Best TV Shows of All Time – The Critics’ Picks

I collected over 12 lists of the Best TV Shows of All Time by critics and experts and combined them into one list. Here are the results – every show on two or more lists, arranged with the most-listed show on top.  Unlike the lists of Best Films, which tend to avoid recent movies, those making lists of the Top TV Shows seem to have short memories and have rated many recent shows highly.  The list is almost exclusively U.S. productions, except as noted.  As you can see, I am still working on the visuals.

On 12 “Best TV Shows” Lists
The Simpsons (1989- ) Creator: Matt Groening
the-simpsons

11 Lists
Seinfeld (1989-1998) Creators: Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld
seinfeld

Friends (1994-2004) Creators: David Crane & Marta Kauffman
friends1

The Sopranos (1999-2007) Creator: David Chase
Sopranos_

The Wire (2002-2008) Creator: David Simon
TheWire

10 Lists
Monty Python’s Flying Circus (UK) (1969-1974) Creators: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones & Michael Palin
gumbies

Arrested Development (2003-2006, 2013) Creator: Mitchell Hurwitz
arrested-development

9 Lists
The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) Creator: Rod SerlingWilliam Shatner in 'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.'
William Shatner in ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.’

Twin Peaks (1990-1991) Creators: Mark Frost & David Lynch
twin_peaks_1

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) Creator: Joss Whedon
buffy-vampire-slayer

The Office (UK) (2001-2003) Creators: Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant
the office

Six Feet Under (2001-2005) Creator: Alan Ball
Six Feet under

Deadwood (2004-2006) Creator: David Milch
Deadwood

Lost  (2004-2010) Creators: Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof
lost

Breaking Bad (2008-2013) Creator: Vince Gilligan
Breaking-Bad-Season-

8 Lists
Star Trek (1966-1969) Creator: Gene Roddenberry
Star Trek

M*A*S*H (1972-1983) Creator: Larry Gelbart
mash

South Park (1997- ) Creators: Trey Parker & Matt Stone
south_park

The West Wing (1999-2006) Creator: Aaron Sorkin
West Wing_0

24 (2001-2010, 2014) Creators: Joel Surnow & Robert Cochran
24 show

The Shield (2002-2008) Creator: Shawn Ryan
the_shield

Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) Creator: Ronald D. Moore
Battlestar Galactica

7 Lists
I Love Lucy (1951-1957) Creators: Desi Arnaz & Jess Oppenheimer
i love lucy

The Honeymooners (1955-1956) Creator: Jackie Gleason
honeymooners

Saturday Night Live (1975- ) Creator: Lorne Michaels
Original-Cast-Of-Saturday-Night-Live

The X-Files (1993-2002) Creator: Chris Carter
the_x_files

ER (1994-2009) Creator: Michael Crichton
ER

The Daily Show (1996- ) Creators: Madeleine Smithberg & Liz Winstead
jon_stewart_fox_news

Sex and the City (1998-2004) Creator: Darren Star
Sex-and-the-City

Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000) Creator: Paul Feig
FREAKS-AND-GEEKS-HALLOWEEN

Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-2011) Creator: Larry David
curb your enthusiasm

Mad Men (2007-2015) Creator: Matthew Weiner
Mad-Men

Game of Thrones (2011- ) Creators: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
game of thrones

6 Lists
Doctor Who
(UK) (1963-1989; 2005- ) Creators: Sydney Newman, C.E. Webber, Donald Wilson
dr who

Hill Street Blues (1981-1987) Creators: Steven Bochco & Michael Kozoll
Hill_Street_Blues

Cheers (1982-1993) Creators: James Burrows, Glen Charles & Les Charles
cheers

The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998) Creators: Garry Shandling & Dennis Klein
larry sanders

Oz (1997-2003) Creator: Tom Fontana
oz

The Office (US) (2005-2013) Creators: Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant
the-office

30 Rock (2006-2013) Creator: Tina Fey
30 rock

5 Lists
Your Show of Shows/Caesar’s Hour (1950-1954; 1954-1957) Creator: Sylvester L. Weaver, Jr.
your show of shows

The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966) Creator: Carl Reiner
Dick-Van-Dyke

The Carol Burnett Show (1967-1978) Creator: Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman in "Went with the Wind."
Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman in “Went with the Wind.”

The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977) Creator: James L. Brooks & Allan Burns
mary-tyler-moore

Columbo
(1971-1978, 1989-2003) Creators: Richard Levinson & William Link
columbo

All in the Family (1971-1979) Creator: Norman Lear
all in the family

The Bob Newhart Show
(1972-1978) Creators: David Davis & Lorenzo Music
BOB NEWHART SHOW

Fawlty Towers (UK) (1975-1979) Creators: John Cleese & Connie Booth
fawlty towers

Taxi (1978-1983) Creators: James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, David Davis & Ed Weinberger
taxi

The Cosby Show (1984-1992) Creators: Ed Weinberger, Michael Leeson & Bill Cosby
the-cosby-show

Roseanne (1988-1997) Creator: Matt Williams
roseanne

Homicide: Life on the Street (1993-1999) Creator: Paul Attanasio
homicide

Frasier (1993-2004) Creators: David Angell, Peter Casey & David Lee
Frasier

My So-Called Life (1994-1995) Creator: Winnie Holzman
mysocalledlife

Friday Night Lights (2006-2011) Creator: Peter Berg


Dexter
(2006-2013) Developer: James Manos, Jr.
dexter

4 Lists
Gunsmoke (1955-1975) Creators: Norman Macdonnell & John Meston
James Arness, Milburn Stone and Dennis Weaver (clockwise from top)

