Mike Wallace and a vampire slayer? Letterman and Oprah? Andy Griffith and the Sopranos? On one list? What were we thinking? Simply put, the best of the best, from Day 1 to last night: quality, innovation and the ability to stay in our lives year after year after year. A touch of sentiment? Sure, but nostalgia alone couldn’t make the cut (sorry, Beav). And TV-movies, miniseries and specials will have to wait. These are the series we watched regularly — and will watch again. And again.
The "show about nothing" is a sitcom landmark, with comic Jerry and his three sardonic friends finding laughs in both the mundane and the ridiculous.
Cuban Bandleader Ricky Ricardo would be happy if his wife Lucy would just be a housewife. Instead she tries constantly to perform at the Tropicana where he works, and make life comically frantic in the apartment building they share with landlords Fred and Ethel Mertz, who also happen to be their best friends.
The Honeymooners, one of the most influential situation comedy television series in American history, depicts the sincere attempts of two men attempting to better their lives, and the ensuing frustrations when their schemes to strike it rich inevitably backfire.
Legendary and controversial series focused on conservative working stiff Archie Bunker fighting the tide of social change and dealing with flighty wife Edith, daughter Gloria and left-leaning son-in-law Michael Stivic.
New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano deals with personal and professional issues in his home and business life that affect his mental state, leading him to seek professional psychiatric counseling.
60 Minutes has been on the air since 1968, beginning on a Tuesday, but spending most of its time on Sundays, where it remains today. This popular news magazine provides both hard hitting investigations, interviews and features, along with people in the news and current events. 60 Minutes has set unprecedented records in the Nielsen's ratings with a number 1 rating, five times, making it among the most successful TV programs in all of television history. This series has won more Emmy awards than any other news program and in 2003, Don Hewitt, the creator (back in 1968), was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Emmy, along with the 60 Minute correspondents. Added to the 11 Peabody awards, this phenomenally long-lived series has collected 78 awards up to the 2005 season and remains among the viewers top choice for news magazine features.
“Late Show with David Letterman” is an hour-long weeknight comedy and talk show broadcast by CBS from the Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway in New York City and is produced and hosted by David Letterman. The show's music director and bandleader of the house band, the CBS Orchestra, is Paul Shaffer. The head writers are brothers Justin Stangel and Eric Stangel. The announcer is Alan Kalter, who replaced Bill Wendell as announcer in 1995. The show airs at night, but is recorded the afternoon of the broadcast.
Set in Springfield, the average American town, the show focuses on the antics and everyday adventures of the Simpson family; Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, as well as a virtual cast of thousands. Since the beginning, the series has been a pop culture icon, attracting hundreds of celebrities to guest star. The show has also made name for itself in its fearless satirical take on politics, media and American life in general.
Down-home humor and an endearing cast of characters helped make The Andy Griffith Show one of the most beloved comedies in the history of TV. The show centered around widower Andy Taylor, who divided his time between raising his young son Opie, and his job as sheriff of the sleepy North Carolina town, Mayberry. Andy and Opie live with Andy's Aunt Bee, who serves as a surrogate mother to both father and son. Andy's nervous cousin, Barney Fife, is his deputy sheriff whose incompetence is tolerated because Mayberry is virtually crime-free.
"Saturday Night Live," NBC's Emmy Award-winning late-night comedy showcase, brings yet another year of laughs, surprises and great performances. Since its inception in 1975, "SNL" has launched the careers of many of the brightest comedy performers of their generation. As The New York Times noted on the occasion of the show's Emmy-winning 25th Anniversary special in 1999, "in defiance of both time and show business convention, 'SNL' is still the most pervasive influence on the art of comedy in contemporary culture." At the close of the century, "Saturday Night Live" placed seventh on Entertainment Weekly's list of the Top 100 Entertainers of the past fifty years.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show was one of the most literate, realistic, and enduring situation comedies of the 1970s. Mary Richards was the idealized single career woman. She had come to Minneapolis after breaking up with a man she had been dating for four years. Ambitious, and looking for new friends, she moved into an older apartment building and went to work as an assistant producer of the local news show on television station WJM-TV. In her early 30s, Mary symbolized the independent woman of the 1970s.
