The official Telly Ten—the top 10 best TV shows of all time. This list can and will change occasionally, but not often. Thus, getting on this list is no easy feat. The TV show must entertain the masses without any weak links.
Last Updated: February 12, 2023
- “Seinfeld” (1989-1998) — a widely acclaimed television show that follows the misadventures of a quirky, self-obsessed New Yorker named Jerry Seinfeld as he navigates life and relationships in the city. With its witty writing, memorable characters, and sharp observations about the minutiae of daily life, “Seinfeld” has been praised as a sitcom classic and has had a lasting impact on popular culture.
- “Breaking Bad” (2008-2013) — A character-driven crime drama that charts the descent of a high school chemistry teacher into a life of drugs and crime. Its tight writing, strong acting, and unflinching look at the American Dream have earned it a place in the pantheon of great TV dramas.
- “Game of Thrones” (2011-2019) — Based on the bestselling book series by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” is an epic fantasy drama that takes place in a world of magic and dragons. Its complex political machinations, sprawling cast of characters, and stunning production values have earned it a massive global following.
- “Sons of Anarchy” (2008-2014) — a popular crime drama series that follows the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club based in California’s Central Valley. The show was praised for its strong writing, compelling characters, and unflinching look at the criminal underworld. With its complex exploration of family, loyalty, and the consequences of violent behavior, “Sons of Anarchy” is considered by many to be one of the best dramas in recent memory.
- “Boardwalk Empire” (2010-2014) — a period crime drama set in Atlantic City during the Prohibition era. The show follows the life of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, a politically connected gangster who rises to power in the city. With its outstanding production design, strong writing, and all-star cast, “Boardwalk Empire” was widely acclaimed for its ability to capture the historical era and bring it to life with gripping stories and memorable characters. Many consider it to be one of the best dramas of the past decade.
- “Power” (2014-2020) — a crime drama series that explores the dual life of James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a successful nightclub owner and drug kingpin in New York City. The show was praised for its engaging storyline, complex characters, and exploration of themes such as power, ambition, and family. With its high-stakes drama and standout performances, “Power” was one of the most popular cable dramas of its time and has been widely recognized as a standout in the genre.
- “The Sopranos” (1999-2007) — Widely considered the show that ushered in the golden age of television, “The Sopranos” follows a New Jersey mob boss as he struggles to balance his family life and criminal enterprises. Its complex characters, rich storytelling, and bold visual style set a new standard for TV dramas.
- “Arrested Development” (2003-2019) — a critically acclaimed sitcom that follows the dysfunctional Bluth family, a formerly wealthy clan who have fallen on hard times. With its clever writing, unconventional storytelling, and all-star cast, “Arrested Development” has been praised as one of the best and most innovative sitcoms of its time. Despite initially struggling to find an audience, the show has since developed a cult following and is considered a classic of the genre.
- “The Office” (2005-2013) — A mockumentary-style sitcom set in a mundane paper company, “The Office” is famous for its quirky characters, clever writing, and deadpan humor.
- “Stranger Things” (2016-present) — a science fiction-horror series set in the 1980s that follows the disappearance of a young boy and the strange supernatural events that follow in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. Many consider it to be a nostalgic throwback to classic science fiction and horror films of the 80s, as well as a tribute to the works of Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and John Carpenter.