Filmmakers understood the power of sex long before TV did—or at least, they actually made effective use of it much more quickly. The early days of the television medium were largely about all-ages programming. Families might have any number of children, but no obvious way in which they had come into being, given the chaste pecks exchanged between parents and the double beds in mom and dad’s bedroom. (Lucy Ricardo’s pregnancy was a topic of much discussion among executives—wouldn’t a pregnancy imply sex had happened? Perish the thought.)
By the 1960s, and certainly the 1970s, the production code had broken down enough that movies, though they’d gotten quite good at implying sexuality, no longer had to be nearly as coy about it. Television soon began following suit, if slowly, and with more subtlety.
As in real life, it’s entirely possible to be excessively horny without ever actually getting down to business; sexual tension builds just as well—or even more effectively—without exposed boobs and butts. We didn’t need to see Gomez and Morticia getting busy to know that their coffin was getting a workout every night. Modern TV is far more explicit about sexuality, but sexual tension (which is to say, unbridled horniness) is something else entirely. And these are 25 of the horniest TV shows ever made.