The Best of My Favourite TV Shows

by frogsaroyan | created - 28 Sep 2014 | updated - 10 Dec 2017 | Public

There's no accounting for taste in all my favourite tv shows, but here are the ones I most recommend based on quality. This isn't a list of the "best" tv shows of all time, just the best of my favourites. I don't include mini-series.

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1. Cracker (1993–1996)

TV-MA | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Dr Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald is a criminal psychologist. He is rather anti-social and obnoxious but he has a gift for solving crimes. Thus he is employed as a consultant by the Manchester Police.

Stars: Robbie Coltrane, Geraldine Somerville, Kieran O'Brien, Barbara Flynn

Votes: 5,110

The character of Fitz is played errantly and with majestic depravity by Robbie Coltrane, who proves himself the Orson Welles of television crime drama. To me, this show is legendary. Relentlessly challenging and sorrowfully uncomfortable, somehow, above it all, rises some sort of incalculable romance.

2. Jeopardy! (1984– )

TV-G | 30 min | Short, Game-Show

A returning champion and two challengers test their buzzer skills and their knowledge in a wide range of academic and popular categories.

Stars: Alex Trebek, Johnny Gilbert, Jimmy McGuire, Sarah Whitcomb Foss

Votes: 5,338

This show is psychiatrically soothing. Playing right into our superiority complex as we look down at the "dummies" who didn't know the answer when we did, then keeping us humble whenever we shout our wrong answers at the screen. More than that, it's so damn dependable. This is my "desert island" tv show.

3. Game of Thrones (2011–2019)

TV-MA | 57 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for thousands of years.

Stars: Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey

Votes: 1,594,724

The brutality of Game of Thrones sneaks up on you because of how much glee you take in cheering on the endless clashes. It's a show not without its faults, but one *look* at allllllllllllllll those dreamy costumes and I'm hooked. Best tv costumes ever. Peter Dinklage/Tyrion Lannister has captured our hearts.

4. Sesame Street (1969– )

TV-Y | 55 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

On a special inner city street, the inhabitants, human and muppet, teach preschool subjects with comedy, cartoons, games, and songs.

Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney, Jerry Nelson

Votes: 10,998

Pre-1989 is where it's at. This is a show that had more funk, heart and soul than everything else on tv put together, ever. The early songs are classic. I still sing them today.

5. Homeland (2011– )

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A bipolar CIA operative becomes convinced a prisoner of war has been turned by al-Qaeda and is planning to carry out a terrorist attack on American soil.

Stars: Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Damian Lewis, Rupert Friend

Votes: 284,021

The chemistry between Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin is electric. A risky show about risk. There are genuinely terrifying moments in this series, scarier than many horror films.

6. Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990–2000)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Romance

A group of friends living in Beverly Hills, California make their way through life from their school days into adulthood.

Stars: Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry, Jennie Garth

Votes: 29,377

7. The Returned (2012– )

TV-MA | 52 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The Returned opens in a small mountain community which is rocked to its core when several local people who are presumed dead suddenly re-appear at their homes. Despite having passed away ... See full summary »

Stars: Anne Consigny, Clotilde Hesme, Frédéric Pierrot, Céline Sallette

Votes: 18,622

8. Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983)

TV-PG | 60 min | Drama, Family, Romance

The life and adventures of the Ingalls family in the nineteenth century American Midwest.

Stars: Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon, Karen Grassle, Rachel Lindsay Greenbush

Votes: 14,936

9. Sex and the City (1998–2004)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Four female New Yorkers gossip about their sex lives (or lack thereof) and find new ways to deal with being a woman in the 1990s.

Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon

Votes: 97,902

10. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994)

TV-PG | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

Set almost 100 years after Captain Kirk's five-year mission, a new generation of Starfleet officers set off in the U.S.S. Enterprise-D on their own mission to go where no one has gone before.

Stars: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton

Votes: 89,366

11. Lost (2004–2010)

TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

The survivors of a plane crash are forced to work together in order to survive on a seemingly deserted tropical island.

Stars: Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly

Votes: 463,457

12. The Amazing Race (2001– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Adventure, Family, Game-Show

Multiple teams race around the globe for $1,000,000 to 'amazing' locations.

Stars: Phil Keoghan, Joyce Agu, Uchenna Agu, Jet McCoy

Votes: 12,901

13. Pond Life (1996–2000)

30 min | Animation, Comedy

Animated comedy, following the rather self-obsessed Dolly Pond and her quest to live the kind of life she thinks she should be living, while never getting it quite right. Observational, modern humour from Candy Guard.

Stars: Sarah Ann Kennedy, Emma Chambers, John Thomson, Charlotte Mitchell

Votes: 118

14. The X-Files (1993–2018)

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two F.B.I. Agents, Fox Mulder the believer and Dana Scully the skeptic, investigate the strange and unexplained, while hidden forces work to impede their efforts.

Stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis

Votes: 186,302

15. American Horror Story (2011– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, including a house with a murderous past, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show, a haunted hotel, a possessed farmhouse, a cult, the apocalypse and a slasher summer camp.

Stars: Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson

Votes: 255,065

16. Mad Men (2007–2015)

TV-14 | 47 min | Drama

A drama about one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm's most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper.

Stars: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones

Votes: 185,855

17. Astroboy (1963–1966)

TV-G | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

In a future where science fiction is reality, Dr. Boynton creates a super-robot in his deceased son's image. Named Astro Boy, the robot can swim oceans, leap over mountains, and even fly ... See full summary »

Stars: Billie Lou Watt, Esperanzita Martínez, Mari Shimizu, Ray Owens

Votes: 701

18. Avonlea (1990–1996)

PG | 60 min | Drama, Adventure, Family

A young rich girl is sent to live with relatives on Prince Edward Island in the early 1900s.