Sesame Street (1968- ) Creators: Joan Ganz Cooney & Lloyd Morrisett
KermitSesameStreet

The Odd Couple
(1970-1975) Developers: Garry Marshall & Jerry Belson
the_odd_couple_color

Dallas (1978-1991) Creator: David Jacobs


St. Elsewhere
(1982-1988) Creators: Joshua Brand & John Falsey
st-elsewhere

Late Night (1982-1993)/Late Show with David Letterman (1993-2015) Creator: David Letterman


Blackadder
(UK) (1983-1989) Creators: Rowan Atkinson, Richard Curtis & Ben Elton


The Golden Girls
(1985-1992) Creator: Susan Harris

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) Creator: Gene Roddenberry
star trek next

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-1999) Creator: Joel Hodgson

Law & Order (1990-2010) Creator: Dick Wolf

NYPD Blue (1993-2005) Creators: Steven Bochco & David Milch

Band of Brothers (2001) Creators: Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks & Stephen E. Ambrose
Band_of_Brothers

Firefly (2002) Creator: Joss Whedon
firefly

American Idol (2002- ) Creator: Simon Fuller

Modern Family (2009- ) Creators: Christopher Lloyd & Steven Levitan
modern-family

Louie (2010-2015 ) Creator: Louis C.K.


Homeland
(2011- ) Creators: Howard Gordon & Alex Gansa

3 Lists
The Ed Sullivan Show (1948-1971) Creators: Marlo Lewis & Ed Sullivan

Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1962) Creator: Alfred Hitchcock
alfred-hitchcock-presents

The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968) Creator: Arthur Stander
AndyGriffith

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962-1992) Creators: Steve Allen, William O. Harbach, Dwight Hemion & Sylvester Weaver, Jr.

The Fugitive (1963-1967) Creator: Roy Huggins

The Prisoner (UK) (1967-1968) Creators: Patrick McGoohan & George Markstein

The Rockford Files (1974-1980) Creators: Roy Huggins & Stephen J. Cannell

I, Claudius (UK) (1976) Creator: Robert Graves
iclaudius

The Muppet Show (1976-1981) Creator: Jim Henson


Roots
(1977) Creator: Alex Haley

Soap (1977-1981) Creator: Susan Harris

Only Fools and Horses (UK) (1981-2003) Creator: John Sullivan

thirtysomething (1987-1991) Creators: Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz

The Wonder Years (1988-1993) Creators: Neal Marlens & Carol Black

The Real World/Real World (1992- ) Creators: Mary-Elis Bunim & Jonathan Murray

Beavis and Butt-head (1993-1997) Creator: Mike Judge

Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005) Creator: Philip Rosenthal

Futurama (1999- ) Creator: Matt Groening

Spaced (UK) (1999-2001) Creators: Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson & Edgar Wright

Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) Creator: Amy Sherman-Palladino

Survivor (2000- ) Creator: Charlie Parsons


House, M.D. 
(2004-2012) Creator: David Shore

The Colbert Report (2005-2014) Creators: Stephen Colbert, Ben Karlin & Jon Stewart

Planet Earth (UK) (2006) Creator: Alastair Fothergill

Fargo (2014- ) Creator: Noah Hawley

2 Lists
The Abbott and Costello Show (1952-1954) Creators: Jean Yarborough & Alex Gottlieb
The Ernie Kovacs Show (1952-1955) Creators: Ernie Kovacs, et al.
Playhouse 90 (1956-1960) Creators: Martin Manulis, John Houseman, Russell Stoneman, Fred Coe, Arthur Penn & Hubbell Robinson
Jeopardy! (1964-1975, 1984- )
60 Minutes (1968- ) Creator: Don Hewitt
Sanford and Son (1972-1977) Creator: Bud Yorkin
Good Times (1974-1979)
Barney Miller (1975-1982) Creators: Danny Arnold & Theodore J. Flicker
Second City Television/SCTV (Canada) (1976-1984) Creators: Bernard Sahlins & Andrew Alexander
Family Ties (1982-1989) Creator: Gary David Goldberg
Moonlighting (1985-1989) Creator: Glenn Gordon Caron
The Singing Detective (UK) (1986) Creator: Dennis Potter
The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986-2011) Creator: Oprah Winfrey
Red Dwarf (UK) 1988-1999) Creators: Grant Naylor, Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
In Living Color (1990-1994)
Prime Suspect (UK) (1991-2006) Creator: Lynda La Plante
Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) Creators: Bruce Timm & Eric Radomski
Absolutely Fabulous (UK) (1992-2012) Creators: Jennifer Saunders & Dawn French
Felicity (1998-2002) Creators: J.J. Abrams & Matt Reeves
Will & Grace (1998-2005) Creators: David Kohan & Max Mutchnick
Alias (2001-2006) Creator: J.J. Abrams
Scrubs (2001-2010) Creator: Bill Lawrence
Chappelle’s Show (2003-2006)
Veronica Mars (2004-2007) Creator: Rob Thomas
The Comeback (2005, 2014- ) Creators: Michael Patrick King & Lisa Kudrow
Extras (UK) (2005-2007) Creators: Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005- ) Creator: Rob McElhenney
Party Down (2009-2010)
Parks and Recreation (2009-2015)
The Good Wife (2009- ) Creators: Robert King & Michelle King
Downton Abbey (UK) (2010-2015)
The Walking Dead (2010- )
Archer (2010- ) Creator: Adam Reed
Sherlock (2010- )
House of Cards (2013- )
The Americans (2013- )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s