The 10 best TV shows of all time, according to experts

I bet there’s quite a few people out there who consider themselves experts when it comes to TV. After all, how hard can it be to say whether something is a smash or an absolute horror show? Well…

Two critics who are well-known for working the TV beat have partnered on a new book that lays out, in all its opinionated glory, a list of the 100 greatest American shows of all time.

“TV (The Book),” by Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz — who write at HitFix and New York magazine, respectively — rigorously ranks TV shows using a point system based on six categories: innovation, influence, consistency, performance, storytelling, and peak (how great the show was at its best).

The two writers used the system to come up with a wonderfully diverse list of TV comedies and dramas over decades, and they include essays about each show that remind you why you love the shows you love, or help you discover a new gem.

Here are the 10 American TV shows they consider the best of all time, ranked (note there are a number of ties):

1. “The Simpsons” (Fox, 1989-present)

1. "The Simpsons" (Fox, 1989-present)

“The Simpsons”/CBS/”Late Show with David Letterman”

Total score: 112

“The Sopranos” (HBO, 1999-2007)

"The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007)

Associated Press

Total score: 112

“The Wire” (HBO, 2002-2008)

"The Wire" (HBO, 2002-2008)

HBO

Total score: 112

“Cheers” (NBC, 1982-1993)

"Cheers" (NBC, 1982-1993)

Mark J. Terrill/AP

Total score: 112

“Breaking Bad” (AMC, 2008-2013)

"Breaking Bad" (AMC, 2008-2013)

AMC

Total score: 112

6. “Mad Men” (AMC, 2007-2015)

Total score: 110

“Seinfeld” (NBC, 1989-1998)

"Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998)

The cast on the set of “The Contest,” a controversial episode about masturbation.NBC

Total score: 110

8. “I Love Lucy” (CBS, 1951-1957)

8. "I Love Lucy" (CBS, 1951-1957)

YouTube

Total score: 109

9. “Deadwood” (HBO, 2004-2006)

9. "Deadwood" (HBO, 2004-2006)

HBO

Total score: 107

10. “All in the Family” (CBS, 1971-1979)

10. "All in the Family" (CBS, 1971-1979)

CBS

Total score: 106

 

Agree, disagree, indifferent? Doesn’t matter too much, does it?! It’s all subjective. What isn’t debatable is the importance of the tuition the producers received prior to making the show – with that in mind, check out our TV Production course here at The Sheffield College today!! 

 

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