Television Shows, That Inspired Other Shows

by jwoehr | created - 23 Jan 2012 | updated - 24 Jan 2012 | Public
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1. Lost (2004–2010)

TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The survivors of a plane crash are forced to work together in order to survive on a seemingly deserted tropical island.

Stars: Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly

Votes: 421,658

Many shows that followed were obviously inspired by Lost, like Surface, the Nine, Once Upon a Time, Terra Nova, Alcatraz for example.

2. The X-Files (1993– )

TV-14 | 45 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Two FBI agents, Fox Mulder the believer and Dana Scully the skeptic, investigate the strange and unexplained, while hidden forces work to impede their efforts.

Stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis

Votes: 166,924

Supernatural, Grimm, Fringe followed.

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)

TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young woman is forced to fulfill her destiny of fighting vampires and demons with the help of her friends all the while struggling to live a normal teenage life of heart break and drama.

Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Head

Votes: 110,226

Sorry Twilight, but this show inspired all those writers that gave us humans in love with vampires! Am sure Vampire Diaries wouldn't even be on now if this show wasn't on first.

4. Alias (2001–2006)

TV-14 | 42 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Sydney Bristow is an international spy recruited out of college, and trained for espionage and self-defense.

Stars: Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly, Kevin Weisman

Votes: 39,746

Am sure you can say Mission Impossible the show inspired Alias, but this series reawakened the spy genre on television. Look what followed, Chuck, The Undercovers, Covert Affairs..

5. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000–2015)

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An elite team of police forensic evidence investigation experts work their cases in Las Vegas.

Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads, Eric Szmanda

Votes: 70,022

Many shows just like it followed. NCIS, Bones, Crossing Jordan

6. Smallville (2001–2011)

TV-PG | 60 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young Clark Kent struggles to find his place in the world as he learns to harness his alien powers for good and deals with the typical troubles of teenage life in Smallville, Kansas.

Stars: Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack, Kristin Kreuk

Votes: 103,104

Follwed by Birds of Prey, Heroes and the Cape.

7. Miami Vice (1984–1990)

TV-14 | 48 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Resplendent with authentic 1980's music, fashion and vibe, "Miami Vice" follows two undercover detectives and their extended team through the mean streets of Miami.

Stars: Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago, Olivia Brown

Votes: 18,562

Inspired Lethal Weapon? If not, it was the start of gritty buddy cop shows and obviously inspired FastLane.

8. The Simpsons (1989– )

TV-14 | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

The satiric adventures of a working-class family in the misfit city of Springfield.

Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith

Votes: 301,922

Dude, would be no Family Guy if this show wasn't around first. Who knows if South Park would even be around or Beavis and Butthead.

9. Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1995)

TV-PG | 23 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

The Dark Knight battles crime in Gotham City with occasional help from Robin and Batgirl.

Stars: Kevin Conroy, Loren Lester, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Robert Hastings

Votes: 63,484

Set the tone for a lot of cartoon shows in the 90's.

10. The Smurfs (1981–1990)

TV-Y | 30 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Smurfs are little blue creatures that live in mushroom houses in a forest inhabited mainly by their own kind. The smurfs average daily routine is attempting to avoid Gargomel, an evil man who wants to kill our little blue friends.

Stars: Don Messick, Danny Goldman, Lucille Bliss, Frank Welker

Votes: 11,731

Followed by Gummi Bears, the Snorks and other similar series.

11. Married with Children (1986–1997)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Al Bundy is a misanthropic women's shoe salesman with a miserable life. He hates his job, his wife is lazy, his son is dysfunctional (especially with women), and his daughter is dim-witted and promiscuous.

Stars: Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal, Amanda Bearse

Votes: 83,943

How many shows were inspired by this disfunctional family? Too many to list.

12. American Idol (2002– )

TV-PG | 42 min | Game-Show, Music, Reality-TV

4.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

Twelve finalists and/or future singers (six men and six women) who were selected from America, compete in a talent contest in which they were asked to sing any song they like on this "Star ... See full summary »

Stars: Ryan Seacrest, Mark Thompson, Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell

Votes: 19,922

Inspired all those song and dance shows...I don't watch!

13. 24 (2001–2010)

TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Crime, Drama

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Jack Bauer, Director of Field Ops for the Counter-Terrorist Unit of Los Angeles, races against the clock to subvert terrorist plots and save his nation from ultimate disaster.

Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard, Dennis Haysbert

Votes: 156,520

14. Sesame Street (1969– )

TV-Y | 55 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

On a special inner city street, the inhabitants, both human and puppet, teach preschool subjects with comedy, cartoons, games and songs.

Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney, Jerry Nelson

Votes: 9,414

15. I Love Lucy (1951–1957)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A daffy woman constantly strives to become a star along with her bandleader husband and gets herself in the strangest situations.

Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley

Votes: 18,962

16. Gunsmoke (1955–1975)

TV-PG | 60 min | Western

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in the rough and tumble Dodge City.

Stars: James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Ken Curtis

Votes: 3,812

17. All in the Family (1971–1979)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A working class bigot constantly squabbles with his family over the important issues of the day.

Stars: Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, Sally Struthers

Votes: 11,598

18. Saturday Night Live (1975– )

TV-14 | 90 min | Comedy, Music

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.

Stars: Don Pardo, Lenny Pickett, Darrell Hammond, Kenan Thompson

Votes: 36,081

19. Seinfeld (1989–1998)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

The continuing misadventures of neurotic New York stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his equally neurotic New York friends.

Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander

Votes: 197,606

20. The Sopranos (1999–2007)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama

9.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

New Jersey mob boss, Tony Soprano, deals with personal and professional issues in his home and business life, which affects his mental state and ends up seeking professional psychiatric counseling.

Stars: James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli

Votes: 219,481