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Top 100 TV Shows of All-TimeTop 100 TV Shows of All-Time


Added to the database on October 15, 1996
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Let's take a look down memory lane with a post we made back in 1996! That year, while our site was celebrating it's first anniversary, we decided to create a list of our 100 TV shows of all-time. Our criteria for our ranking was based on several factors including ratings, awards received and impact on popular culture. We still use these same factors today to determine an addition to our database. We have not made any changes to the list except for changes to a show's broadcast dates as some selections were still on the air at the time. We have plans to release another "Top 100" list later this year in celebration of our 20 year anniversary. Stay tuned!

Shows 1 - 19 | Shows 20 - 39 | Shows 40 - 59 | Shows 60 - 79 | Shows 80 - 100


I Love Lucy

CBS | 1951-61
I Love LucyEveryone throughout the world loves Lucy. Still syndicated internationally, Lucille Ball, then-husband Desi Arnaz as the Ricardos and their sidekicks William Frawley and Vivan Vance as the Mertzes, continue to live on in infamy. Ball and her cohorts set the standard for what all situation comedies to come would and should aspire to, as the landmark series chronicled the antics of the housewife, her Cuban bandleader husband and their friends, neighbors and landlords, the Mertzes. Make a reference to the grape-stomping episode, the trip to Hollywood season and many more -- and even infrequent TV viewers will know what you're talking about. The best. Period.

M*A*S*H

CBS | 1972-83
M*A*S*HThe series ran longer than the war it depicted, and it's impact on the television viewing audience may, fortunately or unfortunately, be more significant than the Korean war. The stories of the doctors, nurses, patients and administrators of the 4077th brought both comedy and pathos into the viewing audiences homes. The sitcom from Larry Gelbart broke many traditions and set many new standards. It also was one of those rare occasions when the series was better than the movie. The series effectively made cast transitions and introduced a whole new concept to the meaning of television comedy - the introduction of the (occasional) dramedy.

Star Trek

NBC | 1966-69
Star TrekThe original. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy couldn't have asked for a better seminal role to start their successful careers. The series, courtesy of the genius that was Gene Roddenberry, that started the billion-dollar franchise was clever, engaging and now, campily classic. Each adventure of the Starship Enterprise is held in fond memory of both TV fans and of course, Trekkers.

The Andy Griffith Show

CBS | 1960-68
The Andy Griffith ShowA look at life at small-town life in Mayberry, North Carolina. The local sheriff, Andy Taylor (Griffith), kept peace among the locals, while trying to raise young Opie (Ron Howard) without a mother. Among the town's many unique characters were Taylor's over-zealous deputy, Barney Fife (Don Knotts), and the almost-always happy gas station attendant Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors).

Cheers

NBC, 1983-93
CheersWhether you're a fan of the Diane Chambers or the Rebecca Howe years, "Cheers" is one of those series, as are all the top 10 shows, that can be watched repeatedly in rebroadcasts. Chronicling the lives of recovered alcoholic and ex-baseball player Sam Malone (Ted Danson) and the gang at his Cheers bar made Thursday nights on NBC what they are today.

The Dick Van Dyke Show

CBS | 1961-66
Widely considered one of television's best-written comedies, this series followed television writer Rob Petrie (Van Dyke) as he dealt with the ups and downs of a Hollywood career writing for star Alan Brady (Carl Reiner). His home life featured caring wife Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), who often kept the sometimes-neurotic Rob in check.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

CBS | 1970-77
The Mary Tyler Moore ShowA groundbreaking series in its depiction of a single woman's life, this series followed Mary Richards, a woman in her early 30s, as she tried to start a new life in Minneapolis after an unsuccessful relationship. She found a job at a local TV station, and quickly worked her way through the ranks, all the while faced with many problems faced by women of her age in real life.

Bewitched

ABC | 1964-72
The little story of a witch who decided she'd rather be an average housewife. Samantha Steven (Elizabeth Montgomery) tried her hardest to keep her powers under wraps, but frequent appearances by her mother, Endora (Agnes Moorehead) and other relatives meant she was always trying to get out of some mess. Samantha's husband, Darrin (played by Dick York, then Dick Sargent) tried to keep the witchcraft under control, but with one wiggle of her nose, Samantha invariably made those plans go awry.