Late-night talk show hosted by Johnny Carson, including guest interviews and musical performances.
Considered to be one of television's classics, "The Dick Van Dyke Show" centers on the personal and professional lives of Rob Petrie, a writer for the fictional "Alan Brady Show". The non-stop laughs revolved around Rob's relationships with with fellow writers Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rogers, and producer Mel Cooley. At home, we also got to chuckle (and sometimes cry) over Rob's antics involving his wife, son, and neighbors.
This groundbreaking and award-winning NBC crime drama provided a very realistic view into the lives of the dedicated cops and detectives of an urban police station. From January 1981 to August 1986, the show ran on Thursdays at 10/9 Central, with occasional repeats on Saturdays at 10/9 Central. From August 1986 to August 1987 first-run episodes aired Tuesdays at 10/9 Central.
From 1949 until its cancelation in 1971, the show ran on CBS every Sunday night from 8–9 p.m. E.T., and is one of the few entertainment shows to have run in the same weekly time slot on the same network for more than two decades. (During its first season, it ran from 9–10 p.m. E.T.) Virtually every type of entertainment appeared on the show; opera singers, popular artists, songwriters, comedians, ballet dancers, dramatic actors performing monologues from plays, and circus acts were regularly featured. The format was essentially the same as vaudeville, and although vaudeville had died a generation earlier, Sullivan presented many ex-vaudevillians on his show. Seasons 1-8 can be found listed under the series "Toast of the Town".
A variety / sketch comedy show starring Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway. It originally ran on CBS from September 11, 1967 to March 29, 1978 for 278 episodes, and originated from CBS Television City's Studio 33 (known today as the Bob Barker Studio). The series won 25 prime time Emmy Awards, and in 2007 was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All Time."
A daily live broadcast provides current domestic and international news, weather reports and interviews with newsmakers from the worlds of politics, business, media, entertainment and sports.
Sam, a former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, owns and runs Cheers, a cozy bar in Boston. Somewhat snobby, beautiful and intelligent Diane -- forced to become a waitress when her fiance jilts her -- constantly bickers with Sam. Eventually, they fall in love. Several wacky characters make the bar their home-away-from-home, including sarcastic waitress Carla, beer-loving Norm and Boston letter carrier Cliff.
When thirtysomething debuted in 1987 it was attacked by some critics as being a self-indulgent examination of the minutiae of yuppie life. Before the first season was over, some of those same critics were covering their tracks by calling it "the most improved show on television." Producers Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz had teamed up before on Family and would go on to create My So-Called Life, Relativity and Once and Again. Often using feature-film techniques, their brand of what could be called "reality" television tackled not only the small subjects, but the big ones too, all the way from life to death, as they followed their characters on the road from the idealism of youth to the search for security and responsibility as they glided toward middle age.
St. Eligius Hospital in South Boston was not exactly the world's best health care center. Despite its flaws, it featured some of the most caring doctors and nurses you could ever meet. Led by Dr. Donald Westphall (and later by Dr. John Gideon), the hospital nicknamed "St. Elsewhere" became a sanctuary for the underdog and the downtrodden.
Rachel Green, Ross Geller, Monica Geller, Joey Tribbiani, Chandler Bing and Phoebe Buffay are six 20 something year-olds, living off one another in the heart of New York City. Over the course of ten years, this average group of buddies goes through massive mayhem, family trouble, past and future romances, fights, laughs, tears and surprises as they learn what it really means to be a friend.
ER follows the medical personnel and patients in the emergency room of Chicago's fictional County General Hospital. The doctors and nurses of County's ER confront the daily challenges of a busy urban hospital, including overcrowded waiting rooms, staffing shortages, and the impact of life-and-death decisions. While they teach the next generation of doctors, each must tackle the demands of their personal lives, at times unsuccessfully.
ABC News' Nightline is a Late-Night news television program. The half-hour program provides viewers in-depth reporting on the major stories in the news
A blended police procedural and courtroom drama which employs a two-part approach: The first half of each episode focuses on NYPD homicide detectives investigating a crime—often derived from a real-life headline—and apprehending a suspect. The second half takes place in the courtroom, with the district attorney prosecuting the defendant.
