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EW's The 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time (1998)

We are what we watch-and over the last half century, we've watched some pretty fabulous TV. From Mary to Jerry, from Tonight to Today, from the sublime (Prime Suspect) to the ridiculous (Gilligan's Island), EW recalls everything you need to know about 100 shows that tell us who we are.


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  • Entertainment Weekly's The 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time
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  • Created October 21, 2022 by
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The Mary Tyler Moore Show

1970

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.

Seinfeld

1989

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.

All in the Family

1971

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.

Cheers

1982

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.

The X-Files

1993

`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.

I Love Lucy

1951

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 Larry Sanders Show

1992

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.

Hill Street Blues

1981

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.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

1962

Late-night talk show hosted by Johnny Carson, including guest interviews and musical performances.

The Simpsons

1989

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.

The Honeymooners

1955

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.

M*A*S*H

1972

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.

Star Trek

1966

Space. The Final Frontier. The U.S.S. Enterprise embarks on a five year mission to explore the galaxy. The Enterprise is under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, who is assisted by First Officer Mr. Spock, from the planet Vulcan, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy. With a determined crew, the Enterprise encounters Klingons, Romulans, time paradoxes, tribbles and genetic supermen led by Khan Noonien Singh. Their mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

The Ed Sullivan Show

1955

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".

The Twilight Zone

1959

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."

Gunsmoke

1955

Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in the rough and tumble Dodge City.

60 Minutes

1968

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.

Roseanne

1988

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.

Dallas

1978

The world's first mega-soap, and one of the most popular ever produced, Dallas had it all. Beautiful women, expensive cars, and men playing Monopoly with real buildings. Famous for one of the best cliffhangers in TV history, as the world asked "Who shot J.R.?" A slow-burner to begin with, Dallas hit its stride in the 2nd season, with long storylines and expert character development. Dallas ruled the airwaves in the 1980's.

Sesame Street

1969

On a special inner city street, the inhabitants, human and muppet, teach preschool subjects with comedy, cartoons, games, and songs.

Frasier

1993

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.

The Wonder Years

1988

The Wonder Years tells the story of Kevin Arnold facing the trials and tribulations of youth while growing up during the 1960s. Told through narration from an adult Kevin, Kevin faces the difficulties of maintaining relationships and friendships on his enthralling journey into adulthood.

Leave It to Beaver

1957

Leave It to Beaver is a 1950s and 1960s family-oriented American television situation comedy about an inquisitive but often naive boy named Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver and his adventures at home, in school, and around his suburban neighborhood. The show has attained an iconic status in the United States, with the Cleavers exemplifying the idealized suburban family of the mid-twentieth century. One of the first primetime sitcom series filmed from a child's point-of-view, the show was created by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, two radio and early television writers, who found inspiration for the show's characters, plots, and dialogue in the lives, experiences, and conversations of their own children. Like several television dramas and sitcoms of the late fifties and early sixties (Lassie and My Three Sons, for example), Leave It to Beaver is a glimpse at middle-class, American boyhood. A typical episode features Beaver getting into some sort of trouble and facing his parents for reprimand and correction.

The Odd Couple

1970

Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy? This TV adaptation of Neil Simon's classic play deserves its place among the best-known and funniest sitcoms of the 1970s.

The Abbott and Costello Show

1952

Bud and Lou are unemployed actors living in Mr. Fields’ boarding house. Lou’s girlfriend Hillary lives across the hall. Many situations arise leading to slapstick and puns.

Howdy Doody

1947

The 1st nationally televised American children's TV show and a prototype for what followed. Buffalo Bob Smith hosts, while his ventriloquist puppet, Howdy Doody, stars. This show was aired in front of the famous peanut gallery on the early days of American Television.

The Bullwinkle Show

1959

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.

The Jeffersons

1975

A black couple, headed up by opinionated loud-mouth George Jefferson, moves from a modest Queens neighborhood to deluxe apartment in Manhattan's ritzy East Side.

