- Time it takes to binge: 3 days, 20 hours
Set in 1960s New York, “Mad Men” follows the lives and careers of the advertising men and women of Madison Avenue. Cable Network AMC’s first try at an original series, “Mad Men” made history when it became the first cable series to win the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row. Behind the scenes, “Mad Men” stood out as well: In 2009 The Wall Street Journal revealed that seven of the show’s nine writers were female, and 13 episodes of season three were directed by women.
That 70s Show
- Time it takes to binge: 4 days, 6 hours
Eric, Kelso, Hyde, Fez, Jackie, and Donna were the pot-loving, Point Place, Wisc., teens who filled our screens on “That ‘70s Show.” The comedy, which aired for eight seasons, took place over four years of fictional time, ending on the last day of the 1970s. The departure of several main characters, as well as falling ratings, were both factors in the show’s cancellation.
Sons of Anarchy
- Time it takes to binge: 4 days, 9 hours
“Sons of Anarchy” ran from 2008 to 2014 for a total of seven seasons on FX, before coming to its natural end. The biker gang featured in the show, Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original, was allegedly based on the real-life motorcycle club Hell’s Angels, the same way the show itself was based on Shakespeare's iconic play “Hamlet.” During its original run, “Sons of Anarchy” was controversial for the intense and grizzly violence it often featured.
- Time it takes to binge: 3 days, 14 hours
Ten years after its 2007 finale, The Guardian called “The Sopranos” “the most masterful show ever.” Starring James Gandolfini as Italian American mob boss Tony Soprano and Edie Falco as his wife, Carmela, “The Sopranos” was dubbed the greatest TV show of all time by Rolling Stone and the best-written TV show of all time by the Writer’s Guild of America. In the spring of 2018, it was announced that New Line Cinemas had purchased a “Sopranos” prequel movie titled “The Many Saints of Newark,” but a release date has yet to be announced.
- Time it takes to binge: 13 days, 5 hours
The beloved crime drama “Criminal Minds” came to a close in 2020 after 15 seasons. To refresh their memories on storylines past and present, “Criminal Minds” fans could spend just under two weeks, or about how long it would take to hit the major sites and cities driving on Route 66, binge-watching all existing episodes.
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
- Time it takes to binge: 19 days, 4 hours
“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” achieved a major milestone in 2019 with the premiere of season 21—the show is now the longest-running drama in TV history. Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson, is the only character to remain from season one, and according to USA Today, the “compassionate detective has become a seminal TV heroine, bringing a listening ear and a drive for justice to a show that puts ‘special victims’ at the forefront.”
- Time it takes to binge: 5 days, 18 hours
It’s a tale as old as time: many of television’s biggest successes were not instant hits. “Cheers,” about a Boston bar where everyone knows your name, is a perfect example. The comedy premiered in 1982 to dismal ratings (77th out of 100, according to Nielsen ratings), but when Ted Danson announced his exit at the end of the 1992–93 season, and the subsequent end of the series, 84.4 million viewers tuned in for the last call. In the amount of time it would take to watch 275 episodes of “Cheers” a fast hiker could summit Mount Kilimanjaro.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
- Time it takes to binge: 2 days, 23 hours
In 2019, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” will air its 14th season and tie the record for longest-running live-action TV comedy. But it hasn’t all been sunshine for one of FX’s first hits. In fact, the show, about five friends who get into all sorts of hijinks in the bar they own and work at, has garnered a lot of criticism for how politically incorrect and insensitive its jokes are. For example, one 2013 episode featured a character in blackface.
- Time it takes to binge: 5 days, 1 hours
In the late aughts, “Gossip Girl” became must-watch TV for teens and 20-somethings across the country. Based on Cecily von Ziegesar’s book series of the same name, the show followed a group of wealthy and privileged teens on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The show’s occasional lack of a moral compass and similarity to real-life prompted several elite private schools in New York City to ban their students from watching it. In June 2019, HBO Max ordered a reboot of the series, which will follow the next generation of Manhattan’s teenage upper class.
Rick and Morty
- Time it takes to binge: 15 hours
An animated Adult Swim comedy, “Rick and Morty” follows an alcoholic scientific genius, Rick Sanchez, and his teenage grandson, Morty Smith as they travel out and beyond the known universe. Season three of the dark comedy ended in 2017, and no new episodes have aired since. However, in May 2018, 70 new “Ricky and Morty” episodes were ordered by the network and season four is set to debut in November 2019. In the same amount of time it would take to binge all existing seasons, viewers could hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim.2018 All rights reserved.