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The Greatest Shows of the 1990s, Ranked

Updated January 12, 2021 266.2k votes 14.3k voters 428.9k views191 items

List RulesVote up the best TV series based on the episodes that aired between 1990 and 1999.

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 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 programs from the 1990s? Which '90s shows do you have the fondest memories of? This list includes many of the biggest shows from that magical decade.

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  • The Simpsons1
    3,707
    1,873

    The Simpsons

    1989-present

    ActorsDan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

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

    The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting...  more
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  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air2
    4,536
    1,689

    ActorsWill Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from...  more
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  • Friends3
    4,832
    2,882

    Friends

    1994-2004

    ActorsJennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Friends (NBC, 1994) is an American sitcom television series created by David Crane and Marta...  more
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  • Home Improvement4
    3,207
    1,828

    ActorsTim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

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  • The Wonder Years5
    1,903
    1,130

    ActorsFred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy

    The Wonder Years is an American television comedy-drama created by Neal Marlens and Carol...  more
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  • The Golden Girls6
    1,853
    878

    ActorsBea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    The Golden Girls is an American sitcom, created by Susan Harris, that originally aired on NBC...  more
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  • Full House7
    3,199
    1,932

    Full House

    1987-1995

    ActorsBob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Full House is an American sitcom created by Jeff Franklin for ABC. The show chronicles a...  more
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  • Saved by the Bell8
    2,868
    1,655

    ActorsMark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Dustin Diamond

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Teen situation comedy, Comedy

    Saved by the Bell is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from 1989 to 1993. A...  more
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  • Cheers9
    2,003
    1,259

    Cheers

    1982-1993

    ActorsTed Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Cheers is an American sitcom that ran for eleven seasons between 1982 and 1993. The show was...  more
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  • Boy Meets World10
    3,067
    1,716

    ActorsBen Savage, Rider Strong, William Daniels

    Genres (Tv)Teen sitcom

    Boy Meets World (ABC, 1993) is an American television sitcom created by Michael Jacobs and...  more
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  • Seinfeld11
    3,542
    2,696

    Seinfeld

    1989-1998

    ActorsJerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally ran for nine seasons on NBC from...  more
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  • The X-Files12
    2,515
    1,590

    The X-Files

    1993-2002

    ActorsDavid Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

    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
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  • That '70s Show13
    2,930
    1,459

    ActorsTopher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

    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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  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch14

    ActorsMelissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural, Sitcom, Children's television series, Comedy, Fantasy television

    Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is an American sitcom based on the Archie comic book series of the...  more
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  • Animaniacs15
    1,390
    733

    ActorsRob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille

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

    Animaniacs is an American animated television series, distributed by Warner Bros. Television...  more
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  • Roseanne16
    1,959
    1,589

    Roseanne

    1988-1997

    ActorsRoseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Michael Fishman

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Roseanne (ABC, 1988) is an American television sitcom created by Matt Williams, Marcy Carsey,...  more
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  • Everybody Loves Raymond17
    1,985
    1,574

    ActorsRay Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Everybody Loves Raymond is an American television sitcom starring Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton,...  more
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  • Star Trek: The Next Generation18

    ActorsPatrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

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

    Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by...  more
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  • Unsolved Mysteries19
    1,038
    682

    ActorsRobert Stack, Dennis Farina, Keely Shaye Smith

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Drama, Mystery, Reality television

    Unsolved Mysteries (NBC, 1987) is an American mystery documentary television show created by...  more
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  • Tiny Toon Adventures20

    ActorsCharles Adler, John Kassir, Tress MacNeille

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

    Tiny Toon Adventures is an American animated comedy television series that was broadcasting...  more
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    #45 of 645 The Best Cartoons of All Time#143 of 146 The Most Annoying Kids Shows of All Time

  • Married... with Children21
    2,738
    1,316

    ActorsEd O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Married... with Children is an American sitcom that aired for 11 seasons. It featured a...  more
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  • The King of Queens22
    1,497
    1,009

    ActorsKevin James, Leah Remini, Jerry Stiller

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    The King of Queens is an American sitcom that originally ran on CBS from September 21, 1998,...  more
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  • The Nanny23
    1,313
    936

    ActorsFran Drescher, Charles Shaughnessy, Daniel Davis

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    The Nanny is an American television sitcom originally aired on CBS from 1993 to 1999, starring...  more
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  • Saturday Night Live24
    1,321
    1,072

    ActorsKenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson

    Genres (Tv)Sketch comedy, Satire, Variety show, Sketch, Comedy

    Saturday Night Live (NBC, 1975), also known as SNL, is an American late-night live television...  more
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  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer25
    2,365
    1,543

    ActorsSarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural, Horror, Comedy-drama, Teen drama, Action

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