The 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital is stuck in the middle of the Korean war. With little help from the circumstances they find themselves in, they are forced to make their own fun. Fond of practical jokes and revenge, the doctors, nurses, administrators, and soldiers often find ways of making wartime life bearable.
The Twilight Zone was a popular American anthology series. The series was a collection of various tales that range from the tragic to the comedic. They may be scary or just thought-provoking. Most episodes have unexpected endings and a moral lesson. But, no matter what, it's "a journey into a wondrous land, whose boundaries are that of the imagination."
On a special inner city street, the inhabitants, human and muppet, teach preschool subjects with comedy, cartoons, games, and songs.
Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable was an OBGYN (obstetrician/gynecologist), and his wife Clair was a successful attorney. They had five children: Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy. Sondra was rarely seen during the first season because she was away at Princeton. She became a regular character in the second season, and was usually seen with her on-again off-again beau, Elvin. They eventually married and had twins; but not before stunning their families by announcing the fact that Elvin was dropping out of medical school to open a camping store, and Sondra was dropping out of law school to help her husband in his endeavor. Denise was the "unique" child, the black sheep of the family. She had her own way of doing things, right down to the style of clothing she wore. After graduating high school, she left for Hillman College in 1986 (a year later, this would become the setting for the spin-off A Different World), but returned two years later with news that she was dropping ou
Welcome to the Your Show of Shows guide at TV Tome. First Telecast:February 25, 1950 Last Telecast:June 5, 1954 153 Total Episodes (Black + White) Sid Caeser and Imogene Coca starred on this influental variety program. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 25 or better) # 4 in the 1950-1951 Season # 8 in the 1951-1952 Season # 19 in the 1952-1953 Season Broadcast History on NBC Feb. 1950-June 1954...Sat. 9-10:30 PM
Recent law school graduate (Robert Reed) joins his father (E.G. Marshall) as the pair tackle challenging legal cases, often involving issues which were highly touchy for the times (abortion, euthanasia, "un-American" activities, movie censorship). In most, the freshly minted lawyer has much to learn from his father's extensive legal experience.
This was the original "Real World". The show was a weekly documentary which followed the real life travails of the Loud family, a mixed up cluster of suburbanites. The show picked up lots of interesting footage, including an on-camera divorce demand from wife Pat to her husband, and the coming-out of one of the children who was gay.
The most ambitious and acclaimed of all the anthology series', Playhouse 90 was in a league of its own. "Requiem of a Heavyweight," written by Rod Serling, garnered numerous Emmys and remains one of the best live dramas. Each week the series aired a complete 90 minute live drama. The list of talents is amazing: John Frankenheimer, Arthur Hiller, John Brahm, Arthur Penn were a few of the directors. Every angle and every shot left an impact on the viewing public. It was a treasure of a show, that rare gem that lives on.
After many years spent at the "Cheers" bar, Frasier moves back home to Seattle after his policeman father Martin Crane gets shot in the hip on duty. After Martin struggles with living alone after the incident, he moves in with Frasier in his luxury apartment at the Elliot Bay Towers along with his dog Eddie. Hired by Frasier, Daphne Moon also moves in as Martin's personal physiotherapist. Also living nearby is his younger brother Niles Crane, who is also a Psychiatrist.
Explore life, death and everything in between through the relatable, hilarious and brutally honest lens of the working-class Conner household, which is located in the drab, fictional exurb of Langford, Illinois. With the inimitable Roseanne Barr at its epicenter as the family's matriarch, the series tackles current issues with fresh stories and even more laughs. Roseanne is joined by her husband, Dan, and their children, D.J., Darlene and Becky. Roseanne's warm, but neurotic, sister Jackie rounds out the core of the family.
Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen), wrongly accused of murdering his wife, escapes custody while on the road to prison and must elude the police to continue his quest to find the real killer, which will take ages until the finale.
`The truth is out there,' and FBI agents Scully and Mulder seek it in this sci-fi phenomenon about their quest to explain the seemingly unexplainable. Their strange cases include UFO sightings, alien abductions and just about anything else paranormal.
