Best Television Show Ever?

I forget what magazine/television show it was that ranked it like this, but I heard on the radio that apparently Sienfeld has been nominated the best television show ever. It may have just been best sit com, but still, I don’t agree with that. I’m not sure what I think it would be because I don’t watch too much television nowadays, and what I watch is crap, but I think Third Rock From the Sun was much funnier, and that’s the most modern show I can think of, and I know that’s not the best. So, what do you guys think?

It was “TV Guide,” and it was indeed the best show ever, not just sitcoms, and I believe the selectors were on crack, though it could have just been way too much weed. Here’s why I think it won:
1 – It’s off the air.
2 – But not for too long.

They didn’t want to give it to a show that’s still on the air (coughSimpsonscough), because if it went downhill hard (and “The Simpsons” is still better than ninety percent of anything ever), then people would say, “Boy, ‘TV Guide’ sure hosed it up back in 2002 when they said this was the best show ever.”
And they didn’t want to give it to a show that’s been off the air for a while (coughMASHcough*), because people’s attention spans are so short that John Larroquette is most familiar to today’s TV viewer as the really smart evil guy from “The Practice.”


  1. The Simpsons
  2. All In The Family
  3. MAS*H
  4. Cheers
  5. Taxi
  6. The Andy Griffith Show
  7. Frasier
  8. Seinfeld
  9. WKRP In Cincinnati
  10. The Cosby Show

I Love Lucy is without a doubt the best show ever. So there.

This is to subjective a subject…:slight_smile:

Hands down, Hill Street Blues.

People forget how HSB helped break down standards of taste with its profane, sexual, scatological, etc. gags – Hunter drinking the “apple juice”(and countless other gags which assault that character’s exaggerated sense of dignity); Grace Gardner flashing Sgt. Esterhaus as he tries to exchange wedding vows with a teenage bride; the Sgt. going out in style (in the Ep. “Grace Under Pressure”); the streetwalker who gets booked as “Lada Gue”; Belker’s canines; Bobby Hill’s butt boil; Andy Renko’s hernias; Ray Caetano’s flipping his wig; a judge’s cross-dressing therapy; the suede sheets that were a gift to Grace “from the Green Bay Packers”[!!]; Chief Daniel’s quest for a painless “sit-down”?

In the episode that aired on Bravo earlier this evening, a morbidly obese lawyer “dies” in the holding pen, necessitating a half-dozen of the Hill’s finest to groan and strain as they repeatedly struggle to haul his carcass upstairs… only for Andy to “herniate [him]self” as the corpse shocks everyone by his miraculous revival, which causes them to lose control over the ropes they were using to winch his body up the stairs…? A subplot which occasioned a risque sub-subplot, in which a handsome detective (Ken Olin) puts the moves on the young, merry widow (Meg Tilly?), prompting an observing Det. LaRue (freshly scarred from his own involvement with a widow murder suspect) to exclaim, without any sense of irony, “what a total sleaze!”.

Yep, a ribald comedy of ill-manners, but played out on Chicago’s South Side (ah, but which ward?), rather than Manhattan’s Upper West. (Jane Austen would be so proud.)

But the comedy’s just a sidelight to the professional and human dramas and melodramas, to the action sequences (and occasional stunt work) and the superbly-integrated political intrigue storylines that complicate the more-straightforward crime content.

And as for the sex and romance, no show has ever done that better, with greater sizzle, humor, or realism. Grace & Phil, Frank & Joyce, ooh la la! Everybody should be so happy! For even when they were [briefly] making each other miserable, they were still the most enviable of couples.

Yep, Hill Street had it all.

Sitcoms: I’m not so sure about old stuff, but for recent programs I’d call a 3-way tie between “Seinfeld”, “The Cosby Show”, and “The Simpsons”. For drama, “Law & Order”, hands down. Tragically, I despise most sci-fi, although I’m an avid viewer. “Red Dwarf” and “Stargate-SG1” get the vote in this case. Oh yeah, and there was the short-lived "Total Reall 2070, which I actually really liked, but apparently, I was the only one. I guess that get the “Most underrated Player” award.

