What's new

Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" (1 Viewer)


Senior HTF Member
Nov 28, 2011
Real Name
The list was obviously made by people under 35.
The lack of westerns other than Gunsmoke and Deadwood (Questionable choice) as Howie pointed out invalidates this list more than anything.

More generally, at times I wonder how many of Rolling Stone magazine's old timers are still in the writers/reporters pool.

Or have all the old timers left (or been fired), and/or become editors + managers where they don't do much writing anymore.

The Obsolete Man

Senior HTF Member
Apr 4, 2008
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Real Name
I can't give people in their early 30s a pass on not knowing their classic TV.

We grew up in the classic era of TV Land and Nick at Nite, before they turned to crap. If you're at least 30, you should have some knowledge of the classics if only because of the first years of TV Land.


Senior HTF Member
Nov 28, 2011
Real Name
I can't give people in their early 30s a pass on not knowing their classic TV.

We grew up in the classic era of TV Land and Nick at Nite, before they turned to crap. If you're at least 30, you should have some knowledge of the classics if only because of the first years of TV Land.

Here's a counterexample to this assertion ^. :)

I'm older than the GenY + millenials demographics.

I was largely ignorant of the cable (and ota) channels which specialized in classic tv.

Up until about five years ago or so, the only "classic TV" shows I was aware of was stuff like Bonanza, Star Trek TOS, Gilligan's Island, and Get Smart. Otherwise before 2011, I would be hard pressed to name another "classic tv" show.

I only started buying a lot of dvds/blurays in 2011, which in the process I became aware of shows from the "classic tv" era which I was previously ignorant of.


Senior HTF Member
Jan 8, 2008
Real Name
Ben Masters

Jeffrey D

Senior HTF Member
Oct 15, 2018
Real Name
Jeffrey D Hanawalt
I didn’t see Frasier on their list, which to me is a glaring omission. The Rolling Stone lists often have problems- they recently put out a top 100 metal songs list. Some of the songs definitely are not in the metal genre.


Senior HTF Member
May 29, 2012
New jersey
Real Name
Lou Antonicello
A post Bob made in the "Is the b&w era of TV on DVD slowly coming to a end?" thread got me curious about this list.

Here's his post:

So... as any self-respecting TVonDVD aficionado would do I had to go take a look. Of course that's not as easy as it sounds in today's world of presenting *everything* as a "slide show," which I find unacceptable and a kludge to use, so I found several different sites which had bits and pieces and compiled the full list as a text version.

Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" list:

01. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
02. The Wire (2002-2008)
03. Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
04. Mad Men (2007-1015)
05. Seinfeld (1989-1998)
06. The Simpsons (1989-Present)
07. The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
08. Saturday Night Live (1975-Present)
09. All in the Family (1971-1979)
10. The Daily Show (1996-Present)
11. Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
12. Game of Thrones (2011-Present)
13. Late Night with David Letterman (1982-2015)
14. The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998)
15. The West Wing (1999-2006)
16. M*A*S*H (1972-1983)
17. Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
18. Star Trek (1966-1969)
19. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-Present)
20. Cheers (1982-1993)
21. The Office (U.K.) (2001-2003)
22. Louie (2010-Present)
23. Deadwood (2004-2006)
24. Friday Night Lights (2006-2011)
25. Veep (2012-Present)
26. Friends (1994-2004)
27. Arrested Development (2003-2006, 2013)
28. The X-Files (1993-2002, 2016)
29. Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969-1974)
30. The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson (1961-1992)
31. Sesame Street (1969-Present)
32. I Love Lucy (1951-1957)
33. South Park (1997-Present)
34. 30 Rock (2006-2013)
35. My So-Called Life (1994-1995)
36. Law & Order (1990-2010)
37. Orange is the New Black (2013-Present)
38. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
39. Lost (2004-2010)
40. The Shield (2002-2008)
41. The Honeymooners (1955-1956)
42. NYPD Blue (1993-2005)
43. The Americans (2013-Present)
44. Columbo (1971-1978)
45. Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009)
46. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)
47. The Rockford Files (1974-1980)
48. The Office (U.S.) (2005-2013)
49. Taxi (1978-1983)
50. ER (1994-2009)
51. Fargo (2014-Present)
52. The Colbert Report (2005-2014)
53. The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978)
54. The Muppet Show (1976-1981)
55. Six Feet Under (2001-2005)
56. 24 (2001-2010)
57. Fawlty Towers (1975-1979)
58. Roots (1977)
59. Hill Street Blues (1981-1987)
60. Beavis and Butt-Head (1993-1997, 2011)
61. Your Show of Shows (1950-1957)
62. Sex and the City (1998-2004)
63. The Wonder Years (1988-1993)
64. Chappelle’s Show (2003-2006)
65. Happy Days (1974-1984)
66. Downton Abbey (2011-2016)
67. The Odd Couple (1970-1975)
68. The State (1993-1995)
69. The Ed Sullivan Show (1948-1971)
70. Roseanne (1988-1997)
71. Mr. Show (1995-1998)
72. Girls (2012-Present)
73. Transparent (2014-Present)
74. The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991-1995
75. American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson (2016)
76. Late Night with Conan O’Brien (1993-2009)
77. The Walking Dead (2010-Present)
78. thirtysomething (1987-1991)
79. In Living Color (1990-1994)
80. The Fugitive (1963-1967)
81. Dallas (1978-1991)
82. The Jeffersons (1975-1985)
83. House of Cards (2013-Present)
84. Real Time With Bill Maher (2003-Present)
85. The Real World (1992-Present)
86. Good Times (1974-1979)
87. Doctor Who (1963-Present))
88. Party Down (2009-2010)
89. Homeland (2011-Present)
90. The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966)
91. Broad City (2014-Present)
92. American Idol (2001-2016)
93. Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-1999)
94. Jeopardy (1964-1975 & 1985-Present)
95. Key & Peele (2012-2015)
96. Gunsmoke (1955-1975)
97. Portlandia (2011-Present)
98. The Golden Girls (1985-1992)
99. Oz (1997-2003)
100. Eastbound and Down (2009-2013)

