All-Time Top 50 TV Series

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There’s a trick some folk can do where they tuck the top of their ear lobe into their ear canal, place a skittle or M & M on it and then wait until the ear tip pops out and the candy (as the Americans call it) catapults across the room.

I’ve never been able to do it, despite for some mysterious reason making several attempts to try. At a certain point in everyone’s life they’re forced to admit the truth of where their real abilities lie.

I’m now comfortable saying I’m no painter of portraits, can’t disassemble a car engine (without a stick of gelignite) and I’ve never come what you’d call close to solving a Rubik’s cube. My crocheting-a-woolen-blanket abilities are likewise dead in the water.

Two things I have always been pretty handy at however are riding a bicycle hands free (apart from that time in the 5th grade when I spectacularly came off while careening down a Mt Everest-sized hill at 50 km/hr while a dozen friends watched on atop) and viewing  television.

The list that follows is dedicated to the countless hours I’ve spent over the decades perfecting the latter. There’s nothing heroic on my part doing all that, I realize, but there was an awful lot of pleasure.

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If it’s true what they say about one test of  love is the ability to watch someone else’s boring TV programs, then best prepare yourself now for a mixed bag of shows perfectly suited to probably no one else’s taste except my own – and maybe a handful of other folk still kicking on from the TV viewing stone-age.

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Given that this list is dominated by shows from my impressionable youth, it goes to prove the idea, I think, that nothing dates a person more than their taste in television. And that ‘nothing’ includes both music and movies, the two of which are frequently reincarnated under the same names for newer generations, which admittedly sometimes also happens in the world of television, but to a far lesser extent.

Sadly, I couldn’t find a way to squeeze into this list such staples of 20th century pop culture as STARSKY AND HUTCHMORK AND MINDY or LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY. I also felt pretty bad about not including Hall of Fame Australian shows from yesteryear such as BLUE HEELERS, MATLOCK POLICE and AEROBICS OZ STYLE(Possibly joking about the last one) Even SKIPPY got culled to the B-list when the tough decisions had to be made.

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With the introduction and explanations out of the way what else is there left to do but get on with the show…er, shows!

WATCH!

1.

Eleven Seasons – 255 Episodes – 1974 -1984  (USA)

View a clip here

or here

2.

Three Seasons – 83 Episodes – 1965 – 1967 (USA)

3.

Five Seasons – 138 Episodes – 1965 – 1969 (USA)

4.

Three Seasons – 63 Episodes – 1972 – 1975 (USA)

5.

Three Seasons – 98 Episodes – 1964 – 1967 (USA)

6.

FivSeasons – 99 Episodes – 1974 – 1978 (USA)

7.

Five Seasons – 152 Episodes – 1962 -1966 (USA)

8.

One Season – 14 Episodes – 1974 (USA)

9.

One Season – 64 Episodes  – 1981- 1982 (Australia)

10.

Seven Seasons – 74 Episodes – 1969 – 1973 (Britain)

11
Five Seasons – 82 Episodes – 1977 – 1982 (USA)

12

Two Seasons – 51 Episodes – 1968 – 1970 (USA)

13
One season – 30 Episodes – 1966 – 1967 (USA)

14

Two Seasons – 57 episodes – 1966 -1968 (USA)

15

Three Seasons – 79 Episodes – 1966 – 1969 (USA)

16

Five Seasons – 117 Episodes – 1969 – 1973 (USA)

17

Seven Series – 54 Episodes – 1972 -1976 (Britain)

18

Three Seasons – 120 Episodes – 1966-1968 (USA)

19

Eight Seasons –1114 Episodes – 1976 – 1983 (Australia)

20

Three Seasons – 58 Episodes – 1976 – 1978 (USA)

21

Nine Seasons – 207 Episodes – 1998 – 2007 (USA)

22

The Third Doctor – Jon Pertwee – Four Seasons – 128 Episodes – 1970 – 1974 (Britain)

23

Three Series – 23 Episodes – 1973 – 1978 (Britain)

24

Eight Seasons – 582 Episodes  1977 – 1984 (Australia)

25

Five Series – 38 Episodes – 1976 – 1979 (Britain)

