Top 10 Best TV Shows From the ’90s

Best tv shows 90s

There was a time before streaming, over-the-top media services, and satellite television.
The 1990s were a watershed moment in television history. From Oprah, Clarrisa, Wheel of fortune, Fresh Prince, big break, Buffy and more, tv was at it’s best for fun, unfiltered watching!

Networks such as the BBC and US networks stocked up on comedies and realistic dramas, while Fox, a relative newcomer, had its own arsenal of ground-breaking shows.

Even cable networks such as HBO and Cartoon Network began to up the ante with high-quality programming. Television viewers had more options for entertainment than ever before.

MarkMeets compiled data on all 1990s TV shows in English with over 7,500 votes on the Internet Movie Database, and ranked the top 100 according to IMDb user score and our editoral team with ties broken by votes.

10. Bottom (1991–1995)

“Bottom” is a British comedy based on two losers in London who get involved in ridiculous situations. Starring Ade Edmondson and Rik Mayall, “Bottom” was mainly a hit overseas, and led to a feature film and a spin-off series. The show, which is still revered in the U.K., is now available for streaming in the U.S.

9. I’m Alan Partridge (1997–2002)

English acting legend Steve Coogan starred as Alan Partridge in this British sitcom. Down on his luck, Partridge tries to revive his star power with TV show pitches. “I’m Alan Partridge” was co-created by Armando Iannucci, who later went on to mastermind the hit comedy “Veep.”

8. Mr. Bean (1990–1995)

Perhaps the most famous British comic character around the world, Mr. Bean (played by Rowan Atkinson) warmed the hearts of American audiences throughout the ’90s. “Mr. Bean” aired on HBO and PBS in the U.S., and Atkinson starred in a film featuring the Mr. Bean character in 1997 (wherein he travels to Los Angeles). Mr. Bean memorably popped back up during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.

7. Brass Eye (1997–2001)

“Brass Eye” was a popular British show that parodied current news, and was a spin-off of the show, “The Day Today.” Gina McKee and Simon Pegg were among the stars of “Brass Eye,” and the show’s sharp wit remains culturally relevant for decades since its release.

6. Father Ted (1995–1998)

Dermot Morgan starred as Father Ted Crilly in this Irish slapstick comedy. Several priests live on Craggy Island (a fictional locale) where hijinks regularly occur around men of the clergy. The show was noted for its catchphrases, and still is regarded one of Europe’s most favored sitcoms.

5. The X-Files (1993–2018)

The truth is out there: “The X-Files” is one of the most memorable shows of the ’90s. Starring agents Scully and Mulder, this duo that was well-studied in extraterrestrial happenings explored the most mysterious realms of Earth. Several movies followed the show, and “The X-Files” legacy still resonates among a new generation of UFO chasers and believers of the unknown.

4. South Park (1997–present)

Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s crude kids picked up where “The Ren & Stimpy Show,” “The Simpsons,” and “Beavis and Butt-Head” left off, taking cartoon humor to a new level. In the fictional Colorado town of South Park, four friends get into all kinds of mischief over 300-plus episodes. A movie and hundreds of varieties of merchandise has kept the South Park brand strong well into the 21st century.

3. The West Wing (1999–2006)

The brainchild of Aaron Sorkin, “The West Wing” had great storylines and a powerful cast to create one of network television’s most memorable dramas. Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, Martin Sheen, and others starred in this White House-centered show, which critics still debate in terms of legacy. Among the many think pieces out there about the show, a popular theory is that “The West Wing” foreshadowed the politics of the presidency of Barack Obama.

2. Friends (1994–2004)

To this day fans going crazy over everything from the theme song to Jennifer Aniston’s haircut. The premise of the sitcom is pretty basic: six friends live in New York City and have crazy stories of dating, family, and friendship. But there was something endearing about Ross and Rachel, Monica and Chandler, and the quirks of Joey and Phoebe.

  1. The Sopranos (1999–2007)

The questionable ending aside, “The Sopranos” might be the definition of “prestige television.” James Gandolfini starred as Tony Soprano, and the show followed him and his associates as they became mob kingpins in the Northeast. In 2021, a movie will serve as a prequel to “The Sopranos,” keeping the legacy of this show alive and well.

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Scott Baber
Scott Baber
Senior Managing editor

Manages incoming enquiries and advertising. Based in London and very sporty. Worked news and sports desks in local paper after graduating.


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