12 TV Shows That Are Often Called “The Best TV Show Ever”

This is such a subjective topic. While I’d love to share my thoughts on the best TV show ever, I thought it would be better to scour the internet to find out what, in your opinion, is the best show ever from a variety of fans.

These are the top 12 that came up most often or have the most upvotes. I’ve gotta say, I don’t find this list incredibly shocking – these are some really great TV shows!

The Wire

Sonja Sohn in The Wire (2002)
Image Credit: HBO.

I’m going to be honest with you here: this is the only show on this list I haven’t seen. An HBO show, the Wire was written and created by a former police reporter and it shows. Lauded for its realism, the Wire earned top ratings from both fans and critics when it came out and is considered by many to be one of the best shows ever made.

Game of Thrones

Emilia Clarke HBO Game of Thrones Season 8 - Episode 6
Photograph by Courtesy of HBO.

I don’t know too many people who haven’t watched Game of Thrones. Although the series was rocky in a few places, especially once they caught up to the books, it told an amazing story overall. Some fans really hated the ending, but that hasn’t stopped GoT from being considered the best TV show ever by many of its fans.

Fun fact: Game of Thrones is also HBO’s most watched series, to date.


Central Perk cafe set from “Friends” TV show at Warner Brothers Studio in Los Angeles, California.
Image Credit: Mariia Illiashevych/Shutterstock.

A classic comfort show that’s still popular today, even with the younger generation, Friends is regarded as a favorite show by so many people. Even Prince Harry talks about binge watching the show in his book!

The Sopranos

The Sopranos
Photograph by Courtesy of HBO.

What The Sopranos did not just in the show, but for TV as a whole, has made a lasting impression. The series won 21 Emmy awards over the 6 season run and is often regarded as the show that cemented HBO’s reputation for delivering stunning 1 hour dramas.


Image Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment.

I recently re-watched Seinfeld and I can honestly say that it still holds up. What makes Seinfeld so funny, and so revered, is that the humor comes from exaggerating stupid, everyday situations that we can all relate to.

The Simpsons

Image Credit: Fox.

One could argue that the Simpsons set the stage for the family and adult-oriented animated comedy shows that followed. Every fan of the show (like myself) regularly quotes it. Even if some of the seasons are kind of mid, there are so many great moments that this show is hard not to love.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Image Credit: CBS.

“Nothing makes me so proud and hopeful to be human.” one Redditor said of Star Trek TNG.

Starring the iconic Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, this series really did boldly go where no man went before. Interesting and profoundly ahead of its time in terms of social issues, The Next Generation is worth a watch (or re-watch) even today.

The Twilight Zone

Rod Serling in The Twilight Zone (1959)
Image Credit: CBS.

One of my personal favorites, the Twilight Zone told stories that had tremendous lasting power. Despite airing over 60 years ago the Twilight Zone still appeals to a modern audience.

“Twilight zone 101%>. Every episode still stands to this day.” one commenter said of the show.


Michael C. Hall, David Zayas, and Jaime Murray in Dexter (2006).
Image Credit: CBS.

The show that made serial killers part of the mainstream long before those Netflix documentaries started getting popular! Dexter is regarded by many as one of the best TV shows ever, and I’m inclined to agree.


Image Credit: Walt Disney Television.

If you don’t get why this show is regarded so highly I’m sorry to say, you just had to be there. While the show really is fantastic, I’m convinced that we see this one through rose-tinted glasses because of how enthralling it was to see the mysteries unfold slowly over weeks, even years. Plus the unique marketing made it feel like we were part of something big!

Mad Men

Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris in Mad Men.
Photo Credit: Justina Mintz/AMC.

Man Men is regarded as the best TV show ever by so many people for a multitude of reasons. It wasn’t just the plot, characters, acting, and setting, but the way all these came together in this period drama. While we can’t all relate to Don Draper himself, there isn’t a person who hasn’t been affected by the work his real-life counterparts do every day.

Breaking Bad

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) - Breaking Bad - Season 2, Episode 1.
Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.

I admit that I was reluctant to watch Breaking Bad at first. After I finally caved it quickly became one of my favorite TV shows, and I would definitely agree that it’s one of the best TV shows ever – at least in my opinion. The pacing, the drama, the fall of a “regular” man into the criminal world… No show has done it better than this series.

Honorable Mentions

Doctor Who
Image Credit: AMC/BBCA.

While we decided to stop this list at 12, the next few shows that came up frequently were:

  • The West Wing
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • The X-Files
  • Firefly
  • Doctor Who
  • The Office (US)
  • Cheers
  • Arrested Development
  • Better Call Saul

There were too many great cult classics listed that I couldn’t leave them out!

The Abrupt Endings of These 8 Netflix Shows That Left Viewers Unsatisfied

Timothy Olyphant, Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
Image Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

The worst part of having your favorite show canceled is that you never get to see the ending and never find out what happened to all the characters. If there was a good ending, the fans might not be upset!

The Abrupt Endings of These 8 Netflix Shows That Left Viewers Unsatisfied

Netflix Cancelled These 14 Shows And We’re Still Not Over It

Marco Polo
Image Credit: Phil Bray/Netflix.

Netflix is notorious for canceling shows before they are finished, leaving devastated fans in their wake. There is something so incredibly upsetting about a show you love being canceled before being wrapped up properly and the characters given proper closure.

Netflix Cancelled These 14 Shows and We’re Still Not Over It

10 Overrated Netflix Shows That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype

Outer Banks. Rudy Pankow as JJ in episode 303 of Outer Banks

Ever watched a show that was so hyped up but you thought was terrible? The show everyone was talking about and watching and you just couldn’t see the appeal? That was the question posted on Reddit, “Which Netflix show is overrated?”

