The New Golden Age: A TV Meta-List Update

There seems to be a critical consensus that we are living in a new golden age of television.  The quality of TV productions now rivals film, and actors and actresses now migrate between TV and film frequently and without stigma.  So it made sense to me that it was time to update the meta-lists of Best TV Shows of All Time, which I last updated in 2019.  The new updated lists have lots of additional TV shows, most of them from the last decade.  The top three shows of all time (in a tie) remain the same: The Simpsons, The Sopranos, and The Wire.

Here are links to the lists:

Best TV Shows of All Time – Ranked
Best TV Shows of All Time – Chronological

Oddly, the lists I found to create the meta-list do not contain any foreign language TV shows, even though there is quality television being made all over the world.  I hope that “best tv shows” listers of the future will remedy this glaring omission.

Speaking of omissions, quite a few  of my favorite TV shows (including productions from France, Germany, Poland, and Israel) didn’t make the list, so I’m providing Make Lists, Not War readers with my own list of favorites that didn’t make it onto the meta-lists (listed chronologically, of course):

  1. The Ernie Kovacs Show (CBS: 1952-1954; DuMont 1954-1955, ABC 1961-1962)
  2. The Outer Limits (ABC: 1963-1965)
  3. Get Smart (NBC: 1965-1969; CBS: 1969-1970)
  4. Nova (PBS: 1974- )
  5. Kolchak: The Night Stalker (ABC: 1974-1975)
  6. SCTV (Global 1976-1979, CBS 1980-1983, Superchannel 1983-1984)
  7. Austin City Limits (PBS: 1976- )
  8. Fernwood 2 Night/American 2-Night (Syndication: 1977-1978)
  9. Nature (PBS: 1982- )
  10. Eyes on the Prize (PBS: 1987, 1990)
  11. The Kids in the Hall (CBC TV/HBO: 1988-1993; CBC/TV/CBS: 1993-1995; Amazon Prime Video: 2022)
  12. Dekalog (Poland, 1989) (also released as a film)
  13. The Civil War (PBS: 1990)
  14. The Ben Stiller Show (Fox: 1992-1993, Comedy Central: 1995)
  15. Pride & Prejudice (BBC: 1995)
  16. Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist (Comedy Central: 1995-2002)
  17. Mad TV (Fox: 1995-2009)
  18. Jazz (PBS: 2001)
  19. Joan of Arcadia (CBS: 2003-2005)
  20. Extras (BBC/HBO: 2005-2007)
  21. The Comeback (HBO: 2005, 2014)
  22. Flight of the Conchords (HBO: 2007-2009)
  23. Shtisel (yes Oh/Netflix: 2013-2021)
  24. Lovesick (Channel 4: 2014-2015; Netflix: 2016-2018)
  25. Call My Agent! (Dix pour cent) (France 2/Netflix: 2015- )
  26. Love (Netflix: 2016-2018)
  27. Unorthodox (Netflix: 2020)
  28. Feel Good (Channel 4/All 4/Netflix: 2020-2021)

3 thoughts on “The New Golden Age: A TV Meta-List Update

    1. beckchris Post author

      Thanks for the tip, Rich. I loved Mackenzie Crook in The Office. Mary and I also got to see him on Broadway playing alongside Mark Rylance in Jerusalem.


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