26

Ten self-contained Story Arcs – 128 Episodes – 1962 -1965 (Japan)

27

Four Seasons – 95 Episodes – 1975 – 1979 (USA)

28

Eight Seasons – 172 Episodes – 1977 – 1984 (USA)

29

Eight Seasons – 692 Episodes – 1979 – 1986 (Australian)

30

Seven Seasons – 176 Episodes – 1982 -1989 (USA)

31

Seven Seasons – 301 Episodes – 1969 – 1975 (Australian)

32

One Season – 6 Episodes – 1981 (Britain)

33

Nine Seasons – 202 Episodes – 1976 – 1985 (USA)

34

Eight Seasons – 178 Episodes – 1973 – 1980 (USA)

35

Six Seasons – 144 Episodes – 1978 – 1974 (USA)

36

Four Seasons – 138 Episodes – 1962 – 1966 (USA)

37

Twelve Seasons – 510 episodes – 1964 – 1977 (Australian)

38

Five Seasons – 150 Episodes – 1964 – 1969 (USA)

39

Six Seasons – 40 Episodes – 1973 – 1976 (Britain)

40

Six Seasons – 118 Episodes  2005 – 2010 (USA)

41

One Season – 8  Episodes – 2011 – 2013 (Britain)

42

Four Seasons – 55 Episodes – 1968 – 1972 (Britain)

43

Five Seasons – 114 Episodes –1970 -1975 (USA)

44

Five Seasons – 88 Episodes – 1995 – 1999 (USA)

45

Five Seasons – 62 Episodes – 1989 -1996 (Australian)

46

Eight Seasons –  254 Episodes – 1964 – 1972 (USA)

47 A

Four Series – 25 Episodes – 2006 – 2010 (Britain)

48

Five Seasons – 121 Episodes – 1972 -1977 (USA)

49

Two Seasons – 12 Episodes – 1982 -1984 (Britain)

50

Two Series – 12 Episodes – 2017 – 2018 (Britain)

16 thoughts on “All-Time Top 50 TV Series

  1. Well, others might be like, yeah, I remember some of those. And that’s it. But I–maybe sadly; I don’t know anymore–have several comments to make! So apologies ahead of time for blabbing so much.

    Happy Days–Omg, my husband was involved with some kind of previewing events in New York in his youth, and Henry Winkler showed up. I think I told this story already. I should stop before repeating myself.
    I’ve heard of SOME of the British ones but mostly not. But when I saw the Man About the House I thought, wow, they copied Three’s Company! But no, it came first, so Three’s Company totally ripped off their idea.

    Loved Get Smart (I had a Maxwell Smart doll with a pull string once) and Land of the Giants.
    My brother and I got to walk around all the giant chairs and props, etc., at Universal City when we were kids.
    Who didn’t love the Brady Bunch? I did! But I did write about it in my book, that in retrospect, except for maybe an incident here and there, it was the perfect Make America Great Again world, wasn’t it?! Lol

    Batman! My mother often took us past the building in Toluca Lake or somewhere where the Batman car was stored (along with other cars from shows; I think the Beverly Hillbilly jalopy might have been in there too). I didn’t really care, but bro loved it.

    Loved King of Queens–got to caption it for years, so whenever I came in and it was in my slot for the day, I was happy. Much happier than I should have been.

    Always hated Gomer Pyle.
    Always loved the Odd Couple apartment because it was as big as a freaking house! My husband says when he and his father went into old places like that to paint in the ’70s, that was common. Huge, sprawling places. And paying, you know, a relatively small amount. WOW. Them was da days.

    Thanks for the list!
    Thanks for listening!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. If more readers engaged with the topics brought forth on this blog like you do Stacey, I might actually be able to pretend some meaningful discussions were taking place!
    Another ‘Gold Standard’ comment from you Stacey. And I am so thankful.

    I would love you to continue telling that story re Henry ‘The Fonze’ Winkler.
    Also, if you were to chronicle your experiences of captioning THE KING OF QUEENS some time in a blog post, I think that would make for interesting reading.

