My All-Time Top 100 Best Television Shows

  1. The Simpsons (1989-???)
  2. Image Hosted by
  3. Homer, today Bart's a vampire. Tomorrow he could be smoking!
  4. Appealing to 99 percent of people in the 6 to 49 age bracket, this show sets the bar to which all other comedies are measured.
  5. Episodes Of Note: Flaming Moes, Saturdays Of Thunder, Last Exit To Springfield
  6. ER (1994-???)
  7. Image Hosted by
  8. People come in here and they're sick and dying and bleeding, and they need our help. Helping them is more important than how we feel.
  9. Changed the face of modern television. Ever brilliant despite numerous cast overhauls and 288 episodes.
  10. Episodes Of Note: Loves Labor Lost, Hell And High Water, All In The Family
  11. Seinfeld (1990-1998)
  12. Image Hosted by
  13. It became very clear to me sitting out there today that every decision I've made in my entire life has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat - it's all been wrong.
  14. Consistently hilarious and original.
  15. Episodes Of Note: The Pen, The Contest, The Bubble Boy
  16. Frasier (1993-2004)
  17. Image Hosted by
  18. Excuse me. Has a young woman been in here this evening approximately five foot nine and three quarters, with skin the colour of Devonshire cream and the sort of eyes that gaze directly into one's soul with neither aricifice or evasion?
  19. Tight, unbelievable witty scripts + standout ensemble bubbling with chemistry = 37 Emmy’s.
  20. Episodes Of Note: The Matchmaker, Three Dates And A Breakup, Dial M For Martin
  21. Sports Night (1998-2000)
  22. Image Hosted by
  23. Its taken me a lot of years, but I've come around to this: If you're dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you're smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.
  24. The best show you've never seen. Aaron Sorkin's masterpiece.
  25. Episodes Of Note: Mary Pat Shelby, Napoleon's Battle Plan, Quo Vadimus
  26. The Wire (2002-???)
  27. Image Hosted by
  28. Ayo, lesson here, Bey. You come at the king, you best not miss.
  29. A Genre Defining Masterpiece. The best cop show by one hundred yards, and the best show on televison today.
  30. Episodes Of Note: Cleaning Up, Middle Ground, Final Grades
  31. The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998)
  32. Image Hosted by
  33. No flipping!
  34. Scarily ahead of its time.
  35. Episodes Of Note: Larry's Big Idea, Eight, Conflict Of Interest
  36. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (1983-2004)
  37. Image Hosted by
  38. Ah, ah, ah, ah, you can't go in there. No, Can't go in. It's Kaputt. It's Kaputt'en. Knackered. Back. You'll have to gan back. Aye.
  39. The best British drama that ever was. Sublime on all counts. Nowt comes close.
  40. Episodes Of Note: The Accused, Cowboys, Bridging The Gap
  41. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)
  42. Image Hosted by
  43. I just wanted you to know that sometimes I get concerned about being a career woman. I get to thinking my job is too important to me, and I tell myself that the people I work with are just the people I work with. And not my family. And last night, I thought, 'what is a family, anyway?' They're just people who make you feel less alone...and really loved. And that's what you've done for me. Thank you for being my family.
  44. Wrote the sophisticated comedy rulebook. Holds up extremely well considering its age.
  45. Episodes Of Note: 1040 Or Fight, Chuckles Bites the Dust , The Last Show
  46. Arrested Development (2003-2006)
  47. Image Hosted by
  48. I haven't had a vacation in years, I'm exercising, I'm sleeping well... I'm doing the time of my life!"
  49. Despite its brilliance, the show never attracted the audience it needed to survive. Shame on you, the average viewer.
  50. Episodes Of Note: Pier Pressure, Family Ties, Development Arrested
  51. M*A*S*H (1972-1983)
  52. Influential despite its home stretch heavy handedness.
  53. Image Hosted by
  54. Look, I know how tough it is for you to say goodbye, so I'll say it. Maybe you're right, maybe we will see each other again, but just in case we don't, I want you to know how much you've meant to me. I'll never be able to shake you; whenever I see a pair of big feet or a cheesy mustache, I'll think of you.
