10 Best Coming Of Age TV Shows

Monday, January 31 by Lee Grayson

The ten best coming of age TV shows include series from the classic years of television to modern shows. Coming of age is a term used when kids finally get a clue about what life's all about and in many of these TV shows the audience follows the children from youngsters to adulthood. 

  1. "The Andy Griffith Show." Andy Taylor, the main character played by Andy Griffith, was an adult in this series that aired from 1960 to 1969, but his son, played by Ronny Howard grew up over the eight television seasons. Aunt Bee, played by Fances Bavier, cared for young Opie Taylor and carefully addressed his questions about life and love. When Bee couldn't handle the touchy subjects, Dad Andy stepped in to deal the tough dialogue. 
  2. "The Wonder Years." Televised from 1988 through 1993, this show created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black,  starred Fred Savage as the main character. We followed Savage's character through the trials and tribulations of young life and then into middle school with the torments of dating and romance. Teen angst at its best. 
  3. "Make Room for Daddy." Danny Thomas and Jean Hagen in the first series and Marjorie Lord in the second series starred in this best coming of age TV show. The first installment of this TV show aired from 1953 until 1956 and again in 1957 through 1964. The coming of age comedy featured child actors Rusty Williams and Angela Cartwright.
  4. "Lassie." While the title featured the family dog, this best coming of age television show also followed his first owner Jeff Miller and his second owner, young Timmy Martin. The coming of age issues and the life lessons were offered up each show by the dog. Various Lassies were seen over the run of the show, from 1954 through 1973.
  5. "That 70's Show." A recent entry on the best coming of age TV show list, "That 70's Show" ran from 1998 through 2006 and starred Mila Knuis, Danny Masterson, Debra Jo Rupp and Ashton Kutcher. Needless to say, the show coming of age topics would have made Aunt Bee, Danny Thomas, and even Lassie blush. 
  6. "Married…With Children." Hardly the show that Bee Taylor would approve, or the rearing methods, the parents on this show, played by Ed O'Neill and Katey Sagal, had their own unique view of parenting. The children, starring Christina Applegate and David Faustino, grew up in spite of the parenting. The show aired eleven seasons, from 1987 through 1997. 
  7. "The Brady Bunch." Who can deny the impact of a coming of age TV show that spawned a Broadway play? The Brady family was a blended family of actors Robert Reed and Florence Henderson and spun off singing albums and a number of books that recount the actual coming of age of the show's young cast of actors. The Bunch ruled the airwaves from 1969 through 1974. 
  8. "The Partridge Family." Another singing family in this best coming of age TV show, the Partridge clan had two actors with real singing credentials on the resume. David Cassidy and Shirley Jackson could really belt a tune. The music and traveling on the road troubles of the large family were the fodder of this classic TV show that aired from 1970 to 1974. 
  9. "Little House on the Prairie." This best coming of age TV show went through many changes from 1974 through 1983. Although Michael Landon was the star, the show followed the lives of his daughters played by Melissa Gilbert, Lindsay Greenbush and Melissa Sue Anderson.
  10. "The Waltons." This pull-on-the-heartstrings TV show, followed an extended family during the Great Depression. The show, based on the book "Spencer's Mountain" ran from 1972 through 1981 and starred Richard Thomas as the oldest male child of the family. 
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