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Television has radically changed since its "Golden Age" between the 1940s and 1960s. Writers take big leaps that change the game forever, actors are more involved with their characters and the world-building is literally out of this world. To nail down the best television shows takes a lot of screen time and plenty of love for the creative experience.

The current era of television is certainly an exciting trip. Scripted shows are bending genres and captivating viewers on streaming, with social media playing a hand in upping viewership. Even when social media wasn't a marketing tool or a place where fans could share their love for complicated characters, TV shows still impressed viewers spectacularly.


Some of the greatest works of television stem from the twisty, creepy aura of The Twilight Zone, all the way to Breaking Bad's meth-cooking cancer patient and Game of Thrones' fantastical landscape of winter, fire, and blood.

Updated on February 21, 2024 by Katie Doll: Television is more than just a screen used as a source of entertainment. It brings people together through a shared love of dynamic characters and captivating stories. Not everyone's list of the best TV shows of all time is going to be the same, but these are the ones that touched millions of lives and left a legacy for future shows to follow.


50 Sesame Street Is A Beloved Children's Series That Ages Gracefully

Sesame Street


A longtime favorite of children and adults, and a staple of PBS, "Sesame Street" bridges many cultural and educational gaps with a fun program. Big Bird leads a cast of characters teaching children numbers, colors and the alphabet.

Release Date July 21, 1969 Creator Joan Ganz Cooney, Lloyd Morrisett, Jim Henson Cast Jim Henson , Frank Oz , Caroll Spinney , Jerry Nelson , Roscoe Orman , Bob McGrath


Main Genre Educational Seasons 53 Studio Sesame Workshop Main Characters Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Elmo, Grover Number of Episodes 4600+ Network PBS , Max Streaming Service(s) Max

So few children's shows have an influence on Americans like Sesame Street does. Why else would people feel so comfortable opening up about their struggles to Elmo on Twitter/X? People trust Jim Henson's Muppets because they grew up with them. These Muppets never judge, nor criticize people for making mistakes. They teach preschoolers how to behave like good friends and develop their emotional intelligence. One could say adults should turn on an episode of Sesame Street from time to time.


Although it began in 1969, Sesame Street adapts to the changing culture and times in America to stay relevant. Adults rely on Sesame Street as an appropriate, educational program for their children, and it's never failed. There's an environment of love and acceptance when Sesame Street is on television, making it an excellent contender for one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

49 Sex And The City Gave Women The Spotlight In The Late 1990s-Early 2000s

Sex and the City



Four female New Yorkers gossip about their sex lives (or lack thereof) and find new ways to deal with being a woman in the late 1990s.

Release Date June 6, 1998 Creator Darren Star Cast Sarah Jessica Parker , Kim Cattrall , Cynthia Nixon , Kristin Davis Main Genre Comedy Seasons 6 Seasons Production Company Darren Star Productions, Home Box Office (HBO), Sex and the City Productions

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Sex and the City was one of the leading shows in the early 2000s to revolutionize the portrayal of women on television. Women were the lead and were unapologetic about their sex lives — a facet many series were still unafraid to hit at that time.


Some of its storylines and portrayals haven't aged well, but Sex and the City contributed to an ongoing dialogue about women's issues that continued in the spinoff And Just Like That...

The series starred Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw, a writer of a weekly column who becomes a fashion icon both on and off-screen. Within her friend group are the sexually confident Samantha, the relationship pessimist Miranda, and the privileged perfectionist Charlotte. Sex and the City documents all of their adventures having sex "like men" by sleeping whoever they want, when they want.


48 Jeopardy!'s Style And Game Is Unbeatable


A quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in the form of answers and must phrase their responses in the form of questions.

Release Date March 30, 1964 Creator Merv Griffin Cast Alex Trebek , Mayim Bialik , Ken Jennings , Art Fleming , Mel Brooks , Don Pardo , Johnny Gilbert

Jeopardy! is one of the longest-running game shows in television history. The series began airing in 1964 and remains as a fan-favorite show that gets the brain buzzing.


Throughout its 40 seasons, it's seen five hosts, the most iconic of which was Alex Trebek, who hosted the show for over 36 years until his death.

