Fan of The Sopranos? Enjoy Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, and the Game of Thrones?Then you’re going to want to stick around, as we’ve put together a list of the 50 best TV shows of all time , including everything from iconic British sitcoms to epic American sagas; you’ll find it all below!
So, without further ado, here’s a list of the 50 best TV shows of all time.
Table of Contents
The 50 Best TV Shows of All Time
The list of TV shows and figures mentioned below have been compiled from various sources around the web, such as IGN, IMDB & Empire.
These are the 50 best TV shows of all time:
1. The Sopranos
The best TV show of all time is The Sopranos.
The American crime television series focuses on the life of New Jersey-based Italian-American gangster Tony Soprano who tries to run his criminal organization while maintaining his family life.
The Sopranos premiered on HBO on January 10, 1999 and ran six seasons with a total of 86 episodes.
The multi-award-winning series is widely considered to be one of the greatest television series of all time and has won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globes!
2. The Wire
The American crime television series The Wire comprises 60 episodes over five seasons and follows the Baltimore drug scene from the eyes of law enforcement agencies and drug dealers.
The Wire has won a variety of industry awards including the Directors Guild of America Award, a TCA Heritage Award, a Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Dramatic series, and many, many more.
3. Breaking Bad
Third best TV series of all time is Breaking Bad.
The American neo-western crime series consists of 62 episodes over five seasons and follows the life of Walter White, a depressed high school chemistry teacher who became a methamphetamine drug dealer in hopes of securing his family’s financial future after he diagnosed with Terminal was cancer.
Breaking Bad has won numerous industry awards and is often considered one of the greatest television series of all time.
4. Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is one of the most successful American fantasy drama series of all time.
The show is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novel series and has multiple storylines and storylines.
Critics hailed the series for its complex characters, story, acting, scope, and production values, and it received the most Primetime Emmy Awards of any drama series, with 58 in its names.
5. Mad Men
The fifth best TV show of all time is Mad Men.
The American drama series follows Don Draper, a creative director at Sterling Cooper, an advertising agency on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, and follows the lives of his friends and professional colleagues through the 1960s.
Upon release, Mad Men received widespread critical acclaim and praise for its writing, directing, visual style, acting, and historical authenticity.
6. The Twilight Zone
The Twilight Zone is an American anthology television series that ran on CBS from 1959 to 1964.
In each episode, the characters have to grapple with unsettling events that are described as entering the “Twilight Zone”. Each episode often had surprising ending and moral, and the phrase “Twilight Zone” was inspired by the series.
The series ran for 156 episodes over five seasons and won a Golden Globe in 1963 and a Primetime Emmy Award in 1960 and 1961.
7. The Simpsons
Nest best TV show is The Simpsons.
The animated American sitcom, depicting working class life in the fictional town of Springfield, follows the Simpson family and mimics typical American culture and society.
The Simpsons debuted on December 17, 1989 and has since aired 684 episodes, making it the longest-running American sitcom of all time!
The American sitcom television series Seinfeld debuted on NBC on July 5, 1989 and ran over nine seasons of 180 episodes and ended in May 1998.
The show is about a fictional version of one of the show’s creators, Jerry Seinfeld, and follows his personal life while living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Seinfeld is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential sitcoms of all time.
Lost is an American drama television series from 2004 consisting of 121 episodes over six seasons.
The show follows a group of survivors stranded on a mysterious island in the South Pacific after their plane crashed. It contains elements of science fiction and the supernatural.
Regularly recognized by critics as one of the greatest television series of all time, Lost has won numerous industry awards, including a Golden Globe and a British Academy Award.
10. Saturday Night Live
The tenth best TV show of all time is Saturday Night Live.
In the American TV show, a famous guest presenter performs several skits and parodies of the cast in front of a live audience.
Saturday Night Live premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975 and ran for 889 episodes over 45 seasons, making it one of the longest-running television shows in history.
11. The Office
The Office is a British television mockumentary sitcom created, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.
The show explores the everyday lives of several office workers who work for the fictional paper company Wernham Hogg.
The Office ran over a total of 14 episodes in two series and became one of the most successful British comedy exports of all time!
12. Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Trek: The Original Series is an American science fiction television series that follows the adventures of the USS Enterprise spaceship and all of its crew.
The purpose of the Enterprise is to seek and explore strange new worlds, lives and civilizations and “boldly go where no one has been before”.
The series ran for a total of 79 episodes in three seasons.
13. Doctor Who
British science fiction television program Doctor Who ranks thirteenth on our list of the best television shows of all time.
The series is about the antics of a time lord called “The Doctor”, who explores the entire universe in a time travel machine called the TARDIS.
The show is considered one of the most extraordinary television shows in Great Britain and has won numerous industry awards, such as the British Academy Television Award 2006 for best drama series.
14. The West Wing
The West Wing is a 1999 American political drama series set primarily in the West Wing of the White House during the Democratic administration of Josiah Bartlet.
It is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential television series of all time. It has won a variety of awards including three Golden Globe Awards and 26 Primetime Emmy Awards.
15. Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is an American mystery horror drama series that premiered on ABC on April 8, 1990.
The investigation into the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer in the fictional town of Twin Peaks follows. FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper leads the investigation and gets twists and turns.
The show spanned 48 episodes over three seasons and received 14 nominations at the 42nd Primetime Emmy Awards for a number of different categories.
16. Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire is an American crime series set in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
It follows the life of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson trying to control and run. Atlantic City during the prohibition era of the 1920s and 1930s.
The show has received wide acclaim and acclaim from critics who centered on its visual style and based on historical figures.
Boardwalk Empire has received several industry awards, including a 2011 Golden Globe Award for “Best Television Series Drama.”
17. All in the Family
The seventeenth best TV show of all time is the American sitcom All in the Family.
The series follows the life of a working class father in his efforts to support his family and documents the quarrels of their everyday lives.
All in the Family debuted on January 12, 1971 and ran for 205 episodes over nine seasons.
The 2004 American military science fiction television series BattlestarGalactica premiered in October 2004.
The series takes place on a group of planets known as the Twelve Colonies in a distant star system. After the colony was attacked, a crew formed to protect the last of humanity.
BattlestarGalactica consisted of 76 episodes in four seasons and was recognized by several of the leading industry publications.
19. South Park
South Park is the nineteenth greatest television show of all time.
This American animated sitcom follows the lives of four fictional boys – Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick, who are doing no good in their Colorado hometown.
The show debuted on August 13, 1997 and ran 307 episodes in 23 seasons.
South Park has won numerous industry awards and was ranked the 10th Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time by TV Guide.
20. Fawlty Towers
Fawlty Towers is a British television sitcom that premiered on BBC2 in 1975.
It is located in a fictional hotel called Fawlty Towers in the coastal town of Torquay on the “English Riviera“. It revolves around Basil Fawlty, the owner of the hotel, and his wife Sybil trying to run their hotel amid several absurd situations and demanding guests.
Two series of six episodes were produced and the show was named the Greatest British TV Sitcom of All Time by a panel of comedy experts put together by the Radio Times.
21. Band of Brothers
Band of Brothers is the story of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, the 101st Airborne Division, the “Easy” Company.
It follows their progression in combat from jump training in the United States to major action in Europe through to the end of World War II.
The series premiered on HBO on September 9, 2001 and won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for “Best Miniseries” that same year.
The American sitcom television series Friends follows the lives of six friends in their twenties and thirties who lived their lives in Manhattan, New York City.
The show premiered on NBC on September 22, 1994 and spanned ten very successful seasons.
Friends received critical acclaim each season, won countless industry awards, and became one of the most popular television shows of all time.
Deadwood is an American western television series set in Deadwood, South Dakota in the 1870s and depicting the rise of cities from camp to city.
The show premiered on March 21, 2004 and consisted of three seasons and 36 episodes.
Deadwood has received widespread critical acclaim and is considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time.
24. Arrested Development
Next up is the arrested development.
This American television sitcom is about a once wealthy, dysfunctional family, the Bluths. It documents their everyday life with a handheld camera, voice-over narration, historical film material and archive photos.
The show received critical acclaim at release and won six Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.