The Twilight Zone

CBS | 1959-65
Led by former playwright Rod Serling, this anthology series set the stage for many imitators, but few series could deliver the quality stories found in "The Twilight Zone." Usually off-beat with ironic twists or surprise endings, this series still sets the standard within the genre. It returned in an updated version in 1985, without the leadership of Serling, who passed away in 1975.

All in the Family

CBS | 1971-83
Based on a hit Brit series, "All in the Family" introduced the first openly dysfunctional family on TV. No longer were TV families the envy of audiences. Archie and Edith Bunker (Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton) were more like the American every man than had ever been depicted on TV. Norman Lear's series was the first blue-collar (not "Roseanne," contrary to popular belief), hilariously relatable sitcom. The epitome of politically incorrect, Bunker was the outspoken, foot-in-mouth any guy whose job and neighborhood were being "taken over" by immigrants, homosexuals and, according to him, other "undesirables." Soon to be seen again on cable, it spawned the spin-offs "The Jeffersons," "Maude," "Gloria" and "Archie Bunker's Place."

The Carol Burnett Show

CBS | 1967-79
Burnett's show, which can still be seen on Nick at Nite, was a standout among the bevy of variety shows that ran during the same era. Keeping with a traditional variety show format - an intro and closing by Burnett, songs and skits, it was a perfect forum for Burnett's hilarity and genius. Characters remain memorable - enough so that one popular segment became the series "Mama's Family" - when Burnett's series finally went off the air at the tail end of the disco era.

Happy Days

ABC | 1974-84
Happy DaysA longing for the easy life of the '50s led to the success of this sitcom, which focused on Ritchie Cunningham (Ron Howard), his family, and friends, including the too-cool Fonzie (Henry Winkler). Viewers watched Ritchie go through high school, then eventually leave to college, after which the series shifted its focus to his family and Fonzie.

Mission: Impossible

CBS | 1966-73
Mission: ImpossibleThe series about a group of highly special agents had two runs (the second in the '80s), but both feature Peter Graves as Jim Phelps, who served as head of the team. Their mission? To set the stage for what would be the spy genre for years to come. This great series also spawned a Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Cruise as Jim Phelps. This summary will self-destruct in five seconds!

The Cosby Show

NBC | 1984-92
The Cosby ShowA working mother who's able to successfully run a household and be a supportive mother? Yup. Cosby, who prior to the NBCsitcom had been best known for his role in "I Spy," and for his family-flavored standup, exec produced and starred in this remarkable, funny, message-without-being-moralistic series about a working lawyer, her doctor husband and their five impressionable children.

The Simpsons

FOX | 1990-Present
The SimpsonsAnimation in primetime? If it's as well written as Matt Groening's "The Simpsons," first introduced as a series of shorts on yet another excellent FOX series, "The Tracey Ullman Show," it can work. And it has - the day-to-day trials and tribulations of the Simpson family of Springfield Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and pacifier-sucking Maggie - has entertained audiences for nearly a decade(!).

The Brady Bunch

ABC | 1969-74
Here is the story... "The Brady Bunch" will always stand as a testament to life in the late 60s, when kids were groovy and parents had afros. A family of eight, the Brady kids were always getting into some trouble, which usually led to father Mike Brady (Robert Reed) giving out some sage advice to finish an episode. The show was made into two films in the 1990s.

The Avengers

CBS | 1966-69
Slick British agents Jonathan Steed (Patrick Macnee) and Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) were an odd pair, taking on missions to stop diabolical geniuses from taking over the world. He, suave and proper. Her, sexy and playful. The show enjoyed various incarnations, and was recently made into a feature film.

ER

NBC | 1994-2010
What makes "ER," essentially a hospital drama (which has been done many times before) work? Great writing, great acting - and risks. What series can introduce a significant character by having her (a nurse, no less) attempt suicide in the series opener? "ER" did it- and did it well - as it has continued to do so.

Seinfeld

NBC,1990-98
SeinfeldJerry, George, Elaine and Kramer have not only added to the lexicon of our generation, but provided literally hours and hours of water-cooler talk. Although it was essentially about "nothing" - the daily lives and mishaps of four friends, it was absolutely unique in its execution. No other show can boast introducing phrases laden with mass meaning.

