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The Hollywood Reporter asked more than 2,800 industry people to pick their favorite TV series of all time. A list of 100 sounds like a lot of shows — and it is. But still, many beloved shows didn’t make the cut. Here are 10 shocking omissions and where they finished in the voting.
No. 101: Fringe (Fox, 2008-13)
The show about multiple dimensions and other weird happenings was the first one out, just missing the final slot on the list, which is occupied by Desperate Housewives.
No. 112: The Cosby Show (NBC, 1984-90)
If the poll had been done two years ago, this show likely would have landed in the top 20, maybe even the top 10. Still, affection for the show is so strong that even after some 50 women have accused eponymous star Bill Cosby of sexual assault, it almost made the list.
No. 120: Dallas (CBS, 1978-91)
In the summer of 1980, America was halfway through the Iranian hostage crisis, in the midst of a recession and at the start of a defining presidential election (Jimmy Carter vs. Ronald Reagan), but the thing that most Americans wanted to know was who shot J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman). The Nov. 21, 1980, episode that resolved the cliffhanger was watched by more than 90 million Americans, representing 53 percent of all households — a record surpassed only by M*A*S*H’s 1983 finale.
No. 126: Miami Vice (NBC, 1984-90)
The Miami-set detective show started with a two-word idea from NBC head Brandon Tartikoff: “MTV cops.” It introduced a style so unique (lots of pastels, music, quick cuts and beard stubble) that People magazine wrote of Vice, it was the “first show to look really new and different since color TV was invented.”
No. 127: NYPD Blue (ABC, 1993-2005)
With its boundary-pushing use of nudity and obscenity and its multiepisode storylines, the David Milch–Steven Bochco show was a forerunner to today’s golden age of television.
No. 136: Beverly Hills 90210 (Fox, 1990-2000)
Donna Martin graduated — just not to Hollywood’s 100 favorite television shows. Somehow the show that gave us Brandon and Dylan’s sideburns, Brenda losing her virginity at the prom and the Peach Pit didn’t make the cut. Amazingly, no show from uber-producer Aaron Spelling cracked the top 100.
No. 143: The Larry Sanders Show (HBO, 1992-98)
This omission is a genuine head-scratcher. Garry Shandling’s satire of late-night talk shows and their insecure hosts is simply brilliant. And before he was Maura Pfefferman on Transparent, Jeffrey Tambor killed as sidekick Hank “Hey Now” Kingsley. If you’ve never seen it, watch it. If you have, watch it again. Even though it has been off the air for more than 17 years, it is still fresh and funny.
No. 145: The Andy Griffith Show (CBS, 1960-68)
Is there a person in America who can’t hum the theme song to this beloved ’60s classic? Andy Griffith featured one of the best buddy pairings in TV history (Griffith’s Sheriff Andy Taylor and Don Knotts’ Deputy Barney Fife) and introduced Ron Howard to America as Opie Taylor.
No. 160 C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS, 2004-2015)
Just weeks ahead of getting a final two-hour sendoff (Sept. 27), the polished procedural with the inventive camera work (bullets whizzing through a body in slow-motion) didn’t get enough love from Hollywood to crack the top 100 even though it was one of the top-three-rated shows for five seasons and spurred a boom in job applications for crime-scene technicians.
No. 162: The Honeymooners (CBS, 1955-56)
The show about two couples who lived next door to each other and were best friends changed early television by making the main characters working-class and their lives less than ideal. Jackie Gleason’s Ralph Kramden with his signature lines (“Why I oughta!” and “One of these days: pow!”) is one of the most iconic characters in television history.
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