TV Guide names top 50 shows of all time.

TV Guide has named its choices for the Top 50
shows of all time. CBS News has the list here.
The sci-fi and fantasy entries include
Sesame Street (#27), The X-Files
(#37), Buffy The Vampire Slayer (#41),
Star Trek: The Next Generation (#46), and
Bewitched (#50).

11 replies on “TV Guide names top 50 shows of all time.”

  1. crow says:

    45: Twin Peaks
    Twin Peaks should certainly be relevant in the sci-fi category, though I don’t see why Sesame Street should be.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: 45: Twin Peaks

      Twin Peaks should certainly be relevant in the sci-fi
      category, though I don’t see why Sesame Street should
      be.

      I consider a show with 8 foot tall
      walking, talking canaries and wooly mammoths that sing
      to be a member of the fantasy genre. :)

  2. theangrymob says:

    Smoking Crack?
    Because that’s the only excuse for puttin “Donahue” at number 29. At least TNG beat out Oprah(TM).

    • Alexius says:

      Re: Smoking Crack?

      Because that’s the only excuse for puttin “Donahue” at number 29. At least TNG beat out Oprah(TM).

      Lest I Betray My felow Geeks, I’m Smug At The fact That Buffy Beat The Next Generation.
      (Not That I didn’t Like The Next Generation, I Just like Buffy More.)

      • Defenestrator says:

        Top 50 TV Shows of All Time
        Here is the recent “TV Guide’s” list of the “50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time”:

        1. Seinfeld (I hate it when something really good like this series is so overhyped that it raises expectations higher than is reasonable [see especially their choice #5]; top hundred OK, but not the very top spot)

        2. I Love Lucy

        3. The Honeymooners

        4. All in the Family (one of the most vital historically, but who wants to watch it now? very funny early seasons, the first time around)

        5. The Sopranos

        6. 60 Minutes

        7. Late Show With David Letterman (He was better on “Late Night” on NBC in the eighties)

        8. The Simpsons

        9. The Andy Griffith Show

        10. Saturday Night Live (TV Guide blasphemously groups the original show with what’s on the air now)

        11. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

        12. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (They avoided the mistake made with #10)

        13. The Dick Van Dyke Show

        14. Hill Street Blues

        15. The Ed Sullivan Show

        16. The Carol Burnett Show

        17. Today

        18. Cheers

        19. Thirtysomething (Ugh!)

        20. St. Elsewhere

        21. Friends

        22. ER

        23. Nightline

        24. Law & Order

        25. M*A*S*H

        26. The Twilight Zone

        27. Sesame Street

        28. The Cosby Show

        29. The Phil Donahue Show

        30. Your Show of Shows

        31. The Defenders

        32. An American Family

        33. Playhouse 90 (Unfair to count this as a series, considering the many different contributors week to week; “Twilight Zone” had the constant of Rod Serling’s presence and another constant by (Marius) Constant–that recognizable theme music, plus the twist endings)

        34. Frasier

        35. Roseanne (Ultimate Ugh; imagine placing this above “The Fugitive”–even “Married With Children” would have been a better choice)

        36. The Fugitive

        37. The X-Files

        38. The Larry Sanders Show

        39. The Rockford Files

        40. Gunsmoke

        41. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

        42. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in

        43. Bonanza

        44. The Bob Newhart Show (70s; Bob had a show of the same title in 1960 that won best comedy series at the Emmys; I’d love to see it)

        45. Twin Peaks

        46. Star Trek–The Next Generation (I liked both the original and “Deep Space Nine” more)

        47. Rocky and His Friends (Bullwinkle)

        48. Taxi

        49. The Oprah Winfrey Show (I don’t dislike Oprah or her show, but I cringed when she made it into the TV Hall of Fame when so many who deserved to for so long hadn’t yet)

        50. Bewitched (Great, but I did enjoy Jeannie more)

        The New York Post’s TV editor responded with his own list, putting “Gilligan’s Island” at No. 1 and “Mr. Ed” as No. 2. One thing I was pleased to see on his top ten was “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea”, which has always been so underrated. But most of his other choices were rather silly.