The X-Files

FOX | 1993-2002
The X-FilesSlow to start, but building to an unforeseen crescendo, "X-Files," which follows the adventures of agents Scully and Mulder - who investigate the abnormal, paranormal and the like -- is the barometer for all sci-fi series to come. Weird and creative, elegant end engaging, few series can boast such a wide variety episodic stories.

Little House on the Prairie

NBC | 1974-83
Little House On the PrarieBased on the successful book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, this series showed what life was like on the frontier in the late 1870s. Many children grew up watching Michael Landon, Karen Grassle, Melissa Sue Anderson and Melissa Gilbert deal with the joys and sorrows of life in that time of America's history.

Quantum Leap

NBC | 1989-93
With a handsome hunky star in Scott Bakula, name recognition in Dean Stockwell, this sci-fi series explored the possibility of "leaping" into different bodies - men, women, children, the leap was non-discriminatory - and affecting the lives of the person leapt into. It also spanned different historical eras. Bakula's Dr. Sam Beckett's purpose was to "rescue" the person he leapt into. He also rescued audiences accustomed to mediocre programming.

Get Smart

NBC / CBS | 1965-70
The secret-agent genre (the James Bond franchise, in particular) was spoofed in this series about a bumbling secret agent who often fought the evil forces of K.A.O.S. Maxwell Smart (Don Adams), whose nifty gadgets included a shoe phone, worked with beautiful Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon), whom he married during the 1968-69 season.

Hill Street Blues

NBC | 1981-87
One of television's most-honored dramas, this Steven Bochco show reinvented the cop show genre. With multiple storyline, a gritty, realistic setting, and interesting, deep characters played by Daniel J. Travanti, Kiel Martin, Bruce Weitz and many others, this show has earned its place as one of TV's best.

The Ed Sullivan Show

CBS | 1948-71
No variety series can or ever will compare to Sullivan's. The consummate host, Sullivan introduced the biggest stars (yes, the Beatles, yes, Elvis) to TV audiences throughout the world.

Gilligan's Island

CBS | 1964-67
The story of a group of characters stranded on a Pacific island when the boat they've chartered is sunk in a storm. The series featured their wacky misadventures as they tried to get off the island, led by the Skipper (Alan Hale Jr.) and his loyal first mate, Gilligan (Bob Denver).

Family Ties

NBC | 1982-89
Much of America could watch "Family Ties" and see a little of their life in there. You had the working parents, Steve and Elyse Keaton (Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter-Birney), who tried to understand the views of their children: Budding young Republican Alex (Michael J. Fox), unmotivated Mallory (Justine Bateman), who didn't worry about the future, and young Jennifer (Tina Yothers), who just wanted to be a kid.

Bonanza

NBC | 1959-73
One of television's longest-running shows, "Bonanza" followed the adventures of the Cartwright clan, owners of a huge ranch, The Ponderosa, in Nevada. The family patriarch was widower Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene), who tried to instill his four sons with strong values and a sense of duty. The show also starred Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts.

The Addams Family

ABC | 1964-66
They're creepy and their kooky. Mysterious and spooky. They're all together ooky. The Addams Family. To this day, audiences can still sing the theme song. The 90s brought a movie version (and still another a new telefilm) of the series based on the New Yorker cartoons of Charles Addams. Far more clever and fun than the "other" monster series, "The Munsters," "The Addams Family" ran for a too-short two years and starred John Astin, Carolyn Jones and former child-star Jackie Coogan. It later spawned two successful big screen films.

The Flinstones

ABC | 1960-66
This series was a parody of modern suburban life (at the time) using a prehistoric setting. Led by the sometimes-stubborn Fred, the family had all the conveniences of a modern home, from a car to a vacuum cleaner. One of television's most famous cartoons, and one which has been revived in different forms several times.

The Honeymooners

CBS | 1955-56
Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) and Ed Norton (Art Carney) were the focus point (and neighbors) of this classic TV series that coined the phrase "To the moon, Alice!" It was an "every man series" about "everyday" blue-collar life that struck a chord. Despite of a run of less than a year, this much imitated and parodies series lives on in TV viewers hearts. The series was revived in 1957 and remade in 1971.