9 Most Overrated Netflix Shows

7 True Crime Shows on Netflix That Are Criminally Addictive

Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. Sarma Melngailis in Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

Love learning about real-life crime and can’t get enough? Netflix has become the go-to for binge-able series about crimes and the criminals who commit them.

7 True Crime Shows on Netflix That Are Criminally Addictive

Unpopular Opinion: 15 Shows Everyone Raved About, But We Couldn’t Stand

Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in episode 205 of Bridgerton

Ever been excited about a show that someone recommended, but you couldn’t get into it? A show that everyone loved, but you couldn’t stand it? Here are 15 shows people couldn’t get into despite the hype.

Unpopular Opinion: These 15 Shows Everyone Raved About, But We Couldn’t Stand


44 thoughts on “12 TV Shows That Are Often Called “The Best TV Show Ever””

    • Television shows did exist long before Millennials started watching TV. And there were a heck of a lot better shows then, than the some of the shows you have on your list. You should explore some of them:

      PERRY MASON (original)

      Try them out, you will find they are in many ways much better than many of the programs on your list.

  1. Unfortunately the shows listed were all very new. You left out “The Prisoner”. Easily in the top three of best TV shows.

  2. What no “Mash” or “All in the Family”? This is a bogus list without those two! Honorable mentions for Arrested Development and Firefly higher on the list? Fire the guy that put the list together

  3. One show that deserves to be on this list is FRAZIER, Frasier is one of the most critically acclaimed comedy series of all time and the most successful spin-off series in television history. Critics and commentators have broadly held the show in high regard, it was the most successful comedy series of all time, winning 37 Primetime Emmy Awards, only Game of Thrones won more with 38.

    • 100% what I came on here to see/say. I LOVE Game of Thrones, Dexter, Stranger Things, etc…..but man oh man…Fraiser is one of the sharpest, funniest, most rewatchable shows of all-time…and NEVER gets old or dips in quality.

  4. But not All in the Family, Mash, Mary Tyler Moore, The Honeymooners or I Love Lucy? Sorry but you need to explore past the things someone under forty would know, my friend. Everything I just named made the Writer’s Guild and most other lists.

  5. M*A*S*H
    All in the Family
    Barney Miller
    My Name is Earl
    Parks & Recreation
    30 Rock

    …are better than most of the shows in this list.

  6. MASH, of course, as well as The *original* Battlestar Galactica, the *original* The Prisoner, The Banana Splits, the *original* Land of the Lost, Krofft Supershow, Gilligan’s Island, The Wonder Years, the *original* Star Trek, Wonder Woman, Knight Rider, the *original* Kung Fu, and the Looney Toons cartoon series.

  7. Honeymooners, Andy Griffith (with Don Knots), The Americans, Homeland, Sanford and Son, Jefferson’s, The Shield, Combat, The Walking Dead, Gunsmoke. Too many of your choices are within the last twenty years. TV did not start in 2000, definitely you do not have the “Life Experience” to put this list together.

  8. You blew it. While yes I agree on most of your picks you just forgot one of the greatest comedies ever. Schitts creek. That show is hands down the goat. The writing, The timing and one of the greatest ensemble casts ever. There is not one fault throughout the entire 5 seasons.

  9. I loved the first seasons of “West World”, before it destroyed itself, plus “How to
    Get Away with Murder” and the first few seasons of “Alias”.

  10. FRAISER!! I LOVE Game of Thrones, Dexter, Stranger Things, Barry, etc…..but man oh man…Fraiser is one of the sharpest, funniest, most rewatchable shows of all-time…and NEVER gets old or dips in quality.

  11. yeah NO whoever made this list is severely WRONG. So many good shows leftnoff som maany bad shows on the list MASH All in the Family 24 NCIS Andy Griffith I love lucy The wonderful world of disney ( prior to disney losing its morals ethics and insight) Gunsmoke the list can go on and on with quality shows not the trash on this list

  12. One show that you all have not seen obviously is Outlanders. If you have seen it, you would definitely say it was the best show series EVER in the history of time.

  13. I thought “The Newsroom” was the best show ever, but at least Sorkin appeared with “The West Wing” with your Honorable Mentions.

  14. Whomever compiled this list ought to do their homework. They left off one of the greatest, most iconic sitcoms of all time: The Dick Van Dyke Show with VanDyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Morey Amsterdam, Rose Marie, Richard Deacon, Anne Marie Guilbert and other notables. A classic show that is still funny more than six decades later. Also, Fraiser with Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney, and other talented cast members. Taxi should also have gotten a nod. And for drama, the list would need to include Cold Case, one of the most intelligent, well-written shows ever.

  15. 24
    NYPD Blue
    The Shield
    Friday Night Lights
    All In the Family
    Everybody Loves Raymond
    2 & 1/2 Men
    House of Cards

  16. Being a TV junkie I understand that everyone has favorites and I respect the likes and dislikes of everyone. It is what makes the world go round. My list would be too long to list. Some of my favorites are Blue Bloods, NCIS, Wagon Train, Bonanza, Flintstones, Jetsons, Ed Sullivan Show, The Dean Martin Show, Gunsmoke, Big Bang Theory, and a thousand more!

  17. This list was put together by someone in their 20s, I would guess, and aimed at an audience of 30-year-olds and under.

    Before his bad press The Cosby Show was one of the best family sit-coms on TV. Room 222 and 21 Jump Street in the 70s was aimed at the younger TV watchers. The Dick Van Dyke Show before that (1960s) brought family friendly adult entertainment to multi-aged audiences across the spectrum. Gunsmoke ran for 20 seasons for crying out loud.

    If your article is about television, I think it should consider “ALL” of television. In doing so it would be virtually impossible to make such a short list.


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