        My own choices:

        1. The Twilight Zone (original version; The “Citizen Kane” of TV shows, but with much more interesting subject matter assembling the best guest stars imaginable; here more than in any other series, many of the diverse episodes were distinctively memorable.)

        2. Peyton Place (Remember the overrated surprise twist in “The Crying Game”? There really wasn’t much more to the film than that much hyped cheap trick. Living more up to such an expectation, this series had about four or five genuine plot shocks that really blew me away (a totally unexpected revelation about a murder years earlier, Steven Cord’s answer to whether he was related to the Harringtons, and anything having to do with the Chernak family), with great characters represented by some of the best acting I’ve ever seen (Paul Langton, Lee Grant, Tim O’Connor, Christopher Connelly, George Macready, Ed Nelson, Barbara Parkins, Dorothy Malone) and a great TV romance (Ryan O’Neal, Mia Farrow). And I was expecting some dumb soap opera probably like you are now.

        3. The Fugitive (The most gripping story progression week to week; every once in a while, Richard Kimble’s involvement with whatever new situation he was in, and his being chased by Lt. Gerard, would cause him, and the viewer, to almost forget about the menacing one-armed man Kimble was pursuing, and then in his rare but sudden appearances that character would shock you back to the reality of the show’s main plotline. Also the best finale of any series.)

        4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Vital to watch this show in sequence, as it constantly refers to things of relevance only to viewers of earlier episodes; many great jokes, and one of the sexiest shows ever while as successfully dramatic as choices 1 to 3.)

        5. SCTV (Simply the most hilarious show ever.)

        6. Batman (live action)

        7. The Avengers

        8. The Odd Couple (Randall and Klugman of course, not the black version and not the women’s version, and not the dog-and-cat cartoon; An actual improvement on the film, which was also great)

        9. The Dick Van Dyke Show

        10. I Dream of Jeannie

        11. Xena: Warrior Princess

        12. The Honeymooners

        13. Star Trek

        14. Wild Wild West

        15. Mission: Impossible (original)

        16. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

        17. The Simpsons

        18. M*A*S*H

        19. Monty Python’s Flying Circus

        20. Taxi

        21. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Lost World’

        22. W.O.W.: Women of Wrestling

        23. WSL Rollerjam

        24. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (original)

        25. Get Smart (60s)

        26. The Adventures of Superman

        27. F Troop

        28. Your Show of Shows

        29. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

        30. The Jack Benny Program

        31. The Flintstones

        32. I Love Lucy

        33. The Bob Newhart Show (70s)

        34. Naked City (60s)

        35. Ben Casey

        36. The Invaders

        37. Bewitched

        38. The Night Stalker

        39. The Munsters (60s)

        40. Sergeant Bilko

        41. Saturday Night Live (original cast)

        42. The Muppet Show

        43. Car 54, Where Are You?

        44. Kung Fu

        45. Quincy

        46. The Practice (current)

        47. Lost in Space

        48. The Andy Griffith Show

        49. Hogan’s Heroes

        50. The Addams Family (60s)

        An honest list, of course, changes day to day as one’s feelings change. Other shows that may at times displace some of the preceding include “Dark Shadows”, “The Abbott and Costello Show”, “Night Gallery”, the original “The Outer Limits”, “Boris Karloff Presents ‘Thriller'”, the 60s “Spiderman” cartoons, “Mister Ed”, “Angel”, “Charmed”, the “Star Trek” animateds, “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, “Lois and Clark”, “The Monkees”, “The Green Hornet” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

        If “Fawlty Towers”, “Police Squad”, “Mr. Bean” and “The Prisoner” had more episodes of equivalent quality (all four ran for less than 20 episodes), I might have included them somewhere on my list. If I were to include science shows, Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” and James Burke’s “Connections” and “Day the Universe Changed” would head the list. And I hate omitting some shows that ran for only one season: “Battlestar Galactica”, “Planet of the Apes”, “Tales of the Gold Monkey”, “The Barbary Coast”, “Girl From U.N.C.L.E.”, “Cleopatra 2525” and “My Partner the Ghost”. Also, “Mutant X” is a promising current show.

