Top 30 TV Shows

by jacob-350 | created - 24 Mar 2011 | updated - 23 Jun 2012 | Public

I used to regard myself strictly as a "movie"-man, who didn't care at all what shows the screen at home had to offer. I recently discovered that I'm now addicted to a couple of shows, especially since you don't have to be a writer to write movies anymore; television shows have simply taken the lead.

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1. Band of Brothers (2001)

TV-MA | 594 min | Action, Drama, History

The story of Easy Company of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, and their mission in World War II Europe, from Operation Overlord, through V-J Day.

Stars: Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Shane Taylor

Votes: 289,516

GENRE: TV mini-series, historical war drama

DESCRIPTION: Band of Brothers from 2001 was so good it made Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan seem like a warm up round. Rarely has television seen this level of production value, not that you could expect any less from men like Hanks and Spielberg. This ten-part miniseries has already been imitated to death (specifically in the videogame marked), but never bettered. Perhaps the next installment, The Pacific, will do that? Problably not... Almost every episode is a masterpiece in itself. Simply the best thing to grace the silver screen, and you have to respect they way it changed television; everybody simply had to up their game after this. By the way, the bluray boxset is the best purchase I have made on that platform.

EPISODES TO WATCH: "Carentan"

2. The Sopranos (1999–2007)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama

New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano deals with personal and professional issues in his home and business life that affect his mental state, leading him to seek professional psychiatric counseling.

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

Votes: 229,375

GENRE: Gangster drama

DESCRIPTION: Television's answer to The Godfather, and it might even be better than that... No joke.

EPISODES TO WATCH: "College"

3. The Office (2001–2003)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager David Brent as they continue their daily lives.

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Lucy Davis

Votes: 80,658

GENRE: Mockumentary & Situation Comedy

EPISODES TO WATCH: "Training"

4. Extras (2005–2007)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

Andy Millman is an actor with ambition and a script. Reduced to working as an extra with a useless agent, Andy's attempts to boost his career invariably end in failure and embarrassment.

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant, Shaun Williamson

Votes: 45,954

GENRE: Comedy-Drama

DESCRIPTION: The difficult follow-up that showed no signs of difficulty. Merchant and Gervais are totally unique, and have completely renewed comedy.

EPISODES TO WATCH: "Sir Ian McKellen"; "Kate Winslet"; "Ben Stiller"

5. Futurama (1999–2013)

TV-14 | 22 min | Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Fry, a pizza guy, is accidentally frozen in 1999 and thawed out New Year's Eve 2999.

Stars: Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille

Votes: 182,301

GENRE: Animated science fiction sitcom

6. Riget (1994–1997)

TV-MA | 279 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Doctors at an ultramodern hospital in Denmark become convinced, by way of weird, inexplicable happenings, that the place is haunted.

Stars: Ernst-Hugo Järegård, Kirsten Rolffes, Ghita Nørby, Holger Juul Hansen

Votes: 15,605 | Gross: $0.09M

GENRE: Horror & Black Comedy

7. Californication (2007–2014)

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy, Drama

A writer tries to juggle his career, his relationship with his daughter and his ex-girlfriend, as well as his appetite for beautiful women.

Stars: David Duchovny, Natascha McElhone, Evan Handler, Pamela Adlon

Votes: 158,544

GENRE: Dramedy

DESCRIPTION: I wasn't a huge X-Files-fan, and I couldn't really see the appeal of David Duchovny until I saw Californication, where he's an absolute force of nature. It also helps that the show is hugely enjoyable, vastly entertaining and simply put, one of the best written things of television - almost every episode and scene is quotable.

EPISODES TO WATCH: "Pilot"; "The Raw & the Cooked"; "Mia Culpa"

8. Flight of the Conchords (2007–2009)

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

Bret and Jemaine are Flight of the Conchords, a folk-rock band from New Zealand living in New York City in search of stardom.

Stars: Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, Rhys Darby, Kristen Schaal

Votes: 48,633

GENRE: Comedy, semi-musical, quasi-mockumentary

EPISODES TO WATCH: "Mugged"; "Love is the Weapon of Choice"; "Unnatural Love"

9. Mad Men (2007–2015)

TV-14 | 47 min | Drama

A drama about one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm's most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper.

Stars: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones

Votes: 167,922

GENRE: Period Drama

DESCRIPTION: Seriously brainy drama, with a production value that's simply staggering. Some shows work with the 'show & tell'-vibe, this is mostly 'show, but never tell unless it's necessary'. It's like a better version of Revolutionary Road.

EPISODES TO WATCH: "Red in the Face"

10. Modern Family (2009– )

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

Three different, but related families face trials and tribulations in their own uniquely comedic ways.

Stars: Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell

Votes: 291,710

GENRE: Sitcom & Mockumentary

DESCRIPTION:

EPISODES TO WATCH: "Fizbo"

11. Dexter (2006–2013)

TV-MA | 53 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

By day, mild-mannered Dexter is a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police. But at night, he is a serial killer who only targets other murderers.

Stars: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, James Remar

Votes: 569,445

GENRE: Crime Drama Thriller

DESCRIPTION: At first, it's really annoying that they change perspective from Dexter to somebody else, since he's the protagonist and has the voice over. But then, when The Ice Truck Killer is revealed, so that we know more than our (anti-)hero, everyhing clicks into place.

EPISODES TO WATCH: "Seeing Red"; "About Last Night"; "The Getaway"

12. Scrubs (2001–2010)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Drama

In the unreal world of Sacred Heart Hospital, intern John "J.D." Dorian learns the ways of medicine, friendship, and life.

