Favourite TV Shows of All Time

by larderr-401-782858 | created - 13 Aug 2015 | updated - 03 Dec 2017 | Public

The shows of life which still resonate and grow in appreciation from this viewer. The shows are not in order as the genres vary too much to settle on one specific show or even to order them in a value sequence.It is sufficient to perhaps say, "these programs affected my life for the better." More to follow...

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1. Veronica Mars (2004– )

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

After her best friend is murdered, and her father is removed as county Sheriff, Veronica Mars dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune.

Stars: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni, Percy Daggs III

Votes: 64,550

Kristen Bell was wonderful as the outsider "Nancy Drew" beautiful detective and the mysteries were a wonderful ride.

2. Friday Night Lights (2006–2011)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Sport

In the small town of Dillon, Texas, one night matters: Friday Night. Eric Taylor has recently been hired as the head football coach for the Dillon High School Panthers, the town's pride and... See full summary »

Stars: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford, Aimee Teegarden

Votes: 52,096

Simply one of the very best shows ever on mainline TV which as an example of "Television too good for TV".

3. Quantum Leap (1989–1993)

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

Scientist Sam Beckett finds himself trapped in the past, "leaping" into the bodies of different people on a regular basis.

Stars: Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt, Dennis Wolfberg

Votes: 24,275

A wonderful feel good show with a great theme and truly creative and memorable scripts combining humour and nostalgia in equal doses.

4. My So-Called Life (1994–1995)

TV-14 | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A 15-year-old girl and her trials and tribulations of being a teenager and dealing with friends, guys, parents and school.

Stars: Bess Armstrong, Wilson Cruz, Claire Danes, Devon Gummersall

Votes: 18,016

Claire Danes is brilliant as a angst-ridden teen. The cast is uniformly excellent! I used the first episode in the series when teaching in my Developmental Psychology class. The storyline on an egocentric teen was useful when discussing the major issues and concepts related to adolescence.

5. Arrested Development (2003– )

TV-14 | 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: 260,600

Jason Bateman was excellent for being the only sane person in the cast of misfits and eccentrics.

6. Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

The misadventures of a suburban boy, family and friends.

Stars: Jerry Mathers, Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow

Votes: 6,040

This show genuinely featured real kids being real kids not the foul mouthed, wisecracking, ingenuine, smarter than adults types of shows that later permeated the TV lineups of the 1970's on.

7. Nowhere Man (1995–1996)

44 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

Thomas Veil is a documentary photographer who, in the course of one evening, seemingly has his whole existence erased. It appears as if some mysterious and powerful entity has coerced ... See full summary »

Stars: Bruce Greenwood, Megan Gallagher, Marvin LaRoy Sanders, Sam A. Mowry

Votes: 1,575

A fun show of a guy without any allies in a strange world of deceit just trying to figure it all out and survive.

8. Branded (1965–1966)

30 min | Western

In the 1880s Jason McCord travels the country trying to prove he's no coward. He needs to do this because the military career of this West point graduate came to an end when he was thrown out of the army after being accused of cowardice.

Stars: Chuck Connors, Chuck Hamilton, William Bryant, John Pickard

Votes: 584

Chuck Conners best series with a truly excellent theme.

9. 24 (2001–2010)

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

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: 164,591

As watchable and as exciting as any TV series has ever been. Love the wonderful plots and Jack Bauer's take no prisoners approach.

10. Seinfeld (1989–1998)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

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

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

Votes: 231,913

Truly a genius show. I have watched episodes multiple times and laugh every single time. Amazing comedy for the ages.

11. Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974–1975)

TV-PG | 51 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A newspaper reporter investigates strange supernatural occurrences in Chicago.

Stars: Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jack Grinnage, Ruth McDevitt

Votes: 3,750

Darren McGavin's very best fun show! Nuff said.

12. The Adventures of McGraw (1957–1958)

30 min | Crime, Drama

McGraw is a solitary type who manages to get entangled in the stopping of criminal activity despite not having any official capacity. He often doesn't carry a weapon, especially if an attractive woman is involved.

Stars: Frank Lovejoy, Jean Willes, James Flavin, Angie Dickinson

Votes: 33

My first TV noir detective hero when I was a little boy of 7 or 8.

13. Hill Street Blues (1981–1987)

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

The lives and work of the staff of an inner city police precinct.

Stars: Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz, James Sikking

Votes: 6,609

An amazing cast of characters and storylines. Great theme by Mike Post.

14. Route 66 (1960–1964)

60 min | Adventure

The adventures of two young drifters across America.

Stars: Martin Milner, George Maharis, Glenn Corbett, James Brown

Votes: 1,235

A show which always made me think of the adventures of the open road and all of its possibilities.

15. 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: 334,890

Very hard to top this mini-series as a picture of World War 2 and the challenges of being a frontline soldier. Easy to watch again.