Stars: Zachary Bennett, Lally Cadeau, Mag Ruffman, Cedric Smith

Votes: 3,633

19. Mr. Dressup (1967–1996)

30 min | Family

An amiable man teaches preschool subjects with his puppet friends with games, songs and the infinite number of costumes inside his tickle trunk.

Stars: Ernie Coombs, Judith Lawrence, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Susan Marcus

Votes: 596

20. The Golden Girls (1985–1992)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

Four previously married women live together in Miami, sharing their various experiences together and enjoying themselves despite hard times.

Stars: Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty

Votes: 28,424

21. Top of the Lake (2013– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Obsessed with the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl near a freezing lake in New Zealand, a brave detective will find herself up against small-town secrets and a side of herself that was meticulously kept at bay.

Stars: Elisabeth Moss, David Wenham, Peter Mullan, Thomas M. Wright

Votes: 30,123

22. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (2013–2018)

TV-PG | 42 min | Documentary, Adventure

Anthony Bourdain visits countries, delving into their political issues as well as indigenous food and culture.

Stars: Anthony Bourdain, Tom Vitale, David Scott Holloway, Eric Ripert

Votes: 4,045

23. The Cosby Show (1984–1992)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

The goings-on in the life of a successful African-American family.

Stars: Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Votes: 29,459

24. The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991–1996)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

Ren, a psychotic Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a dimwitted Manx cat who goes by the nickname Stimpy, have a host of unusual adventures.

Stars: John Kricfalusi, Billy West, Harris Peet, Cheryl Chase

Votes: 19,687

26. The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show (1986–2000)

Animation, Family, Comedy

Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, and all their cartoon friends, with the exception of Speedy Gonzales, are featured in this long-running series consisting of classic theatrical cartoons, often ... See full summary »

Stars: Mel Blanc, Julie Bennett, Jeff Bergman, Arthur Q. Bryan

Votes: 2,356

27. The Good Wife (2009–2016)

TV-14 | 43 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Alicia has been a good wife to her husband, a former state's attorney. After a very humiliating sex and corruption scandal, he is behind bars. She must now provide for her family and returns to work as a litigator in a law firm.

Stars: Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles, Matt Czuchry

Votes: 64,165

28. The Hilarious House of Frightenstein (1971– )

60 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

The scary and silly goings-on at a mad scientist vampire's home/lab.

Stars: Billy Van, Guy Big, Mitch Markowitz, Joe Torbay

Votes: 568

29. The Mindy Project (2012–2017)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy

A young Ob/Gyn doctor balances her personal and professional life, surrounded by quirky co-workers in a small office.

Stars: Mindy Kaling, Ike Barinholtz, Ed Weeks, Chris Messina

Votes: 27,136

30. Episodes (2011–2017)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy

A couple of TV producers move to Hollywood to export their most popular series and find it is not what they expected.

Stars: Matt LeBlanc, Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig, John Pankow

Votes: 30,874

31. Wok with Yan (1980– )

Reality-TV

Stephen Yan demonstrates various Chinese food stir-fry recipes prepared on the wok.

Star: Stephen Yan

Votes: 181

32. French in Action (1987– )

TV-G | 30 min | Documentary

This educational series teaches the French language and profiles cultural attributes. No attempt is made to use English in presenting skills and concepts.

Stars: Pierre J. Capretz, Valérie Allain, Charles Mayer, Virginie Contesse

Votes: 137

33. House of Cards (2013–2018)

TV-MA | 51 min | Drama

A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.

Stars: Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright, Kate Mara

Votes: 438,580

34. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (2012– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A female sleuth sashays through the back lanes and jazz clubs of Melbourne in the late 1920s, fighting injustice with her pearl-handled pistol and her dagger-sharp wit.

Stars: Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Ashleigh Cummings

Votes: 11,777

35. The Office (2005–2013)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy

A mockumentary on a group of typical office workers, where the workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, and tedium.

Stars: Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson

Votes: 315,681

36. The Office (2001–2003)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager David Brent as they continue their daily lives.

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Lucy Davis

Votes: 88,977

37. The Magical World of Disney (1954–1991)

Unrated | 120 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

A Disney-produced anthology covering many different genres.

Stars: Walt Disney, Paul Frees, Clarence Nash, Slim Pickens

Votes: 1,490

38. Lady Chatterley (1993)

Unrated | 205 min | Drama, Romance

Lady Constance Chatterley is married to the handicapped Sir Clifford Chatterley, who was wounded in the First World War. When they move to his family's estate, Constance (Connie) meets ... See full summary »

Stars: Joely Richardson, Sean Bean, James Wilby, Shirley Anne Field

Votes: 1,436

39. Gilmore Girls (2000–2007)

TV-PG | 44 min | Comedy, Drama

A dramedy centering around the relationship between a thirtysomething single mother and her teen daughter living in Stars Hollow, Connecticut.

Stars: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Keiko Agena, Scott Patterson

Votes: 88,989

40. A Year in Provence (1993)

360 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

Based on the 1989 best-selling memoir of the same name by Peter Mayle about his first year in Provence, and the local events and customs.

Stars: John Thaw, Lindsay Duncan, Jean-Pierre Delage, Jo Doumerg

Votes: 377



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