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My Top 10 Favorite TV Shows

Posted by on Sep 1, 2009

At this point, we all know that we love list posts, and this was confirmed by my top 16 sci-fi movies of all time post.

Now it’s time for a new list, and the idea for this one comes from Extreme John, who wrote this post about his top 10 favorite TV shows, and asked people to tell him what they were on his blog. I decided to do it here instead and link back to him, giving him credit for the idea, mainly because it allows me to talk about why I liked these shows, as he did, possibly add a short video, and of course add an affiliate link to each of them, just in case you loved the shows also and I spark enough nostalgia in you that you just have to go and buy it. No, it didn’t work for the movies, but one never stops trying, right?

I have to admit that this one is tougher than the movies were. The rules have to change somewhat, since, as you’ll see, some of these kind of have the same title. But they were different shows, so it doesn’t count. Here we go.

10. Family Guy – The first time I saw this show, I laughed like there was no tomorrow. When they took it off, I thought someone was the biggest moron I’d never heard of. When they brought it back, it told me that someone was paying attention to the fact that they had an irreverent hit on their hands, not typical fare, and people liked it. How many other shows went off the air for 3 years, then came back as a hit; oh yeah, none!

9. Flip Wilson – This was the first black hosted variety show that lasted for longer than 15 minutes, which is about how long Nat King Cole’s show lasted back in the 50’s. Flip Wilson’s show was something much different, and for four seasons, he ruled Thursday nights. Something about NBC and great Thursday night shows over history.

8. Bugs Bunny Show – This one might not count, but I’m putting it here because I just couldn’t wait for Saturday mornings so I could watch this baby. For those of you much younger, we used to only have 3 channels in the days before PBS, and, for me, CBS ruled because they had Bugs Bunny. Man, when I finally got to see them in my own home in color,… I almost burst! They shut down the embed for this one, but you can check it out here.

7. Simpsons – We owe a lot to Tracy Ullman for having these short cartoons throughout her weekly TV show. This show is now in it’s, what, 12th year, and every show is still something totally brand new and offbeat. How many Simpson characters can you name in one sitting? Can you think of any other cartoon that has so many characters in an episodic setting that you know how each one is supposed to act, let alone sound?

6. Law and Order – I was late to this show, but once I started watching it, I was hooked. I love the formula, where we establish the crime, solve the crime, then try to prosecute the crime because sometimes we didn’t quite solve the right crime and the right criminal. It’s formulaic, but it’s comfortable, and you never quite know the outcome.

5. Sanford and Son – You couldn’t get away with this type of show in today’s world, but the world was ready for a break down and laugh out loud show starring a black actor. In this case it was Redd Foxx, who had previously been known for what were then known as “party records,” or raunchy comedy records. Bill Cosby and Diahann Carroll may have come first, but those two shows were muted by comparison. White folks at the time weren’t ready for this show, but black people were; especially this clip, which they won’t show on TV anymore.

4. Star Trek – This was the show that started it all for me. This was the more serious show, at least most of the time, to its outer space counterpart at the time, Lost In Space. I have to tell you folks that I kind of owe my life to the concepts of logic and Mr. Spock, but Captain Kirk has given my the most endearing line of my entire life, something I will always live by and, I believe, others need to live by also: “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.” Okay, that’s from the second movie, but still,… Take that, Kobiyashi Maru! What Star Trek fan hasn’t at some time found themselves humming this tune?

3. X-Files – If you can imagine a single guy looking to go out on Friday nights but having to stay in and watch a TV show first, that’s what X-Files did to me. For eight seasons this was the show that I just couldn’t miss, and man, I really wanted Scully to finally see those aliens. The science on the show was just plausible enough to pass the muster, and as a thriller it was unsurpassed as far as TV fare went, and that was good enough for me.

2. Star Trek – Next Generation – Okay, you’re probably wondering why this show ranks higher than the original Star Trek. It’s mainly because I felt like this cast was a part of my family, whereas I felt like the original Star Trek cast were people I needed to look up to and respect, more like, well, parents. Most of this cast was close to my age except Captain Picard, and tell me has there ever been a cooler short, bald man? Except for Data, and possibly the captain, these people were folks I could have hung out with, even if I didn’t understand every word they were saying. I almost cried on the last episode; now that’s dedication.

