There’s never been a creative boom for TV like the one we are living through right now. Ever since The Sopranos changed the game at the turn of the century, we’ve been in a gold rush that gives no signs of slowing down. What better moment to look back and celebrate the greatest shows in the history of the art form?
So we undertook a major poll – actors, writers, producers, critics, showrunners. Legends like Carl Reiner and Garry Marshall, who sent us his ballot shortly before his death this summer. All shows from all eras were eligible; anybody could vote for whatever they felt passionate about, from the black-and-white rabbit-ears years to the binge-watching peak-TV era. The ratings didn’t matter – only quality. And here are the Top 10 best tv shows of all time.
10. South Park
IMDB Rating – 8.8/10
South Park is an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone and developed by Brian Graden for the television network, Comedy Central. The show revolves around four boys—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick—and their bizarre adventures in and around the titular Colorado town. Much like The Simpsons, South Park uses a very large ensemble cast of recurring characters and became infamous for its profanity and dark, surreal humour that satirises a wide range of topics towards a mature audience.
South Park has received numerous accolades, including five Primetime Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and numerous inclusions in various publications’ lists of greatest television shows. Source – Wiki
9. Doctor Who
IMDB Rating – 8.8/10
The longest running science fiction show of all time, a show that constantly reinvents itself, a show where the main character has been played fantastically by 11 brilliant actors, a show with some of the best sci fi plots ever written, a show that still feels new and fresh today.
Doctor Who is a British science-fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called “The Doctor”, an extraterrestrial being from the planet Gallifrey. He explores the universe in a time-travelling spaceship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes, while working to save civilisations and help people in need.
IMDB Rating – 9.2/10
Like Dracula, Sherlock Holmes is one of those evergreen characters that is endlessly reinvented, either with a period-appropriate take or adapted for the present day of whoever tackles him. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss plumped for the latter, bringing the great grouse detective bang up to date with texting, sexual innuendo, bromance and gusto. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have long since entered the canon of great Sherlocks and Watsons, and their every move is charted by a massive, enthusiastic fan base. The show is witty, wonderful and far too infrequently on our screens.
Sherlock is a crime drama television series based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Sherlock has been nominated for numerous awards including BAFTAs, Emmys, and a Golden Globe, winning several awards across a variety of categories.
7. The Wire
IMDB Rating – 9.4/10
The incredible achievements of David Simon’s landmark crime drama have been repeated ad nauseum (at one point in the noughties you could barely move without someone asking “are you watching The Wire?”) but heck, they bear repeating. The way it stubbornly avoids all procedural tropes; the flawless ensemble cast, a mix of veteran actors and authentic Baltimoreans; the vast, book-like world-building, spanning corruptible institutions and hundreds of characters, each with their own unique and surprising arc; the ambiguous moral ground all those characters occupy – no heroes or villains here; and the intelligent, angry way it evaluates modern America.
IMDB Rating – 9/10
In its earliest days, the adventures of six beautiful pals who apparently earned money by drinking coffee featured writing much sharper than the cuddly exterior suggested. Even when the quality dipped a little mid-run, the ensemble remained perfectly matched and the best comedy collective on TV.
Friends is an American television sitcom, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004, lasting ten seasons. With an ensemble cast starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, the show revolves around six friends living in Manhattan.
The series was nominated for 62 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning the Outstanding Comedy Series award in 2002 for its eighth season. The show ranked no. 21 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time and no. 7 on Empire magazine’s The 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. In 2013, Friends ranked no. 24 on the Writers Guild of America’s 101 Best Written TV Series of All Time and no. 28 on TV Guide’s 60 Best TV Series of All Time.
5. Game of Thrones
IMDB Rating – 9.5/10
Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, the first of which is A Game of Thrones.
Set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, it has several plot lines and a large ensemble cast. The first story arc follows a dynastic conflict among competing claimants for succession to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, with other noble families fighting for independence from the throne. The second cover attempts to reclaim the throne by the exiled last scion of the realm’s deposed ruling dynasty; the third chronicles the threat of the impending winter and the legendary creatures and fierce peoples of the North.
4. The Walking Dead
IMDB Rating – 8.5/10
What makes “The Walking Dead, ” so unique is the fact that it isn’t some cliche show where you can guess exactly what happens. You’ll watch your favourite characters die, and weaker characters fail repeatedly. Of course, there are zombies walking around looking for flesh, but that’s simply a chore each of the characters must face now. “The Walking Dead, ” exposes humanities imperfections in such a way that makes you feel for the characters so much more.
The Walking Dead is an American horror drama television series developed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic book series The Walking Dead. Andrew Lincoln plays the show’s lead character, sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes, who awakens from a coma discovering a world overrun by zombies, commonly referred to as “walkers”. Grimes reunites with his family and becomes the leader of a group he forms with other survivors. Together they struggle to survive and adapt in a post-apocalyptic world filled with walkers and opposing groups of survivors, who are often more dangerous than the walkers themselves.
3. The Simpsons
IMDB Rating – 8.8/10
It is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and the longest running American primetime entertainment series.— the American animated created by for the . The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and the human condition.
With its subversive humor and delightful wit, the series has made an indelible imprint on American pop culture, and the family members have become television icons.
2. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
IMDB Rating – 9.2/10
Those who tuned into the first episode of The Sopranos in 1999 found not a documentary about opera singers but a dark, offbeat drama about a New Jersey gangster with a fixation on the ducks who visit his swimming pool. As the first season wore on, viewers became hooked on creator David Chase’s uncompromising vision of an old-school criminal organisation beset by all the stresses and tensions of the modern day.
The Sopranos is an American crime drama television series created by David Chase. Revolving around the fictional character and family of New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), the show portrays the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the conflicting requirements of his home life and his criminal organisation.
1. Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013)
IMDB Rating – 9.5/10
Breaking Bad has everything you could possibly want in a show plus more. Every second of this masterpiece is absolutely brilliant. There’s not a single bad performance by anyone. Breaking Bad has the greatest assemblage of characters ever seen, everyone is incredibly fascinating. Breaking Bad is an American crime drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on the AMC network for five seasons, from January 20, 2008, to September 29, 2013. It tells the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Together with his former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), White turns to a life of crime, producing and selling crystallised methamphetamine to secure his family’s financial future before he dies, while navigating the dangers of the criminal world.