50 Greatest Shows of All Time

Editor’s note: This list was first published in the May 4, 2002, issue of TV Guide Magazine.

Mike Wallace and a vampire slayer? Letterman and Oprah? Andy Griffith and the Sopranos? On one list? What were we thinking? Simply put, the best of the best, from Day 1 to last night: quality, innovation and the ability to stay in our lives year after year after year. A touch of sentiment? Sure, but nostalgia alone couldn’t make the cut (sorry, Beav). And TV-movies, miniseries and specials will have to wait. These are the series we watched regularly — and will watch again. And again.

50
49
48
47
Rocky & Bullwinkle
46
45
44
43
42
41
40
39
38
37
36
35
34
33
Playhouse 90
32
An American Family
31
The Defenders
30
Your Show of Shows
29
Donahue
28
27
26
25
24
23
Nightline
22
21
20
19
thirtysomething
18
17
16
15
The Ed Sullivan Show
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
Late Show With David Letterman
6
5
4
3
2
1