Powered by i.TV
September 20, 2014

Best '90s TV Shows

by Kim Potts, posted Feb 9th 2009 1:00PM
We know, we know ... another "best of" list.

But this isn't any old list – our Top 40 TV Shows of the '90s is just the first in a new series of countdowns in which we'll put our AOL Television seal of approval on the top 40 series of every decade.

Every other month we'll tackle another decade, going all the way back to the '50s, to recall the best comedies (hello 'Lucy'), the best prime-time soaps (do you remember who shot JR?), the best cop shows, animated series and groundbreaking TV shows.

So kick off 50 years of silver-screen bests with the greatest shows of the '90s, including everyone from 'Beavis,' 'Buffy' and 'Simpsons' to 'Freaks and Geeks' and teens on the 'Creek.'
http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,entry&id=491129&pid=491128&uts=1255291516
http://cdn.channel.aol.com/cs_feed_v1_6/csfeedwrapper.swf
The Best Shows of the '90s
Kick off 50 years of small-screen bests with the greatest shows of the '90s, including everyone from 'Beavis,' 'Buffy' and 'Simpsons' to 'Freaks and Geeks' and teens on the 'Creek.' -- By Kimberly Potts
CBS / Getty Images / Fox / WB / ABC Photo Archive
Phil Walter, Getty Images

The Best TV Shows of the 90s

    We know, we know ... another "best of" list.

    But this isn't any old list – our Top 40 TV Shows of the '90s is just the first in a new series of countdowns in which we'll put our AOL Television seal of approval on the top 40 series of every decade.

    Every other month we'll tackle another decade, going all the way back to the '50s, to recall the best comedies (hello 'Lucy'), the best primetime soaps (do you remember who shot JR?), the best cop shows, animated series and groundbreaking TV shows.

    So kick off 50 years of silver-screen bests with the greatest shows of the '90s, including everyone from 'Beavis,' 'Buffy' and 'Simpsons' to 'Freaks and Geeks' and teens on the 'Creek.' -- By Kimberly Potts

    CBS / Getty Images / Fox / WB / ABC Photo Archive

    40. 'Party of Five'
    (1994-2000)

    'Lost' leading man Matthew Fox owes his career to this soapy drama, about five siblings who vow to raise each other after the deaths of their parents. Oldest bro Charlie (Fox) wasn't ready for the responsibility that was suddenly thrust upon him, nor were his sibs, which led to frequent heartbreak and the occasional triumph, as the Salinger clan (including Neve Campbell, Scott Wolf, Lacey Chabert and honorary member Jennifer Love Hewitt) tackled breakups, cancer, alcoholism and money woes.



    Related Links



    Fox

    39. 'Spin City'
    (1996-2002)

    Michael J. Fox had already proven his comedy chops with 'Family Ties' and 'Back to the Future,' so it was a treat to see him back on the tube in this well-written sitcom, in which his sharp deputy mayor Mike saves New York City Mayor Winston (Barry Bostwick) from making a boob of himself. Fox's Parkinson's disease forced him to leave the show in 2000, the year he nabbed his fourth Lead Actor Emmy.



    Related Links

    ABC Photo Archive

    38. 'Mad About You'
    (1992-99)

    The Paul Reiser/Helen Hunt comedy centered on a little-explored slice of life: newly married thirtysomethings. With age may come wisdom, but Paul and Jamie Buchman learned they still had a lot to learn as they merged their lives into one New York apartment. Doses of pithy observations lent the show heft, while the 'Mad' theme, 'Final Frontier,' was a gem amongst the dying genre of TV theme songs.



    Related Links

    Getty Images

    37. 'Picket Fences'
    (1992-96)

    The critical fave never won big ratings, perhaps scaring away viewers with its surreal tales of cows giving birth to humans and serial bathers. The series tackled more reality-based social issues too, but Wisconsinite sheriff Jimmy Brock (Tom Skerritt) and his doctor wife (Kathy Baker) tried to raise three children in a small town where freaky things frequently happened, especially to the town's mayors.