1. Muppet Show – Okay, like y’all didn’t know this one was coming, with all the Muppet clips I post on this blog. Oddly enough, not counting sports, this was the only TV show I watched while I was in college. There was just something about Kermit and his goofy friends that resonated with me, and of course the guest stars were something else. My favorite episode ever was the one with Harry Belafonte, but since I’ve already posted that video, here’s another classic that I’ve always liked, that I’ve never shared before.

And there you are, my top 10 TV shows. Go ahead, comment, share yours if you wish, and have fun with it.

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Tim Manni:

Haha great topic, and your picks are as diverse as they come.

I’ll try and give it a go:

10. Family Guy: we agree here. My #10 b/c I rarely see a new episode anymore, but the writing is priceless.

9. LOST: Not a big sy-fi guy, but I’m hooked on this show.

8. Saved By the Bell: This one may show my age, but one of the favs of anyone from my generation.

7. Full House: Saved by the Bell fans are shocked right now that someone would rank Full House above it, but Jesse and the Rippers, Wake Up San Francisco, the cheesy music…one of my favs.

6. Family Matters: Steve Urkel…that’s all I have to say.

5. Diners Drive Ins and Dives: I love the Food Network, and Guy Fieri is just too much. If it has to do with food, I’ll watch it!

4. The A-Team: When I was younger no show got me more pumped up than the A-Team…that theme song alone!

3. Sports Center: My #3 b/c it’s the show I watch the most…love my sports

2. The Wire: Anything HBO does is quality and this show was incredible — too bad there were only 5 seasons.

1. The Sopranos: Hands down, the best TV show ever made (in my humble opinion). The characters, the dialogue — everything about it is purely fantastic!

September 1st, 2009 | 11:03 AM

Well Tim, we can certainly tell you’re much younger than me. lol

I actually watched Saved By The Bell, but I think it was years after it went off; goofy fun. Family Matters; never saw the original shows, but loved the two or three years I did watch. Sports Center; didn’t include it since the people turn over all the time, but I remember the early years when it seemed Chris Berman was everywhere. Full House,… only saw that a couple of times when I visited Mom, who used to watch it.

I’ve never seen any of the other shows, and never heard of The Wire or Diner’s Drive Ins at all. However, if you like food shows, you have to catch this show on the Travel Channel on Wednesday nights called Man vs. Food; this guy will eat anything, and I’m not talking like bugs and stuff, but large monstrosities of food. For instance, he took on 15 milkshakes (failed) and a 12 egg omelette with everything in it (got within 2 bites, but failed) and the hottest wings on record (won, but barely). I couldn’t do it. 🙂

September 1st, 2009 | 2:11 PM

What’s everyone’s top 10 favorite animated Tv shows based on how funny they are?
.-= Scuba diving lessons´s last blog ..Scuba Diving- best outdoor Recreation =-.

September 1st, 2009 | 1:45 PM

Well SDL, that would be a much different list, but I think I’ll have to stick with my Bugs Bunny and leave everyone else trailing way behind. That might be a different post one of these days, however.

September 1st, 2009 | 2:13 PM

Great list Mitch! I love the 2 star treks as well and loved Sandford & Son growing up. BUT, if I have an all time favorite that I still watch and have always loved.. it’s any of the Andy Griffith episodes!

ha.. maybe I’m partial because I live in “Mayberry” Andy’s home town!
.-= Jake´s last blog ..Jake’s eXfuze Challenge! The Results Are In! =-.

September 1st, 2009 | 1:46 PM

My mother loves anything Andy Griffith herself, Jake. I liked the show also, but it didn’t make my top 10, though it would make my top 100. So many different incarnations of the show, and it went from outrageously funny with Barney to amusing with Goober & Howard to, well, passable once Ken Howard took over from Andy Griffith (yeah, wasn’t quite the Andy Griffith Show at that point, but it was supposed to be a continuation of sorts).

