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The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

Updated October 10, 2020 1.5m votes 73.7k voters 872.8k views2.1k items

List RulesVote up all your favorite TV shows of any genre, and add any that are missing from the list.

Choosing the best TV shows of all time means taking into account the best TV dramas, the best TV comedies, the best cartoons, and even the best TV miniseries to try and come up with a list that answers the question of "what are the best TV shows ever?" If you're a fan of reality television - spoiler alert - it's not one of those shows. However, if you're looking for the top TV comedy series and the top TV dramas to fill the top slots on the list, you won't be disappointed. In addition to new favorites like Lost, classic TV sitcoms like Friends and Seinfeld also fare well in the quest to answer the burning question of what are the top rated TV shows ever.

The greatest TV shows of all time also include the most popular TV shows with loyal fan bases like Sherlock and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Even though some programs are not considered the most watched TV shows of all time, they later become cult classics and remain fan favorites. This list also includes critically acclaimed TV shows such as House of Cards and Breaking Bad, both outstanding programs that have won many Emmy awards. But could they be considered the best TV series of all time? That's up to the fans to decide.

Newer shows are currently dominating the top television shows list, but classic television shows like M*A*S*H and Star Trek are hot as well, and it's up to you to vote for your favorite TV show of all time to get it closer to the top of the list of the greatest television shows of all time. If your choice for the best TV series ever isn't on this list yet, make sure to add it so others can share in the bright glow of what you consider to be the best television show ever.

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  • 1
    Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    21,886
    13,418

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Thriller, Neo-western, Tragedy

    Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008) is an American neo-Western crime drama television series created by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 2
    Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    19,822
    14,866

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Medieval fantasy, Drama, Adventure film, Epic, Action

    Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 3
    The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    9,743
    7,372

    The Sopranos

    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama

    The Sopranos (HBO, 1999) is an American crime drama television series created by David Chase.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 4
    The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    8,430
    7,233

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

    Premiered1959

    Genres (Tv)Anthology, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction

    The Twilight Zone is a 1959 American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 5
    The Office is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    9,292
    5,654

    The Office

    Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Mockumentary

    The Office (NBC, 2005) is an American mockumentary sitcom television series developed by Greg... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 6
    Looney Tunes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    7,185
    5,041

    Looney Tunes

    Mel Blanc, June Foray
    Looney Tunes is an American animated series of comedy short films produced by Warner Bros.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 7
    Friends is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    14,865
    13,778

    Friends

    Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox

    Premiered1994

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Friends (NBC, 1994) is an American sitcom television series created by David Crane and Marta... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    8,797
    7,544

    Sherlock

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Mystery

    Sherlock (BBC One, 2010) is a British crime television series created by Steven Moffat and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 9
    Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    10,835
    10,807

    Seinfeld

    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Premiered1989

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally ran for nine seasons on NBC from... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 10
    The Flintstones is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    4,337
    3,692

    The Flintstones

    Alan Reed, Mel Blanc

    Premiered1960

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Sitcom, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Comedy

    The Flintstones is an animated, prime-time American television sitcom that was broadcast from... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 11
    The Bugs Bunny Show is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    3,342
    2,481

    The Bugs Bunny Show

    Mel Blanc, June Foray

    Premiered1960

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Anthology series, Comedy

    The Bugs Bunny Show is an animated television anthology series hosted by Bugs Bunny, that was... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 12
    South Park is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    7,249
    6,828

    South Park

    Trey Parker, Matt Stone

    Premiered1997

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Television comedy, Sitcom, Satire, Animated cartoon

    South Park (Comedy Central, 1997) is an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 13
    House is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    7,482
    7,445

    House

    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Medical drama

    House, M.D. (Fox, 2004) is an American television medical drama created by David Shore. An... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 14
    Lost is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    6,346
    6,446

    Lost

    Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural drama, Science fiction, Mystery

    Lost (ABC, 2004) is an American drama television series created by Jeffrey Lieber, J. J.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 15
    Monty Python's Flying Circus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    4,060
    4,173

    Monty Python's Flying Circus

    Graham Chapman, John Cleese

    Premiered1969

    Genres (Tv)Sketch comedy, Satire, Comedy

    Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a British sketch comedy series commissioned by David... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 16
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    3,875
    3,445

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    Will Smith, James Avery

    Premiered1990

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 17
    The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    6,954
    7,299

    The X-Files

    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

    Premiered1993

    Genres (Tv)Cryptozoology, Supernatural, Crime Fiction, Drama, Live action

    The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 18
    Tom and Jerry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    6,315
    3,373

    Tom and Jerry

    Tom Kenny, Rick Zieff

    Premiered1940

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Comedy, Family Film

    Tom and Jerry is an American animated series of short films created in 1940, by William Hanna... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 19
    Star Trek: The Original Series is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    8,477
    9,145

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Premiered1966

    Genres (Tv)Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction

    Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 20
    M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    7,555
    8,270

    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers

    Premiered1972

    Genres (Tv)Black comedy, Medical drama, Sitcom, Satire, Military

    M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 21
    Dexter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    6,152
    6,236

    Dexter

    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Psychological thriller, Mystery, Dark comedy, Police procedural

    Dexter (Showtime, 2006) is an American crime drama mystery series developed by James Manos... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 22
    The Wire is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    3,045
    2,498

    The Wire

    Dominic West, Lance Reddick

    Premiered2002

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama

    The Wire (HBO, 2002) is an American crime drama television series created and written by David... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 23
    Married... with Children is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    3,979
    3,463

    Married... with Children

    Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate

    Premiered1987

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Married... with Children is an American sitcom that aired for 11 seasons. It featured a... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 24
    The Muppet Show is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    3,702
    4,014

    The Muppet Show

    Jim Henson, Frank Oz

    Premiered1976

    Genres (Tv)Sketch comedy, Variety show, Children's television series, Live action, Comedy

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  • 25
    Cheers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time
    5,966
    6,616

    Cheers

    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman

    Premiered1982

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Cheers is an American sitcom that ran for eleven seasons between 1982 and 1993. The show was... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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