The game is set up quite simple, making it easy for viewers to relax. But once the ball gets rolling with the trivia, it's hard for viewers not to get involved themselves. It can become so competitive that viewers will end up binging several episodes in one sitting. Players on the show are given general knowledge clues in the form of answers and must phrase their response in the form of a question.

47 Ozark Is The Prestigious Series Netflix Deserves




A financial advisor drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder money to appease a drug boss.

Release Date July 21, 2017 Cast Jason Bateman , Laura Linney , Julia Garner , Charlie Tahan Main Genre Drama Seasons 4

People like to refer to Ozark as Netflix's Breaking Bad. As much of a compliment as that is, it doesn't really do Ozark justice as its own show. Yes, they're both crime dramas where a family man's morality slowly devolves the more he brushes with the law.


But Ozark deserves to be credited as an esteemed show all on its own, because the fact of the matter is, there's enough room for two prestigious crime dramas in this town.

The Netflix series takes place in the Lake of the Ozarks where Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) moves his family to launder money for a Mexican drug cartel. Over the course of the series, his family gets involved in the illegal business as they continue to make more enemies in their inner circle. Supporting (and sometimes competing against) Marty is Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner), who brings a fire to the grim story.


46 Modern Family Balances The Realistic Antics Of A Blended Family

Modern Family


Three different but related families face trials and tribulations in their own uniquely comedic ways.

Release Date September 23, 2009 Creator Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd Cast Ed O'Neill , Sofia Vergara , Julie Bowen , Ty Burrell , Jesse Tyler Ferguson , Eric Stonestreet , Sarah Hyland , Ariel Winter , Nolan Gould , Rico Rodriguez , Reid Ewing , Aubrey Anderson-Emmons Main Genre Comedy Seasons


11 Production Company Levitan / Lloyd, 20th Century Fox Television, Steven Levitan Productions, Picador Productions Number of Episodes 250

So often, sitcoms featuring families never expanded beyond the stereotypical straight couple with a stay-at-home housewife and the working man who's bringing home the dough. Modern Family looked further than that family (even if there is one like that included) to offer an honest and diverse perspective on the everyday American household. Filmed like a mockumentary, every season of Modern Family continually juggled three storylines with the utmost wit and hilarity that anyone can relate to.


Pritchett-Delgado Family

Jay Pritchett Gloria Delgado-Pritchett Manny Delgado Joe Pritchett

Pritchett-Tucker Family

Mitchell Pritchett Cameron Tucker Lily Tucker-Pritchett

Dunphy Family

Phil Dunphy Claire Dunphy (née Pritchett) Haley Dunphy Alex Dunphy Luke Dunphy

Modern Family follows three central families who are connected by blood or marriage. The show's patriarch, Jay Pritchett, and his two children, Mitch and Claire, have their own individual families. Their stories all intersect and reveal more background on the family dynamic. If there's one thing to take away from Modern Family, it's that families come in all shapes and sizes and don't need to stoop to offensive stereotypes to be funny.


45 Stranger Things' Nostalgia Sets Up A Thrilling Sci-Fi/Horror

Stranger Things


When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one strange little girl.

Release Date July 15, 2016 Creator Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer Cast Winona Ryder , David Harbour , Cara Buono , FInn Wolfhard , Millie Bobby Brown Main Genre Drama Seasons 5 Seasons Production Company 21 Laps Entertainment, Monkey Massacre, Netflix


Related REVIEW: Stranger Things Season 4 Vol. 2 Is the Beginning of the End Stranger Things Season 4 Vol. 2 marks the official beginning of the end, and that's both exciting and scary -- for fans and characters alike.

A recurring observation among modern television shows is that they rely on nostalgia to keep audiences watching. People love being reminded of the good ol' days, reminiscing about a time when technology and social media didn't hinge on the little things in life. Stranger Things does that throughout its four (nearly five) season run but tops it off with an exciting mystery to unpack.