  55. Episodes Of Note: Point Of View, Life Time, Goodbye, Farewell And Amen
  56. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
  57. Image Hosted by
  58. You don't shit where you eat. And you really don't shit where I eat!
  59. An outstanding look inside the mob world.
  60. Episodes Of Note: Isabella, The Knights In White Satin Armor, Long Term Parking
  61. Band Of Brothers (2001) (mini)
  62. Image Hosted by
  63. We're all scared. You hid in that ditch because you think there's still hope. But Blithe, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you're already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function. Without mercy. Without compassion. Without remorse. All war depends on it.
  64. The definitive wartime drama.
  65. Episodes Of Note : Currahee, Bastogne, Why We Fight
  66. The West Wing (1999-2006)
  67. Image Hosted by
  68. Three swimmers from the men's team were killed, and two others are in critical condition, when, after having heard the explosion from their practice facility, they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran into the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars.
  69. Won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series four years running. Brilliant.
  70. Episodes Of Note: In Excelsis Deo , In the Shadow of Two Gunmen , Two Cathedrals
  71. NewsRadio (1995-1999)
  72. Image Hosted by
  73. I had a small house of brokerage on Wall Street. Many days no business comes to my hut. Jimmy has fear? A thousand times no. I never doubted myself for a minute, for I knew that my monkey-strong bowels were girded with strength like the loins of a dragon ribboned with fat and the opulence of buffalo...
  74. Possibly the most underrated comedy in history. Best ensemble cast ever.
  75. Episodes Of Note: The Big Day, The Cane, Super Karate Monkey Death Car
  76. 24 (2001-???)
  77. Image Hosted by
  78. I'm federal agent Jack Bauer, and today is the longest day of my life.
  79. Inventive, fast paced… brilliant.
  80. Episodes Of Note: 11:00 P.M.-12:00 A.M., Day 4: 6:00 A.M.-7:00 A.M., Day 5: 6:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M.
  81. Scrubs (2001-????
  82. Maintains a delicate balance of zany comedy and very real drama.
  83. Image Hosted by
  84. ...And bam! The shine's off the apple. And that's when you find out that that pretty little girl you married isn't a pretty little girl at all. No, she's a man-eater. And I'm not talking about the "whoa-whoa, here she comes" kind of man-eater. I'm talking about the kind that uses your dignity as a dishtowel to wipe up any shreds of manhood that might be stuck inside the sink. Of course, I may have tormented her from time to time; but, honest to God, that's what I thought marriage was all about. So much so that, by the end of that relationship, I honestly don't know who I hated more - her or me? I used to sit around and wonder... why our friends weren't trying to destroy each other, like we were. And here, it turns out, the answer's pretty simple: They weren't unhappy. We were.
  85. Episodes Of Note: My Old Lady, My Occurrence, His Story
  86. Freaks And Geeks (1999-2000
  87. Image Hosted by
  88. The dance is tomorrow. She's a cheerleader, you've seen Star Wars 27 times. You do the math.
  89. The definitive look at life as a teenager. A prime example of a network not knowing what it has...
  90. Episodes Of Note: Trick And Treats, Beers And Wiers, Discos And Dragons
  91. Boston Legal (2004-???)
  92. Image Hosted by
  93. I have an erection. That's a good sign. I'm ready to go to trial. Lock and load.
  94. Wittiest.Drama.Period. And what a heavyweight cast!
  95. Episodes Of Note : Schmidt Happens, Truly, Madly, Deeply, New Kids On The Block
  96. Battlestar Galactica (2004-???)
  97. Image Hosted by
  98. There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.
  99. This is not your father’s science fiction.
  100. Episodes Of Note : 33, Kobol’s Last Gleaming, Downloaded
  101. Friends
  102. The excellent cast and compulsive soap-opera style storylines elevate it above the pack
  103. Episodes Of Note: The One With The Prom Video, The One Where Everybody Finds Out, The One With The Proposal
  104. Twin Peaks
  105. I still don't know who killed Laura Palmer...