September 1st, 2009 | 2:14 PM

Andy Griffith definitely “jumped the shark” when it went color!

btw, ever heard that term? “jump the shark” know where it came from? haha
.-= Jake´s last blog ..Jake’s eXfuze Challenge! The Results Are In! =-.

September 1st, 2009 | 7:17 PM

As an X-Files fan, of course I do. 🙂

September 1st, 2009 | 9:40 PM

Actually… i was referring to the episode on “Happy Day’s” where Fonzie actually “jumped a shark” on that episode. The term was then used for shows that had “reached their peak”.
.-= Jake´s last blog ..Jake’s eXfuze Challenge! The Results Are In! =-.

September 2nd, 2009 | 9:53 AM

You see, Jake, that shows where our minds will go with things like that. I must have missed that episode of Happy Days. lol

September 2nd, 2009 | 11:13 AM

In no particular order:
Stargate Atlantis, Heroes, Monk, Friends, Sex and The City, Tru Calling, Criminal Minds, CSI Miami, Boston Legal and X-Files
.-= DiTesco´s last blog ..My First Interview On Famous Bloggers Club =-.

September 1st, 2009 | 1:59 PM

Interesting list, DiTesco. I think you’re the first guy I’ve ever seen admit to liking, or even watching, Sex & the City without a wife or girlfriend influence. lol Never heard of Tru Calling; what was that about?

September 1st, 2009 | 2:15 PM

Well I come to this from England and therefore a few of mine won’t be recognised like a I don’t know some of yours.
Mine would be in no particular order:
10. Family Guy
9. The Simpsons
8. Fawlty Towers
7. 24 (Jack Bauer is god)
6. Star Trek Voyager
5. The A- team
4. Knightrider (from my childhood)
3. House
2. The Mighty Boosh (seriously need to check this out people – so funny)
1. Boston Legal

September 1st, 2009 | 4:49 PM

Hi Matt,

The only show you mentioned that I don’t know is the Mighty Boosh; have to look that one up. Nice list; Voyager would be in my top 25 easily.

September 1st, 2009 | 9:34 PM
Tim Manni:

Hey Mitch,

Oh yeah, the travel channel is great! Man -vs- Food, No Reservations, Food Paradise, etc…

I knew people would love this post. It made me think about TV I haven’t seen in years. Tom and Jerry would be a close #11.

Good fun,

September 1st, 2009 | 4:52 PM

Ah, but which Tom & Jerry, Tim? I hope the old ones with the best music; there were a lot that were kind of lame later on.

September 1st, 2009 | 9:35 PM
Tim Manni:

@ Matt,

The few UK shows I’ve seen I really like: The IT Crowd, Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares (BBC version), Spaced (Simon Pegg is great!), Little Britain (before it come to the US), The Office. It’s a different style of humor all together.

Oh yea and Knightrider! Can’t forget about the Hof!

September 1st, 2009 | 4:56 PM

Spaced is absolutely brilliant. And as for the Office, I can’t believe it wasn’t in my list. Just complete genius.

September 2nd, 2009 | 4:49 AM

OK, here is my list but in no particular order of preference.

1. Stargate
2 Star Trek
3 X Files
4 The Immortal
5 5 million Dollar man
6 Kung Fu
7 The Persuaders
8 Starsky And Hutch
9 Knight Rider
10 Prison Break

What do you think of that lot? 😉
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Blog Stats For August Up For Display =-.

September 2nd, 2009 | 4:19 AM

First, was there a separate show called the 5 Million Dollar Man, since I remember the Six Million Dollar Man?

Second, never heard of The Immortal or The Persuaders; might have to look those up.

Ah, Kung Fu; man, didn’t we all want to be Kane back in the day? lol

September 2nd, 2009 | 11:12 AM

I did mean 6, reckon I just lost a mill somewhere along the way. The persuaders starred Roger Moore and Tony Curtis, and Tony drove a Dino Ferrari. I love that car!

The Immortal, I think that was an American program about this bloke who had a rare blood type that made him immortal who was being chased by a dying millionaire who wanted literally wanted his blood.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Blog Stats For August Up For Display =-.