The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet

1952

Very long running family saga, based largely on the actual actors involved. As the sons age we go through their teenage dating problems, then marriage and careers. Ricky became a (real life) rock and roll star; David joined a law firm.

Sanford and Son

1972

The misadventures of a cantankerous old man and his son, partners in the family junk business in Los Angeles' Watts neighborhood.

The Andy Griffith Show

1960

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.

Barney Miller

1975

Hal Linden stars in the title role as a NYPD captain in charge of a squad of oddball detectives and even stranger criminals.

Taxi

1978

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.

Everybody Loves Raymond

1996

Everybody Loves Raymond revolves around Ray Barone, a successful sportswriter living on Long Island with his wife, Debra, 12-year-old daughter, Ally, and 8-year-old twin sons, Geoffrey and Michael. That's the good news. The bad news? Ray's meddling parents, Frank and Marie, live directly across the street and embrace the motto "Su casa es mi casa," infiltrating their son's home to an extent unparalleled in television history. Frank's favorite expression, "Holy Crap," is shouted at regular intervals, and Marie's "cooking advice" is less than appreciated by Debra. Brother Robert, a divorced policeman, is constantly moving in and out of his parents' house, and loves to drop over and resent Ray's successful career and happy family life. Ray and Debra just wish someone would knock once in a while. Finalizing it's 9th and final season, the cast and crew of "ELR" has had a very successful run, and it makes it even harder for them all to say good-bye. This show has a place in televi

Bewitched

1964

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.

The Dick Van Dyke Show

1961

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.

Friends

1994

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.

The Jack Benny Program

1950

Jack Benny was a regular on his own radio program since 1932. He brought the program, with his underplayed humor, to TV along with his radio regulars. Jack, who remained 39-years-old, kept his money in his basement and drove his old Maxwell car just as he had done on the radio.

The Bob Newhart Show

1972

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 Cosby Show

1984

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

Monty Python's Flying Circus

1969

And now for something completely different: Monty Python's Flying Circus was simply the most influential comedy program television has ever seen. Five Englishmen, all working under the constraints of conventional TV shows such as The Frost Report (for which the five Englishmen wrote), gathered together with an expatriate American in the spring of 1969 to break the rules. The result, first airing on BBC-1 on October 5, 1969, has influenced countless future men and women in the media and comedy since.

Family Ties

1982

In this family sitcom, former 1960s flower children Steven and Elyse Keaton raise their four kids Alex, Mallory, Jennifer, and Andrew, who was born in 1985. The show revealed the changing values during the Reagan era as the 1960s hippie parents clashed with their 1980's conservative son, Alex. The show also tackled a number of serious issues ranging from suicide to racism to drug dependency.

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

1976

Louise Lasser delivers a masterful performance in the title role of Norman Lear's sublimely twisted soap opera, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman -- at once a parody of the format and a twisted satire of American media/consumer culture. In the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio, suburban housewife Mary Hartman seeks the kind of domestic perfection promised by Reader's Digest and TV commercials. Instead she finds herself suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune -- mass murders, low-flying airplanes, and waxy yellow buildup on her kitchen floor.

Jeopardy!

1984

This classic game show features a quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in the form of questions. After an 11 year run on NBC daytime, the show resurfaced in a modified format in 1978 and then came back in syndication in 1984, where it continues to enjoy long-term success.

Wheel of Fortune

1983

One of the most successful game shows in history, Wheel of Fortune actually is a version of the children's game Hangman (with a large carnival wheel and prizes added). The game show, which did modestly well in the 1970s, became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1980s through syndication and made household names out of its hosts, Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Simply put, the Wheel has never stopped spinning since its premiere as an NBC daytime show that winter day in January 1975. (Ironically, the series replaced Jeopardy!, which later in 1984 when it returned, became its current companion in syndication.) The rules of the game Three contestants -- at various times during the run, including a returning champion -- compete. The host announces a category to a mystery puzzle (person, place, thing, phrase, quotation, event, landmark, occupation, etc.). The puzzle was originally contained on a three-tier, 36-space board (in 1981, changed to a four-tier, 52-space board; and in 1997, an all-e