  106. Episodes Of Note: Pilot, Cooper's Dream, The Last Evening
  107. Stargate SG1
  108. Thank God for, it helped remind what a standout sci-fi the show is. Brilliant stuff.
  109. Episodes Of Note: There But For the Grace of God, The Fifth Race, Window Of Oppurtunity
  110. The Shield
  111. Finishes what Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue started.
  112. Episodes Of Note: Circles, Quick Fix, Of Mice And Lem
  113. Star Trek: The Next Generation
  114. The definitive Star Trek.
  115. Episodes Of Note : Yesterday’s Enterprise, The Best Of Both Worlds Part 1, All Good Things… Part 2
  116. Everybody Loves Raymond
  117. Often criminally underrated.
  118. Episodes Of Note : The Letter, Debra Makes Something Good, The Wallpaper
  119. I’m Alan Partridge
  120. One of the very few British comedy I’ve found to be consistently funny.
  121. Episodes Of Note: Watership Alan, To Kill A Mocking Alan, Brave Alan
  122. The Twilight Zone
  123. Possibly the most influential show of all time. Absolute brilliance
  124. Episodes Of Note: Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up, It's A Good Life, To Serve Man
  125. Sex And The City
  126. All men should watch this little piece of brilliance.
  127. Episodes Of Note: Ex And The City, Belles of the Balls , An American Girl In Paris (Part Deux)
  128. South Park
  129. Filthy, yet brilliant.
  130. Episodes Of Note : Chinpokomon, Scott Tenorman Must Die, Christian Rock Hard
  131. Six Feet Under
  132. Who'd have thought a family that owns a funeral home could be so interesting.
  133. Episodes Of Note: A Private Life, The Last Time, Everyone's Waiting
  134. Curb Your Enthusiasm
  135. A brilliant concept executed wonderfully... even if it often feels like Larry’s soapbox…
  136. Episodes Of Note: The Doll, The Grand Opening, The Car Pool Lane
  137. Taxi
  138. The greatest gang comedy there is.
  139. Episodes Of Note: Memories Of Cab 804, Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey , Jim The Psychic
  140. Cheers
  141. Second only to Taxi in the best gang comedy stakes.
  142. Episodes Of Note: Pick A Con… Any Con, I Do And Adieu, An Old-Fashioned Wedding
  143. Deadwood
  144. The second best f*$@ing period drama in the f*$@ing land.
  145. Episodes Of Note: Sold Under Sin, The Boy The Earth Talks To, The Catbird Seat
  146. Love My Way
  147. A phenomenal Australian drama. Beautiful stuff
  148. Episodes Of Note: My Family Up A Tree, Garden Of Love, Five Minutes Of Fame
  149. Oz
  150. The father of HBO.
  151. Episodes Of Note: A Game Of Checkers, Variety, Good Intentions
  152. Rescue Me
  153. Dark and gritty, but also very funny. The best of FX, an outstandind show.
  154. Episodes Of Note: DNA, Sanctuary, Justice
  155. Grey’s Anatomy
  156. Not just an ER knock-off.
  157. Episodes Of Note: Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, It’s The End Of The World, 17 Seconds
  158. Queer As Folk (UK)
  159. Boundary pushing.
  160. Episodes Of Note: Episode One, Episode Six, Episode Eight
  161. Nip/Tuck
  162. Suprisingly excellent.
  163. Episodes Of Note: Adelle Coffin, Escobar Gallardo, Joan Rivers
  164. The Office (US)
  165. It’s not often that a remake outshines the original.
  166. Episodes Of Note: The Alliance, The Dundies, Casino Night
  167. House
  168. An excellent albeit formulaic medical/mystery drama.
  169. Episodes Of Note: Three Stories, Euphoria, Lines In The Sand
  170. St. Elsewhere
  171. Televison drama, ER in particular, owes everything to this show. Scarily ahead of its time.
  172. Episodes Of Note: Cora And Arnie, Time Heals, The Last One
  173. Frontline
  174. Australian comedy, and satire for that matter, at its very best.
  175. Episodes Of Note: The Siege, The Shadow We Cast, Epitaph
  176. My Name Is Earl
  177. An ingenious premise pulled off flawlessly.
  178. Episodes Of Note: Joy’s Wedding, Didn’t Pay Taxes, South Of The Border
  179. Entourage
  180. An astoundingly riveting behind the scenes look at showbiz.
  181. Episodes Of Note: Exodus, One Day In The Valley , Vegas Baby, Vegas
  182. 3rd Rock From The Sun
  183. A brilliant satife of modern life. John Lithgow steals each and every episode.
  184. Episodes Of Note: The Big Giant Head Returns, The Thing That Wouldn't Die Part 2, Dial M For Dick