September 3rd, 2009 | 2:53 AM

I had to go look that up, Sire. I never knew Christopher George had a TV show; always wondered what he was famous for other than his beautiful wife. Same for Tony Curtis; never knew he had a TV show until you mentioned it. I went and read about it; seems it was most popular in Spain and Australia, hence, why you liked it so much.

September 3rd, 2009 | 6:34 PM

I’m not sure about Spain, but we are very well for our good tastes, except for when it comes to picking out political leaders lol
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Blog Stats For August Up For Display =-.

September 4th, 2009 | 12:10 AM

Sire, I think we all often wonder about our choice in political leaders. Sometimes, we just have to pick the best of the worst. 🙂

September 4th, 2009 | 9:15 AM

just doing this quickly, here goes:
All in the Family
Carol Burnett
The Office
Mary Tyler Moore
Mad About You
The Waltons

I can do better, but these are what pop into my head at 10:30…
.-= Pat Henry´s last blog ..Three little words =-.

September 2nd, 2009 | 10:27 PM

Hey Pat, that’s a pretty good list. Some of these would easily make my top 50, possibly my top 25, like MASH and Mary Tyler Moore, and of course Carol Burnett. And all the others, except The Office,… stellar programs. Well, I never saw The Waltons, but Mom never missed a show, so that one I guess I can’t really say much about either.

September 2nd, 2009 | 10:44 PM

ha..I’m so glad someone named Saved by the Bell! Believe it, I’m also one of the fans back then. Absolutely love X-Files, Friends, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Perfect Strangers, Prison Break (season 1 & 2 esp), Heroes.. Bugs Bunny? Of course, including Transformers, G.I.Joe.. yeah, those were the golden years. ^^ More I’m sure I just can’t recall the names.

Social/Blogging Tracker
.-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..16 Social Bookmarking Plugins to Promote Your Posts =-.

September 3rd, 2009 | 5:00 AM

Never got into Transformers or G.I. Joe; I think I was just too old for them. At least no one has owned up to liking the Smurfs yet.

September 3rd, 2009 | 6:36 PM

my favorite TV shows are Muppet Show, Simpsons, Flip Wilson, Family Guy

September 4th, 2009 | 3:17 AM

Thanks for sharing, Rajagiri; can’t go bad with any of those.

September 4th, 2009 | 9:18 AM

I have to agree with Family Guy and Star Trek TNG – my hubby and I watch those pretty regularly, along with the US Open.

~ Kristi
.-= Kikolani´s last blog ..Do You DoFollow? =-.

September 4th, 2009 | 3:00 PM

Hi Kristi,

The U.S. Open; are we talking golf or tennis?

September 4th, 2009 | 9:11 PM

Thank you for the link love and putting together your 10 favorite TV shows I appreciate it.

Ill be returning the favor in this Sundays Sunday Smash watch for it.
.-= Extreme John´s last blog ..Real Faces Billboard Campaign Proofs =-.

September 16th, 2009 | 11:37 AM

Cool John; I’m finally glad you were able to see it, and I thank you for the inspiration.

September 16th, 2009 | 12:39 PM

Simpsons is number one in my book. I’m really glad you mentioned the X files. These are my 2 all time favorite shows.

September 18th, 2009 | 2:05 PM

Glad you liked the list, Neela. At least I got two of your faves. 🙂

September 18th, 2009 | 2:33 PM

You are a wierd dude. How can you like Family and the Muppets. You must be high when you watch the muppets.

September 30th, 2009 | 12:06 PM

Nope caoh. Never done any drugs, nor had a drink my entire life. I like what I like, I guess; it’s how I have fun.

September 30th, 2009 | 12:48 PM

I think that it is awesome that you picked the Muppet Show is your favorite show. They actually had some great entertainment on that show (like the eopisode that you pointed out). How they ever got the top stars to come on and have fun with the muppets I will never know.

It all gets back to the creative genius known a Jim Henson.

December 15th, 2009 | 4:25 AM

Thanks Jesse. Actually, I think stars loved the idea of being with the Muppets. I read where many of them called and asked to be on the show, even though it was produced in England. It still makes me smile all the time.

December 15th, 2009 | 9:46 AM
Katherine Campbell:

boston legal is a great tv series which is based on courtroom drama”-“

June 29th, 2010 | 1:28 AM