Stranger Things Season


Season 1

The Demogorgon

Season 2

The Mind Flayer

Season 3

The Mind Flayer

Season 4


Using a 1980s setting, most of Stranger Things capitalizes on the Dungeons & Dragons craze of that era to give a familiarity to its original monstrous concepts. Stranger Things is still ranked lower than other sci-fi nostalgic series due to Seasons 2 through 4 failing to live up to the first season's oddities and intense plot. But even in its lowest moments, Stranger Things is Netflix's magnum opus.

44 Deadwood Was HBO's Hit Western Before Westworld




A show set in the late 1800s, revolving around the characters of Deadwood, South Dakota; a town of deep corruption and crime.

Release Date March 21, 2004 Creator David Milch Cast Timothy Olyphant , Ian McShane , Molly Parker , Brad Dourif , W. Earl Brown , John Hawkes , Paula Malcomson , Dayton Callie Main Genre Western Seasons 3

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Before Westworld's bewildering cowboy vs. robot narrative and Yellowstone's bloody succession, Deadwood was the Western drama to tune into. It unfortunately was stung by a devastating cancelation just after its third season, but HBO promised more was to come with two more movies in development.


It's a promise many television shows have made to make up for cutting the cord too soon, but HBO eventually delivered a 2-hour film conclusion in 2019 — even if it was 13 years later.

So why did Deadwood have everyone up in arms against HBO? Deadwood had everything people expect from a Western — a lawless gold-mining camp to attract money-grubbers, discourse on the colonization of Native American land in the American West, and, of course, gunslinging. Too bad HBO didn't realize Westerns would have a resurgence until over a decade later.

43 Six Feet Under Is A Daunting Study Of Grief In The Most Fitting Way


Six Feet UnderComedyDrama Release Date June 3, 2001 Cast Peter Krause , Michael C. Hall , Lauren Ambrose , Frances Conroy Seasons 5 Number of Episodes 63

Another success in HBO's books, Six Feet Under was doing the black comedy family drama before Succession was around. Six Feet Under takes a more devastating approach to odd family dynamics by setting the series in a funeral home.

The series features an ensemble cast featuring Peter Krause, Lauren Ambrose, Michael C. Hall, and Frances Conroy as a family who inherit the patriarch's funeral home after he dies.


Each episode's themes are determined by the type of death that's featured, whether it be a homicide or natural causes. Typically, Six Feet Under explores themes of grief, shame, and guilt in a gracious way, while also incorporating some well-timed humor.

42 Curb Your Enthusiasm Celebrates The Genius Of Larry David

Curb Your Enthusiasm


The life and times of Larry David and the predicaments he gets himself into with his friends and complete strangers.

Release Date October 15, 2000


Creator Larry David Cast Larry David , Cheryl Hines , Jeff Garlin Main Genre Comedy Seasons 12 Seasons Production Company Home Box Office (HBO), Production Partners

Curb Your Enthusiasm will soon be reaching its twelfth and final season, having been on since 2000. Larry David was already well-known for co-creating and writing the highly successful sitcom Seinfeld and plays on this persona in Curb Your Enthusiasm — a stellar picture of a man trying to recreate a once-in-a-lifetime success.

David portrays a fictionalized version of himself that displays an ignorance of social expectations and graces, leading to comedic situations and second-hand embarrassment.


After Curb Your Enthusiasm ends, it'll be hard to replicate such a mastery of blending fact and fiction as David does.

41 The Golden Girls Approached The Thrill Of Women's Lives Ahead Of Its Time

The Golden Girls


Four previously married women live together in Miami, sharing their various experiences together and enjoying themselves despite hard times.

Release Date September 14, 1985 Creator Susan Harris Cast Bea Arthur , Rue McClanahan , Betty White , Estelle Getty


Everyone knows the iconic theme song of The Golden Girls that when it turns on, no one can resist bursting out a "thank you for being a friend." The Golden Girls not only redefined what it meant to be a woman on television, but it also subverted expectations of older women in sitcoms. The four gal-pals aren't married, don't spend their time dealing with their kids' lives, and have casual sex with strangers sometimes. There was nothing else like it at the time.

