Tim Goodman Picks the 5 Best Spy Shows of All Time

THR's chief TV critic reveals his favorites

This story first appeared in the Nov. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

With British spy miniseries The Game set to debut Wednesday night on BBC America, The Hollywood Reporter's chief TV critic Tim Goodman took the opportunity to pick his five favorite shows in the spy genre.

The Americans
The FX series is one of TV’s best dramas: Cold War tensions, great writing and incredible turns from Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys.

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Smiley's People
The 1982 BBC miniseries version of John le Carre's novel (starring Alec Guinness) is a pre-TV-renaissance example of the medium’s greatness.

Archer
Can the FX animated spy show that dabbles in the ridiculous be great TV? Yes — here, spoofing a serious genre pays off in comedy gold.

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Thunderbirds
This wildly influential British series aired in 1965 but is now a cult DVD binge-watching favorite, thanks in part to its gripping story arcs.

Mission: Impossible
In an era of great TV, it may not hold up, but this classic nevertheless has lasting appeal (hence the movie franchise) and is still worth a look.

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