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100 best TV shows of all time

  • #80. Futurama

    - IMDb user rating: 8.4
    - Years on the air: 1999–2013

    This Fox animated show from “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening follows the adventures of an interplanetary delivery outfit, parodying movies and TV shows from all corners of science fiction along the way. Although it never rose to the level of popularity of “The Simpsons,” the show received almost universal critical acclaim, with 12 Emmy nominations and six wins over the course of its run.

  • #79. Fringe

    - IMDb user rating: 8.4
    - Years on the air: 2008–2013

    The same team behind the 2009 big-screen “Star Trek” reboot, J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci launched this Fox show about a Boston-based FBI team that explores mysteries related to the existence of parallel universes. While it didn’t quite manage to seize the zeitgeist to the degree of Abrams’s previous hit, “Lost,” the show received positive reviews that improved with each subsequent season.

  • #78. Modern Family

    - IMDb user rating: 8.4
    - Years on the air: 2009–present

    Applauded by critics for its fresh writing and eclectic characters, “Modern Family” adds second marriages, gay relationships, and large age gaps between partners into the mix to shake up the old nuclear family sitcom formula. The show has won 22 Primetime Emmy Awards and six Writers Guild of America Awards.

  • #77. Supernatural

    - IMDb user rating: 8.4
    - Years on the air: 2005–present

    Debuting on The WB (and continuing its run on The CW when the network changed names), this sci-fi/horror series follows a pair of vigilante brothers hunting down various supernatural entities. It is now the network’s longest-running show and the longest-running live-action fantasy series of all time.

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  • #76. Flight of the Conchords

    - IMDb user rating: 8.5
    - Years on the air: 2007–2009

    New Zealand musicians and comedy performers Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie star as fictionalized versions of themselves in “Flight of the Conchords.” Unlike in real life, the duo are struggling musicians, uprooted from New Zealand in an attempt to make it big in New York City. Kristen Schaal co-stars as the duo’s only fan, with Rhys Darby as their incompetent manager.

  • #75. Ash vs Evil Dead

    - IMDb user rating: 8.5
    - Years on the air: 2015–2018

    The Starz original “Ash vs Evil Dead” aired for three seasons and successfully tackled the ultra-specific genre of horror-comedy (99% on Rotten Tomatoes). Taking place decades after the “Evil Dead” trilogy, the series sees Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) re-emerge to defend humankind. Fans and critics appreciated its loyalty to the original material, its characters, and its well-executed combination of humor and action.

  • #74. Louie

    - IMDb user rating: 8.5
    - Years on the air: 2010–2015

    Written, directed, created, edited, and produced by comedian Louis C.K., who also starred, this show constantly subverted expectations of television as a format. The tone oscillated unpredictably between funny and serious, the visual and editing style varied wildly between episodes, and the show played fast and loose with continuity.

    In 2017, amidst the #MeToo movement, five women reported they were sexually harassed by the comedian—claims that Louis C.K. promptly admitted were true, saying: “The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”

  • #73. The Expanse

    - IMDb user rating: 8.5
    - Years on the air: 2015–present

    Originally on the Syfy channel, this show based on “The Expanse” series of books is set in a universe where the solar system has been colonized. An ice hauler ship named the Canterbury is involved in an accident, sending the crew into the center of a conspiracy that threatens the uneasy peace among different planetary governments. Canceled in 2018, Amazon revived the series for an upcoming fourth season on Prime; it began streaming Dec. 13, 2019.

  • #72. Silicon Valley

    - IMDb user rating: 8.5
    - Years on the air: 2014–2019

    Created by Mike Judge (“Beavis and Butthead,” “Office Space”) this HBO comedy chronicles the rise of a software startup run and staffed by geeky programmers. Critics and fans heralded the strong joke writing and a standout performance by T.J. Miller as Erlich, the world’s most obnoxious business mentor. Although difficulties on set led to Miller’s departure from the show at the end of the fourth season, the show continued to draw unanimously positive reviews all the way up to its finale; it finished its run on HBO in Dec. 2019.

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  • #71. Big Little Lies

    - IMDb user rating: 8.5
    - Years on the air: 2017-2019

    This HBO drama, based on the best-selling novel by Liane Moriarty of the same name, features an A-list cast that includes Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Dern. The show is set in a wealthy coastal town in California where deception and murder lurk beneath the picture-perfect surface. Despite initially being billed as a miniseries—and winning an Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series—HBO renewed the show for a second season, which co-starred Meryl Streep.