  185. Heroes
  186. A brilliant superhero serial drama for the mainstream.
  187. Episodes Of Note: Homecoming, Fallout, Company Men
  188. CSI
  189. The best procedural drama there is.
  190. Episodes Of Note: Grave Danger, Bloodlines, Play With Fire
  191. The Games
  192. Satire at its very best.
  193. Episodes Of Note: The Press Conference, Robbo And The 100 Metres, Reconciliation
  194. Futurama
  195. A brilliant look into the future.
  196. Episodes Of Note: Time Keeps On Slipping, Jurrasic Bark, The Farnsworth Parabox
  197. Desperate Housewives
  198. Soap done very, very well. Usually dismissed by uptight people.
  199. Episodes Of Note: One Wonderful Day, Sweetheart, I Have To Confess, Bang
  200. Third Watch
  201. Looks and feels just like ER, fortunately it's its own animal.
  202. Episodes Of Note: Demolition Derby, After Hours, Goodbye To Camelot
  203. Late Night With Conan O'Brien
  204. I think it was Al Jean that said Conan O'Brien is the funniest man on the planet, I completely Agree.
  205. Phoenix Nights
  206. One of Britain's finest. Peter Kay excels.
  207. Episodes Of Note: Episode 4 (S1), Episode 6 (S1), Episode 6 (S2)
  208. The Wonder Years
  209. Haven't seen it for a very long time, but I have fond memories.
  210. Episodes Of Note: My Father's Office, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Poker
  211. Lost
  212. What's in the hatch?
  213. Episodes Of Note: Pilot, Exodus, Lockdown
  214. Saturday Night Live
  215. Nurtured some of the greatest comic actors in history and features a billion legendary characters.
  216. Hey Arnold
  217. The definitive nicktoon. Richly drawn characters, engaging and witty stories, and a hip, jazzy score. Fantastic.
  218. Episodes Of Note: Arnold's Christmas, Helga On The Couch, The Journal (2)
  219. Hustle
  220. Easily the slickest thing to come out of the BBC. Clever stuff.
  221. Episodes Of Note: Episode 1 (S1), Episode 6 (S2), Episode 1 (S4)
  222. Wings
  223. An outstanding gang comedy from the creators of Frasier. Highly underrated.
  224. Episodes Of Note: Murder, She Roast, Das Plane, Life Could Be A Dream
  225. Family Guy
  226. This show owns the non-sequitor.
  227. Episodes Of Note: Death Is A Bitch, Road To Rhode Island, PTV
  228. Hill Street Blues
  229. Is to television what Citizen Kane is to film
  230. Episodes Of Note: Film At Eleven, Freedom's Last Stand, Trial By Fury
  231. Farscape
  232. A smart little sci-fi that nobody seems to know about.
  233. Episodes Of Note: Die Me, Dichotomy , We're So Screwed (3): La Bomba, Bad Timing
  234. Shameless
  235. A standout British drama. You really care for these misfits
  236. Episodes Of Note: Episode 4 (S1), Episode 5 (S3), Episode 5 (S4)
  237. Classic Albums
  238. Hugely insightful. A must for musicians and music aficianados.
  239. Episodes Of Note: Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland, Metallica: Metallica (Black Album), Pink Floyd: Dark Side Of The Moon
  240. Cracker
  241. Robbie Coltraine's performance as Fitz is legendary
  242. Episodes Of Note: To Say I Love You Part 1, To Be A Somebody Part 2, Men Should Weep Part 3
  243. Will & Grace
  244. It doesn't try to be anything other than funny, and it has that in spades. There have been a few heartfeld moments, the show pulled it off brilliantly.
  245. Episodes Of Note: Object Of My Rejection, Das Boob, Coffee And Commitment
  246. Big Love
  247. The most groundbreaking shows ever, subject matter wise.
  248. Episodes Of Note: Affair , The Baptism (f.k.a. Margene's Baptism) , The Ceremony (f.k.a. A Family Outing)
  249. Doctor Who (2005)
  250. Generally superb.
  251. Episodes Of Note: The Doctor Dances, The Girl In The Fireplace, The Satan Pit
  252. Becker
  253. Ted Danson's second wind. Great show
  254. Episodes Of Note: Partial Law, Crosstalk, D.N.R.
  255. Only Fools And Horses
  256. Worked best as a dramedy. Great stuff.
  257. Episodes Of Note: Diamonds Are For Heather, Strained Relations, Little Problems
  258. Sliders
  259. Had some problems later on, but the first two seasons were magical.
  260. Episodes Of Note: The Weaker Sex, As Time Goes By, The Guardian
  261. King Of The Hill
  262. An underrated little gem.
  263. Episodes Of Note: Jumpin' Crack Bass (It's a Gas, Gas, Gas), A Fire Fighting We Will Go, Bobby Goes Nuts