    Late last year I bought the box set of BATMAN and have only now got around to working my way through (slowly) all three seasons. I used to watch it in the afternoons as a kid after I got home from school. Hilarious, spoofy and absolutely camp. And I couldn’t be happier or more entertained. For me it makes for a light and refreshing change to the whole ‘darker side’ of superheros and specifically Batman the studios have chosen to explore over the last three decades.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true Glen how Batman is extremely dark in modern movies. I recall in particular the series called Gotham, that I saw a few of, but it was so damn dark, i really was better off just turning it off and never returning. I have to wonder about the value of setting up such atmospheres, particularly how we hear about depression now, like we never did before.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fans of the ‘dark side’ will no doubt be looking forward to the upcoming Joaquin Phoenix starring JOKER – a film that some are predicting will be the highest grossing R rated movie of all-time.

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  3. Thanks, Glen. It’s fun to read your blogs, so responding isn’t an effort.
    Coming home from school and watching favorite TV shows….
    Ah, bliss.
    Such happy memories. I didn’t care about the Batman car very much, but I DID like that show a lot.

    So my husband bumps into Henry Winkler at a premier in uptown Manhattan and he said even though he was an adult and in his 20s at the time, for a split second, you know, it was The Fonz. He was standing in front of The Fonz. He was just frozen with amazement and awe and couldn’t do anything but stand there staring, and evidently Henry sort of sighed and said, “Oh, come on,” or something like that, not really impatiently but sort of and that broke the spell. I don’t think hubby has a grudge against Henry, though. He knew he was too old to be acting that way but it was an immediate, helpless, automatic response after years of conditioning to love and adore and respect The Fonz, lol !!

    A blog about captioning would be pretty boring, I think, but thanks for the idea.
    Once you said I should blog about all the celebrity encounters I’ve had, which I’ve thought of doing, because there HAVE been so many, growing up here (and even hubby had his in NYC; remember, he DOES have a grudge against Steve Buscemi, lol) but I just can’t justify why I would be doing it. Ha. I think, “Does anyone really care?” But then again, although I’m sure people care about racism and the evils of missionary work and how Trump is destroying the US and the domino effect is hitting the rest of the world…..they’re probably sick of all THAT too.

    Have you done an actors list yet? Your all-time favs? That could be a goodie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for telling the story about Henry Winkler, a person who I have admired from afar for many years. The idea of compling a list of my favorite actors is a good one and as such I have already set my busy elfs on to the research required to get that one kick-started.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yay! I wonder if Daniel Day Lewis, Forest Whitaker, Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Cate Blanchett or Hugo Weaving shall be among any of them…..? Hmm……….
    🙂

    Like

  6. I enjoyed reading your TV list Glen. Naturally my list, like I’m sure with everyone else, would be different, but how else would be ever get to think of such things if you didn’t lead the way first.

    I keep thinking how certain shows annoyed me in various ways, and like Stacey, I certainly didn’t like Gilmore Pyle. I never got into a guy being a total fool, but then again, Some Mothers Do Have Em was rather appealing.

    You made me think about McCales Navy. I think i watched it for the rare moments they manned a machine gun and brought down a Zero. Being such a fan of Battle of Britain, I always loved the thought of bringing down an enemy fighter plane, and probably still do today – been a while since I last saw Battle of Britain.

    If I ever got to make a list, I think I’d include Bellbird, which I was too young to really appreciate, but my older siblings and mother got into it, so I sort of went along with it, so it is somewhat ingrained in my psyche. Matlock, and Division 4 certainly shaped my youth too, I’m sure, and to think they were Australian programming!

    I loved your inclusion of Dr Who and Jon Pertwee. I would have chosen the doctor before him as there were more Darleks and Cybermen, and fewer Ogrons. I never really appreciated the more Earth-based Jon Pertwee.

    I’d better not ramble too much longer. Tax doth call. Still, it has been fun to digress. Thanks Glen!

    Cheers,

    Rog

    Liked by 2 people

  7. No such luck there Stacey.
    MATLOCK POLICE was an Australian made weekly tv drama that ran from 1971 – 1975, as distinct from the Andy Griffith starring American series MATLOCK (1986 – 1995).

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