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The Greatest Shows of the 1990s, Ranked

Updated November 11, 2020 268.5k votes 13.6k voters 409.5k views192 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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  • 26
    Growing Pains
    860
    528

    ActorsAlan Thicke, Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Jeremy Miller

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Growing Pains (ABC, 1985) is an American television sitcom created by Neal Marlens. In Long... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 27
    Doug
    1,142
    696

    Doug

    1991

    ActorsBilly West, Fred Newman, Constance Shulman

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

    Doug is an American animated sitcom created by Jim Jinkins. The show focuses on the early... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 28
    Frasier
    1,909
    1,785

    Frasier

    1993-2004

    ActorsKelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Frasier (NBC, 1993) is an American sitcom television series created by David Angell, Peter... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 29
    America's Funniest Home Videos

    ActorsTom Bergeron, Jess Harnell, Bob Saget

    Genres (Tv)Variety show, Reality television

    America's Funniest Home Videos is an American reality television program airing on ABC, which... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 30
    Beverly Hills, 90210
    1,315
    1,156

    ActorsJason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry

    Genres (Tv)Soap opera, Teen drama

    Beverly Hills, 90210 (Fox, 1990) is an American teen drama television series created by Darren... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 31
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    2,340
    1,573

    ActorsSarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters

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

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The WB, 1997) is an American supernatural drama television series... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 32
    Dinosaurs
    1,411
    896

    Dinosaurs

    1991-1994

    ActorsStuart Pankin, Jessica Walter, Jason Willinger

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Satire, Children's television series, Comedy, Puppet

    Dinosaurs is an American family sitcom that was originally broadcast on ABC from April 26,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 33
    Whose Line Line Is It Anyway
    1,942
    1,471

    ActorsRyan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Wayne Brady, Aisha Tyler, Drew Carey

    Genres (Tv)Improvisational theatre, Television comedy

    Whose Line Is It Anyway? (ABC, 1998-2007, The CW, 2013) is an American improvisational comedy... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 34
    Family Matters
    2,091
    1,146

    ActorsReginald VelJohnson, Jaleel White, Kellie Shanygne Williams

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Family Matters is an American sitcom which originated on ABC network from September 22, 1989... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 35
    Darkwing Duck
    917
    567

    ActorsJim Cummings, Terence McGovern, Christine Cavanaugh

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

    Darkwing Duck is an American animated action-adventure television series produced by The Walt... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 36
    Charmed
    1,571
    1,183

    Charmed

    1998-2006

    ActorsShannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Fantasy, Supernatural

    Charmed (The WB, 1998) is an American fantasy drama television series created by Constance M.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 37
    King of the Hill
    1,417
    1,371

    ActorsMike Judge, Kathy Najimy, Pamela Adlon

    Genres (Tv)Cartoon, Animation, Television comedy, Sitcom, Satire

    King of the Hill is an American adult animated sitcom created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 38
    ER
    1,385
    1,456

    ER

    1994-2009

    ActorsAnthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

    Genres (Tv)Medical drama, Drama, Medical fiction

    ER is an American medical drama television series created by novelist Michael Crichton that... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 39
    Rugrats
    1,636
    686

    Rugrats

    1991-2006

    ActorsElizabeth Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Nancy Cartwright

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

    Rugrats is an American animated television series created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 40
    Quantum Leap
    1,195
    1,162

    ActorsScott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

    Genres (Tv)Procedural drama, Drama, Science Fiction

    Quantum Leap is an American television series that originally aired on NBC for five seasons,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 41
    Who's the Boss?
    728
    496

    ActorsTony Danza, Judith Light, Alyssa Milano

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Who's the Boss? is an American sitcom created by Martin Cohan and Blake Hunter, which aired on... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 42
    3rd Rock from the Sun
    1,446
    1,214

    ActorsJohn Lithgow, Jane Curtin, Kristen Johnston

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

    3rd Rock from the Sun is an American sitcom that aired from 1996 to 2001 on NBC. The show is... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 43
    Hey Arnold!
    1,106
    923

    Hey Arnold!

    1996-2004

    ActorsFrancesca Marie Smith, Jamil Walker Smith, Dan Castellaneta

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

    Hey Arnold is an American animated television series created by Craig Bartlett for... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 44
    Law & Order
    1,701
    1,748

    Law & Order

    1990-2010

    ActorsJerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama, Legal drama, Legal

    Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 45
    Pinky and the Brain

    ActorsMaurice LaMarche, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille

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

    Pinky and the Brain is an American animated television series. It was the first animated... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 46
    Beavis and Butt-head

    ActorsMike Judge, Dale Revo, Tracy Grandstaff

    Genres (Tv)Music video, Animation, Satire, Animated cartoon, Comedy

    Beavis and Butt-head is an American animated sitcom created and designed by Mike Judge. The... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 47
    The Drew Carey Show
    1,093
    1,178

    ActorsDrew Carey, Diedrich Bader, Ryan Stiles

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    The Drew Carey Show is an American sitcom that aired on ABC from 1995 to 2004. The show was... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 48
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

    ActorsMariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama, Live action, Legal drama

    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 1999) is an American police procedural, legal, crime... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 49
    Celebrity Deathmatch

    ActorsMaurice Schlafer, Len Maxwell, Mills Lane

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Satire, Sports film, Clay animation

    Celebrity Deathmatch was a claymation television show that depicted celebrities against each... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 50
    Arthur
    669
    521

    Arthur

    1996

    ActorsJ.T. Turner, Melissa Altro, Daniel Brochu

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

    Arthur is a Canadian/American animated educational television series for children, created by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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