    Related Links

    CBS / Landov

    36. 'Dream On'
    (1990-96)

    Long before 'The Sopranos' were spewing profanities and flashing nasty bits on HBO, divorced book editor Martin Tupper (Brian Benben) was doing both on the cable network, as one of the first comedies to take advantage of the censor-free zone. Another show signature: the clips of old movies and TV shows that punctuated Martin's thoughts on fatherhood, work and ex-wife Judith (Wendie Malick).



    Related Links

    HBO

    35. 'The Real World'
    (1992-present)

    Who would have guessed 'Real World' would still be on MTV, while music videos would be MIA? Still, one of the earliest reality series endures because many of us have grown up with the casts. And though the show is often charged with spawning the current glut of reality TV, it's also praised for bringing together diverse groups and tackling heavy topics like AIDS, alcoholism, religion and sexuality.



    Related Links

    34. 'Ally McBeal'
    (1997-2002)

    Calista Flockhart became a star with her portrayal of idealistic, dancing-baby-loving attorney Ally, whose work was often a metaphor for what was going on in her own life. Her co-workers included her ex-boyfriend (Gil Bellows) and his new wife (Courtney Thorne-Smith), the Barry White-loving Cage (Peter MacNicol) and wattle-loving Fish (Greg Germann), though the gang's eccentricities eventually became the show's downfall as the series continued to go too over the top.



    Related Links

    Fox

    33. 'Will & Grace'
    (1998-2006)

    Will & Grace ... or Jack & Karen? We'll vote for the latter, as co-stars Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally were forces of comic nature who stole every scene they were in. Stars Eric McCormack and Debra Messing as the titular gay guy and his platonic BFF, also shared incredible chemistry, as did second banana Shelley Morrison as Karen's feisty maid Rosario and guest stars like Matt Damon and Madonna.



    Related Links

    NBC

    32. 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'
    (1999-present)

    The trivia show became a pop-culture phenomenon under original host Regis Philbin, whose performance while asking for contestants' "final answer" was so endearing that even his monochromatic shirt-and-tie combos became a hit. Meredith Vieira took over as host, but the show's main appeal continues to be that it looks deceptively easy at home, though, to date, only 11 players have won the ultimate prize.



    Related Links

    ABC Photo Archive

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

379 Comments

Filter by:
HubertJohson

I also have to agree. A lot of these shows shouldn't be on this list. Quite a few barely lasted a year. I also am confused why shows like China Beach and Designing Women are on this list. Those were 80's show. Who Wants to be a Millionaire is clearly a 2000's show. Fresh-Prince, Married with Children, and 3rd Rock from the Sun are all far more influential shows than Once and Again or Melrose Place.

January 29 2012 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Future Skarsgard

Felicity should definitely be on this list!! One of the BEST shows if all time. I am surprised it didn't make the list bc it really has a huge following

December 04 2011 at 9:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew R.

This is an epic failing list. Yes, Fresh Prince (1990-1996) should be on this list, but why the hell isn't Home Improvement (1991-1999) on here?????

November 25 2011 at 8:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Suzzy Hernandez

Where the hell is the Fresh Price of Bel Air?

October 05 2011 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
the Eyes have it

Shows 36. Dream On, 22. Once & Again, 19. Sports Night, 13. Freaks and Geeks, are 4 shows that i have never even heard of before. I have to agree with the other post how the French Prince of Bel-Air didn't even make the list is beyond me, the show is still in syndication. Married with children was on the air clear up until 1997 and still has extremely high fan base overseas but is not even on the list. Apparently to compile this list some one decided to pull their particular favorite shows out of their rear ends.

April 24 2011 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cory

lol, whoever picked this is the whitest person ever. wheres family matters, fresh prince, and a ton of other shows.

January 26 2011 at 4:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jenn

Law & Order was #11 .... this list was horrible

December 07 2010 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jonathan

What about "Daria"?

August 08 2010 at 2:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alex C

1 yr of sopranos and freaks and geeks makes a list of best of the 90s, while Newradio, Fresh Prince, Married w/children, and MS 3000 are nowhere to be seen. Terrible list.

May 12 2010 at 6:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Alex C's comment
H Landing

News Radio Married With Children and MS 3000 are definite overlooks, though News Radio and MS 3000 were cult shows, this isn't a list of most popular shows.

September 22 2011 at 5:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners