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Cinema & Media Studies: Best TV of All Time - Lists

Vintage television set, local television station control room, a family watching television in a living room in 1958, a TV test pattern image, a man browsing through streaming program options, a small vintage TV showing Superman, analog television with round knobs for channel and volume

Best Television Shows of All Time (U.S.)

This list comes from Rob Sheffield's list of 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time, from Rolling Stone, Sept. 16, 2016. Dates for programs that have ended since the publication of this list are updated.

These links to streaming sources online or DVDs in the Penn Libraries collection are for the benefit of Television Studies and History researchers.

The Van Pelt Video Collection and the video collection at the Annenberg School for Communication Library include many classic and newer television series from the U.S. and other parts of the world, but may not include recently aired seasons or make the full history of a particular series available. If a season of a TV program is missing a link below, or you would like to know about the availability of a program not in this list, please feel free to Suggest a Purchase or Ask a Question.

    Years on air DVD
1. The Sopranos 1999-2007 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6pt1 S6pt2 
2. The Wire 2002-2008 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
3. Breaking Bad 2008-2013 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5pt1 S5pt2
4. Mad Men 2007-2015 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7pt1 S7pt2
5. Seinfeld 1989-1998 S1&2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9
6. The Simpsons 1989-present S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10
      S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S20
7. The Twilight Zone 1959-1964 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
8. Saturday Night Live 1975-present S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
9. All in the Family 1971-1979 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 
10. The Daily Show 1996-present n/a
11. Freaks and Geeks 1999-2000 Complete series
12. Game of Thrones 2011-2019 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8
13. Late Night with David Letterman 1982-2015 n/a
14. The Larry Sanders Show 1992-1998 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 
15. The West Wing 1999-2006 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
16. M*A*S*H 1972-1983 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11
17. Twin Peaks 1990-1991 S1&2
18. Star Trek 1966-1969 S1 S2 S3
19. Curb Your Enthusiasm 2000-present S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9
20. Cheers 1982-1993 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11
21. The Office (U.K.) 2001-2003 S1 S2
22. Louie 2010-2015 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
23. Deadwood 2004-2006 S1 S2 S3
24. Friday Night Lights 2006-2011 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
25. Veep 2012-2019 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
26. Friends 1994-2004 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10
27. Arrested Development 2003-2019 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
28. The X-Files 1993-2002 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11
29. Monty Python's Flying Circus 1969-1974 Set 1 - Set 2 - Set 3
30. The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson 1962-1992 n/a
31. Sesame Street 1969-present Select episodes S1-S5
32. I Love Lucy 1951-1957 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9
33. South Park 1997-present S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10
      S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18
      S19 S20 S21 S22
34. 30 Rock 2006-2013 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
35. My So-Called Life 1994-1995 Complete series
36. Law & Order 1990-2010 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10
      S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20
37. Orange is the New Black 2013-2019 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
38. Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1997-2003 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
39. Lost 2004-2010 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 
40. The Shield 2002-2008 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
41. The Honeymooners 1955-1956 Complete series
42. NYPD Blue 1993-2005 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10
      S11 S12
43. The Americans 2013-2018 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 
44. Columbo 1971-1978 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10
45. Battlestar Galactica 2003-2009 S1 S2 S2.5 S3 S4 S4.5
46. The Mary Tyler Moore Show 1970-1977 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
47. The Rockford Files 1974-1980 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 
48. The Office (U.S.) 2005-2013 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9
49. Taxi 1978-1983 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
50. ER 1994-2009 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10
      S11 S12 S13 S14 S15
51. Fargo 2014-present S1 S2 S3
52. The Colbert Report 2005-2014 n/a - Best of
53. The Bob Newhart Show 1972-1978 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 
54. The Muppet Show 1976-1981 S1 S2 S3 (S4 S5 n/a)
55. Six Feet Under 2001-2005 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
56. 24 2001-2010 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9
57. Fawlty Towers 1975-1979 Complete series
58. Roots 1977 Complete set
59. Hill Street Blues 1981-1987 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
60. Beavis and Butt-Head 1993-1997, 2011 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8
61. Your Show of Shows 1950-1957 Excerpts (S1 S2 S3 S4 n/a)
62. Sex and the City 1998-2004 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6pt1 S6pt2 
63. The Wonder Years 1988-1993 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 
64. Chappelle's Show 2003-2006 S1 S2 S3
65. Happy Days 1974-1984 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11
66. Downton Abbey 2011-2016 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6
67. The Odd Couple 1970-1975 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
68. The State 1993-1995 S1&2
69. The Ed Sullivan Show 1948-1971 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11
      S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20
      S21 S22 S23 S24
70. Roseanne 1988-1997 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10
71. Mr. Show 1995-1998 S1 S2 S3 S4
72. Girls 2012-2017 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 
73. Transparent 2014-2019 S1 S2 S3 S4
74. The Ren & Stimpy Show 1991-1995 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
75. American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson 2016 Complete series
76. Late Night with Conan O'Brien 1993-2009 n/a
77. The Walking Dead 2010-present S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9
78. Thirtysomething 1987-1991 S1 S2 S3 S4
79. In Living Color 1990-1994 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
80. The Fugitive 1963-1967 S1v1 S1v2 S2v1 S2v2 S3v1 S3v2 S4v1 S4v2
81. Dallas 1978-1991 S1&2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10
      S11 S12 S13 S14
82. The Jeffersons 1975-1985 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10
83. House of Cards 2013-2018 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6
84. Real Time with Bill Maher 2003-present n/a
85. The Real World 1992-present S1 S12 (other seasons n/a)
86. Good Times 1974-1979 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 
87. Doctor Who 1963-present S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11
88. Party Down 2009-2010 S1 S2
89. Homeland 2011-present S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
90. The Dick Van Dyke Show 1961-1966 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
91. Broad City 2014-present S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
92. American Idol 2001-2016 n/a
93. Mystery Science Theater 3000 1988-1999 Select episodes
94. Jeopardy 1964-1975, 1984-present n/a
95. Key & Peele 2012-2015 Complete series
96. Gunsmoke 1955-1975 Select episodes
      S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11
      S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20
97. Portlandia 2011-2018 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8
98. The Golden Girls 1985-1992 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
99. Oz 1997-2003 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 
100. Eastbound and Down 2009-2013 S1 S2 S3 S4

