Highest rated TV shows of all time

If you missed a TV shows years ago well that is it! You had to wait for youtube to see it, or buy the video tape or DVD. Now people watch entire series in a single weekend by recommendations of friends or reviews online.

Fan favorites such as “Baywatch”, “The X-Files”, “The West Wing” and “The Sopranos” kept fans glued to their sofas week after week, year after year, to find out what would happen next. Some shows were so good, fans would purchase TV box sets on VHS or DVD to watch them again and again in order to relive the drama or bask in the laughs.

Now that we have a multitude of streaming services at our fingertips and can watch TV anytime, anywhere, the content has become even richer and more diverse, pleasing both fans and critics alike.

To celebrate the history of great television, MarkMeets have compiled this data-driven list of the 100 best TV shows of all time, using IMDb. Shows were ranked by IMDb user ratings, with ties broken by the number of votes. For this list, a series had to have at least 50,000 votes..

5. Rick and Morty

  • IMDb user rating: 9.2
  • Years on the air: 2013–present
    Cartoon Network’s adult animated sci-fi comedy “Rick and Morty” follows the adventures of Rick Sanchez, a mad scientist, and his daughter (Sarah Chalke) and her children. It has received high marks from critics for its creativity, scientific accuracy, and general wackiness, and has a massive cult following. The cartoon series has since received two Emmy awards, including Outstanding Animated Program in 2020.

4. Game of Thrones

  • IMDb user rating: 9.2
  • Years on the air: 2011-2019
    Based on George R.R. Martin’s beloved series of novels, “A Song of Ice and Fire,” this megahit HBO series essentially took on a life of its own. The award-winning medieval fantasy epic followed the deadly adventures of two powerful families as they battled for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. It frequently challenged “The Sopranos” in viewership ratings during its first four seasons. The show inspired licensed merchandise, games, replica armor, and boosted sales of the original novels. With a whopping 160 nominations, the show took home 56 Emmys.

3. Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • IMDb user rating: 9.3
    Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino co-created this anime-inspired American animated show, with the backstory involving the “Avatar,” a person who can “bend” and manipulate all four main elements of air, water, fire, and earth. Aang is the current Avatar, found by Water Tribe siblings Katara and Sokka 100 years after Aang froze in an iceberg, leaving the world under siege by the Fire Nation. The show was followed up by “The Legend of Korra,” a show set 70 years later about the next Avatar. The beloved animation earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Animated Program (for programming less than one hour) in 2007.

2. The Wire

Still cited as one of the greatest TV shows ever made, “The Wire” went off the air more than 10 years ago. The acclaimed HBO drama featured a black ensemble cast, helping to launch the careers of Michael B. Jordan, Idris Elba, and Michael K. Williams, and took a realistic look at Baltimore and its drug scene, police department, schools, and media. Following its run, the show was twice nominated at the Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.

1. Breaking Bad

The critically acclaimed AMC series “Breaking Bad” turned Walter White into an icon. The show also catapulted Bryan Cranston into cult status for his portrayal of the high-school-teacher-turned-meth-kingpin. Cranston won four Primetime Emmy Awards for the role. It’s considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time, having become the most-watched cable TV show on American television, and most critically acclaimed of all time.

Other notable TV shows in the top 10 include: The Sopranos, Sherlock, Firefly, Batman: The Animated Series, The Twilight Zone, Peaky Blinders, The Office, Alan Partridge, Bridgerton, Star-Trek, The Simpsons, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools And Horses, Lost, West World, Band Of Brothers, Sex And The City, Friends, Downton Abbey.


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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.

Email Adam@MarkMeets.com

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