40 Best Shows of the Past 20 Years << Rotten Tomatoes – Movie and TV News
Kit Harington in Game of Thrones season 7 "Eastwatch" (Macall B. Polay/HBO)


We asked TV fans, “What do you think is the best TV show of the past 20 years?” See which series our survey respondents chose, ranked by popularity, below. The winner took top spot with 11 percent of the vote, while second place got 7 percent, third and fourth place were separated by a mere tenth of a percent and rounded up to 5 percent, and fifth place got 4 percent. (Click here to see the full results by percentage.)

Disagree with the survey results? Tell us in the comments who you think should have made the list or have been ranked higher.

Deadwood (2004)

Synopsis: A potent, unusually vivid (and profane) Western about a late-1870s South Dakota settlement in the aftermath of Little Big Horn.... [More]

Homeland (2011)

Synopsis: A troubled CIA operative worries that a rescued marine, a longtime POW, may be an enemy agent with a connection... [More]

Supernatural (2005)

Synopsis: Twenty-six years ago, Sam and Dean Winchester lost their mother to a mysterious and demonic supernatural force. Subsequently, their father... [More]

Six Feet Under (2001)

Synopsis: Life---and death---at a family-owned funeral home in Los Angeles plays out in this provocative, at times macabre series created by... [More]

Frasier (1993)

Synopsis: Brilliant 'Cheers' spin-off in which psychiatrist Frasier Crane returns to his native Seattle, where he hosts a call-in radio show... [More]

The Good Wife (2009)

Synopsis: A disgraced politician's wife resumes her career as a defense attorney after her husband is jailed for corruption.... [More]

House of Cards (2013)

Synopsis: A drama about a ruthless congressman and his equally ambitious wife who navigate the corridors of power in Washington, D.C.... [More]

Friday Night Lights (2006)

Synopsis: Creator Peter Berg's drama centering on the players and coach of a high-school football team in Dillon, Texas, a small... [More]

NYPD Blue (1993)

Synopsis: This gritty, acclaimed crime drama from Steven Bochco elevated the genre and altered the boundaries of what network censors would... [More]

Synopsis: A New York woman struggles to adjust to life in a federal prison.... [More]

Scandal (2012)

Synopsis: A former White House communications director opens a Washington, D.C. crisis-management firm in this drama based on the work of... [More]

South Park (1997)

Synopsis: An animated adult series about foul-mouthed primary school children living in a Colorado town. Rude, crude and seriously funny, it... [More]

Mad Men (2007)

Synopsis: A look at the high-powered world of advertising in 1960s New York City, from the boardroom to the bedroom.... [More]

Modern Family (2009)

Synopsis: A mockumentary-style sitcom chronicling the unusual kinship of the extended Pritchett clan, a brood that includes patriarch Jay; his younger... [More]

Synopsis: A young man leads his oddball family and their real-estate-development business following a securities-fraud fiasco that put the father in... [More]

Sex and the City (1998)

Synopsis: This series explores New York City's dating scene, where four sassy women, Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha are in search... [More]

The Walking Dead (2010)

Synopsis: The story of the years that follow after a zombie apocalypse, following a group of survivors led by a former... [More]

NCIS (2003)

Synopsis: The series is about criminal cases involving Navy and Marine personnel, handled by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.... [More]

Stranger Things (2016)

Synopsis: A love letter to the '80s classics that captivated a generation, Stranger Things is set in 1983 Indiana, where a... [More]

Synopsis: An interstellar warship protects survivors of a decimated civilization with a race of android predators in hot pursuit in this... [More]

Lost (2004)

Synopsis: Forty-eight passengers miraculously survive an air crash only to be stranded on a scary island. With the trauma of the... [More]

ER (1994)

Synopsis: The multiple Emmy Award-winning ER explores the inner workings of an urban teaching hospital and the critical issues faced by... [More]

The Office (2005)

Synopsis: Based on the award-winning British comedy of the same name, this acclaimed sitcom is told through the lenses of a... [More]

The Simpsons (1989)

Synopsis: Matt Groening's subversive, animated satire about Springfield's hapless first family became a cult favorite when it premiered on Fox in... [More]

24 (0)

Synopsis: An exciting and edgy real-time action series about U.S. counterterrorist agent Jack Bauer trying to save his country from foreign... [More]

The Wire (2002)

Synopsis: A complex, impeccably acted crime drama set in Baltimore that follows the thread of a single police investigation, from the... [More]

Grey's Anatomy (2005)

Synopsis: The story revolves around five surgical interns and their supervisors, showing their personal and professional lives.... [More]

The Sopranos (1999)

Synopsis: A series chronicles the life of a New Jersey mobster, Tony Soprano, on his home front. There are other mobster... [More]

Sherlock (2010)

Synopsis: The quirky spin on Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic sleuth pitches him as a "high-functioning sociopath" in modern-day London. Assisting him... [More]

The X-Files (1993)

Synopsis: 'The truth is out there,' and FBI agents Scully and Mulder seek it in this sci-fi phenomenon about their quest... [More]

Synopsis: A cheerleader is chosen to battle the forces of evil as she weathers the storms of young adulthood in an... [More]

Doctor Who (2006)

Synopsis: Following the adventures of a time-traveling alien called "The Doctor" and companions as they deal with crises set on Earth... [More]

The West Wing (1999)

Synopsis: Martin Sheen and Rob Lowe, as the U.S. President and his deputy communications director, play politics in this innovative Washington,... [More]

Downton Abbey (2011)

Synopsis: This period drama, set in the English countryside which is centered on the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and... [More]

Law & Order (1990)

Synopsis: Durable cops-and-lawyers procedural with gripping headline-inspired storylines.... [More]

Seinfeld (1989)

Synopsis: The landmark Jerry Seinfeld-Larry David creation about four neurotic New Yorkers was ostensibly about nothing, but of course was uniquely... [More]

Friends (0)

Synopsis: One of television's top-ranked series and the recipient of numerous Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, "Friends" is a... [More]

The Big Bang Theory (2007)

Synopsis: A new comedy about a pair of brilliant physicists who understand how the universe works but have no clue about... [More]

Breaking Bad (2008)

Synopsis: A high-school chemistry teacher learns he's dying, so he takes up a new career as a meth producer in hopes... [More]

Game of Thrones (2011)

Synopsis: An adaptation of author George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" medieval fantasies about power struggles among the... [More]

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