Research shows that older people tend to not only be underrepresented on television (TV), but also to be represented within a number of fixed types. These correspond to cultural myths about ageing, which emphasise vulnerability and decline but also increasingly stress the individual’s responsibility for successful ageing. This paper analyses the representation of older people on Flemish public TV, using qualitative content analysis to identify patterns of representation in a sample of 44 programmes broadcast in 2019 and 2020, including the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. To complement our own analysis, we also interviewed eight experts on ageing. Our research shows that representations of older people on Flemish public TV tend to gravitate towards two types related to different age groups: vulnerable and passive old-old people (over 80 years old), particularly those in nursing homes who feature prominently in reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic; and dynamic and active young-old people (65–80 years old), connected to the ideals of successful ageing. The two predominant types correspond to cultural myths about ageing and are also connected to recurrent themes: sexual intimacy, loneliness and death. Our research highlights the need for a more diverse representation, reflecting the variety of individual life conditions and the functional age of older people.