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The Greatest Shows of the 1990s, Ranked

Updated January 12, 2021 264.9k votes 14.7k voters 443.3k 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 Simpsons

    1989-present
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  • 3
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    Friends

    1994-2004
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  • 5
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    Full House

    1987-1995
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    The Golden Girls is an American sitcom, created by Susan Harris, that originally aired on NBC...  more

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  • 7
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    The Wonder Years is an American television comedy-drama created by Neal Marlens and Carol...  more

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    #6 of 60 The Best ABC Comedies of All Time#2 of 119 The Best Shows About Families

  • 8
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    Saved by the Bell is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from 1989 to 1993. A...  more

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  • 9
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    Cheers

    1982-1993
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  • 10
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    Boy Meets World (ABC, 1993) is an American television sitcom created by Michael Jacobs and...  more

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  • 11
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    Seinfeld

    1989-1998
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    The X-Files

    1993-2002
    The X-Files (Fox, 1993) is an American science fiction horror drama television series created...  more

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  • 13
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    That '70s Show (Fox, 2006) is an American teen period comedy sitcom created by Bonnie Turner,...  more

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  • 14
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    Sabrina the Teenage Witch (ABC, 1996) is an American sitcom created by Nell Scovell and is...  more

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    #9 of 83 The Best After School Shows from the '90s#21 of 59 The Best Teen Sci-Fi And Fantasy TV Series

  • 15
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    Animaniacs is an American animated television series, distributed by Warner Bros. Television...  more

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  • 16
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    Roseanne

    1988-1997
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  • 17
    Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by...  more

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

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    Everybody Loves Raymond is an American television sitcom starring Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton,...  more

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

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    Tiny Toon Adventures is an American animated comedy television series that was broadcasting...  more

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    Married... with Children is an American sitcom that aired for 11 seasons. It featured a...  more

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

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    The Nanny (CBS, 1993) is an American television sitcom created by Fran Drescher and Peter Marc...  more

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  • 25
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    Frasier

    1993-2004
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