Frasier

NBC | 1993-2004
FrasierHistory may prove that this series, a spin-off of "Cheers," that centers on the lives of Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer), his brother Dr. Niles Crane (David Hyde-Pierce), their father Martin Crane (John Mahoney) and his health-care worker Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves), may be the finest-written sitcom ever. The series is a perfect example of sharp, smart writing (with writers who are not conventional television writers) combined with a fantastic cast. There is no other series on the air today that is as watchable.

Law & Order

NBC | 1990-2010
This series' interesting concept (introduced in the 1963 series "Arrest and Trial") has every episode start with a crime and investigation, then end with a trial and verdict. Even with a revolving cast, the show has managed to grow and prosper, culminating in an Emmy win last year as Outstanding drama. Also, it is currently television's longest-running drama.

Columbo

NBC | 1971-77
Few characters have clicked with the audience as well as Lt. Columbo (you never find out his first name). The brilliantly understated Columbo (Peter Falk), was one of the shrewdest police officers on the force, despite the appearance of his rumpled trenchcoat. Columbo (almost) always got his man. The detective lives on in occasional TV movies for ABC.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

CBS / NBC | 1955-65
An anthology series hosted by the famous film director, featuring tales of horror, terror and suspense. It returned to the airwaves briefly in 1985 on NBC.

Batman

ABC | 1966-68
BatmanA campy send-off of the famous comic-book hero Batman, starring Adam West. Best known for its cartoon bubbles proclaiming "Biff!" "Wham!" and "Pow!" during fights, the series featured an assortment of strange villains, including Burgess Meredith's Penguin and Vincent Price's Egghead. Four Hollywood blockbusters have been made from the this series.

Dallas

CBS | 1978-91
The show that truly defined the prime time soap opera. The ongoing saga of the Ewings, a rich family of oil tycoons in Texas. Led by the enigmatic J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), America followed the sordid ups and downs of the clan. The episode "Who Shot J.R.?" still ranks as one of TV's highest-rated shows.

Home Improvement

ABC | 1991-1999
The 1990s brought a blue collar sensibility to television in the form of several shows, including this Tim Allen sitcom. Allen plays Tim Taylor, the host of a cable TV show "Tool Time." A man who loves his tools, Tim is also a certified klutz, whose wacky mistakes prove much of the show's humor.

The Wonder Years

ABC | 1988-93
Fred Savage starred in this coming-of-age comedy (and sometimes drama) about growing up in the '60s. The series followed Kevin Arnold (Savage) through Jr. high and into high school, focusing on all the things that kids, and their families, went through. The catch, however, was that an adult Kevin (voiced by Daniel Stern) narrated the series, as an adult looking back at his childhood.

Northern Exposure

CBS | 1990-95
Dr. Joel Fleishman, fresh from Columbia Medical School, finds himself in the small town of Cicely, Alaska, where he has to work as town doctor for four years to pay off his medical loans. That simple concept led to one of televisions most off-beat and interesting series in recent memory. The hot and cold romance between Rob Morrow, the ever neurotic Joel, and Janine Turner's Maggie O'Connell was one of the show's major themes throughout the series' run.

Homicide: Life on the Street

NBC | 1993-1999
While "Hill Street Blues" may have defined the modern cop show, "Homicide" took it a step further. Based on the book by David Simon, the series is a dark look at the life of homicide detectives, with few punches pulled. Up until the end of the 1998 season, Andre Braugher was the show's moral center, though almost all the cast, from Kyle Secor to Clark Johnson, has been strong and intense.

Friends

NBC | 1994-2004
Already much copied, this series caught the fancy of our generation - the series follows the intertwining lives of a group of six friends, three girls and three guys. The device is simple enough - two of the girls and two of the guys live across the hall from each other - a nice conceit that brings the gang together frequently (as does their favorite haunt, Central Perk). Other shows have tried, but again, good writing and an appealing cast remain compelling to audiences.

