Trying to create a list of the greatest TV shows of all time is no easy task. There are thousands to choose from spanning across all the different genres. How do you judge the greatest TV show of all time? Time being on air? Popularity? It is really all a matter of opinion, but below are a few that are certainly some of the bests to get the conversation started.
A surf of the internet will turn up thousands of different lists of the top shows of all time. There are few that appear at number one close to as much as The Soprano’s. The Soprano’s was on HBO from 1999-2007 and instantly became one of the biggest hits in the network’s long history. The story follows a big mob boss in North New Jersey played by James Gadolfini. It takes a deep dive into the mobster life. At the time, there had never been anything this outrageous and extreme to be on television. It was a groundbreaking series that opened the door for series like The Wire, Breaking Bad, and many other modern stories we see today. It pushed the limits of what was going to be allowed and done on television. The Soprano’s remain one of the most streamed and watched series in the world, even though it has been 10 years since the finale.
If you haven’t watched much Seinfeld, chances are you’ve heard a lot of it. Seinfeld is pretty much the most popular comedy of all time and is one of the most quoted shows of all time. The show was created by two comedy legends, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Jerry is known as having some of the best stand up routines ever performed. The show closely follows around a dysfunctional group of friends in New York city. They are constantly getting under the skin of those around them and certainly each other. Jerry plays himself in the show which helped catapult him to being one of the biggest entertainers the world has ever seen. The show produced 180 episodes, all of them said to be as funny as the previous. It is one of the most played shows on TV to this day as multiple networks sought to get a piece of the pie. The show has paid the actors, writers, and other employees millions upon millions, even approaching billions for Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, in syndication fees.
The Simpson’s are widely accepted as the longest running TV show of all time. They are now in their 29th season with 22 new episodes coming out each year. The show has spurred all kinds of different video game spin offs, merchandise, and even some movies. It really is incredible that a cartoon series has been around for 30 years and is still as popular as it is. Episodes are all humourous but address real issues at times. It is hard to flip through the channels late at night and not find a channel playing The Simpson’s, and it’s hard not to laugh if you watch a few minutes. The shows long time creator and producer James Brooks originally created The Simpsons to appear in shorts for The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. After their appearance on this show, Brooks and other networks saw how popular they were and jumped on the opportunity. The first half hour episode of The Simpson’s appeared on Fox on December 17th, 1989 and has appeared 22 Sundays a year ever since.
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live has become a lot more than a show, it is now a large part of culture. Starting in 1975, SNL has been a staple on late weekend nights, airing on Saturdays at 11:30PM. The show is essentially full of improv, guest appearances, short skits, and who knows what else from the biggest entertainers in the world. It started with a star studded cast of John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, and Dan Aykroyd. Once this crew moved on people began to wonder about the future of the now immensely popular show. This has been a common theme in the 40 years SNL has been on TV. Each time another star leaves the show people start to raise questions about if this could finally be the end, but to this day it remains popular. Each time another star equally as big as the previous decides to take their talents to Saturday nights. With Saturday Night Live’s recent uptick in popularity, the end appears to be nowhere in sight.
In the time the shows above were on television thousands of others have come and gone. These shows, whether still being made or not, will always represent a large portion of the TV being watched. As streaming becomes more prevalent and cable starts to lose more and more viewers, the shows will continue to remain popular.