From the comedies to dramas, here are the 10 best American TV shows of all time. Over the years, there have been many competitors for the best American TV shows of all time. Many television series survived the test of time, playing for many years, while others burned brightly and then faded away.
- “M*A*S*H.” “M*A*S*H” began life as an adaptation of the Robert Altman film of the same name. The show lasted eleven seasons and developed into one of the best American TV shows of all time. The TV series, about the 4077th Army Hospital in the Korean War, ended in style with over 100 million viewers tuning in for the final episode.
- “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Joss Whedon adapted his original cult classic movie into one of the best American TV shows of all time. Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as Buffy Summers, a teenage girl in California who finds out it is her destiny to fight vampires and other monsters to save the world.
- “The Simpsons.” This animated series is one of the best American TV shows of all time and the longest running prime time entertainment series of all time. The show follows the exploits of Homer Simpson and his dysfunctional family. It also spawned a theatrical movie in 2007.
- “Seinfeld.” The tagline for this addition to the list of the best American TV shows of all time tells viewers it is a show about nothing. Despite that proclamation, the TV series carried the famous NBC Thursday night comedy lineup during its heyday, lasting nine seasons on the air. It enjoyed a revival on the TV series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in 2010.
- “The X Files.” “The X-Files” tells the story of conspiracy theories and mixes in touches of sci-fi and monster movies to become one of the best American TV shows of all time. The series lasted nine years before the exodus of original stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson hastened its demise. The producers created two movies based on the series.
- “All in the Family.” From 1971 to 1979, America tuned in to follow the crazy exploits of racist everyman Archie Bunker and his hapless wife Edith. The show remains one of the best American TV shows of all time, groundbreaking for its approach to the hot button topics in the world.
- “Friends.” Following in the footsteps of “Cheers,” “Friends” played alongside “Seinfeld” and grew into one of the best American TV shows of all time. The series follows six friends who live and work in Manhattan. The series lasted ten seasons and inspired one spinoff, “Joey.”
- “Lost.” “Lost” picked up where “The X-Files” left off, presenting television audiences with a serialized mythological drama and quickly became one of the best American TV shows of all time. The series lasted six years and told the story of a number of people stranded on a mysterious island after their plane crashes.
- “The Wire.” While not winning many awards over its history, “The Wire” remains a critically appreciated show and one of the best American TV shows of all time. This HBO series tells the story of Baltimore from the point of view of the police, criminals, journalists, schools and blue-collar workers.
- “Star Trek.” This is the seminal sci-fi show that started a worldwide craze, becoming one of the best American TV shows of all time. The original series spawned a number of movies as well as four spin-off shows based on different eras in the “Star Trek” world.
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