Would you like to feel old? 2009 is the twenty-year anniversary of Seinfeld’s premiere on NBC. It makes me feel like an old, old man. In honor of this anniversary (And because, you know, lists are fun. Everyone loves a list.), we at BuddyTV have decided to count down the 100 greatest TV shows of the past twenty years. This is not a task to be taken lightly. Rules had to be made, beloved series had to be cut, and a mission statement had to be created to figure out exactly what we mean by 100 Best Shows. Over the next four days, we will be publishing the list in installments. We hope you enjoy. Feel free to argue all you want in the comment section below.
Before we get started, here are the rules I set down before creating the epic list of lists:
Top 100 Shows of the Past 20 Years, 100-76
Top 100 Shows of the Past 20 Years, 75-51
Top 100 Shows of the Past 20 Years, 50-26
Top 100 Shows of the Past 20 Years, 25-1
- No Foreign Shows
- Had to premiere in 1989 or after
- If current, has to have been on for at least 3 full seasons as of January 2009
- If show is done, no minimum run time
The rules are somewhat arbitrary, yes, but we needed some hard and fast requirements. I understand how inherently hypocritical it is to require current shows to have three years under their belt, while giving canceled shows no episode requirement. However, there are countless shows in television history that started out with a bang, and began sucking soon after. I felt three seasons was enough to get a solid understanding of just how good a current TV series is. Also, if I gave canceled shows a minimum episode requirement, some wonderful shows like Firefly and Freaks and Geeks wouldn’t have been eligible.
Now, the important part. This list is not about the most important or the most influential shows of the past twenty years. It’s not even a collection of my or any of my co-workers favorite shows. I attempted to be as objective as possible, and judge what I thought the very best shows, only in terms of quality, were over the last two decades. As much as I love Saved By the Bell, for instance, there is no way I could rationalize putting it on the list.
With that said, time to get started.
Monday – Top 100 Shows of the Past 20 Years, 100-76
Tuesday – Top 100 Shows of the Past 20 Years, 75-51
Wednesday – Top 100 Shows of the Past 20 Years, 50-26
Thursday – Top 100 Shows of the Past 20 Years, 25-1
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of ABC, HBO, NBC)