The Gong Show

1976

And now, let us introduce, for your viewing pleasure: ¢ A bearded, demented-looking dentist taunts his hapless patient as he drills her teeth, flipping the drill's switch to the tune of "Stars and Stripes Forever." ¢ A petite homecoming queen, obviously nervous, is duped into singing the National Anthem after she and fellow members of the choir have been introduced as collectively performing "The Star Spangled Banner." ¢ A grossly overweight man tap-dances to music from "Swan Lake"; later his equally obese wife squeezes into a tiny tutu and, after fitting her head in a teacup, spins around while playing "Old Folks at Home" on the mandolin. ¢ An Elvis impersonator sings "Hound Dog," but his voice is a monotone. Who didn't live for acts such as those on The Gong Show, the classic parody of ameteur talent contests? Chuck Barris was the straight man (yeah, right) to a panel of three celebrity judges

What's My Line?

1950

What's My Line? was one of network television's longest running and most beloved prime time game shows, with a broadcast run of seventeen and one-half years. The game consisted of four panelists trying to guess the occupation of a guest contestant. As the questioning rotated, a panel member asked questions, and the guest would answer either "yes" or "no." A contestant received $5 for each "no" answer, and ten "no" answers ended the game in favor of the contestant. A mystery guest segment was also included, in which the panelists were blindfolded.

The Hollywood Squares (1966)

1966

This Popular game show is featured Nine (9) Stars are all seated in A Big Tic-Tac-Toe Game Board. The Stars were/are asked/asking questions and they either gave the correct answer or a bluff/zinger. Contestants either agreed or disagreed with the star's answer to the question. A Right Judgment placed his/her symbol "X" or "O" in The Star's Square but an incorrect/wrong answer placed the opponent's symbol unless it was/it's a win-lose situation. The 1st Player to get Tic-Tac-Toe (Three '3' Stars in A Row: Across-Up & Down-Diagonally) was/is The Winner.

The Newlywed Game

1966

Welcome to The Newlywed Game guide at TV Tome. "Once upon a time, there was this nice, family TV game show on CBS called Password, wherein teams of two tried to guess words using just one word. It did very well in the ratings, and was quite educational, too. "Then, one day July 11, 1966, to be exact a CBS News special report about Robert McNamara reporting on the Vietnam War pre-empted Password. That didn't make people very happy. So, they turned the station to see what else was on. "Some people saw a game unlike what they had ever seen before. There was this handsome young man asking four newlywed couples questions about their marriages. Sometimes, you saw just the beautiful young ladies; and other times, the good-looking men were on, but they always got back together to talk about their marriages. "Sometimes, the couples kissed each other. Other times, they pouted and made a scene. And sometimes, they shared information that was quite intimate (

The Price Is Right

1972

"Come on down!" The Price Is Right features a wide variety of games and contests with the same basic challenge: guess the prices of everyday (or not-quite-everyday) retail items. Contestants begin by being called from the audience to play a preliminary pricing round. That winner joins the host on stage for a different pricing game. After three contestants have played, they each spin a big wheel, hoping to get as close to $1 as possible. The two highest winners of that round advance to the "Showcase Showdown", where prizes often include cars and exotic trips. A trio of models presents the prizes. The show was originally hosted by Bill Cullen on NBC (1956-63) and ABC (1963-65). However, it was the genial, ageless Bob Barker who really sold viewers on the show which began on CBS in 1972. When Barker retired in 2007, Drew Carey stepped in to ably fill his shoes.

Let's Make A Deal

1963

A host plucks guests, who have dressed up in outlandish costumes to get the host's attention, from the audience to play a game in which they are able to win deals for trips, prizes, cars, or cash, all while trying to avoid the dreaded Zonks.

