List of television series considered the best

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While there is no general agreement upon the greatest television series, as it is a more subjective and/or consensus-based viewpoint, many publications and organizations have tried to objectively determine the series considered the best. The series mentioned in this article have all been mentioned in notable critics' or public surveys.

There are different categories within television such as drama, comedy and documentary and so it may not be appropriate to compare series from different categories.

United Kingdom[edit]

BFI TV 100[edit]

The BFI TV 100 is a list compiled in 2000 by the British Film Institute (BFI), chosen by a poll of industry professionals, to determine what were the greatest British television programmes of any genre ever to have been screened.[1] The top ten were:

  1. Fawlty Towers (BBC: 1975, 1979)
  2. Cathy Come Home (The Wednesday Play) (BBC1: 1966)
  3. Doctor Who (BBC1: 1963–1989, 1996, 2005- )
  4. The Naked Civil Servant (ITV: 1975)
  5. Monty Python's Flying Circus (BBC: 1969–1974)
  6. Blue Peter (BBC1: 1958–)
  7. Boys from the Blackstuff (BBC2: 1982)
  8. Parkinson (BBC1:1971–1982, 1987–1988, 1998–2007)
  9. Yes Minister / Yes, Prime Minister (BBC2: 1980–1988)
  10. Brideshead Revisited (ITV: 1981)

United States[edit]

TV (The Book)[edit]

In 2016, television critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz published TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time, where they scored each series based on six criteria: Innovation, Influence, Consistency, Performance, Storytelling, and Peak. They tallied them up to create their list of the 100 greatest American shows of all time. The top five tied each other in their tally, so Sepinwall and Seitz debated and eventually decided on how to sort them in the final list:[2]

  1. The Simpsons (1989–present)
  2. The Sopranos (1999–2007)
  3. The Wire (2002–2008)
  4. Cheers (1982–1993)
  5. Breaking Bad (2008–2013)
  6. Mad Men (2007–2015)
  7. Seinfeld (1989–1998)
  8. I Love Lucy (1951–1957)
  9. Deadwood (2004–2006)
  10. All in the Family (1971–1979)

Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time[edit]

The Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time readers' poll was conducted in 2012 as part of the 20/20 series. As such, its list consists entirely of programs based in the United States.[3][4][5][6]

Best TV Drama[edit]

  1. ER
  2. The Twilight Zone
  3. The Sopranos
  4. The West Wing
  5. Mad Men

Best TV Comedy[edit]

  1. I Love Lucy[7]
  2. Seinfeld
  3. M*A*S*H
  4. The Cosby Show
  5. All in the Family

Major publications[edit]

Entertainment Weekly[edit]

  1. The Wire[8]
  2. The Simpsons
  3. Seinfeld
  4. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  5. The Sopranos
  6. All in the Family
  7. The Andy Griffith Show
  8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  9. Mad Men
  10. Your Show of Shows

TV Guide[edit]

2002 List[edit]
  1. Seinfeld[9]
  2. I Love Lucy
  3. The Honeymooners
  4. All in the Family
  5. The Sopranos
  6. 60 Minutes
  7. M*A*S*H
  8. The Simpsons
  9. The Andy Griffith Show
  10. Saturday Night Live
2013 List[edit]
  1. The Sopranos[10]
  2. Seinfeld
  3. I Love Lucy
  4. All in the Family
  5. The Twilight Zone
  6. The Wire
  7. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  8. M*A*S*H
  9. Breaking Bad
  10. The Simpsons

Rolling Stone[edit]

  1. The Sopranos[11]
  2. The Wire
  3. Breaking Bad
  4. Mad Men
  5. Seinfeld
  6. The Simpsons
  7. The Twilight Zone
  8. Saturday Night Live
  9. All in the Family
  10. The Daily Show

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  1. ^ "The BFI TV 100 at the BFI website". Archived from the original on 11 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Sepinwall, Alan; Seitz, Matt Zoller (6 September 2016). TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-1455588190. 
  3. ^ "ABC News and People Magazine Present: "Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time" Hosted by Barbara Walters". ABC News. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "Helping Walters choose 'Greatest TV Shows'". newsday.com. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Video: Who's the Greatest TV Dad of All Time?". ABC News. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "ABC News - Best in Television". go.com. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  7. ^ "The Best TV Show of All Time Announced". ABC News. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  8. ^ "TV: 10 All-Time Greatest". ew.com. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "TV Guide Names Top 50 Shows". cbsnews.com. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "TV Guide Magazine's 60 Best Series of All Time". tvguide.com. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  11. ^ "100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 15 May 2017.