Entertainment
83.7k voters

The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

Updated December 22, 2020 1.6m votes 83.7k voters 780.4k views339 items

List RulesOnly series that have aired new episodes since 1998.

This best TV show list represents the combined opinions of thousands of TV fans. Anyone can vote on this list of the best TV shows of recent memory, making this list a truly trustworthy way to find the best TV show. You can even add your own list to these TV show rankings.

Including shows like Friends and The X-Files, the best TV shows ever in the past 20 years features the latest television series as well as classics such as Seinfeld and Frasier. From sitcoms to dramas and animations to miniseries, this list has got them all. If your favorite recent shows are missing, go ahead and add them!

What are the best TV shows of recent memory? Whether you're looking for the best TV shows to add to your Netflix queue or you just want to share your picks for the best TV series of the last few decades, this is the place to tune in to the tastes of TV fans around the world. Figure out what much see TV you have to catch up on below and cast your votes for the best television in recent history. 

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  • Game of Thrones1
    27,493
    14,926

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011-04-17

    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
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  • Breaking Bad2
    24,717
    16,221

    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
    Amazon buy button
  • Stranger Things3
    11,044
    5,117

    Stranger Things

    Winona Ryder, David Harbour

    Premiered2016

    Genres (Tv)Sci-fi, Horror, Supernatural, Period drama

    Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • House4
    14,304
    11,709

    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
    Amazon buy button
  • The Office5
    16,612
    13,922

    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
    Amazon buy button
  • Sherlock6
    11,008
    9,146

    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
    Amazon buy button
  • The Sopranos7
    12,128
    10,717

    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
    Amazon buy button
  • Walking Dead8
    14,119
    12,186

    Walking Dead

    Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Suspense, Drama

    The Walking Dead (AMC, 2010) is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series...  more
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  • The Big Bang Theory9
    15,304
    13,645

    The Big Bang Theory

    Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons

    Premiered2007

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 2007) is an American television sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Band of Brothers10
    8,551
    6,728

    Band of Brothers

    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Miniseries, Action/Adventure, Drama, Military, Adventure film

    Band of Brothers is a 2001 American WWII drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E....  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Futurama11
    10,020
    8,720

    Futurama

    Billy West, John DiMaggio

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

    Futurama is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • South Park12
    13,405
    12,135

    South Park

    Trey Parker, Matt Stone

    Premiered1997

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Comedy, Sitcom, Satire

    South Park (Comedy Central, 1997) is an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Dexter13
    12,579
    11,755

    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
    Amazon buy button
  • Friends14
    16,654
    15,844

    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
    Amazon buy button
  • Home Improvement15
    9,202
    7,707

    voting closed at #15

    Home Improvement

    Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson

    Premiered1991

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Home Improvement is an American television sitcom starring Tim Allen, that aired from...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • That '70s Show16
    11,313
    10,046

    That '70s Show

    Topher Grace, Laura Prepon

    Premiered1998

    Genres (Tv)Romance Film, Sitcom, Comedy

    That '70s Show is an American television period sitcom that originally aired on Fox from...  more
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  • The Simpsons17
    14,155
    13,784

    The Simpsons

    Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright

    Premiered1989

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Television comedy, Comedy, Family Film

    The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Parks & Recreation18
    7,967
    7,387

    Parks & Recreation

    Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Mockumentary, Satire, Romance TV, Comedy-drama

    Parks and Recreation (NBC, 2009) is an American television sitcom created by Greg Daniels and...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Family Guy19
    12,093
    10,777

    Family Guy

    Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Black comedy, Animation, Sitcom, Animated cartoon, Comedy

    Family Guy is an American adult animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Supernatural20
    10,108
    7,805

    Supernatural

    Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural drama, Black comedy, Drama, Horror Film, Mystery

    Supernatural (The CW, 2005) is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The X-Files21
    10,551
    10,369

    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
    Amazon buy button
  • How I Met Your Mother22
    11,266
    11,021

    How I Met Your Mother

    Josh Radnor, Jason Segel

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Romantic comedy

    How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 2005) is an American sitcom created by Craig Thomas and Carter...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Firefly23
    8,856
    8,831

    Firefly

    Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres

    Premiered2002

    Genres (Tv)Space Western, Space opera, Drama, Comedy-drama, Science Fiction

    Firefly is an American space western science fiction drama television series created by writer...  more
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  • Scrubs24
    9,037
    8,788

    Scrubs

    Zach Braff, Donald Faison

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Medical drama

    Scrubs (NBC, 2001) is an American medical comedy-drama television series created by Bill...  more
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  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?25
    6,346
    5,218

    Whose Line Is It Anyway?

    Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie

    Premiered1998

    Genres (Tv)Improvisational theatre, Television comedy

    Whose Line Is It Anyway? (ABC, 1998-2007, The CW, 2013) is an American improvisational comedy...  more
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