You Bet Your Life

1950

Groucho Marx hosts a quiz show which features a series of competitive questions and a great deal of humourous conversation.

Family Feud

1976

Two families of five try to guess what the "survey said" in polls conducted with 100 people in this durable game show. The original version premiered on ABC and was hosted by Richard Dawson from 1976 until it was canceled in 1985.

The Fugitive

1963

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.

Moonlighting

1985

When former fashion model Maddie Hayes goes broke and finds that one of her few remaining assets is ownership of the Blue Moon Detective Agency, she is tempted to liquidate it until she meets the quirky employees and gets involved in their even quirkier cases.

The Avengers

1961

"Always keep your bowler on in time of stress, and watch out for diabolical masterminds." [Mrs Peel] The Avengers is one of the most popular and beloved television series of all time. Its outrageous blend of wit and style and its unique mix of the fantasy and spy genres, coupled with the marvellous characters of John Steed and Emma Peel make it one of television's great classics.

Kojak

1973

Kojak is an American television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, bald New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak. Taking the time slot of the popular Cannon series, which was moved one hour earlier it aired on CBS from October 24, 1973, to March 18, 1978. In 1999 TV Guide ranked Theo Kojak number 18 on its 50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time list.

Cagney & Lacey

1982

Mary Beth Lacey and Chris Cagney are teamed up as NYPD detectives in this landmark series. Their opposing personalities (one is tough and the other sensitive) mesh to make this one of the greatest crime-fighting duos of all time.

Miami Vice

1984

Miami Vice centers around the unlikely partnership of Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas), two undercover detectives from the Miami Police Department’s vice squad battling against drug trafficking and prostitution in the city’s seamy underworld. Its use of New Wave music and colorful Italian men’s fashion was groundbreaking and the series had a defining influence on the popular culture of the 1980s.

Magnum, P.I.

1980

Former Naval Intelligence officer Thomas Magnum resigns his commission to become a private investigator on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. He lands a home in the guest house on the estate of millionaire author Robin Masters in exchange for testing the estate's security, but is forced to work under the strict and ever watchful eye of Jonathan Higgins, a former British Army soldier who serves as the estate manager, and constantly patrols the grounds with his two "lads" Zeus and Apollo, who are loyally trained Doberman Pinschers always ready to pounce on Magnum. Magnum makes good use of the perks that come with working on the estate, including driving Masters' sporty red 308 GTS Ferrari, Audi, and all-terrain Jimmy, as well as equipment such as high-end cameras and telescopes.

Perry Mason

1957

There are few actors so closely tied to a persona than Raymond Burr as Perry Mason. This long-running series was built upon Erle Stanley Gardner´s many novels about a brilliant defense lawyer and his staff, that solved many a crime with surprise witnesses and stern cross-examinations.It was the first mystery series to feature chalk or tape outlines to mark the spots where bodies were found. Filmed almost exclusively in the Los Angeles area, Raymond Burr had Gardner's seal of approval in the role. The cases were usually won by way of pivotal confessions of witnesses, solicited by Perry Mason (Burr's) surgeon-like examination or with last-minute, key evidence brought into the courtroom by private investigator, Paul Drake (William Hopper). Della Street (Barbara Hale), Perry´s faithful secretary, was always at Perry's side in the courtroom where hapless Hamilton Burger (William Tallman) was the Los Angeles District Attorney who never seemed to win. As to the myth that Perry Mason never lost, there were 2 episodes where it did occur... but you'll have to watch to find out.The show was revived in 1973-74, with other actors in the familiar roles (Monte Markham as Mason), and then again with the some of the original cast, in a string of feature length TV films from 1985 until Raymond Burr´s death in 1993.

Peyton Place

1964

Set in the title town founded by the Peyton family, whose members included the Harringtons. Murder, illicit passion, insanity, and secrets are the staples of Peyton Place.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

1955

Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1962) was a mystery and suspense anthology hosted by the master of suspense himself - Alfred Hitchcock. Each episode stands alone, delving into horror, comedy, suspense, and the supernatural.