Homer Simpson at the Button

Homer Simpson at the Button
(The Simpsons S19, E11)

Other Television Shows - an A-Z list

The Abbott and Costello Show
The Addams Family
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin
Aldrich Family
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alice
Ally McBeal
Amos 'N' Andy
Andy Griffith Show
A-Team
The Avengers
Babylon 5
Bachelor Father
Baretta
Barney Miller
Batman
Baywatch
The Beauty and the Beast
Benson
The Beverly Hillbillies
Beverly Hills 90210
Bewitched
The Bionic Woman
Blossom
Bonanza
Bosom Buddies
The Brady Bunch
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
Cagney & Lacey
The Carol Burnett Show
Charlie's Angels
Chico and the Man
CHiPS
The Cisco Kid
Coach
Columbo
Dennis the Menace
Designing Women
The Dick van Dyke Show
Diff'rent Strokes
The Donna Reed Show
Doogie Howser, M.D.
The Doris Day Show
Dragnet
The Dukes of Hazzard
Dynasty
The Edge of Night
Eight is Enough
Ellen
The Facts of Life
Family Matters
Family Ties
Father Knows Best
The Flintstones
The Frank Sinatra Show
Frasier
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Gilligan's Island
Gimme a Break!
The Goldbergs
Growing Pains
Hawaii Five-O
Hazel
Head of the Class
Hee Haw
Hill Street Blues
Hogan's Heroes
Howdy Doody
I Dream of Jeannie
It's Garry Shandling's Show
The Jack Benny Program
The Jackie Gleason Show
The Jetsons
Julia
Kate and Allie
Knight Rider
Kojak
L.A. Law
Lassie
Laugh-In
Laverne & Shirley
Leave it to Beaver
Life Goes On
The Life of Riley
Little House on the Prairie
The Lone Ranger
Lost in Space
Love Boat
The Lucy Show
MacGyver
Mad About You
Magnum P.I.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Mannix
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Married… with Children
Maverick
Max Headroom
McHale's Navy
Medical Center
Miami Vice
The Milton Berle Show
Mister Ed
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
Mod Squad
The Monkees
Moonlighting
Mork & Mindy
Munsters
Murder, She Wrote
Murphy Brown
My Three Sons
The Nanny
Night Court
Northern Exposure
Odd Couple
One Day at a Time
The Partridge Family
Perry Mason
Peter Gunn
Peyton Place
Picket Fences
The Practice
The Real McCoys
Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour
Room 222
St. Elsewhere
Sanford and Son
Six Million Dollar Man
Soap
Survivor
That Girl
Three's Company
The Tracey Ullman Show
Twin Peaks
The Untouchables
Wagon Train
The Waltons
Welcome Back, Kotter