Ranked: The Greatest TV Shows of All Time

Over time, there has been a gold rush of iconic TV shows that have a timeless appeal. And this phenomenon is showing no sign of slowing down. So, being TV buffs, we’ve traveled through each era and genre, to uncover the greatest shows in TV history.

From I Love Lucy and Orange is the New Black all the way to Game of Thrones, we’ve searched far and wide to compile a list of vintage TV classics, new groundbreaking TV dramas, ambitious TV thrillers, and game-changing TV comedies.

This list was pretty hard to rank, as there are so many factors and elements that separate an average TV show from pure TV gold. That’s we’ve ranked these shows by the quality of the cast, script, plot, influence and more. So check out our definitive list of the greatest TV sensations ever created.

40. The Shield

The detective TV series The Shield first aired in 2002 and lasted until 2008. The series featured one of TV’s most fearsome cops, Vic Mackay. Portrayed by the actor Michael Chiklis, he played a dirty detective, known as “Al Capone with a Badge.”

The cast of “The Shield” attends the third season premiere screening of “The Shield” at the Zanuck Theater on March 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

The show followed Vic Mackay through seven seasons of dramatic detective action, dealing with plenty of shady cop corruption as well as street crimes. The series concluded with a hell of an end game, and definitely deserves worthy a place on our list.

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