In the 1990s, television was one of the fastest-growing mediums. More TV shows were popping up than ever before, and ratings were at all-time highs. Viewers tended to be interested in laugh-out-loud moments, which is why sitcoms like Friends, Roseanne, and Seinfeld were the biggest hit TV shows of the decade. While comedies were extremely popular in the '90s, procedural dramas also reigned, with shows like The Practice, JAG, and NYPD Blue becoming popular with large audiences. The decade also spawned quite a few ambitious shows that were too ahead of their time to catch on with mainstream audiences, but have since gained major cult followings. Other shows tried hard but never gained the audience they were hoping for.
Many of the most popular shows of the '90s were long-running shows. ER, for instance, ran for 15 seasons, starting in 1994, while shows like Will & Grace, which began in 1998, lasted 8 years. The reality show genre was just popping up in the '90s, especially after the massive ratings and critical success of MTV's The Real World. Children’s programming was also popular, with hit shows like Boy Meets World and Dinosaurs.
What are your favorite '90s shows? Which shows from the 1990s do you have the fondest memories of? This list includes many of the biggest shows from that magical decade, so vote up the shows that stood out.
- Homer and Marge Simpson raise Bart, Lisa and baby Maggie in Springfield.
- Six friends living in New York hang out at a coffee bar.
- An urban youth moves in with rich relatives.
- Friends living in Manhattan obsess over little things.
- Tim Taylor hosts a home-improvement program on a Detroit TV station.
- Four older women share a house in Miami Beach.
- A widower enlists help to raise his three daughters.
- Kevin Arnold grows up in 1960s suburban America.
- FBI special agents probe cases involving phenomena that defy conventional explanations.
- Sam Malone, former reliever for the Red Sox, runs a Boston bar where "everybody knows your name."
- Lovable teenager Zack Morris leads his pals on adventures at California's Bayside High School.
- A coming-of-age comedy follows Cory Matthews as he juggles school, friends and romance.
- A misogynistic husband and a lazy housewife tolerate each other while raising two children.
- A close-knit group of young, eclectic friends approaches adulthood.
- A blue-collar family uses laughter to cope.
- The psychiatrist helms a radio call-in show in Seattle.
- Sports writer Ray Barone tries to be a good husband, father -- and son.
- Comics improvise sketches with suggestions from the audience.
- The misadventures of a middle-class black family in suburban Chicago.
- A teenager with special powers strives for a normal life.
- Buffy Summers battles evil in the suburbs.
- Doug Heffernan shares a house with his wife and father-in-law.
- Wakko, Yakko and Dot perform classic cartoon humor.
- The crew of the starship USS Enterprise explores the galaxy and fosters peace in the 24th century.
- Reenactments and interviews retell the circumstances of unsolved crimes and paranormal events.