Prime Suspect

1991

Oscar winner Helen Mirren is Det. Jane Tennison, rising through the ranks, solving horrific crimes while battling office sexism and her own demons

Law & Order

1990

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.

Dr. Kildare

1961

This medical drama told the stories of Dr. James Kildare, who starts the series as an intern under the tutelage of Dr. Leonard Gillespie. Kildare starts by ignoring his mentor's advice that "doctors keep patients alive, they don't tell them how to live." The series repeats this pattern throughout subsequent episodes, introducing character stories beside the medical drama. It is responsible for launching Richard Chamberlain's career.

Columbo

1968

A Los Angeles homicide detective, Lieutenant Columbo, uses his humble ways and shrewd demeanor to ferret out even the most careful criminals.

Family

1976

The show featured Sada Thompson and James Broderick as Kate and Doug Lawrence, a happily married middle-class couple living in Pasadena, California. Doug is an independent lawyer, and Kate was a housewife (she would eventually go back to school herself). They had three children: Nancy (portrayed by Elayne Heilveil in the original mini-series and later by Meredith Baxter Birney), Willie (Gary Frank), and Letitia, nicknamed "Buddy" (Kristy McNichol). (There was another son, Timothy, who had died five years previous to the series' beginning.) The show raised the profile of all of its featured actors during its run and, in particular, catapulted McNichol to stardom. The show attempted to depict the "average" family, warts and all. Storylines were very topical, and the show was one of the first to feature shows that have recently been termed as "very special episodes." In the first episode, Nancy walked in on her husband Jeff (John Rubinstein) making love to one of her friends. During the second season she and Jeff divorced, but Jeff would continue to appear regularly as an active father, as well as finding himself involved in more of the Lawrence family's affairs. Other topical storylines included Kate having to deal with the possibility that she had breast cancer, as well as Buddy dealing with advances from boys. In the later seasons, there were instances in which Buddy had to decide whether or not to have sex; she always chose to wait, most notably in an episode with guest star Leif Garrett, who was a teen idol at the time. Another topical episode dealt with Buddy's friendship with a teacher who was revealed to be a lesbian. Family also dealt with alcoholism (Doug's sister; Buddy's old friend) as well as adoption, when the family adopted a girl named Annie Cooper (Quinn Cummings). One episode in 1979 (directed by actress Joanne Woodward) guest-starred Henry Fonda as a visiting elderly relative who was beginning to experience senility and memory loss.

Thirtysomething

1987

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.

Dragnet

1967

Dragnet 1967-1970 was the second run of the Dragnet series. It began in January of 1967, and ran to September of 1970. The lead character, Sgt. Joe Friday, was played by Jack Webb, who also directed and produced the series. The show's focus is on two detectives, Sgt. Joe Friday, and Officer Bill Gannon, played by Harry Morgan. The two track down criminals all throughout the city of Los Angeles, California. The original "Dragnet" was the grandfather of ALL of today's police drama shows. This was the first time a cancelled network TV series was successfully revived. In late 1965, Universal and NBC hired Webb to revive "Dragnet" as a made-for-TV movie. This was filmed in early 1966, but didn't air until January 1969. Titled "World Premiere: Dragnet," the well-made film has Friday and Gannon linking the slayings of photographer's models to the disappearance of a war widow, while Gannon prepares to retire.

I Spy

1965

A pair of American operatives work undercover as a tennis pro and his trainer. Kelly Robinson is the man with a racket, Alexander Scott is, among other things, a polyglot. The creation of the Cinemobile for location shooting enabled far-flung episodes in Hong Kong, Europe, Mexico, etc. The writing is of a standard that would be very difficult to match in any circumstances, or as Scott & Robinson might say, the wonderfulness of its marvelousness is only equal to the marvelousness of its wonderfulness.

ER

1994

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.

Twin Peaks

1990

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.

