Social Question


What is the best American television show ever produced?

Asked by MRSHINYSHOES (13956points) March 24th, 2010

A great television show, in my opinion, is the end product of good acting and good writing, and possesses the ability to remain a classic through the years. What is your pick as the best American t.v. show ever? For me, it is “The Waltons”, the family drama classic set in Depression Era Virginia. The episodes were always so well-made and meaningful. The show is a classic.

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65 Answers

rebbel's avatar

Easy. The Wire.

Bluefreedom's avatar

As far as police related television shows are concerned, Hill Street Blues and Law & Order: SVU are the best ever produced. At least I think so anyway.

janbb's avatar

Probably The West Wing for me.

nope's avatar

Does it have to be one? I like STAR TREK, and also the various follow up series. But no list would be complete without SPEED RACER. Although I’m not sure that was technically American…

faye's avatar

The original Law and Order with NCIS right behind.

aprilsimnel's avatar


Oooh, that’s a toughie.

The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Hill Street Blues, Mad Men, The Wire and Sesame Street (from 1973–1986) come immediately to mind.

I feel that perhaps the most important show ever produced, was, believe or not, Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

CaptainHarley's avatar

The X-Files.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I liked Seinfeld,Cheers and the Office,to name a few.

tinyfaery's avatar

Impossible to name just one. The Twilight Zone is one of my top picks.

janbb's avatar

@aprilsimnel Good list! I loved The Dick Van Dyke Show!

Bluefreedom's avatar

@CaptainHarley and @tinyfaery. Nice choices. Both very good programs.

@aprilsimnel. Great list in my opinion also.

jrpowell's avatar

The Wire and Dexter.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The original “I Love Lucy” —- production, direction, camera and acting.

dpworkin's avatar

CBS Reports.

jca's avatar

All in the Family – a classic!! Gave good insight into the 70s culture and changing times.

Seinfeld – a lot of insight into “nothing” in a hilarious manner.

I am also a big fan of the CBS Sunday Morning Show – a great newsmagazine that touches on all kinds of topics, news, culture, celebrities, humor, commentary.

Arisztid's avatar

The Twilight Zone, Hill Street Blues, and Star Trek (the original and Next Gen).

ubersiren's avatar

Ask me again when Lost is over.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

if we are talking production then the Little Rascals Our Gang series might have been the best followed by I love Lucy. These shows pioneered the three camera shoot which is still the standard in filmed-before-a-live-audience sit-coms.

faye's avatar

@ubersiren mmm, Sawyer!

WestRiverrat's avatar

Red Skelton show – Proof a commedian can be funny without being vulgar.

absalom's avatar

Arrested Development.

ubersiren's avatar

@faye I know, total hottie, right? Although, I was a little confused by your answer at first because Sawyer is what we named our new baby (not after the Lost character, though). Lol!

faye's avatar

@ubersiren Hope the new baby will have it as good as Sawyer! And I forgot to say CSI the original- it opened new worlds.

filmfann's avatar

Barney Miller
Battlestar Galactica (new version)
South Park

Shae's avatar


iam2smart99037's avatar

Seinfeld, Law and Order, and Law and Order: CI

thriftymaid's avatar

Frasier was the best sitcom to me. I think Mad Men is great too.

YoH's avatar

Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons

Barcybarce's avatar



All great choices everyone! “The Twilight Zone” (the old series with Rod Serling), “Mary Tyler Moore”, “Star Trek” , and “Little House on the Prairie” are all excellent. I forgot to mention “Family Affair”, starring Brian Keith and Anissa Jones as another overlooked great t.v. show, and of course “Leave It to Beaver” (the old series starring Hugh Beaumont and Jerry Mathers).

buckyboy28's avatar

If you had asked this 10 years ago, I would have answered “The Simpsons”, but not anymore, sadly.

Rarebear's avatar

Battlestar Galactica, even though it was filmed in Canada.

vbabe96's avatar


If you haven’t you need to check it out

mammal's avatar

the x-files if only for the fact that is re-watchable, i doubt other series’ have that appeal.

skfinkel's avatar

I liked a show called “Homefront” that didn’t last that long, but was terrific.

thriftymaid's avatar

@mammal I forgot about X-Files when I answered; I love that and own the whole series.

sooz74's avatar

MASH ,with Boston Legal coming in 2nd.

Roby's avatar


dalepetrie's avatar

Six Feet Under

and for anyone who thinks Lost has a shot, I love the show, but a small part of me just wants the writers to punk the fans. Imagine if not only in the very end, the whole thing was a dream, but if they ended it the exact same way they ended Newhart, with Bob Newhart waking up in his bed next to his 1970s TV wife and saying he just had the strangest dream. There would be riots in the streets and I would laugh my ass off.

JeffVader's avatar

The new Battlestar Galactica.

ucme's avatar

Starsky & Hutch,cool as fuck.

adri027's avatar

I am appalled that no one mentioned Married With Children, that show is my absolute favorite.OMG!! I detest the wonder years, seeing the moms face makes me upset lmao

Fausnaught's avatar

I like how people are listing their favorite shows and not what they view as the BEST show ever on TV. I mean Starsky & Hutch? My god, give me a break here.

adri027's avatar

@Fausnaught well you can’t disagree that Married With Children is definitely one of the best shows ever made.

Fausnaught's avatar

@adri027 Married with Children was a fun show to watch for it’s frank view on the American family, but It wasn’t ground breaking and often just indulgent. The writing wasn’t terribly good and let’s face it, it’s Fox’s earliest hit in a time when Fox was still figuring out who and what they were as a Network. MWC was just a stop gap for them. It was sexist, chauvinistic, and denigrating to women AND men. It was funny, but hardly something one would hold up to display the power of one of America’s top artistic mediums.

Rosanne was a better display of the middle class American life.

adri027's avatar

To each their own, comedy is a form of art in my eyes and that show will have people laughing for years.

Fausnaught's avatar

@adri027 But you can honestly say without a doubt that it was the best TV show America ever produced? You realize the shows you are putting MWC in front of? I just want to make sure you still understand the question.

adri027's avatar

Read carefully will ya?

adri027's avatar

In my first response back to you I clearly said ONE of the best, I knew someone with your opinion would come around.

Fausnaught's avatar

I know this is subjective, but it doesn’t even belong in the conversation to be honest. You might as well call “Saved by the Bell” the best show.

I mean even when people talk about the best Art, the conversation is usually driven by the classics, but then there is always a Warhol fan that wants to talk about the Campbell’s Soup can series. No one can tell them they are wrong, but everyone knows they aren’t working on the same taste level. So yes, your opinion is valid, but your taste stinks.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I looove Seinfeld, curb your enthusiasm, the office, lost, arrested developement, star trek with Picard, heroes.

mattbrowne's avatar

All of Star Trek.



Two and a half Men.

Big Bang Theory.

rottenit's avatar

Airwolf or maybe the new knight rider re-make as close 2nd

ucme's avatar

The Red Hand Gang la la lala la la

boffin's avatar

Pinky and the Brain
This Old House

bob_'s avatar

The West Wing.

warwickmcghee's avatar

six feet under

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Gadzooks, there are so many, and many people have their favs. There was the Wonder years, That 70’s Show, Happy days, Gun Smoke, 30somthing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Paper Chase, Boston Public, Homicide Live on The Streets, The Practice to name a few, but I have to say the tops for me is the X-Files.

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