LA to the Midwest, they discover a new lease on life and a refreshed sense of purpose. Through their entertaining escapades, the show emphasizes the significance of friendship and reinvention, proving that age is just a number.
Premiered: June 16, 2010
Actors: Valerie Bertinelli, Betty White, Wendie Malick
This sitcom from the late ’70s is considered groundbreaking and satirical, and it offers a hilarious and irreverent twist on the soap opera genre. The show features a quirky cast of characters, one of whom is an aging but lovable butler. As the story unfolds, laughter and hijinks follow, demonstrating that humor knows no age limits.
Premiered: September 13, 1977
Actors: Robert Mandan, Katherine Helmond, Diana Canova