Mission: Impossible

1966

Elite special agents undertook top-secret assignments in crackerjack episodes, which kicked off with the team leader receiving instructions via a tape-recorded message that self-destructed in five seconds. What followed were usually breakneck spyjinks set to a pulsating Lalo Schifrin score. Martin Landau turned down the Spock role in 'Star Trek' to play IMFer Rollin Hand. When Landau left the series in 1969, his replacement was the man who built a career on Spock, Leonard Nimoy.

Little House on the Prairie

1974

Based upon the best selling "Little House" series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The show follows the lives of a simple farming family, the Ingalls, who settle into a quaint little house near the small town of Walnut Grove during the late 1800s. The majority of the shows were narrated by Laura and the series follows her from when she and her family arrive in Walnut Grove until her adulthood with Almanzo Wilder, with whom she starts a family of her own.

The Waltons

1972

In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, during the Great Depression, the Walton family makes its small income from its saw mill on Walton's Mountain. The story is told through the eyes of John Boy, who wants to be a novelist and go to college. The saga follows the family through depression and war, through growing up, school, courtship, marriage, employment, birth, aging, illness and death.

NYPD Blue

1993

The gritty details of life as a member of a New York City police unit.

Homicide: Life On The Street

1993

Based on the factual book Homicide: A Year On the Killing Streets by journalist David Simon, the series charts the lives of a team of homicide detectives in Baltimore, Maryland, both on and off the clock.

Maverick

1957

Maverick is a comedy-western television series created by Roy Huggins that ran from September 22, 1957 to July 8, 1962 on ABC and featured James Garner, Jack Kelly, Roger Moore, and Robert Colbert as the poker-playing traveling Mavericks (Bret, Bart, Beau, & Brent). Moore and Colbert were later additions, though there were never more than two current Mavericks in the series at any given time, and sometimes only one. The series' primary sponsor for the first few seasons was Kaiser Aluminum, and their "quilted" aluminum foil was widely advertised in commercials shown on Maverick.

The Rifleman

1958

Widower Lucas McCain can fire a round with his specially modified Winchester in three-tenths of a second. Added to his high moral code and resolve enable him to help Marshal Micah Torrance maintain order in town while raising his son, Mark, on a ranch near North Fork, New Mexico.

L.A. Law

1986

On this critically acclaimed drama about a top Los Angeles law firm, some of the best battles take place outside of the courtroom. In the bedroom, in the courtroom, or at McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney & Kuzak's staff meetings, the firm's ambitious, competitive attorneys confront conflict between their own desires, their obligations as attorneys, and their principles as human beings.

St. Elsewhere

1982

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.

Wiseguy

1987

Vinnie Terranova does time in a New Jersey penitentiary to set up his undercover role as an agent for the OCB (Organized Crime Bureau) of the United States. His roots in a traditional Italian city neighborhood form the underlying dramatic base throughout the series, bringing him into conflict with his conservative mother and other family members while acting undercover as syndicate enforcer.

The Rockford Files

1974

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.

Rawhide

1959

Gil Favor is trail boss of a continuous cattle drive; he is assisted by Rowdy Yates. The crew runs into characters and adventures along the way. Rawhide was a television western series that aired on the U.S. network CBS from 1959 to 1966. The show starred Eric Fleming and launched the career of Clint Eastwood. The series ran for eight seasons on the CBS network from January 9, 1959 to January 4, 1966, with a total of 217 episodes, all filmed and broadcast in black and white. Rawhide was the fourth longest-running American TV western.

Bonanza

1959

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.

Rich Man, Poor Man

1976

The story of the Jordache brothers, whose lives follow very different paths. While one of them eventually reaches power and wealth, the other comes to the brink of destruction. Against the backdrop of the Korean War, student riots and the struggle of blacks for civil rights.

