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The Greatest Period TV Shows Set in the 1990s

Updated February 16, 2021 398 votes 78 voters 3.0k views42 items

List RulesOnly 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.

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  • Everything Sucks!1
    34
    11

    Everything Sucks!

    Peyton Kennedy, Jahi Winston

    Premiered2018

    Everything Sucks (Netflix, 2018) is an American television comedy series created by Ben York...  more
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  • Alien Nation2
    24
    10

    Alien Nation

    Gary Graham, Eric Pierpoint

    Premiered1989

    Alien Nation is a science fiction television series in the Alien Nation franchise. Adapted...  more
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  • Fresh Off the Boat3
    25
    21

    Fresh Off the Boat

    Constance Wu, Randall Park

    Premiered2015

    Fresh Off the Boat (ABC, 2015) is an American comedy television series created by Nahnatchka...  more
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  • Halt & Catch Fire4
    12
    10

    Halt & Catch Fire

    Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles

    Premiered2014

    Halt and Catch Fire is an American period drama television series created by Christopher...  more
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  • American Horror Story: Murder House5
    19
    20

    American Horror Story: Murder House

    Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott

    Premiered2011

    American Horror Story: Murder House is the first season of the FX television series American...  more
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  • Derry Girls6
    9
    7

    Derry Girls

    Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Louisa Harland

    Premiered2017

    Derry Girls (Channel 4, 2018) is a British sitcom created by Lisa McGee. Erin (Saoirse-Monica...  more
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  • Fat Tony & Co7
    9
    12

    Fat Tony & Co

    Robert Mammone, Gyton Grantley

    Premiered2014

    Fat Tony & Co. (Nine Network, 2014) is a nine-episode Australian television series focusing on...  more
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  • Harold Shipman: Doctor Death8
    9
    12

    Harold Shipman: Doctor Death

    Michael Stainton, Olive Pendleton

    Premiered2002

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  • Moone Boy9
    5
    7

    Moone Boy

    Chris O'Dowd, David Rawle

    Premiered2012

    Moone Boy is an Irish sitcom created, co-written by and co-starring Chris O'Dowd for British...  more
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  • True Detective10
    10
    15

    True Detective

    Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey

    Premiered2013

    True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic...  more
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  • Out There11
    4
    7

    Out There

    Ryan Quincy, Justin Roiland

    Premiered2013

    Out There is an American animated dramedy television series created by Ryan Quincy, that...  more
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  • Surviving Jack12
    8
    15

    Surviving Jack

    Christopher Meloni, Rachael Harris

    Premiered2014

    Surviving Jack is an upcoming American television series that is expected to air midseason on...  more
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  • How I Met Your Mother13
    1
    0

    How I Met Your Mother

    Josh Radnor, Jason Segel

    Premiered2005

    How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 2005) is an American sitcom created by Craig Thomas and Carter...  more
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  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles14
    6
    13

    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

    Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker

    Premiered2008

    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox, 2008) is an American science fiction television...  more
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  • Reunion15
    2
    4

    Reunion

    Amanda Righetti, Chyler Leigh

    Premiered2005

    Reunion is an American television series that aired on FOX in late 2005. The series was...  more
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  • The Winner16
    2
    2

    The Winner

    Rob Corddry, Erinn Hayes

    Premiered2007

    The Winner is an American television series that premiered on Fox on March 4, 2007. It is a...  more
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  • The Take17
    4
    2

    The Take

    Tom Hardy, Brian Cox

    Premiered2009

    The Take is a four episode British drama TV series on Sky 1 based upon the Martina Cole novel....  more
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  • White Teeth18
    0
    4

    White Teeth

    Russell Brand, James McAvoy

    Premiered2002

    White Teeth is a 2002 British four-part television drama miniseries based on the novel of the...  more
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  • Hindsight19
    Hindsight (VH1, 2015) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Emily Fox....  more
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  • A Very British Coup20
    2
    4

    A Very British Coup

    Keith Allen, Tim McInnerny

    Premiered1988

    A Very British Coup is a TV program....
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  • Underbelly: The Golden Mile21
    0
    2

    Underbelly: The Golden Mile

    Emma Booth, Firass Dirani

    Premiered2010

    Underbelly: The Golden Mile, the third series of Nine Network's popular crime drama series...  more
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  • Political Animals22
    0
    2

    Political Animals

    Sigourney Weaver, Carla Gugino

    Premiered2012

    Political Animals was a six-episode American miniseries created by Greg Berlanti. The series...  more
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  • Better Call Saul23
    2
    0

    Better Call Saul

    Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks

    Premiered2015

    Better Call Saul (AMC, 2015) is an American television drama series created by Vince Gilligan...  more
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  • Show Me a Hero24
    0
    4

    Show Me a Hero

    Oscar Isaac, Bob Balaban

    Premiered2015

    Show Me a Hero (HBO, 2015) is a American miniseries directed by Paul Haggis, based on the...  more
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  • This Is Us25
    1
    0

    This Is Us

    Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore

    Premiered2016

    This Is Us (NBC, 2016) is an American television series created by Dan Fogelman. Follows a...  more
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