25. The X Files
The X Files is an American science fiction drama television series that revolves around FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully as they work their way through a series of unsolved paranormal cases known as the X Files.
The show aired from September 10, 1993 through May 19, 2002 and produced 202 episodes over nine seasons.
26. Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders is the twenty-sixth television show of all time.
The British crime drama is set in Birmingham, England, and follows the gimmicks of the fictional Shelby crime family after the First World War.
The series premiered on September 12, 2013 and ran over 30 episodes in five seasons.
27. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is an American television series based on the 1992 film of the same name.
The show follows a young vampire hunter named “Buffy Summers” who has been chosen to fight against all kinds of vampires, monsters and demonic forces.
The series was critically acclaimed and reached between four and six million viewers per episode when it aired.
28. The Tonight Show Starring Johny Carson
The Tonight Show Starring Johny Carson was a late night American talk show hosted by Johny Carson and premiered on NBC from October 1, 1962 to May 22, 1992.
The show was ranked # 12 of TV Guide’s 50 Best TV Shows of All Time.
29. Curb Your Enthusiasm
Curb Your Enthusiasm is an American comedy television series that premiered on HBO on October 15, 2000.
It follows semi-retired television writer and producer Larry David, who gets into all sorts of trouble with friends and complete strangers across Los Angeles.
The show ran over 100 episodes over ten seasons and won several industry awards, including the 2002 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series.
30. Parks and Recreation
The thirtieth best TV show of all time is Parks and Recreation.
The American political satirical sitcom is about the antics of Indiana city officials as they strive to clean up the city and make it a better place for everyone.
The show premiered on NBC on April 9, 2009 and ran over 125 episodes in seven seasons and ended in February 2015.
Sherlock is a British crime series starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson.
It is based on the detective stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and ran in four three-part series from 2010 to 2017.
Sherlock has won numerous industry awards and has been recognized for his writing, acting, and directing.
32. 30 Rock
The second best TV show is the American satirical sitcom television series 30 Rock.
The show follows the behind-the-scenes events of a fictional live sketch comedy show and takes its name from 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.
30 Rock was released on October 11, 2006 and ran for a total of 138 episodes in seven seasons.
33. Better Call Saul
Better Call Saul is an American crime series and a prequel and spin-off of Breaking Bad.
The show follows the life of Jimmy McGill, a con man turned lawyer who turns into a criminal under the role of “Saul Goodman”.
The show premiered on AMC on February 8, 2015 and has ran for five seasons to date, with the sixth season slated to release in 2021.
34. Orange Is the New Black
Orange Is the New Black is an American comedy-drama web TV series.
It is based on the memoir of Piper Kerman; Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison (2010), which documents their experiences in a federal prison with minimal security.
The TV show debuted on Netflix on July 11, 2013 and became Netflix’s most-watched original series.
Also Read: What is Morgan Wallen net worth ?
35. NYPD Blue
NYPD Blue is an American police drama television series that features the struggles of the fictional detective team of the 15th district in Manhattan.
The series was initially broadcast on the ABC network and ran from September 1993 to March 2005.
NYPD Blue received critical acclaim and praise for its realistic portrayal of the cast’s professional and personal lives.
36. The Walking Dead
Second best TV show of all time is The Walking Dead.
This American post-apocalyptic horror television series is based on the comic series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.
It involves a group of survivors who try to stay alive while constantly being chased by carnivorous zombies known as “walkers”.
The Walking Dead premiered on October 31, 2010 and ran for 146 episodes over ten seasons.
37. The Shield
American crime drama The Shield tracks the activities of a new division of the Los Angeles Police Department set up to control and preserve the fictional Farmington district, which has a particularly dire history of drug trafficking, prostitution, and gang activity.
The Shield premiered on March 12, 2002 and ran for 88 episodes over seven seasons.
Blackadder is a pseudo-historical British sitcom series that ran from 1983 to 1989.
Each series was in its own historical period, following the shenanigans of Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) and his partner in crime, Baldrick (Tony Robinson).
Blackadder ran for 24 episodes in four series.
ER is an American medical drama television series that premiered on NBC on September 19, 1994.