I, Claudius

1976

Based on Robert Graves' epic novels about the decline of Roman civilisation in the first century AD, this award-winning drama redefined the boundaries of television when it was broadcast in 1976. Jack Pulman's brilliant script conveys the unrelenting depravity during the reigns of the four Emperors who succeeded Julius Caesar: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius. The star-studded cast includes Derek Jacobi as Claudius, John Hurt as Caligula and Brian Blessed as Augustus.

Roots

1977

A historical portrait of American slavery, recounting the journey of one family and their will to survive and ultimately carry on their legacy despite hardship.

The Thorn Birds

1983

Beginning in turn of the century Australia, 'The Thorn Birds' follows the Cleary family and their struggles, spanning 60 years of fire and drought, love and jealousy, deaths and births.--In particular, the story centers around the growing up and coming of age of Meggie, the family's only daughter and her relationship with the parish priest, Father Ralph.

The Winds of War

1983

In the late 1930s, world politics begin to head in a dangerous direction. In Europe, Germany expands and rearms and proceeds to annex several border countries into the Reich. Meanwhile, Italy attempts to establish a Facist Colonial Empire under Mussolini while the Empire of Japan stands ready for a major war with China. Enter the Henry family, headed by career naval officer Victor "Pug" Henry. "Winds of War" thus follows the exploits of Pug and his children, all of which are set against the backdrop of world events leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

V

1984

Planet Earth is visited by an alien race. Initially, they seem friendly and kind, but over time, their intentions become quite clear. Their peaceful facade quickly turns, also showing their true colors and their real intentions...

Tales of the City

1994

The stories of several colorful characters living in San Francisco.

The Singing Detective

1986

Tormented and bedridden by a debilitating disease, a mystery writer relives his detective stories through his imagination and hallucinations.

Lonesome Dove

1989

Retired Texas Rangers Gus McRae and Woodrow Call are content to live out their remaining years in the tiny Texas town of Lonesome Dove. Then their old friend Jake comes to town, and tells them about the incredible opportunities for cattle ranching in Montana. Encouraged by this, Call convinces Gus and many other townspeople to go on a perilous cattle drive to Montana. Gus has another agenda though: his former sweetheart now lives in Nebraska, and he hopes for a second chance with her. As the drive goes on it takes on an epic scale, ultimately becoming what could well be called the central event in the lives of all involved.

Shogun

1980

Richard Chamberlain stars as John Blackthorne, a 17th century British sea pilot in charge of a Dutch vessel. Shipwrecked off the coast of Japan, Blackthorne is in danger of being executed by the suspicious, reclusive Japanese hierarchy, but before long he has been accepted into the local culture. Accordingly, he begins to think of himself as Japanese, adopting the nation's customs and, while wearing the robes of a Samurai warrior, helping to defend the land against its enemies. The arrival of Blackthorne unfortunately arouses the interest of European empire-builders, who hope to add Japan to their holdings. Toshiro Mifune costars as Toranaga, a warlord who befriends Blackthorne, and Yoko Shimada appears as Mariko, the interpreter who eventually falls in love with the Englishman.

Saturday Night Live

1975

"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 Carol Burnett Show

1967

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."

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

1968

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.

Your Show of Shows

1950

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

Today

1952

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.

Late Show with David Letterman

1993

“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.

Second City Television

1976

Don't touch that dial! Don't touch that one either! And stop touching yourself! SCTV is on the air! Sketch comedy show set around the fictitious TV station SCTV. The programs broadcast by SCTV were parodies of films and other television shows. They included "Farm Film Report", Woody Allen's "Play It Again, Bob!", "Monster Horror Chiller Theatre", and "Great White North." Other skits involved the staff of SCTV, like president Guy Caballero, clueless newscaster Earl Camembert, washed up actor Johnny LaRue, and leopard-skin print wearing station owner Edith Prickley.

The Oprah Winfrey Show

1984

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.

The Ernie Kovacs Show

1952

In the infancy of any medium, there will be some who realize its potential well before anyone else. Ernie Kovacs was such a visionary, and between 1951 and 1962 he broke rules that hadn't been made yet and created a "language" that is taken for granted.

