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100 best TV shows of all time, according to critics

  • #66. Modern Family (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 86
    - Highest-rated season: 1

    “Modern Family,” an 11-season comedy on ABC, tackles issues of family life from gay parenting and multi-cultural adoption to raising teenagers and sibling rivalry. The winner of a Golden Globe in 2012 for Best Television Series Comedy or Musical stars Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonetreet, Sarah Hyland, and Ariel Winter.

  • #66. Immigration Nation (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 86

    “Immigration Nation” is a 2020 documentary about migrants and asylum seekers, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, border detentions, undocumented workers, deportations, and underlying political aims and consequences. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency gave the filmmakers behind-the-scenes access but then tried to block release of the show and its unsavory revelations until after the November 2020 election.

  • #66. I May Destroy You (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 86

    “I May Destroy You” premiered this year on HBO. It’s the story of a young woman in London whose promising life is upended by a sexual attack. Michaela Coel created, wrote, co-directed, and stars in the show, which is based in part on her personal experience and explores issues of consent, victim support, blame, trauma, healing, and justice.

  • #66. Howards End (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 86

    Based on the 1910 novel of the same name by E.M. Forster, “Howards End” brings to the screen the lives of two sisters in post-Victorian England. Its four episodes ran on PBS in 2017. Writer Kenneth Lonergan had won an Oscar for his screenplay of “Manchester by the Sea,” released the previous year.

  • #66. Band of Brothers (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 86

    Winner of six Emmys and a Golden Globe, “Band of Brothers” dramatizes the courage and the dangers faced by the U.S. Army paratroopers landing behind enemy lines in Europe in World War II. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg were executive producers of the show and of its companion piece, “The Pacific,” both on HBO.

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  • #65. Hannibal

    - Series Metascore: 86
    - Highest-rated season: 2

    “Hannibal” conjures up the early life of Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist who has among his patients a criminal profiler for the FBI. Lecter also has a penchant for committing gruesome murders. The show, a prequel, draws from Lecter’s more fully formed marque of evil in “Red Dragon” and “The Silence of the Lambs.” Danish movie actor Mads Mikkelsen plays Lecter, and Hugh Dancy plays his patient in the three-season television series.

  • #64. Insecure

    - Series Metascore: 86
    - Highest-rated season: 2

    Insecure,” which appears on HBO, stars its creator, Issa Rae, playing the lead character. She and her best friend are two Black women dealing with relationships, romance, and work in Los Angeles. The character development and story lines over four seasons raised issues such as friendship, ambition, racism, and mental health.

  • #63. Deadwood

    - Series Metascore: 86
    - Highest-rated season: 2

    “Deadwood” is a drama set in a lawless, violent South Dakota town in 1876. It is a dangerous place of bars and brothels, criminals, and fortune-seekers. The intense, profanity-filled show was canceled by HBO after three seasons.

  • #62. Murder One

    - Series Metascore: 86
    - Highest-rated season: 1

    “Murder One” is a legal procedural, focusing on fictional high-profile crimes, with engaging twists and dramatic courtroom showdowns. It was created by Steven Bochco, known for wildly popular television hits “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law,” and “NYPD Blue.”

  • #61. Mad Men

    - Series Metascore: 86.1
    - Highest-rated season: 4

    The megahit “Mad Men'' was set in the stylized world of advertising in the early 1960s, with a cast led by Jon Hamm as the enigmatic, womanizing advertising genius, Don Draper. The show—teeming with office affairs, high-flying business deals, riveting betrayals, and seemingly endless cocktails—became a cultural touchstone, reviving tastes for old-fashioneds, pencil skirts, and cat-eyed liner. It was created by Matthew Weiner, a writer of the hit show “The Sopranos.”

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