        My next 50 might also include “Sesame Street”, “A&E Biography”, “The Rat Patrol”, “The Six Million Dollar Man”, “Gilligan’s Island”, “Dr. Kildare”, “Seinfeld”, “V.I.P.”, “Barney Miller”, “All in the Family”, “Perry Mason”, “The Saint”, “The Big Valley”, “Search Party”, “Wild On”, “The E! True Hollywood Story”, “Homicide”, “Law and Order”, “Land of the Giants”, “Bonanza”, “Quark”, “Ironside”, “Gunsmoke”, “The Bionic Woman”, “Starsky and Hutch”, “Kojak”, “Columbo”, “The Rockford Files”, “Wonder Woman”, “The Rifleman”, “Lexx” (it takes watching about a half dozen episodes to get this show), “The Mod Squad”, “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “The Time Tunnel”, “Cheers”, “Green Acres”, “Black Scorpion” (just for the best dedication ever to sexy kayo scenes), “Baywatch” (for pushing the envelope for a mainstream show), “Hill Street Blues”, “The Sopranos”, “Frasier”, “Happy Days”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “Longstreet”, “Farscape”, “Stargate SG-1”, “Rocky and His Friends”, “The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show/Peanuts Specials”, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Maverick”.

        I have to be fair to say I only saw the first episode of “Twin Peaks”, which was very good, and “The Sopranos” did have a good first season but not as good as was proclaimed. I need a refresher course on some older shows, such as “The Defenders”, “Here Come the Brides” and “Garrison’s Gorillas”.

        “Roseanne” and “Thirtysomething” actually belong on an all-time worst list, along with all trash talk shows, “The Facts of Life”, “Diff’rent Strokes”, “McGurk”, “My Mother the Car” and (worst of all) “First and Ten” (starring Delta Burke and O.J. Simpson).

        I know I’m still leaving out something.

        • Defenestrator says:

          Re: Top 50 TV Shows of All Time
          Doesn’t this chat page accept line breaks?

          • theangrymob says:

            Re: Top 50 TV Shows of All Time

            Doesn’t this chat page accept line breaks?

            That’s what the check box “Insert linebreaks?” is for. Also try out the “Preview” button. It rocks!

          • fiziko says:

            Re: Top 50 TV Shows of All Time

            Doesn’t this chat page accept line breaks?

            Yes, but you have to click the “Insert
            Linebreaks” checkbox next to the Preview, Post, and Reset
            buttons. Or, alternatively, you could put the HTML tags in
            manually.

          • Dave says:

            Re: Top 50 TV Shows of All Time

            Doesn’t this chat page accept line breaks?

            chat page? that’s a new one for me.

            Anyway. The site used to put ’em in automatically, but then people that
            did their own would have their text spaced out really funny (with two
            linebreaks whenever they wanted one) and people complained. Then I never
            did it, but people who expected linebreaks didn’t get ’em and then
            they complained. The current system (choose your linebreak
            preference, plus the almighty “preview” button) is the best compromise I
            could come up with in five minutes’ time. And unless I win that lottery
            this weekend (unlikely, as I haven’t even bought a ticket), five minutes
            here and there is about all I have most of the time.

        • Dave says:

          Re: Top 50 TV Shows of All Time
          here’s the previous comment, only WITH the linebreaks. :)

          Here is the recent “TV Guide’s” list of the “50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time”:

          1. Seinfeld (I hate it when something really good like this series is so overhyped that it raises expectations higher than is reasonable [see especially their choice #5]; top hundred OK, but not the very top spot)

          2. I Love Lucy

          3. The Honeymooners

          4. All in the Family (one of the most vital historically, but who wants to watch it now? very funny early seasons, the first time around)

          5. The Sopranos

          6. 60 Minutes

          7. Late Show With David Letterman (He was better on “Late Night” on NBC in the eighties)

          8. The Simpsons

          9. The Andy Griffith Show

          10. Saturday Night Live (TV Guide blasphemously groups the original show with what’s on the air now)

          11. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

          12. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (They avoided the mistake made with #10)

