When it comes to TV shows, here are the top ten greatest TV series of all time, ranked according to viewership, rating and more importantly, our personal opinion about the quality of the show.
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Cosmos Created by none other than the veteran astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan, Cosmos released in 1980 is a 13 part mini series for Public Broadcasting Service. Broadcasted in more than 60 countries since the time of release, Cosmos covers a wide range of scientific subjects, including the origin of life and a perspective of our place in the universe. The series also bagged two Emmy awards and noted for the eye popping and breath taking visuals. Even though Cosmos was from the non fiction genre, the series was commercial blockbuster. Thanks to the lucid presentation of Carl Sagan.
One of the major reasons for wide appreciation received by the series was due to the simplicity it maintained . Despite dwelling on higher order scientific matter, the show was presented in a such a manner that it appealed as simple as a fairy tale. That served as a new experience for the common people and resulted in spawning a movie as well as a tie in book. As expected the movie too was opened for positive response from also sides so as the book became a best seller. Despite 30 year of publishing, the book still remain as one of the best written works on science which is primarily targeted for the public. The series is followed by sequel recently named Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey which is also opened to wide acclaim.
ER Created by Michael Crichton, ER is american medical drama and holds the record for the most nominated television show in the world. ER follows the inner life of the emergency room (ER) of fictional County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and various critical issues faced by the room’s physicians and staff. The show had a huge ensemble cast with none other than George Clooney and Anthony Edwards in the lead. ER has won 116 awards in total and also the longest running medical drama in the world which spanned for about 15 seasons over 331 episodes. ER also made an unofficial crossover in the popular sitcom Friends where two lead actors of ER (George Clooney and Noah Wyle) played an extended cameo for the episode “The One with Two Parts” in Season 1.
True Detective Even if the upcoming seasons of the True Detective fail to impress, the impact of the first season itself is more than enough to consider it as one of the greatest TV show ever happened. Written by Nic Pizzolatto for HBO, the first season was directed by Cary Joji Fakunaka and had Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrieson in the leads. This investigation show is anthology series where each season follow different story lines with non recurring cast. The first season focused on the 17 year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana by two detectives. The lead character Rust Cohle played by Matthew McConaughey is one of the most complex character written in the world and ambiguous to Tyler Durden of Fight Club. Beyond an investigation drama, the show depicts the association of two cops of polarized personalities and their views on life. The second season is rumored to have a more ensemble cast which involves Brad Pitt, Steve Morgan and Jessica Chastain.
The Simpsons Spanning over 25 seasons, Simpsons is the longest running American sitcom and garnering wide acclaim as well commercial applause right from the pilot. Simpsons is an animated adult comedy created by Matt Groening for Fox Braodcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition. It has won 28 Primetime Emmy Awards and spawned a franchise for itself which includes films, book and spin offs. The show also inspired for the creation of many american adult comedies which include Archer, South Park etc.
Friends Though it received mixed response from some major critics, there might not be a popular show than Friends which captured the hearts of audience across the globe irrelevant of age and cultural differences. Created by David Crane and Martha Kauffman in 1994 for NBC, Friends ran for 10 seasons till 2004 and has been on syndication till then. The show revolved around 6 intimate friends and their lives. The show was an instant hit and a cultural phenomenon. Some of the dialogues from the show even became a dialect in everyday life. The lead actors were Jennifer Aniston , Courteney Cox , Lisa Kudrow , Matt LeBlanc , Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. The show was nomited 63 times for Primetime Emmy awards. Though all of the actors were equally received , only Jennifer Aniston had a career uplift after Friends. None of the others succeeded to develop a consistent successful career in mainstream films or in televison, though some of their occasional projects received huge accliamm. It will be also interesting to know that six actors despite being great friends in real life never worked together ever after the season finale.
Seinfeld Seinfeld was a cultural phenomenon. Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, this semi fictional sitcom was a cirtic’s favorite as well as commercial hit. The series which had an original run from 1989 to 1998 over 9 season and 180 episodes , has been on syndication for the past decade. Created for NBC, the show was noted for the real life quality situational comedies and the terrific performances put forward by the leads especially Jerry Seinfeld ,Julia Louis-Dreyfus,Michael Richards and Jason Alexander. Despite all these, the show never won major awards in their entire run.
Breaking Bad Produced and created by Vince Gilligan for AMC, Breaking Bad can be considered as one of the greatest crime dramas ever made in the television. The show is all about the rise of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher to a deadly crime lord and about his sidekick. Following the shades of a contemporary western, the show was noted for the terrific performances put forward by Brayan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn and Dean Norris. Spanning over 5 seasons, the show bagged 10 Primetime Emmy Awards. The show also holds the Guniness record for the highest rated TV show of all time. The show will be followed by a spin off called “Better Call Saul” which will act as a prequel as well as sequel to the major story and revolves around the character Saul Goodman. It is confirmed that most of the major cast of the original series will return for the spin as extended cameos. The show will hit the floor on the late 2015.
Mad Men Currently going through the first half of the final season, Mad Men is noted for its historical authenticity, visual style, costume design, acting, writing, and direction. It is a period drama created by Matthew Weiner set on the life of persons involved with the American business agencies of 1960’s. The show dwells on the changing moods of the business, social mores of the United States and their influence of the life of the characters. Spanning over 7 seasons, Mad Men has garnered 15 Emmmy Awards and 4 Golden Globes. This is the first basic cable series to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. According to the show, Mad Men is a slang term coined in the 1950’s by the advertising agencies to refer themselves for refuted claims.
The Sopranos Created by David Chase for HBO, Sopranos hovered around the life of the the fictional New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano. Blessed by James Gandolfini, Toony Soprano is considered as one of the most powerful character written in the history of television, next to Breaking Bad’s Walter White. The show focused on the conflicts he faced in balancing the requirements of his family as well as his criminal organization. The show also acted as the life saver for the career drowning Lorraine Bracco, who was earlier noted for her performance in Goodfellas. Spanning over six season, The Sopranos grabbed 21 Emmy awards and 5 Golden Globes on their entire run. The show also spawned an independent franchise which includes book, video games, albums as well as parodies.
The Wire Even though it never won any major awards and had average ratings through the entire run, The Wire which spanned over 5 season and 60 episodes can be considered as one of the shows ever happened in the history of television. Produced by HBO, The Wire is an American crime drama set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Created and written by the veteran police reporter David Simon, the show on each season focused on different facets of the city like the illegal drug trade, the seaport system, the city government and bureaucracy, the school system, and the print news media. Beyond a crime drama, Wire was a realistic depiction of the American City and the American life.