Best TV Shows of All Time – The Critics’ Picks

I collected over 10 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.

10
The Simpsons (1989- ) Creator: Matt Groening
the-simpsons

9
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

8
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

7
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

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

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-

6
I Love Lucy (1951-1957) Creators: Desi Arnaz & Jess Oppenheimer
i love lucy

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

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

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

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

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1996-2015) Creators: Madeleine Smithberg & Liz Winstead
jon_stewart_fox_news

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

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

5
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.”

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

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

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

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

ER (1994-2009) Creator: Michael Crichton
ER

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

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

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

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

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

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

4
Your Show of Shows (1950-1954) Creator: Sylvester L. Weaver, Jr.
your show of shows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oz (1997-2003) Creator: Tom Fontana
oz

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

Firefly (2002) Creator: Joss Whedon
firefly

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

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

3
Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1962) Creator: Alfred Hitchcock
alfred-hitchcock-presents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soap (1977-1981) Creator: Susan Harris
Dallas (1978-1991) Creator: David Jacobs
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
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
Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005) Creator: Philip Rosenthal
Futurama (1999- ) Creator: Matt Groening
Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) Creator: Amy Sherman-Palladino
Survivor (2000- ) Creator: Charlie Parsons
American Idol (2002- ) Creator: Simon Fuller
House, M.D. (2004-2012) Creator: David Shore
Planet Earth (UK) (2006) Creator: Alastair Fothergill
Friday Night Lights (2006-2011) Creator: Peter Berg
Louie (2010- ) Creator: Louis C.K.
Homeland (2011- ) Creators: Howard Gordon & Alex Gansa

2
The Ed Sullivan Show (1948-1971) Creators: Marlo Lewis & Ed Sullivan
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
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
60 Minutes (1968- ) Creator: Don Hewitt
Sanford and Son (1972-1977) Creator: Bud Yorkin
The Rockford Files (1974-1980) Creators: Roy Huggins & Stephen J. Cannell
Barney Miller (1975-1982) Creators: Danny Arnold & Theodore J. Flicker
The Muppet Show (1976-1981) Creator: Jim Henson
Second City Television/SCTV (Canada) (1976-1984) Creators: Bernard Sahlins & Andrew Alexander
Roots (1977) Creator: Alex Haley
Only Fools and Horses (UK) (1981-2003) Creator: John Sullivan
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
thirtysomething (1987-1991) Creators: Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz
The Wonder Years (1988-1993) Creators: Neal Marlens & Carol Black
Red Dwarf (UK) 1988-1999) Creators: Grant Naylor, Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
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
The Real World/Real World (1992- ) Creators: Mary-Elis Bunim & Jonathan Murray
Beavis and Butt-head (1993-1997) Creator: Mike Judge
Felicity (1998-2002) Creators: J.J. Abrams & Matt Reeves
Will & Grace (1998-2005) Creators: David Kohan & Max Mutchnick
Spaced (UK) (1999-2001) Creators: Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson & Edgar Wright
Alias (2001-2006) Creator: J.J. Abrams
Scrubs (2001-2010) Creator: Bill Lawrence
Veronica Mars (2004-2007) Creator: Rob Thomas
The Comeback (2005) Creators: Michael Patrick King & Lisa Kudrow
Extras (UK) (2005-2007) Creators: Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant
The Colbert Report (2005-2014) Creators: Stephen Colbert, Ben Karlin & Jon Stewart
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005- ) Creator: Rob McElhenney
The Good Wife (2009- ) Creators: Robert King & Michelle King
Archer (2010- ) Creator: Adam Reed

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