          13. The Dick Van Dyke Show

          14. Hill Street Blues

          15. The Ed Sullivan Show

          16. The Carol Burnett Show

          17. Today

          18. Cheers

          19. Thirtysomething (Ugh!)

          20. St. Elsewhere

          21. Friends

          22. ER

          23. Nightline

          24. Law & Order

          25. M*A*S*H

          26. The Twilight Zone

          27. Sesame Street

          28. The Cosby Show

          29. The Phil Donahue Show

          30. Your Show of Shows

          31. The Defenders

          32. An American Family

          33. Playhouse 90 (Unfair to count this as a series, considering the many different contributors week to week; “Twilight Zone” had the constant of Rod Serling’s presence and another constant by (Marius) Constant–that recognizable theme music, plus the twist endings)

          34. Frasier

          35. Roseanne (Ultimate Ugh; imagine placing this above “The Fugitive”–even “Married With Children” would have been a better choice)

          36. The Fugitive

          37. The X-Files

          38. The Larry Sanders Show

          39. The Rockford Files

          40. Gunsmoke

          41. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

          42. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in

          43. Bonanza

          44. The Bob Newhart Show (70s; Bob had a show of the same title in 1960 that won best comedy series at the Emmys; I’d love to see it)

          45. Twin Peaks

          46. Star TrekThe Next Generation (I liked both the original and “Deep Space Nine” more)

          47. Rocky and His Friends (Bullwinkle)

          48. Taxi

          49. The Oprah Winfrey Show (I don’t dislike Oprah or her show, but I cringed when she made it into the TV Hall of Fame when so many who deserved to for so long hadn’t yet)

          50. Bewitched (Great, but I did enjoy Jeannie more)

          The New York Post’s TV editor responded with his own list, putting “Gilligan’s Island” at No. 1 and “Mr. Ed” as No. 2. One thing I was pleased to see on his top ten was “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea”, which has always been so underrated. But most of his other choices were rather silly.

          My own choices:

          1. The Twilight Zone (original version; The “Citizen Kane” of TV shows, but with much more interesting subject matter assembling the best guest stars imaginable; here more than in any other series, many of the diverse episodes were distinctively memorable.)

          2. Peyton Place (Remember the overrated surprise twist in “The Crying Game”? There really wasn’t much more to the film than that much hyped cheap trick. Living more up to such an expectation, this series had about four or five genuine plot shocks that really blew me away (a totally unexpected revelation about a murder years earlier, Steven Cord’s answer to whether he was related to the Harringtons, and anything having to do with the Chernak family), with great characters represented by some of the best acting I’ve ever seen (Paul Langton, Lee Grant, Tim O’Connor, Christopher Connelly, George Macready, Ed Nelson, Barbara Parkins, Dorothy Malone) and a great TV romance (Ryan O’Neal, Mia Farrow). And I was expecting some dumb soap opera probably like you are now.

          3. The Fugitive (The most gripping story progression week to week; every once in a while, Richard Kimble’s involvement with whatever new situation he was in, and his being chased by Lt. Gerard, would cause him, and the viewer, to almost forget about the menacing one-armed man Kimble was pursuing, and then in his rare but sudden appearances that character would shock you back to the reality of the show’s main plotline. Also the best finale of any series.)

          4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Vital to watch this show in sequence, as it constantly refers to things of relevance only to viewers of earlier episodes; many great jokes, and one of the sexiest shows ever while as successfully dramatic as choices 1 to 3.)

