So I know I said I’d do these every Monday. The thing is I’ve already seen tonights BURN NOTICE and ROYAL PAINS and thus I have nothing better to do than print some more of “The Top 100 Shows Of All Time.” These are my opinions (and thus 100% accurate for me). You can see numbers 91-100 HERE.
However I know what you’re thinking… “Just get to it already, damnit!” So here we go:
90. NYPD BLUE (1993-2005 ABC)
Steven Bochco. David Milch. The names are synonymous with “good tv,” and “weird tv.” It’s likely this combination when aimed at a police drama following the fictional 15th Precinct of Manhattan was what really clicked with viewers. The show lasted a good 12 years and was filled with an incredible ensemble cast. It pushed the envelope of just what was allowed to air on primetime broadcast TV in the states. Easily one of the greatest police dramas ever created.
89. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000-???? CBS)
I can hear it now. CSI is better than <insert show name here>?!?!? Yes. It’s the modernization of QUINCY, M.E. from Jerry Bruckheimer. So it does everything in style. Hated by District Attorneys everywhere (for convincing juries that some kind of DNA must have been found, etc.) the show has created an entire Franchise that continues to give CBS 3 hours of solidly rated programming. Even if it is just QUINCY on steroids, it’s a fine bit of entertainment.
88. CARNIVALE (2003-2005 HBO)
Another show cancelled way too early, CARNIVALE was a unique mixture of horror, fantasy & mystery. A classic Good Vs Evil tale set during the depression and following a traveling carnivale. Free will or destiny is a common theme the show used, and it was just plain weird. The production design behind the program was amazing (and I believe Emmy winning) and combined with a mesmerizing story and good cast… it’s a tough show to not like. HBO did market it well, and the premiere was well received (at the time better than any previous HBO launch) but it just didn’t retain viewers. If the budget had been much slimmer, I’m sure HBO would have kept it going for the intended 6 seasons. Just think this would have been the final season if all had gone as planned!
87. FUTURAMA (1999-2003 FOX 2010-???? Comedy Central)
THE SIMPSONS’ red-headed step child. A poor imitation of THE SIMPSONS. I’ve heard it all before but this show is just funny. No, it’s not THE SIMPSONS but then again what show is? The show was troubled with a lot of production issues and was just lucky to see the light of day. It kept sticking around though and despite FOX not knowing quite how to treat it, it’s now back for 26 new episodes on Comedy Central. The story of a pizza delivery guy frozen in time during a millennium party and thawed out 1,000 years later, FUTURAMA is just pure guilt free entertainment. Bender though has to be one of the greatest comedic creations of the last 100 years.
86. IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA (2005-???? FX)
It’s a great concept: a comedy set in a bar. Someone should have come up with it before. Ok, in all seriousness this show may just move up the list in the next few years as it’s just damn funny. It’s like SEINFELD and CHEERS mixed together and then taken to the extreme. Irresponsible but funny. It’s not good, clean, fun as their DVD set says (the good and clean are marked out) but it is FUN. Which is what a comedy should be.
85. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (2006-???? NBC)
One of the 2 best shows on NBC right now and it’s left to air on Friday evenings where it has been unable to gather an audience. Critically acclaimed for good reason the show has easily one of the most realistic families to ever be portrayed on television. Some claim the football loving town couldn’t possibly love football that much, but I say go to Odessa, Texas during the Fall and see how that team treats its Permian Panthers whom the show is based on (as was the book and film). Great acting, great drama, and believable.
84. CAVALCADE OF STARS (1950-1953 Dumont)
Yeah, I could have chosen THE HONEYMOONERS. However this show with Jackie Gleason is where THE HONEYMOONERS was born, and before “The Classic 39,” the sketches involving the Kramdens were much darker (and in my opinion better due to this disturbing darkness). A variety series of top notch caliber that Gleason would never be able to match despite his shows airing until 1970 on CBS. Just how good this series was is unknown because most of the episodes were destroyed and lost when the Dumont Network shut down.
83. MOONLIGHTING (1985-1989 ABC)
A TV Show made to compete with REMINGTON STEELE (and even produced by one of Steele’s producers) for ABC. One of the first modern dramedies to actually work. The show centered around David (Bruce Willis) and Maddie (Cybil Shepherd) two private detectives who frequently fought and had a now famous “will they or won’t they,” relationship. The show famously struck bottom after the couple became a couple, but the real reason the show failed was poor writing. The writers were lazy and had massive problems turning in scripts on time. The show was known for breaking the “4th wall,” where the show calls attention to itself as a show. This worked, but it was really just another sign of how lazy the writers were. The production delays the show received were all caused by writing, and it lead to a bad 5th season and it had little to do with the couple becoming a couple. However because it failed at that point it further reinforces the idea that “will they or won’t they,” doesn’t work if they actually do.
82. SOUTH PARK (1997-???? Comedy Central)
Matt Stone and Trey Parker created SOUTH PARK in the early 90s, finally sold it and it debuted in 1997 where it was an instant hit and has been since. An extremely rude and crude animated comedy that is constantly pushing the boundaries of decency all tied together to teach a lesson every episode? Yeah. It works too. Sure, it only really hits a good episode out of the park about twice a season, but those episodes are generally damn funny.
81. LEAVE IT TO BEAVER (1957-1963 CBS & ABC)
Who didn’t want Barbara Billingsley as their mom? This classic show was best immortalized in my mind by the movie PLEASANTVILLE which was an obvious homage to the classic tv series. This was good clean entertainment and the characters like Eddie Haskel are hard to forget.