In 2009, TV Guide released an updated version of their "Top 50 TV Shows of All Time" list. This list contains some legitimate choices, some surprises, and some major snubs. NBC and CBS dominated this list, with a combined 33 shows hitting the top (NBC- 17 and CBS- 16). This countdown combines shows from many different stations and many different genres attracting extremely diverse audiences. The other great thing about this list is that it lists shows from the present and some flashbacks to many of the pioneers of television.
The top 10 surprised me a little bit though, which contained the following: Saturday Night Live (10), The Andy Griffith Show (9), The Simpsons (8), The Late Show with David Letterman (7), 60 Minutes (6), The Sopranos (5), All in the Family (4), The Honeymooners (3), I Love Lucy (2), and Seinfeld rounding it out a #1.
There is no doubt that long-lived stalwart comedies Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons surely deserved their high ranking along with classic comedy sitcoms I Love Lucy and Seinfeld. Also, longtime stalwart news magazine series 60 Minutes definitely deserved its spot. The short-lived 60s comedy, The Honeymooners, surely has me scratching my head with only 39 episodes lasting 1 year. All In The Family also surprised me with its high ranking as although it did set the standard for modern sitcoms, I did not feel it delivered as well as other later sitcoms that end up lower on the list.
Shows that I am very excited to see make the cut include the extremely hilarious situational HBO comedy, The Larry Sanders Show (38), long living Cheers spinoff comedy Frasier (34), and, in my opinion, the best sitcom of all time, Friends (21). All three of these shows were completely genius in their execution and extremely funny. I am also ecstatic to see long living drama Law & Order (24) and the quite entertaining sci-fi series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (41) given the respect they deserve.
But there were some other series that I did not feel lived up to a top 50 ranking. Your Show of Shows (30) was one of the first variety shows and, in my opinion, one of the more poorly executed ones, yet it shows up on this list. The X-Files (37) also confuses me being on this list because I always found the plot confusing and easy to get lost in.
Some shows that were snubbed include long-lived reality show Survivor, stalwart PBS children's show Arthur (to join Sesame Street (27)), cartoon comedies Family Guy and South Park, AMC drama series Breaking Bad, longtime sitcom Married... With Children, and ingenious comedy series The George Lopez Show. All of them should have made this list, but did not for some reason or another. I guess the list is up to opinion. But I am happy that someone took the time to make a list of the best, even if not all of them were correct (wink).
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/04/26/entertainment/main507388.shtml (The link for the entire list for your edification)