The show follows the doctors and emergency room (ER) staff at the fictional County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.
ER ran for 331 episodes in 15 seasons.
40. Six Feet Under
Six Feet Under premiered on June 3, 2001 on HBO in the United States.
The American drama television series tracks the life and daily activities of the Fisher family who own and operate a funeral home in Los Angeles.
The series consisted of 63 episodes in five seasons.
Next on the list is the American sitcom television series Frasier.
The series follows the life and gimmicks of psychiatrist Fraiser Crane after he returned to his hometown of Seattle, Washington to build a new life for himself as a radio personality.
The TV show premiered on September 16, 1993 and ran for 11 seasons.
24 is an American action-drama television series following the operations of Jack Bauer, Director of Field Ops for the Los Angeles Counter-Terrorist Unit.
To save his nation from the ultimate threat, Bauer must race against the clock to identify terrorist conspiracies and end them once and for all.
24 premiered on November 6, 2001 and comprised 192 episodes in eight seasons.
43. Sons of Anarchy
Sons of Anarchy is a 2008 American crime television series that tracks the daily life of an outlaw motorcycle club in the fictional California town of Charming in the Central Valley. The series premiered on September 3, 2008 and ran a total of seven seasons of 92 episodes.
44. Roots (2016)
Roots is a remake of the 1977 miniseries of the same name.
First broadcast on May 30, 2016, it records the life and events of an African man who was sold as a slave in the United States of America.
Roots ran for a single season with a total of four episodes.
45. Stranger Things
Stranger Things is an American science fiction drama horror web series that premiered on Netflix on July 15, 2016.
The series’ first season focuses on investigating the disappearance of a young boy and the strange goings-on in and around the city it is set in: Hawkins, Indiana.
Also, a young girl appears out of nowhere with some unusual psychokinetic abilities.
Stranger Things ran over three seasons with a total of twenty-five episodes.
Fleabag is a British comedy-drama television series that tracks the daily activities of a free spirited, confused and angry young woman in London.
The show was released in July 2016 and ran for two series through to completion in April 2019.
47. Only Fools And Horses
Next on our list of the best TV shows of all time is Only Fools And Horses.
This British television sitcom debuted on BBC One in 1981 and ran for ten years with a further sixteen sporadic Christmas episodes.
In short, the series follows the Trotters, a south-east London family of market traders and traders who do anything to make their fortune.
Fargo is an American black comedy crime series.
This is followed by Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thorton), who, while passing through Bemidji, Minnesota, influences the community with his wickedness, violence and deception.
The series premiered on April 15, 2014 and ran over three seasons. Another season is in the pipeline, but it is being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oz is an American television series that was released in July 1997.
It follows the story of the daily activities of a rather unusual prison facility called the “Emerald City” and its carefully managed criminal residents.
Oz was produced by the premium cable network HBO and ran for six seasons, with the finale airing in February 2003.
American medical television drama House follows Dr. Gregory House, a medical genius who leads a team of diagnosticians at a fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey.
His team helps several patients while House leads the consultations and diagnoses
The series first aired on the Fox network in November 2004 and ran for eight seasons until it ended in May 2012
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 50 best TV shows of all time.
Who doesn’t love a good TV show, right?! We certainly do.
The Sopranos is our absolute favorite, followed by Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and Game of Thrones. We binge-watch them all!
Here’s a quick recap of the 50 best TV shows of all time:
- The Sopranos
- The Wire
- Breaking Bad
- Game of Thrones
- Mad Men
- The Twilight Zone
- The Simpsons
- Saturday Night Live
- The Office
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- Doctor Who
- The West Wing
- Twin Peaks
- Boardwalk Empire
- All in the Family
- South Park
- Fawlty Towers
- Band of Brothers
- Arrested Development
- The X Files
- Peaky Blinders
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer
- The Tonight Show Starring Johny Carson
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Parks and Recreation
- 30 Rock
- Better Call Saul
- Orange Is the New Black
- NYPD Blue
- The Walking Dead
- The Shield
- Six Feet Under
- Sons of Anarchy
- Stranger Things
- Only Fools And Horses
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