You probably already know what your favorite TV shows and your friends’ favorite programs are, particularly if they’re vocal on social media. However, have you ever thought about how the people who create those shows felt about the ventures that have populated television history?
THR asked over 2,800 Hollywood industry professionals – including 779 actors, 365 producers, and 286 directors, among others – to credit their all-time favorite series, and the results are shocking for a variety of reasons. Although you can read the 11-100 entries on THR’s website, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10, beginning with the most tenacious animated family ever.
The Simpsons has been making viewers laugh – and debating when the show’s Golden Age ended – for decades. It’s on its way to Season 27 with all of its cast intact, despite reports earlier this year that Harry Shearer was going to drop out due to financial planning issues. No one could have expected that this Tracy Ullman Show spinoff will run for over 570 episodes. Still, this dysfunctional family has won a spot on this list. Isn’t that something we should all thank Poochie for?
Few shows have received credit with the same critical acclaim as Matthew Weiner’s period drama Mad Men, which aired on AMC for seven seasons. This series is what made Dom Draper a household name. They reminded the audience just how much alcohol and tobacco were exploited during the 1960s, thanks to exquisite attention to detail and a cast of characters with consistently complex motives. It also established AMC as a force to be reckoned with in terms of high-quality original programming.
8.I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy was one of the pioneering classical sitcoms anchored by Lucille Ball’s often manic and often comic stylings. It was the only entry on this list to air before the 1960s. Yes, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley were all excellent in supporting credit roles. There were some spinoffs of this flagship program. However, none were as good as I Love Lucy. Few comedy episodes will ever be as funny as “Lucy Does a TV Commercial.”
7.Saturday Night Live
You’d be mistaken if you give The Simpsons credit for being the longest-running show on this list. In fact, that honor goes to the much-loved Saturday Night Live, which launched hundreds of comedians’ careers. Of course, almost no Saturday Night Live season is flawless due to its live nature and straightforward approach. Because of its format, the show doesn’t allow for too much preparation ahead of time. Still, every year produces several memorable moments that make anything else seem more tolerable in hindsight.
Before David Chase’s The Sopranos debuted in 1999, HBO had been making original series for many years. Still, it was the heady mob drama that catapulted the cable network into the upper echelon. The Sopranos was one of the shows that ushered in a new age of serialized television. Its finale remains one of the most unforgettable episodes of any TV show ever, credits to consistently excellent performances from James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, and a stellar cast. It’s up to you whether it’s a good one or a bad one.
To many people, The Show About Nothing is a lot of stuff, and one of them is “an incredibly amusing observation about how strange people can be.” Seinfeld was given credit for turning relatively innocuous subjects into pop culture symbols, such as a soup kitchen cook or a ruffled shirt. Throughout the show’s run, the central quartet was pitch-perfect, and Jerry Seinfeld wanted to end it before it reached its peak. That’s not to say there’s something wrong with it.
4.Game of Thrones
While The Sopranos established HBO as a serious drama competitor, Game of Thrones has transformed the network into a rating behemoth. Game of Thrones, based on author George R.R. Martin’s highly acclaimed novel series, enthralls audiences with a long roster of characters, plenty of conflicts and crime, a smattering of daring scenes, and a winning blend of fantasy and a considerable degree of regal politics. But, of course, the frequent surprise deaths haven’t helped matters.
The X-Files managed to integrate almost every central feature that makes a show competitive in its nine seasons (and hopefully in the forthcoming limited series). It had a compelling overarching plot in which its core characters were involved, combining procedural elements with its monster-of-the-week approach. It effectively gave Mulder and Scully’s “will they/won’t they” credit for the duration of the series. It also featured a slew of unforgettable side characters who added both fun and intrigue. Even if the show’s later seasons were less than ideal, The X-Files honestly had something for everybody. They were assuming that “everyone” is interested in alien conspiracies.
It’s difficult to count how many things Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad accomplished. Still, one of the most significant was transforming Bryan Cranston from sitcom star to dramatic antihero. Breaking Bad will likely maintain a certain degree of influence for decades to come. Hopefully, the series can also serve as a message to any high school teachers interested in getting into the dangerous underground game.
So no one told you life was gonna be this way or that the universe would be so tightly attached to six New York City pals years after the hit show ended. Friends was one of the key reasons why NBC became popular for comedy in the 1990s. The show launched the careers of its ensemble cast (for better or worse, in some cases). Even if it was Ugly Naked Man, the show could balance hilarity with seriousness at times, and the cast of characters provided almost everyone with someone to relate to. Although it is difficult to believe, Friends has reportedly earned the credit for being Hollywood’s favorite television show of all time.