Comic Garry Shandling draws upon his own talk show experiences to create the character of Larry Sanders, a paranoid, insecure host of a late night talk show. Larry, along with his obsequious TV sidekick Hank Kingsley and his fiercely protective producer Artie, allows Garry Shandling and his talented writers to look behind the scenes and to show us a convincing slice of behind the camera life.
Emmy® winner James Garner stars as the offbeat Jim Rockford, an ex-con-turned-private-investigator who would rather fish than fight but whose instinct on closed cases is more golden than his classic Pontiac Firebird. From his mobile home in Malibu, this wisecracking private eye takes you on the cases of the lost and the dispossessed, chasing down seemingly long-dead clues in the sun-baked streets and seamy alleys of Los Angeles.
Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in the rough and tumble Dodge City.
In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer. Buffy Summers is The Chosen One, the one girl in all the world with the strength and skill to fight the vampires. With the help of her close friends, Willow, Xander, and her Watcher Giles she balances slaying, family, friendships, and relationships.
Comedy duo Dan Rowan and Dick Martin host this fast-moving comedy series. Characters include Lily Tomlin's Ernestine the Operator, Arte Johnson's German soldier who finds everything "verrrrrry interesting" and Ruth Buzzi's feisty little old lady. Recurring sketches include Laugh-In Looks at the News and The Mod, Mod World.
The show chronicles the weekly adventures of the Cartwright family, headed by the thrice-widowed patriarch Ben Cartwright. He had three sons, each by a different wife: the eldest was the urbane architect Adam who built the ranch house; the second was the warm and lovable giant Eric "Hoss"; and the youngest was the hotheaded and impetuous Joseph or "Little Joe". Via exposition and flashback episodes and each wife was accorded a different ethnicity. The family's cook was the Chinese immigrant Hop Sing.
Bob Newhart is Dr. Robert Hartley, a Chicago psychologist living with his schoolteacher wife Emily. Complicating life for the serene, stammering doc was his neighbor, Howard, a flighty navigator; and Bob's coworkers, dentist Jerry and flippant receptionist Carol. The humor was gentle, sophisticated and, at times, wonderfully surreal.
The body of a young girl is washed up on a beach near the small Washington state town of Twin Peaks. Eccentric FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper is called in to investigate her strange demise only to uncover a web of mystery that ultimately leads him deep into the heart of the surrounding woodland and his very own soul. Season 3 - also known as Twin Peaks: The Return - is set 25 years after the events of Seasons 1 and 2.
A century after Captain Kirk's five year mission, the next generation of Starfleet officers begins their journey aboard the new flagship of the Federation. Commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard the Galaxy class starship Enterprise NCC-1701-D will seek out new life and new civilizations - to boldly go where no one has gone before.
Rocky and Bullwinkle began life in the 1950's television show, The Frostbite Falls Review. It was created by Jay Ward and Bill Scott. Their names in that show were Rocket J. Squirrel and Canadian Moose. The Frostbite Falls Review was not very successful so Rocky and Bullwinkle became the stars of their own show, Rocky and His Friends. The show was co-created by Alex Anderson and premiered on November 29th, 1959 on ABC. Added to the cast were Boris and Natasha, two Pottsylvanian spies. The show also featured various segments; Peabody's Improbable History, Fractured Fairy Tales, Mr. Know-It-All, and Aesop and Son. In 1961, the show moved to NBC and was renamed The Bullwinkle Show. It ran for three seasons and was canceled in 1964. ABC ran reruns until 1974, when the show then entered syndication.
Taxi's success was due to its excellent writing, Burrows's award-winning directing using his innovative four-camera technique, and its largely unknown but talented cast. Danny DeVito's Louie DePalma soon became one of the most despised men on television--possibly the most unredeemable and worthless louse of a character ever to reside on the small screen. Andy Kaufman's foreign mechanic Latka Gravas provided over-the-top comedy within an ensemble emphasizing subtle character humor.
The Oprah Winfrey Show has featured many celebrities over the years, but that's only one side of it. There's also Oprah's eternal quest to better herself, and to help viewers do the same.
Samantha Stephens is a seemingly normal suburban housewife who also happens to be a genuine witch, with all the requisite magical powers. Her husband Darrin insists that Samantha keep her witchcraft under wraps, but situations invariably require her to indulge her powers while keeping her bothersome mother Endora at bay.