Charlie's Angels

1976

What do you get when you have three beautiful crime fighting ladies and a boss that is a total recluse? The most successful series of the 1970's, Charlie's Angels.

Lost in Space

1965

A space colony family struggles to survive when a spy/accidental stowaway throws their ship hopelessly off course.

Gilligan's Island

1964

A group of castaways are stranded on a desert island, left there after a boat trip got caught in a storm. In each episode the eclectic group of castaways attempt an escape from the island, but are frequently foiled by infighting and bitter recriminations breaking out between the crew.

Beverly Hills, 90210

1990

This long-running drama dealt with the experiences of a group of young people in Beverly Hills, CA as they navigated high school, college and ultimately the real world. The series focused on their travails as they tried to maintain their friendship while dealing with romances, family and personal crises, tragedies and countless drug addictions.

Happy Days

1974

A nostalgic comedy set in 1950s Milwaukee centered on the squeaky-clean Cunningham family and their relationship with Fonzie, a motorcycle-riding Casanova who became a pop-culture phenomenon during the show's heyday in the 1970s.

The Mod Squad

1968

The Mod Squad was about three young people who have been in trouble with the law who are recruited to be undercover cops.

Hawaii Five-O

1968

The investigations of Hawaii Five-O, an elite branch of the Hawaii State Police answerable only to the governor and headed by stalwart Steve McGarrett.

Batman

1966

Wealthy entrepreneur Bruce Wayne and his ward Dick Grayson lead a double life: they are actually crime fighting duo Batman and Robin. A secret Batpole in the Wayne mansion leads to the Batcave, where Police Commissioner Gordon often calls with the latest emergency threatening Gotham City. Racing the the scene of the crime in the Batmobile, Batman and Robin must (with the help of their trusty Bat-utility-belt) thwart the efforts of a variety of master criminals, including The Riddler, The Joker, Catwoman, and The Penguin.

The Lone Ranger

1949

A fiery horse with the speed of light. A cloud of dust and a hearty "Hi-Yo Silver!" The Lone Ranger! Who was that masked man? It was the Lone Ranger and his trusty Native American sidekick Tonto who fought outlaws and injustice in the old west.

Dynasty

1981

The saga of a wealthy Denver family in the oil business: Blake Carrington, the patriarch; Krystle, his former secretary and wife; his children: Adam, lost in childhood after a kidnapping; Fallon, pampered and spoiled; Steven, openly gay; and Amanda, hidden from him by his ex-wife, the conniving Alexis. Most of the show features the conflict between 2 large corporations, Blake's Denver Carrington and Alexis' ColbyCo.

Melrose Place

1992

The lives and loves of a group of young adults living in "Melrose Place" in California. Each with their own dreams and drives, the inevitable conflicts, conquests, and consummations ensue.

The Munsters

1964

At 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Mockingbird Heights, lived one of America's strangest sitcom families, The Munsters. Strangest looking, that is, for beneath Herman's Frankensteinian facial features, Lily's vampiric visage, Grandpa's Dracula countenance and Eddie's Wolfman looks, lurked possibly the sweetest and most sensitive sitcom family ever to grace the small-screen. This, of course, was the nub of the series: that a family so weird could overcome the everyday problems of modern living - and the fact that people ran away from them, screaming - by their generosity, gentleness and belief in traditional American values.

The Brady Bunch

1969

The misadventures of a large family formed by the marriage of a woman with 3 daughters and a man with 3 sons.

The Beverly Hillbillies

1962

The Beverly Hillbillies is among the most successful comedies in American television history, and remains one of the few sitcoms to involve serial plotlines. It centered around Jed Clampett, a simple backwoods mountaineer who becomes a millionaire when oil is discovered on his property and then moves his family to Beverly Hills. The fish-out-of-water farce ran for nine seasons.

Green Acres

1965

A New York attorney and his wife try to live as genteel farmers in the bizarre community of Hooterville.