          5. SCTV (Simply the most hilarious show ever.)

          6. Batman (live action)

          7. The Avengers

          8. The Odd Couple (Randall and Klugman of course, not the black version and not the women’s version, and not the dog-and-cat cartoon; An actual improvement on the film, which was also great)

          9. The Dick Van Dyke Show

          10. I Dream of Jeannie

          11. Xena: Warrior Princess

          12. The Honeymooners

          13. Star Trek

          14. Wild Wild West

          15. Mission: Impossible (original)

          16. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

          17. The Simpsons

          18. M*A*S*H

          19. Monty Python’s Flying Circus

          20. Taxi

          21. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Lost World’

          22. W.O.W.: Women of Wrestling

          23. WSL Rollerjam

          24. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (original)

          25. Get Smart (60s)

          26. The Adventures of Superman

          27. F Troop

          28. Your Show of Shows

          29. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

          30. The Jack Benny Program

          31. The Flintstones

          32. I Love Lucy

          33. The Bob Newhart Show (70s)

          34. Naked City (60s)

          35. Ben Casey

          36. The Invaders

          37. Bewitched

          38. The Night Stalker

          39. The Munsters (60s)

          40. Sergeant Bilko

          41. Saturday Night Live (original cast)

          42. The Muppet Show

          43. Car 54, Where Are You?

          44. Kung Fu

          45. Quincy

          46. The Practice (current)

          47. Lost in Space

          48. The Andy Griffith Show

          49. Hogan’s Heroes

          50. The Addams Family (60s)

          An honest list, of course, changes day to day as one’s feelings change. Other shows that may at times displace some of the preceding include “Dark Shadows”, “The Abbott and Costello Show”, “Night Gallery”, the original “The Outer Limits”, “Boris Karloff Presents ‘Thriller'”, the 60s “Spiderman” cartoons, “Mister Ed”, “Angel”, “Charmed”, the “Star Trek” animateds, “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, “Lois and Clark”, “The Monkees”, “The Green Hornet” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

          If “Fawlty Towers”, “Police Squad”, “Mr. Bean” and “The Prisoner” had more episodes of equivalent quality (all four ran for less than 20 episodes), I might have included them somewhere on my list. If I were to include science shows, Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” and James Burke’s “Connections” and “Day the Universe Changed” would head the list. And I hate omitting some shows that ran for only one season: “Battlestar Galactica”, “Planet of the Apes”, “Tales of the Gold Monkey”, “The Barbary Coast”, “Girl From U.N.C.L.E.”, “Cleopatra 2525” and “My Partner the Ghost”. Also, “Mutant X” is a promising current show.

          My next 50 might also include “Sesame Street”, “A&E Biography”, “The Rat Patrol”, “The Six Million Dollar Man”, “Gilligan’s Island”, “Dr. Kildare”, “Seinfeld”, “V.I.P.”, “Barney Miller”, “All in the Family”, “Perry Mason”, “The Saint”, “The Big Valley”, “Search Party”, “Wild On”, “The E! True Hollywood Story”, “Homicide”, “Law and Order”, “Land of the Giants”, “Bonanza”, “Quark”, “Ironside”, “Gunsmoke”, “The Bionic Woman”, “Starsky and Hutch”, “Kojak”, “Columbo”, “The Rockford Files”, “Wonder Woman”, “The Rifleman”, “Lexx” (it takes watching about a half dozen episodes to get this show), “The Mod Squad”, “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “The Time Tunnel”, “Cheers”, “Green Acres”, “Black Scorpion” (just for the best dedication ever to sexy kayo scenes), “Baywatch” (for pushing the envelope for a mainstream show), “Hill Street Blues”, “The Sopranos”, “Frasier”, “Happy Days”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “Longstreet”, “Farscape”, “Stargate SG-1”, “Rocky and His Friends”, “The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show/Peanuts Specials”,
          “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Maverick”.

          I have to be fair to say I only saw the first episode of “Twin Peaks”, which was very good, and “The Sopranos” did have a good first season but not as good as was proclaimed. I need a refresher course on some older shows, such as “The Defenders”, “Here Come the Brides” and “Garrison’s Gorillas”.

          “Roseanne” and “Thirtysomething” actually belong on an all-time worst list, along with all trash talk shows, “The Facts of Life”, “Diff’rent Strokes”, “McGurk”, “My Mother the Car” and (worst of all) “First and Ten” (starring Delta Burke and O.J. Simpson).

          I know I’m still leaving out something.

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