Married... With Children

FOX | 1987-97
While shows like "The Cosby Show" showed an almost-ideal family and how it interacted, "Married . . . With Children," looked at a different type of family: A dysfunctional group which was made up the chauvinistic dad Al (Ed O'Neill), lazy Peg (Katey Segal) and their ungracious children, the horny Bud (David Faustino) and promiscuous Kelly (Christina Applegate). Though highly criticized, this comedy ran for nine seasons and was, at the end of its run, TV's longest-running comedy series.

Barney Miller

ABC | 1975-82
A usually sarcastic look on police life, and one precinct in general. Led by Capt. Barney Miller (Hal Linden), the 12th Precinct's motley crew spent their day dealing with an assortment off odd crimes and criminals.

The Fugitive

ABC | 1963-67
Richard Kimball was running - from the long-arm of the law that was mistakenly after him; after the one-arm man he knew killed his wife and towards justice. Audiences were awarded for their viewership of this excellent series with a satisfactory conclusion. Later, the series was made into a hit movie starring Harrison Ford.

Hogan's Heroes

CBS | 1965-71
It's unfashionable now - this series that poked fun at being a POW during WWII in a German camp. Still, the series can still be seen on Nick at Nite and remains popular. Broad, snide humor kept this series going - good and bad were easily defined (the bad guys had the German accents). It may seem silly now, but like "Gilligan's Island" and "Green Acres" represents a memorable time in TV history.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Syndication | 1987-94
It actually was possible to improve on the original - the next incarnation was a winning, popular series that was turned into feature films. Taking its cue -- and huge leap - from the sci-fi series and movies of its time, TNG updated the ship, the cast, the uniforms, the techie Trekker. With holographic doctors, an android who wanted to be human and inter-alien/human romance, TNG introduced deeply profound and well-thought out story lines to the franchise.

Dragnet

NBC | 1952-59 | 1967-70
Jack Webb was the consummate policeman: "My name's Friday. I'm a cop." and "Just the facts, ma'am." While our generation is more inclined to recall Dan Akyrod's rendering in the late 80s version of the series, classic TV fans cannot forget Webb or his series' impact. Although the series began as a radio show in 1948, it's probably best remembered for Webb's Friday's pairing with Officer Bill Gannon, played by a pre-"M*A*S*H" Harry Morgan, who didn't join the series until 1967 - after it had a seven-year hiatus.

The Bob Newhart Show

CBS | 1972-78
Low-key comedian Newhart starred as Chicago psychologist Bob Hartley, who, with his wife, Emily (Suzanne Pleshette), dealt with an odd assortment of characters both at work and at home.

I Dream of Jeannie

NBC | 1965-70
Before he made a splash in "Dallas," Larry Hagman was known as the lucky(?) owner of a special genie in a bottle -- Jeannie, played by Barbara Eden. Jeannie had many special powers and found it easy to get her master (and future husband) in all sorts of jams.

The Beverly Hillbillies

CBS | 1962-71
When a backwoods family strikes oil, they soon find themselves among the millionaires in Beverly Hills, Calif. However, you can take the Clampetts out of the Ozarks, but you can't take the Ozarks out of them. Their hillbilly ways led to many misadventures in their new home town. Like many of these popular series, this was also remade into a film in the 1990s.

The Golden Girls

NBC | 1985-92
A comedic look at the lives of four mature women living in Miami. Dorothy (Bea Arthur) was the outspoken divorcee, who was also a substitute teacher. Her mother, Sophia (Estelle Getty) was a feisty senior citizen who always was getting into some trouble. Rounding out the group was Betty White's soft-spoken Rose and Rue McClanahan's lusty Southern Belle Blanche Devereaux.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

NBC | 1964-68
Widely seen as America's answer to James Bond, Robert Vaughn's Napoleon Solo teamed with David McCallum's Illya Kuryakin to fight an international crime syndicate with their wits and good looks. The show started out on a serious note, but soon turned camp.

Laverne & Shirley

ABC | 1976-83
Laveren &ShirleyThis successful spin-off of "Happy Days" featured the misadventures, romantic and otherwise, of Laverne De Fazio (Penny Marshall) and Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams), who lived together and worked together at the local brewery. This show has earned its way into the Top 100 by having well developed characters and a fabulous theme song! That song earned its way into the top 25 in 1976.

