Entertainment

The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s  

Ranker TV
172 votes 50 voters 1.1k views 25 items

List Rules Only period shows that were set in the 1990s—not just series released during that decade.

For millennials, the '90s represent some of the best things in life. For others, it's just another decade of odd trends that'll resurface time and time again. For TV, however, the '90s were a common setting for a variety of shows. Though the era may not be comparable to shows set in the '80s or the future, there are certainly some great TV shows set in the '90s that we all have come to know and love. Sure, the '90s didn't bring us classic rock like the 1960s, but it did provide a decent time frame for a broad range of series, from true crime to comedy. Of all the top shows set in the '90s, what's your favorite?

As you might imagine, most of these '90s-set TV shows aired after the decade came and went. Nevertheless, some shows did use the '90s as a future time. Alien Nation, for instance, originally aired in 1989 and was set in the near future of 1995. Of course, the large majority of these shows set in the '90s came years after, providing a nostalgic look back at such a wonderful decade. These are shows like Everything Sucks!, Surviving Jack, and the hit series Fresh Off the Boat. What do you think are the best TV shows set in the '90s?

Whether you want to take some time to reflect back on decades past or need some good ol' nostalgia, check out the list of modern TV shows set in the '90s below. Be sure to vote up your favorites and add any missing from the list. For an extra dose of nostalgia, take a look at the best '90s shows while you're at it.

list ordered by
1
Fresh Off the Boat is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Constance Wu, Randall Park, Hudson Yang
Fresh Off the Boat is a comedy series starring Randall Park, Constance Wu, Ian Chen, Hudson Yang, and Forrest Wheeler that is inspired by the life of chef and food personality Eddie Huang and ...more
2
Everything Sucks is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Peyton Kennedy, Jahi Winston, Patch Darragh
Everything Sucks (Netflix, 2018) is an American television comedy series created by Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan. In 1990s Oregon, members of a high school A/V club clash with the drama
3
Alien Nation is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Gary Graham, Eric Pierpoint, Michele Scarabelli
Alien Nation is a science fiction television series in the Alien Nation franchise. Adapted from the 1988 movie of the same name, it stars Gary Graham as Detective Matthew Sikes, a Los Angeles ...more
4
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan
True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.
5
Halt & Catch Fire is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Ali Milner
Halt and Catch Fire is an American period drama television series created by Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers, that premiered on AMC on June 1, 2014. The series is set in the ...more
6
Surviving Jack is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Christopher Meloni, Rachael Harris, Connor Buckley
Surviving Jack is an upcoming American television series that is expected to air midseason on Fox as part of the 2013–14 American television season. On May 8, 2013, Fox placed a thirteen-episode ...more
7
American Horror Story: Murder ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters
American Horror Story: Murder House is the first season of the FX television series American Horror Story, aired between October 5, 2011, through December 21, 2011. It centers on the Harmon ...more
8
Terminator: The Sarah Connor C... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is an American science fiction television series that aired on Fox. The show was produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Warner Bros. Television, and C2 ...more
9
Out There is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Out There Ryan Quincy, Justin Roiland, Fred Armisen
Out There is an American animated dramedy television series created by Ryan Quincy, that premiered on February 22, 2013 at 10:30pm ET on IFC. IFC did not renew Out There for a second season.
10
Fat Tony & Co is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Fat Tony & Co Robert Mammone, Gyton Grantley, Shane Jacobson
Fat Tony & Co. (Nine Network, 2014) is a nine-episode Australian television series focusing on Tony Mokbel and covers the manhunt which lasted 18 months and dismantled a drug empire. It ...more
11
Harold Shipman: Doctor Death is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Harold Shipman: Doctor Death Michael Stainton, Olive Pendleton, Veda Warwick
12
Moone Boy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Chris O'Dowd, David Rawle, Deirdre O'Kane
Moone Boy is an Irish sitcom created, co-written by and co-starring Chris O'Dowd for British broadcaster Sky. The series is co-written by Nick Vincent Murphy and is produced by Baby Cow ...more
13
The Take is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Tom Hardy, Brian Cox, Charlotte Riley
The Take is a four episode British drama TV series on Sky 1 based upon the Martina Cole novel. Shooting for the show took place in Dublin. The show premiered on 17 June 2009 and stars Tom Hardy, ...more
14
Hindsight is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Hindsight (VH1, 2015) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Emily Fox. While wrestling with doubts on the eve of her second wedding, Becca (Laura Ramsey) finds herself sent ...more
15
Derry Girls is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Louisa Harland, Nicola Coughlan
Derry Girls (Channel 4, 2018) is a British sitcom created by Lisa McGee. Features the personal exploits of a 16 year old girl, her family and friends during the Troubles in the early 90s.
16
The Winner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Rob Corddry, Erinn Hayes, Keir Gilchrist
The Winner is an American television series that premiered on Fox on March 4, 2007. It is a comedy about a successful man named Glen Abbott looking back to the time when he was in his 30s and ...more
17
The Secret is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
The Secret James Nesbitt, Genevieve O'Reilly, Patrick O'Kane
18
When We Rise is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
When We Rise Rachel Griffiths, Austin P. McKenzie, Mary-Louise Parker
19
City on a Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Kevin Bacon, Aldis Hodge, Kevin Chapman
City on a Hill (Showtime, 2019) is an American television series created by Chuck MacLean. District Attorney Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge) and corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran Jackie Rhodes ...more
20
Reunion is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Amanda Righetti, Chyler Leigh, Alexa Davalos
Reunion is an American television series that aired on FOX in late 2005. The series was intended to chronicle 20 years in the lives of a group of six high school friends from Bedford, New York, ...more
21
A Very British Coup is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
A Very British Coup Keith Allen, Tim McInnerny, Ray McAnally
A Very British Coup is a TV program.
22
Underbelly: The Golden Mile is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Underbelly: The Golden Mile Emma Booth, Firass Dirani, Paul Tassone
Underbelly: The Golden Mile, the third series of Nine Network's popular crime drama series Underbelly, originally aired from 11 April to 27 June 2010. It is a thirteen-part series loosely based ...more
23
Political Animals is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Sigourney Weaver, Carla Gugino, James Wolk
Political Animals was a six-episode American miniseries created by Greg Berlanti. The series aired in the United States on USA Network from July 15 through August 19, 2012. Sigourney Weaver ...more
24
White Teeth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
White Teeth Russell Brand, James McAvoy
White Teeth is a 2002 British four-part television drama miniseries based on the novel of the same name written by Zadie Smith. The series was directed by Julian Jarrold, adapted by Simon Burke, ...more
25
Show Me a Hero is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s
Oscar Isaac, Bob Balaban, Jim Belushi
Show Me a Hero (HBO, 2015) is a American miniseries directed by Paul Haggis, based on the nonfiction book by Lisa Belkin. Yonkers' Mayor Nick Wasicsko (Oscar Isaac) takes offices in 1987 and has ...more