Jesse Wente's Top Ten TV Shows of All Time

Jesse Wente Screenboy Jesse Wente takes on another fool's errand. Yes, it's Jesse's Top Ten TV Shows of All Time!! With some caveats -- Not including miniseries, because there are too many. Or reality shows, because they would never makes this list anyway. Also no late night talk shows because I can't choose between Johnny or Dave (or Merv).


1/ The Simpsons - this shouldn't be an argument; it will become longest running show in history next season, opened doors for prime time animation, cultural influence is immense. Yes the movie was a letdown, but the show is unmatched.

2/ The Sopranos - watching it again reminds you just how groundbreaking this show was; best writing on tv except for the show above it on this list.

3/ Hill Street Blues - changed tv police dramas forever, still stands up today.

4/ M*A*S*H - most watched series finale in history, show broke tv rules and rewrote them - political and funny, this one also comes in a glorious box set edition.

5/ The Wire - another of the recent cable shows that elevated the entire format, simply amazing.

6/ Saturday Night Live - hugely influential, made sketch comedy subversive and voice for counter culture, launched numerous careers, from Chevy Chase and Bill Murray to Will Ferrell and Tina Fey.

7/ The Twilight Zone - remarkable series that still holds up, challenged conceptions of what tv could be, and set groundwork for later shows from The X-Files to Heroes.

8/ The Muppets/Sesame Street - Jim Henson gets a double shot for his two greatest creations, shows that forever changed the way people see children's entertainment, he was one of tv's greatest geniuses.

9/ Law and Order - will become second longest running series next year, updated the police procedural for modern era, there would be no CSI without this show.

10/ The Munsters - because I can - this show kept me company during many sick days when I was a kid - I still love it - way better than The Addams Family.

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