16. The Fugitive (1963–1967)

51 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

A doctor, wrongly convicted for a murder he didn't commit, escapes custody and must stay ahead of the police to find the real killer.

Stars: David Janssen, William Conrad, Barry Morse, Paul Birch

Votes: 3,000

A fun ride by the incredibly understated but extremely effective David Janssen. Always remembering Janssen's unique half smile by the laconic Richard Kimble character.

17. Little Britain (2003–2006)

TV-MA | 29 min | Comedy

Matt Lucas and David Walliams, the creators of this character-comedy sketch show, delight in all that is mad, bad, quirky and generally bonkers about the people and places of Britain.

Stars: Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Tom Baker, Paul Putner

Votes: 20,112

Hilariously unique characters and on-going skits with wickedly funny irreverent humour. Like Seinfeld, the shows in the series can be watched again and again and still make one laugh!

18. Justified (2010–2015)

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

Old-school U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is reassigned from Miami to his childhood home in the poor, rural coal mining towns in eastern Kentucky.

Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter, Jacob Pitts

Votes: 78,855

The Best of the 2010's. Timothy Oliphant was excellent as Raylon Givens. He was without peer as the Southern Marshall. The whole cast is uniformly amazing!

19. Happy Valley (2014– )

TV-MA | 58 min | Crime, Drama

Catherine Cawood is the sergeant on duty when flustered and nervous accountant Kevin Weatherill comes into her West Yorkshire station to report a crime.

Stars: Sarah Lancashire, Siobhan Finneran, Shane Zaza, Charlie Murphy

Votes: 29,348

A British TV series of the first order. This is truly one of the very best written, acted, plot driven television series that I have ever seen. The storyline was and is riveting with surprising short scenes of incredible violence which become so real that it touches one when you gauge how it affects the characters.

It has been said that we are in a time of superior television that we have not previously experienced due to the wonderful fulfilling quality of certain programs such as this one. This series, far outstrips, easily, the vast majority of movies that I have seen in theatres in years. It is to be appreciated and worthy of one's time.

20. Longmire (2012–2017)

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

Walt Longmire is the dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming. Widowed only a year, he is a man in psychic repair but buries his pain behind his brave face, unassuming grin and dry wit.

Stars: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cassidy Freeman

Votes: 26,449

Another, low key, but incredibly effective television series that has wonderful character chemistry, gripping storylines, with wonderful twists and turns which percolate like delicious coffee. It also has an aura of calmness and a relaxing but troubled leading character which holds the whole production together with his wonderful persona. A show not to be missed!

21. You, Me and the Apocalypse (2015)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

When a group of ordinary people learn that an eight-mile-wide comet is on a collision course with Earth, they hunker beneath the town of Slough to watch the end of the world on television.

Stars: Mathew Baynton, Jenna Fischer, Joel Fry, Gaia Scodellaro

Votes: 6,533

An excellent, not to be missed, series which combines a wonderfully creative set of storylines with both humour and character chemistry. This is TV too good for TV AND SADLY, IT HAS BEEN CANCELLED! In all honesty and humility, this show appeals to those with taste for quality, creative television.

22. The Wonder Years (1988–1993)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Kevin Arnold recalls growing up during the late 60s and early 70s; the turbulent social times make the transition from child to adult unusually interesting.

Stars: Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern, Alley Mills

Votes: 32,235

In many respects, this "wonder"ful program was a bit of a new "Leave It To Beaver" in its own way. It was always real in its characters and never maudlin in its sentiment.

23. The Larry Sanders Show (1992–1998)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy

A comedic behind the scenes look at a late night talk show.

Stars: Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, Wallace Langham, Rip Torn

Votes: 7,034

In many respects this droll real life-like comedy was a neighbour of Seinfeld in terms of wonderful humour and the very excellent Jeffrey Tambour as a lead character. Definitely one of the forgotten treasures of the 1990's worthy of your time. Sorry to hear this year of the loss of the wonderful Garry Shandling.

24. The Durrells in Corfu (2016– )

TV-PG | 46 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

Based on the real-life events of the Durrell family as they resettle from England to Greece.

Stars: Keeley Hawes, Josh O'Connor, Milo Parker, Daisy Waterstone

Votes: 5,600

Within 15 minutes of the series first episode, I was hooked! Each of the main characters has a distinctive personality and the chemistry and humour is so real and enticing! One of the truly unique shows on TV!

25. Hell on Wheels (2011–2016)

TV-14 | 42 min | Drama, Western

The Civil War is past, but former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon can't put it behind him. Fresh are the memories of the death of his wife, killed at the hands of the Union soldiers, an act that sets him on a course of revenge.

Stars: Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy, Phil Burke

Votes: 45,235

Truly, one of the very best of all western series. A great vantage point on the building of the railroad and the impact of such on so many diverse people.

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