"To realize for even one brief moment that with the touch of an index finger on a channel selector one can command into presence the image of events and persons far removed in space and even time is humbling and exhilarating. No magus of the ancient world ever possessed such power, not even Merlin, who is said to have been the greatest and wisest of all wizards who has ever lived."
-R. Romanyshyn
On that note these are my top 10 shows of all time.
CBS,   1972-83
   The series ran longer than the war it depicted, and it’s impact on the television viewing audience may, fortunately or unfortunately, be more significant than the Korean war. The stories of the doctors, nurses, patients and administrators of the 4077th brought both comedy and pathos into the viewing audiences homes. The sitcom from Larry Gelbart broke many traditions and set many new standards. It also was one of those rare occasions when the series was better than the movie. The series effectively made cast transitions and introduced a whole new concept to the meaning of television comedy – the introduction of the (occasional) dramedy.
NBC,   1983-93
   Whether you’re a fan of the Diane Chambers or the Rebecca Howe years, "Cheers" is one of those series, as are all the top 10 shows, that can be watched repeatedly in rebroadcasts. Chronicling the lives of recovered alcoholic and ex-baseball player Sam Malone (Ted Danson) and the gang at his Cheers bar made Thursday nights on NBC what they are today.
3. The Simpsons
FOX,   1990-Present
   Animation in primetime? If it’s as well written as Matt Groening’s "The Simpsons," first introduced as a series of shorts on yet another excellent Fox series, "The Tracey Ullman Show," it can work. And it has – the day-to-day trials and tribulations of the Simpson family of Springfield Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and pacifier-sucking Maggie – has entertained audiences for nearly a decade.
4. Law & Order
NBC,   1990-Present
   This series’ interesting concept (introduced in the 1963 series "Arrest and Trial") has every episode start with a crime and investigation, then end with a trial and verdict. Even with a revolving cast, the show has managed to grow and prosper, culminating in an Emmy win last year as Outstanding drama. Also, it is currently television’s longest-running drama.
5. The Cosby Show
NBC,   1984-92
   A working mother who’s able to successfully run a household and be a supportive mother? Yup. Cosby, who prior to the NBC sitcom had been best known for his role in "I Spy," and for his family-flavored standup, exec produced and starred in this remarkable, funny, message-without-being-moralistic series about a working lawyer, her doctor husband and their five impressionable children.
6. Star Trek
NBC,   1966-69
   The original. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy couldn’t have asked for a better seminal role to start their successful careers. The series, courtesy of the genius that was Gene Roddenberry, that started the billion-dollar franchise was clever, engaging and now, campily classic. Each adventure of the Starship Enterprise is held in fond memory of both TV fans and of course, Trekkers.
7. West Wing
NBC, 1999 – Present
 The West Wing provides a glimpse into presidential politics in the nation’s capital as it tells the stories of the members of a fictional presidental administration. These interesting characters have humor and dedication that touches the heart while the politics the that they discuss touch on everyday life. The show is currently in transition between the administration of President Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and an unknown prospect, either Congressman Mathew Vincente Santos of Houston, Texas (Jimmy Smits) or Senator Arnold Vinick of California (Alan Alda).
8. All in the Family
CBS,   1971-83
   Based on a hit Brit series, "All in the Family" introduced the first openly dysfunctional family on TV. No longer were TV families the envy of audiences. Archie and Edith Bunker (Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton) were more like the American every man than had ever been depicted on TV. Norman Lear’s series was the first blue-collar (not "Roseanne," contrary to popular belief), hilariously relatable sitcom. The epitome of politically incorrect, Bunker was the outspoken, foot-in-mouth any guy whose job and neighborhood were being "taken over" by immigrants, homosexuals and, according to him, other "undesirables." Soon to be seen again on cable, it spawned the spin-offs "The Jeffersons," "Maude," "Gloria" and "Archie Bunker’s Place."
9. ER
NBC,   1994-Present
   What makes "ER," essentially a hospital drama (which has been done many times before) work? Great writing, great acting – and risks. What series can introduce a significant character by having her (a nurse, no less) attempt suicide in the series opener? "ER" did it – and did it well – as it has continued to do so.
10. Happy Days
ABC,   1974-84
   A longing for the easy life of the ’50s led to the success of this sitcom, which focused on Ritchie Cunningham (Ron Howard), his family, and friends, including the too-cool Fonzie (Henry Winkler). Viewers watched Ritchie go through high school, then eventually leave to college, after which the series shifted its focus to his family and Fonzie.
Saturday Night Live
Chappellle Show
Andy Griffith Show
I Love Lucy
The Flinstones
Mission: Impossible
Little Rsacals

Posted on December 10, 2005, in Television and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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