Stars: Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, John C. McGinley

Votes: 215,379

GENRE: Comedy-Drama

DESCRIPTION: Like so many other things, Scrubs didn't knew when to quit, and the show has gone on longer than it could sustain. But it's still really funny and is glouriously written, when it doesn't rely too much on slapstick that is. I also miss the drama the first two seasons possessed. But the only weak season is no. 7, and fans should stop watching after season 8. A couple of notes to creator Bill Lawrence: No, your wife is not a good actor, the barbershop quartet is so overused it's a crime, and dr. Cox' monologues are not funny just because they are long.

EPISODES TO WATCH: "My Monster"; "My Conventional Wisdom"; "My Finale: Part 2"

13. Breaking Bad (2008–2013)

TV-MA | 49 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in order to secure his family's future.

Stars: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt

Votes: 1,093,321

GENRE: Serial drama, Crime & Black comedy

DESCRIPTION:

EPISODES TO WATCH:

14. Arrested Development (2003– )

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

Level-headed son Michael Bluth takes over family affairs after his father is imprisoned. But the rest of his spoiled, dysfunctional family are making his job unbearable.

Stars: Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett

Votes: 241,268

GENRE: Sitcom

DESCRIPTION:

EPISODES TO WATCH: "Good Greif!"

15. The Wire (2002–2008)

TV-MA | 59 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Baltimore drug scene, seen through the eyes of drug dealers and law enforcement.

Stars: Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn, Wendell Pierce

Votes: 227,080

GENRE: Crime Drama

EPISODES TO WATCH: "Old Cases"

16. Community (2009–2015)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

A suspended lawyer is forced to enroll in a community college with an eclectic staff and student body.

Stars: Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover, Chevy Chase

Votes: 165,309

GENRE: Sitcom

DESCRIPTION:

EPISODES TO WATCH:

17. Game of Thrones (2011– )

TV-MA | 57 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for thousands of years.

Stars: Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey

Votes: 1,328,170

18. American Dad! (2005– )

TV-14 | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

The random escapades of Stan Smith, a conservative C.I.A. Agent dealing with family life, and keeping America safe, all in the most absurd way possible.

Stars: Seth MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Dee Bradley Baker, Scott Grimes

Votes: 99,302

19. South Park (1997– )

TV-MA | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

Follows the misadventures of four irreverent grade-schoolers in the quiet, dysfunctional town of South Park, Colorado.

Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes, Mona Marshall

Votes: 283,122

20. Bored to Death (2009–2011)

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

A well-meaning but struggling writer decides to lead a sort of double life by pretending to be a private detective using the methods he read about in old detective novels.

Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis, Ted Danson, Heather Burns

Votes: 29,463

21. Klovn (2005– )

TV-MA | 25 min | Comedy

The socially awkward misadventures of Frank Hvam, his girlfriend Mia and his best friend Casper.

Stars: Frank Hvam, Casper Christensen, Mia Lyhne, Iben Hjejle

Votes: 3,871

22. Family Guy (1998– )

TV-14 | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

In a wacky Rhode Island town, a dysfunctional family strive to cope with everyday life as they are thrown from one crazy scenario to another.

Stars: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis

Votes: 268,703

23. Frasier (1993–2004)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

Dr. Frasier Crane moves back to his hometown of Seattle, where he lives with his father, and works as a radio psychiatrist.

Stars: Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin

Votes: 62,757

24. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000– )

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy

The life and times of Larry David and the predicaments he gets himself into with his friends and complete strangers.

Stars: Larry David, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman

Votes: 79,790

GENRE: Comedy

DESCRIPTION:

EPISODES TO WATCH: "Opening Night"

25. 30 Rock (2006–2013)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy

Liz Lemon, head writer of the sketch comedy show "TGS with Tracy Jordan", must deal with an arrogant new boss and a crazy new star, all while trying to run a successful television show without losing her mind.

Stars: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jack McBrayer

Votes: 99,872

26. Weeds (2005–2012)

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

When a suburban mother turns to dealing marijuana in order to maintain her privileged lifestyle after her husband dies, she finds out just how addicted her entire neighborhood already is.

Stars: Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould, Kevin Nealon

Votes: 94,081

GENRE: Satire & Dramedy

DESCRIPTION:

EPISODES TO WATCH:

28. Sons of Anarchy (2008–2014)

TV-MA | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A man in his early 30s struggles to find a balance in his life between being a new dad and his involvement in a motorcycle club.

Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior, Kim Coates

Votes: 216,504

29. How to Make It in America (2010– )

30 min | Comedy, Drama

A group of 20 somethings living in New York City. Ben and Cameron work on starting a fashion company, while enjoying their lives in the greatest city in the world.

Stars: Bryan Greenberg, Victor Rasuk, Lake Bell, Eddie Kaye Thomas

Votes: 14,058

30. How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

A father recounts to his children, through a series of flashbacks, the journey he and his four best friends took leading up to him meeting their mother.

Stars: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris

Votes: 511,161

31. Rescue Me (2004–2011)

TV-MA | 42 min | Drama, Comedy

Tommy Gavin deals with the fears of his job as a firefighter and seeing his ex-wife dating other men.

Stars: Denis Leary, Michael Lombardi, Steven Pasquale, Andrea Roth

Votes: 23,331

32. Eastbound & Down (2009–2013)

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

Many years after he turned his back on his hometown, a burned-out major league ballplayer returns to teach Physical Education at his old middle school.

Stars: Danny McBride, Steve Little, Katy Mixon, Elizabeth De Razzo

Votes: 45,697