I have issues with many programs on this list. Of course, being a fan of TV from its beginnings I feel the early years are woefully underrepresented while the years since 2000 are incredibly over represented. That shouldn't be much of a surprise considering the history of RS and that, I'm sure, the majority of those polled are "millenials" or close to it which means what *they* think is "the best", not what historians and those of us with a large knowledge of the medium would consider to be "the best."

Here's a chart I found at MeTV's site that shows the disparity in years very well.


Yeah... 11 shows from the 50s and 60s with 43 since 2000. Add the 21 from the 90s and you have 64 of the 100 from the last 25 years. Hardly representative *or* accurate if you're truly looking at TV history from anything other than a more recent perspective which would include those earlier shows you've seen in syndication.

Where's The Flintstones? The first animated series in *Prime Time* was a huge influence.

Where's The Bill Cosby Show? Sure Cosby is on the outs but the show is classic.

I Love Lucy is only at #32?!? The Tonight Show ranks *below* Letterman *and* The Daily Show?!?

Ed Sullivan is at #69 but where are The Smothers Brothers, Carol Burnett, or The Dean Martin Show?!? These were all highly influential programs.

And these are all TV *series* so why is Roots on the list? Yes, it was highly influential and significant but it's a *mini-series* so does it belong on this list at all? And another mini - American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson? In the top 100?

I also question the inclusion of any programs which are still in production, unless they've been around longer than ~20 years or so. This list contains quite a few. Will any of those, even though hugely popular today, still be "significant" in 10 years? Sure, I *love* Game of Thrones but will it still be considered a "Greatest Show" 10, 20, or more years down the road? Without knowing how it ends, who can say with any reasonable accuracy?

In all honestly, I've only seen 4 of the top 10 and have not seen, or even heard of, most of the programs on the list that date from ~2000 as I've pretty much written off most of "modern" TV programming as just not worth the effort. Of those programs from 2000 and after which I *have* seen I question their inclusion, in spite of liking the programs. Downton Abbey, Deadwood, Arrested Development, and Battlestar Galactica are some I've seen that I very much like but do not believe they deserve a place on this list... yet. They, like all of the ones since ~2000, need some distance before we'll know if they're truly deserving of being in such company.

So... I've sounded off enough to start. What are your thoughts?
It’s Rolling Stone, what do you expect?!

Sky Captain

Second Unit
Mar 20, 2008
Real Name
Neville Ross
Somewhat late, but here goes...
My opinion/guess as to why this list has a lot of recent TV shows is because the writers of the article and the people consulted think that many of the older '50's and '60's shows mentioned as not being on the list are dated, with a lot of sexist and racist content, as well as homophobic content. I'd also guess that because a lot of the older shows people here are commenting about haven't been rerun in quite a while, they weren't on this list. As well, a lot of the older shows mention being on this list have probably been written up in 'Best Of' list and books a lot, and they wanted to focus on more modern 'new classics'.

Something mentioned here about the original Star Trek comes to mind as a further point:







Users who are viewing this thread

Forum statistics

Latest member
Recent bookmarks