Twin Peaks

ABC | 1992-93
This off-beat drama was a new type of soap opera from director David Lynch, focusing on the simple, but perplexing question, "Who killed Laura Palmer?" A strange assortment of characters, including the log lady, Agent Dale Cooper and many others graced the small screen over the span of a year-and-a-half. While the show caused quite a stir upon its premiere, it quickly died down and was cancelled in 1991.

Perry Mason

CBS | 1957-66
Based on the successful novels by Erle Stanley Gardner, Raymond Burr starred as super lawyer Perry Mason, who never lost a case (except once). "Mason" had a strong run on series television, but Burr reprised the role in countless TV movies in the '80s and '90s before he passed away.

Leave it to Beaver

CBS/ ABC | 1957-63
Another beloved family comedy, which featured the wholesome Cleaver clan, headed by June and Ward (Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont). The main focus was Beaver (Jerry Mathers), whose many adventures rang true to parents across America. The show was revived in the '80s, focusing on a grown Beaver and his family.

The Monkees

NBC | 1966-68
So what if they didn't play on their own songs? This strange, wacky show about a group of four musicians is thought to be the father of the modern-day music video. Each episode has some plot, but somehow, a song was worked in and weird footage accompanied it. Campy, crazy -- this show made the Monkees an actual hit music group. And, yes, they did start playing instruments...

China Beach

ABC | 1988-91
One of television's attempts at dealing with the Vietnam war. This series focused on the nurses and workers at a hospital/USO entertainment center near a big U.S. base. The storylines were soap opera-like, focusing on several relationships between the workers at the camp, and those who passed through during the war.

Magnum P.I.

CBS | 1980-88
A slick, fun detective drama focusing on Tom Selleck's adventures as a P.I. in Hawaii. Selleck's Thomas Magnum lived in the mansion of famous writer Robin Masters (never seen) and often fought with the property's caretaker, Jonathan Higgins (John Hillerman). While the show tended to be light and fun, many episodes were serious looks at the after-effects of the Vietnam war on Magnum and his friends.

Gunsmoke

CBS | 1955-75
TV's longest-running drama focused on life in the Old West, and the life of Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness). The show changed the western as it was known, and aired for 20 years.

Charlie's Angels

ABC | 1976-81
Three sexy police-trained detectives work for an unseen boss and do battle with a new set of bad guys and gals each week. Best known for launching the career of Farrah Fawcett.

Beverly Hills 90210

FOX | 1990-2000
One of FOX's signature shows, the series showcases the glamorous life of teens in California's hippest zip code. It began with the kids in high school, though through the length of the show, they have finished both high school and college.

Fresh Prince of Bel Air

NBC | 1990-95
A kid from the streets of Philly comes to live with his relatives in swanky Bel Air, and the hilarity begins. What set this series from the hordes of other "fish out of water" shows was the immediate star power of the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith. Smith was a bonafide rap star before the series, and has turned into a genuine movie star since it ended.

Roseanne

ABC | 1988-97
An honest, yet funny, look at the life of a blue-collar family in the mid-west. Roseanne was the mother, whose sometimes acidic relationship with the rest of her family showed that raising a family isn't always easy. The show later lost some of its power, but was one of the shows that changed how television viewed the American family.

Moonlighting

ABC | 1985-89
Though Bruce Willis is the biggest star to come from this series, Cybill Shepard also starred in this romantic comedy about a model-turned detective who teamed up with a cocky partner to solve crimes.

Lost in Space

CBS | 1965-68< br>Best described as "Swiss Family Robinson" in space, this series featured a family unable to get back home and their adventures in space. The show was known for it's almost cartoon-like aliens and campy atmosphere.

N.Y.P.D. Blue

ABC | 1993-2005
This gritty cop show has managed to become one of television's highest-quality shows, featuring the dark life of a homicide detective in New York City. The show started off as a big hit behind David Caruso, and only grew with Jimmy Smits joining the cast. However, Dennis Franz's Andy Sipowicz is the real focus of the show, and his strong portrayal of the Sipowicz has led to three Emmy wins.

Miami Vice

NBC | 1984-89
This stylish drama about two homicide detectives in Miami used fashion and music to keep viewers interested and it worked. Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas attracted the MTV generation to the small screen, and the show helped shape television for years to come.

The Waltons

CBS | 1972-81
A warm family drama about life in the South during the depression. The show was loved in rural areas for its heartfelt depiction of family life in the country, though it never quite caught on in large cities.

Party of Five

FOX | 1994-2000
When their parents are killed in an accident, the five Salinger children find themselves on their own, with oldest brother Charlie (Matthew Fox legally responsible for his siblings. The family's tumultuous relationship holds through good times and bad, but the soap-opera like relationships are what keeps viewers coming back again and again.

Hawaii Five-0

CBS | 1968-80
Iron jawed Steve McGarrett and his team of state police officers fight crime in paradise. Archnemesis Wo Fat pops up occasionally to wreak havoc. Book 'em, Danno.

CHiPs

NBC | 1977-83
Highway patrolmen Ponch and John fight crime and look for love on the busy California freeways. The episode where Ponch gets a club full of hardcore punkers to sing a round of Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" is on its own worthy of the list.

St. Elsewhere

NBC | 1981-88
Long before "ER" hit the airwaves, this medical drama delved into the day to day workings of busy St. Eligius hospital. Its style, mixing whimsy, black humor and heartfelt drama, has influenced many shows in its wake.

Green Acres

CBS | 1965-71
Successful attorney Oliver Wendall Douglas moves from Manhattan to a ramshackle farm outside of Hooterville, dragging his socialite wife along with him. With the help of handyman Eb and brother and sister carpenters the Monroes, Oliver and Lisa decide to make a go of it.

Cagney & Lacey

CBS | 1981-88
Mary Beth Lacey has a husband, two sons and a house in Queens. Chris Cagney has her own apartment and a busy personal life. Together the two police detectives fight crime and chauvinism on the streets of New York. Known for its fierce loyal fans, the show was once brought back from cancellation because of overwhelming fan response.

Baywatch

NBC / Syndication | 1989-2001
Hard-hitting and grittily realistic exploration into the lives of L.A. County Lifeguards. Well, not this show. Mitch Buchanan and his team of starlets (female and male) patrol the beaches of Malibu, saving lives, fighting crime and often falling in love. The most-watched show in the world.

Soap

ABC | 1977-81
Soap opera spoof detailing the complicated personal lives of two sisters and their families. Mary Campbell is married to the local sheriff. Her sister Jessica Tate is married to a pompous, unfaithful businessman. Each couple has grown children. Everyone but Mary and the Tate's butler is nuts.

Mad About You

NBC | 1991-1999
Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt star in this look at two New York yuppies and their adventures in marriage and (eventually) parenting.

L.A. Law

NBC | 1985-94
Ensemble drama featuring a large cast of lawyers in a prestigious Los Angeles law firm. Notable for its mixture of broad comedy and timely drama drawn from the headlines.

The Odd Couple

ABC | 1970-75
Prim Felix, a photographer, and slovenly Oscar, a sportswriter, are mismatched roommates. Adapted from the hit play and movie, both of which were written by Neil Simon.

Taxi

ABC / NBC | 1978-83
Ensemble comedy about a group of New York City cab drivers. One is an aspiring boxer, another an aspiring actor, and another dreams of opening an art gallery. Only Alex, the wisest, seems content to drive a cab. They deal with a wacky foreign born mechanic, a space cadet fellow cabbie and a scheming dispatcher.

Murphy Brown

CBS | 1988-98
This sitcom about a news show on a fictional network relied heavily on real-life political and news figures to lend authenticity. The team was headed by veteran newsreporter Murphy Brown (expertly played by Candice Bergen), who never failed to let opinion be known. The rest of the newsteam was just as interesting, led by Jim Dial (Charles Kimbrough), Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto) and Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford).

The Burns and Allen Show

CBS | 1950-58
The married couple played "themselves," a couple living in the suburbs. While Gracie constantly involved herself in harebrained schemes with her neighbor Blanche, the unflappable George served as onscreen narrator.

Night Court

NBC | 1984-91
Eccentric Judge Harry Stone holds court in Manhattan, using humor and compassion to do his job. With the help of his loyal court clerk and his wacky bailiffs, Harry heard arguments from a sexy public defender and a sex-starved prosecutor. Antics ensued.

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

CBS | 1993-98
Jane Seymour starred in this drama about a woman who moved to the frontier to practice medicine, and soon found herself in charge of three children whose mother, a friend, passed away. The show, though set in the Old West, tackled many issues that were more timely, including race relations and feminism.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Syndication | 1993-1999
This spin-off of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" featured some of the same characters from "Next Generation," but was an animal all its own. Set primarily aboard a space station located in near a wormhole, Deep Space Nine has been the destination for many starships and the target of many attacks.

WKRP in Cincinnati

CBS | 1978-81
Young programming director Andy Travis takes a new job at the titular radio station when it switches to a rock and roll format. He covers for the ineffectual station manager, whose mother owns the station. He also must deal with a neurotic newsman, an obnoxious ad man and two eccentric deejays, all with the help of his enthusiastic assistant and the voluptuous receptionist.

Remington Steele

NBC | 1981-86
When she opens her own private detective agency, Laura Holt isn't taken seriously enough. She invents a fictional employer named Remington Steele. The scheme works until a mysterious stranger shows up claiming to be Steele. Holt hires the stranger to be a beard for the agency, but he can't help sticking his nose into the company's cases.

Three's Company

ABC | 1977-84
When their third roommate moves out Janet and Chrissy are desperate for a new one. Along comes Jack, a student at a nearby cooking school. Because the landlord doesn't approve of cohabitation, Jack pretends he is gay. Antics ensue.

Adam-12

NBC | 1968-75
Realistic look at the day-to-day life of a pair of Los Angeles police officers. Veteran Pete Malloy and his rookie partner Jim Reed patrolled the streets, responding to several calls each episode. The series focused on authenticity instead of action. Its low-key nature made it a favorite among real-life law enforcement officers.

Emergency

NBC | 1971-77
John and Roy are paramedics assigned to Squad 51 of the Los Angeles Fire Department. They respond not only to fire calls, but other medical emergencies as well. They often make appearances at the local hospital.

Babylon 5

Syndication / TNT | 1994-1998
An ambitious series about an ongoing war in the year 1158 and the role of the space station Babylon 5 in the battle. Though peace is sometimes at hand, the exciting mix of aliens on the station and in the universe keeps the series moving. The show is finishing up its run on cable network TNT and will wrap-up the series through several TV-movies.

The Rockford Files

NBC | 1974-80
Jim Rockford lives in a trailer on the beaches of Los Angeles. Sent to jail for a crime he was later cleared of, Rockford makes his living as a private detective. With a little help from his father Rocky, a shady pal named Angel and the gruff Police Sergeant Dennis Becker, Rockford clears his cases for $100, plus expenses.

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

NBC | 1968-73
Comedy duo Dan Rowan and Dick Martin hosted this fast paced series. It featured sight gags, short skits, one-liners and blackouts, all performed by a large cast of regulars, many of whom were unknown at the time.

Picket Fences

CBS | 1991-96
How a little town like Rome, Wisconsin could be the center of so many strange events was a question never quite answered during this show's run. However, strange things did happen, and usually the town's Sheriff (a strong, but feeling, Tom Skerritt) was involved in some way, as was the town's judge (Ray Walston) and main defense lawyer (a feisty Fyvush Finkel). The show's creator, David E. Kelley , has also created "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal."

Alice

CBS | 1976-85
A recently widowed aspiring singer heads west from New Jersey with her precocious son to pursue her dream. She finds herself waylaid in Phoenix, where she takes a job as a waitress at Mel's Diner. Adapted from the Martin Scorsese film "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore."

Knight Rider

NBC | 1981-86
Michael Knight spends his days driving around in a customized Trans-Am known as the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT for short). With a little help from their friends, Michael and KITT traveled across the country, fighting crime and helping those in need. Did we mention that KITT could talk?

Star Trek: Voyager

UPN | 1995-2001
The "Star Trek" saga continues with the journey of the starship Voyager and her continuing quest to return home after being stuck in the Delta quadrant.

Mork & Mindy

ABC | 1976-81
Robin Williams shot to fame as Mork from Ork, an eccentric alien studying life in Boulder, Colorado. His friend, Mindy, knew his story but let him stay in her attic anyway. Antics ensued.

Viewed 7699 times Last modified on February 12, 2015


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