  264. The Daily Show
  265. The definitive fake news show. Outstanding satire.
  266. Babylon 5
  267. 97 of the 110 episodes were written by the creator, J. Michael Straczynski. What an achievement!
  268. Episodes Of Note: In The Shadow of Z'ha'dum, Severed Dreams (3), Endgame
  269. The Lakes
  270. Quite a tough watch. Definitely John Simm's finest hour.
  271. Episodes Of Note: Episode 2, Episode 4
  272. The Bob Newhart Show
  273. Definitely one of the standout 70's sitcoms.
  274. Episodes Of Note: I Want To Be Alone, Over The River And Through the Woods , Death Of A Fruitman
  275. Over There
  276. Another instance of a show being canned before its time. Shame on you, FX Network...
  277. Episodes Of Note: Roadblock Duty, Orphans, Weapons Of Mass Destruction
  278. The Office (UK)
  279. Loses big points for radically overusing cringeworthy silences.
  280. Episodes Of Note: Training, Episode 5, Christmas Special
  281. Homicide: Life On The Street
  282. Haven't seen enough to make an informed judgment, but it will certainly rise.
  283. Episodes Of Note: Three Men And Adena, End Game (3), Fallen Heroes
  284. Ally McBeal
  285. Not nearly as good as Boston Legal, but still great stuff
  286. Episodes Of Note: Boy To The World, Boy Next Door, Falling Up
  287. Law & Order: SVU
  288. By far the best of the franchise
  289. Episodes Of Note: Countdown, Soulless, Scavenger
  290. Just Shoot Me
  291. Fantastic series. Pretty darn clever.
  292. Episodes Of Note: Pass The Salt, The Assistant, Slow Donnie
  293. Dexter
  294. A bit sick and twisted. Michael C. Hall is fantastic.
  295. Episodes Of Note: Let's Give The Boy A Hand, Shrink Rap, Born Free
  296. Murphy Brown
  297. Ever excellent. I'll never hear Natural Woman the same way again...
  298. Episodes Of Note: Mama Said, The Queen Of Soul, Never Say Goodbye (2)
  299. The X-Files
  300. Kind of overrated, but still worthy of a ranking.
  301. Episodes Of Note: Ice, 731 (2), Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose
  302. Thst 70's Show
  303. Another highly underrated gem.
  304. Episodes Of Note: Hyde Moves In, Garage Sale, Celebration Day (a.k.a. Graduation)
  305. Huff
  306. Groundbreaking.
  307. Episodes Of Note: Christmas Is Ruined, Crazy Nuts & All F*cked Up, Which Lip Is the Cervical Lip?
  308. Carnivale
  309. A tightly plotted story featuring David Lynch style wierdness. Only the wierdness isn't ndulgent.
  310. Episodes Of Note: The Day That Was The Day, Lincoln Highway, New Canaan, CA
  311. Knowing Me, Knowing You With Alan Partridge
  312. Not as good as I'm Alan Partridge. but still noteworthy despite a lacklustre Christmas Special
  313. Episodes Of Note: Episode 1, Episode 4
  314. Miami Vice
  315. One of the better shows from the 80's. The production values are still noteworthy, that's how good the show looked.
  316. Episodes Of Note: Sons And Lovers, A Rock and a Hard Place, Freefall
  317. Quantam Leap
  318. Always great fun. I don't know how Scott Bacula had the stamina
  319. Episodes Of Note: The Color of Truth , Jimmy, Lee Harvey Oswald
  320. The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
  321. Always brilliant fun. The sketches and the monologue are always aces. Can't wait for the Conan takeover, though.
  322. How I Met Your Mother
  323. Otherwise known as Friends: The Next Generation.
  324. Episodes Of Note: Slutty Pumpkin, The Pineapple Incident, Come On
  325. Rugrats
  326. Outstandind stuff.
  327. Episodes Of Note: Monsters In The Garage, Journey To The Centre Of The Basement, Pirate Light
  328. NYPD Blue
  329. Haven't seen enough to make an informed judgment, but it will certainly rise.
  330. Episodes Of Note: The Bank Dick, A Draining Experience, Hearts And Souls
  331. Northern Exposure
  332. Kind of overrated, but still worthy of ranking.
  333. Episodes Of Note: Aurora Borealis, Cicely, Three Doctors
  334. Gilmore Girls
  335. It has been a very long time since I've seen the show, but a fellow television aficianado rates it very highly, and it is being cancelled, so I'll rank it.
  336. Episodes Of Note: Love, Daisies and Troubadours, They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?, Raincoats And Recipes
Author Comments: 

