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Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest TV Shows proves we’re really in the Golden Age of Television

on September 21, 2016, 5:28pm

They say we’re in the Golden Age of Television, and if you put much merit into Rolling Stone’s latest behemoth of a list, it’s hard to argue otherwise. Following similar listicles for the 100 greatest drummers, the 40 greatest punk albums, and the 50 best songs of the 1990s, RS contributing editor Rob Sheffield has now ranked the 100 greatest television shows.

Seeing as that we’re now seventy years into TV’s existence, it says a lot that 26 of the included shows are still airing new episodes. Of those, some are obvious — Curb Your Enthusiasm, Louie, and Veep. South Park of course made it — but at No. 33? I know the first 10 seasons of The Simpsons were untouchable, but at what point do the later seasons start to factor in? Key and Peele, but not Nathan For You? For shame.

Late night programs hosted by O’Brien, Letterman, Sanders, and Stewart all made the cut (sorry, Jay!). Oz is mad disrespected at 99. Roseanne at No. 70 also seems much too low, especially with inferior shows like Sex and the City, Lost, and 24 ranked ahead of it (and this is coming from a Jack Bauer super fan). Orange is the New Black at No. 37 is surprising. The West Wing at No. 15 is way too low; I blame Trump.

As for the top 10, they’re all fairly obvious picks. Seeing Seinfeld at No. 5 seems a bit strange, but when you consider what’s ahead of it — Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Wire, and The Sopranos — it’s like having to choose between your favorite cat. Then again, I do believe The Wire is a better show than The Sopranos. Fight me.

Check out the full list at Rolling Stone, and see the notable inclusions below. If I were making my own list, Million Dollar Listing, 90 Day Finance, and Vice Principals would all receive serious love.

100. Eastbound and Down
99. Oz
91. Broad City
89. Homeland
87. Doctor Who
85. The Real World
83. House of Cards
77. The Walking Dead
76. Late Night with Conan O’Brien
75. American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson
74. The Ren & Stimpy Show
73. Transparent
72. Girls
70. Roseanne
66. Downton Abbey
65. Happy Days
64. Chappelle’s Show
62. Sex and the City
60. Beavis and Butt-Head
56. 24
55. Six Feet Under
54. The Muppet Show
52. The Colbert Report
48. The Office
43. The Americans
39. Lost
37. Orange is the New Black
34. 30 Rock
33. South Park
29. Monty Python’s Flying Circus
28. The X-Files
27. Arrested Development
26. Friends
25. Veep
24. Friday Night Lights
22. Louie
20. Cheers
19. Curb Your Enthusiasm
17. Twin Peaks
15. The West Wing
14. The Larry Sanders Show
13. Late Night with David Letterman
12. Game of Thrones
11. Freaks and Geeks
10. The Daily Show
06. The Simpsons
05. Seinfeld
04. Mad Men
03. Breaking Bad
02. The Wire
01. The Sopranos

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