Have you ever seen The Avengers - 60s Brit tongue-in-cheek spy games series?

B&W, spare, Emma Peel in leather catsuit, debonair John Steed in bowler and brolly.

So cool, its timeless.

The best show on right now is Futurama. The best show ever is the Simpsons.

British comedy shows:

Steptoe and Son
Hancock’s Half Hour
Dad’s Army
Only Fools and Horses
American comedy shows:

The Simpsons

Wasn’t this show the work of Steven Bochco, who also made/makes NYPD Blue? I’ve never watched much television, especially since I’ve been living in Asia for the past 10 years (not much access to English media), but both those shows had the most excellent character development I’ve ever seen on screen. Practically every character seemed familiar to me–I was constantly thinking, yeah, I know someone just like that guy. Totally believable characters, with believable quirks and flaws. Good story lines too, good action scenes, etc. But especially good characters.

I only saw a few episodes of Hill Street, so my vote has to go to NYPD Blue. (I still see it sometimes here in Korea on the Armed Forces Network, but I assume what we get is old, and I don’t even know if the show is still on in the US.)

[sub]I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but I also liked Kung Fu a lot. A bit hard to believe sometimes, unless you’re stoned, and I wouldn’t list Carradine among the great martial artists of the world–but c’mon, admit it: you loved that old blind monk, didn’t you?[/sub]

Some great shows IMO

  • The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin a fore-runner to American Beauty IMO
  • Hill Street Blues
  • Boys from the Blackstuff the most powerful thing I’ve ever seen on TV.
  • Cracker. Robbie Coltrane chewing scenery all around him
  • Seinfeld. Just so funny
  • The Civil War. Burn’s masterpiece IMHO
  • Brass Eye. Destroying all boundaries of TV program making. Sheer satirical brilliance.
  • The Muppets. What can I say? Magnificent.
  • The Prisoner. Weird, wonderful and very weird.

And the best TV program ever IMO is without doubt The Simpsons. It’s been consistently brilliant for most of it’s run. There is no show that I look at again and again and again and again and still not get tired of.

I gotta go with MASH as well.

Lucy might be up there, but the show lacked drama. It made up for it in comedy, but for all around, MASH is the one.

Seinfeld was a very good show. For about 2 1/2 years. Then it just got to be ridiculous.

I have to go with the Simpsons. It was great for 10 years, and is still better than most shows.

Hill Street Blues is the best choice. Not only was it great, but it was one of the most influential shows ever, pioneering story arcs (though “Wiseguy” did something similar at about the same time), ensemble casts, gritty realism, and a mixture of comedy and drama.

For comedy, the choice has to be “The Dick Van Dyck Show.” They managed to take even the most cliched stock situation and make it look fresh. For instance, the “Laura dyes her hands black” episode could have been stupid slapstic a la “I Love Lucy,” but turns out to be a fairly advanced (for its time) show about racial tolerance.

I’ve got to wade in for the Simpsons. My Cellphone plays the Itchy and Scratchy theme so I’m biased.


The Cosby show. Am I missing something or is this drivel? It’s moralistic, saccharin doped and unfunny. What am I missing.I would happily nominate it as one of the worst TV series.

I’ve always thought Barney Miller was one of the best. Even with various cast changes, it still remained funny to the end.

Well, since no one said it had to be a regular episodic series…

The best show ever on TV:

I, Claudius

Followed by the original mini-series:

Lonesome Dove

Mr.O, you are correct, sir! Steven Bochco was indeed the creative hand behind both series. (Let’s forget his occasional failures, like the musical-with-singing-cops “Cop Rock”. :wink: )

My all time favorite was The Carol Burnett Show. They just don’t MAKE television like that any more.