Tell me what you think of the major overhaul...

One day I might even include picures!

Excellent list! I find very little to disagree with, and around half of these - if not more - feature in my list.

Oh, and you gotta love Hey Arnold getting its dues!

Very nice list. Did you consider Northern Exposure or Homicide (based on your list, I'm thinking you'll really like the latter)?

Jim, I've not seen Homicide: Life On The Street, the HBO drama that aired on NBC.

I have seen the first season of Northern Exposure but it didn't wow me, though I still enjoyed it. I've heard many cite the show as one of their all-time favourites so I imagine it gets much better. At this stage I'm enjoying Joshua Brand's and John Falsey's other big show, St Elsewhere more. Time will tell, I guess.

Thanks for the shoutouts, guys. It's much appreciated!

Fantastic list

Yeah, it's a great list, but I have to disagree with The Office (US) being better than the original UK version. Our version had a bit more well-placed irony that the US version, which was a tad more obvious and 'easy' to register.

That may just be personal taste, however.

What it comes to down to, is the humour of the US version, for me, is far superior. Ricky and Steven overused the painful silences. Pam is much better than Dawn too.

Personal taste, I think. Thanks for the shout out, btw.

Excellent list.

Gilmore Girls, woooo!

Fantastic update. You knows your TV.

I have no doubt it'll rise!

Your first Hey Arnold 'episode of note' has disappeared..?

Friends deserve a better rating! Come on! 21st? It is my all time favorite TV show. Anyway, I like breaking bad, how I met your mother, two and half men. I have always felt that game of thrones is overrated. Anyway here shares the same opinion?