The four Golden Girls became iconic in their own right: There was Bea Arthur's Dorothy, the sarcastic and practical one of the group. There's also her mother, Sophia (Estelle Getty), who always has a quick comeback and flaunts her Sicilian heritage.


Then there's Rose (Betty White) and Rue (Blanche), the former being the "dim-witted" comic relief and the latter being the promiscuous roommate. They truly defined what it meant to be a woman in the 1980s. The progressive interpretation of this generation of women makes The Golden Girls an unforgettable sitcom.

40 Cheers Celebrates The Simplicity Of Life



The regulars of the Boston bar "Cheers" share their experiences and lives with each other while drinking or working at the bar where everybody knows your name.


Release Date September 30, 1982 Cast Ted Danson , Kirstie Alley , Rhea Perlman , John Ratzenberger , George Wendt , Kelsey Grammer , Woody Harrelson , Shelley Long Main Genre Comedy Seasons 11

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At the end of the day, sometimes the best show on television can just be about a group of friends hanging out at a bar. The relationships between the main group of characters on Cheers is the driving force of the critically acclaimed sitcom, as they work through their day-to-day issues. Their dynamics help them bounce off each other, never singling out one person as the focal point.


Everybody had their story to tell, and it never overshadowed one over the other, earning a worthy spot on this list.

Over the years, Cheers added more main characters to its roster, but the original characters are what made viewers stay tuned for each episode in the beginning. Among those lurking at the bar were bartenders, cocktail waitresses, and regulars. The show produced three spinoffs, The Tortellis, Wings, and Frasier, the latter of which became an independent success of its own.

39 Bojack Horseman Explores Cynical Questions With A Talking Horse


BoJack Horseman


BoJack Horseman was the star of the hit television show "Horsin' Around" in the '80s and '90s, but now he's washed up, living in Hollywood, complaining about everything, and wearing colorful sweaters.

Release Date August 22, 2014 Cast Will Arnett , Amy Sedaris , Alison Brie , Aaron Paul , Paul F. Tompkins , Diedrich Bader Seasons 6

Related BoJack Horseman's Farewell Season Cements The Show's Legacy BoJack Horseman's final season sticks the landing, cementing the Netflix cartoon's place as one of the all-time greats.


Animated series typically have a rap of being childish, understated, and quick to the point. BoJack Horseman is anything but those things. The Netflix animated series has surprisingly realistic takes on heavy topics such as mental health, abortion, addiction, and the human condition.

With an anthropomorphic horse as its lead, BoJack Horseman explores the perils of Hollywood through a washed-up sitcom star of the 1990s. BoJack aims to make a comeback in Hollywoo (an alternative take on Hollywood) while also struggling with his mental health and addiction. He's also wrapped up in conflicts with his agent and former girlfriend, his freeloading roommate and former rival.


38 Doctor Who Constantly Reinvents And Regenerates... But It Always Works

Doctor Who


The adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer known as the Doctor and his companions from planet Earth.

Release Date March 26, 2005 Creator Sydney Newman Cast Jodie Whittaker , Peter Capaldi , pearl mackie , Matt Smith , David Tennant , Christopher Eccleston , Sylvester McCoy , Tom Baker , Paul McGann , Peter Davison


Related Does Doctor Who Have the Perfect Answer to Star Trek's Continuity Problems? Star Trek and Doctor Who are two universes with 60 years of history behind them, and the BBC series may have the answer to Paramount's canon problems.

There's no show quite like Doctor Who that's reinvented itself so many times. The shtick with Doctor Who is that the main character, mostly known as just "The Doctor," is replaced by a new actor every few seasons, and the regeneration is written into the storyline when the Doctor faces mortal danger. The new face allows for a fresh start with new companions and stories, culminating in a cycle starting in 1963.


The Doctor Actor


William Hartnell


Patrick Troughton


Jon Pertwee


Tom Baker


Peter Davison


Colin Baker


Sylvester McCoy


Paul McGann


Christopher Eccleston


David Tennant


Matt Smith


Peter Capaldi


Jodie Whittaker


David Tennant


Ncuti Gatwa


So far, there have been 15 Doctors on the show, the most current being Ncuti Gatwa. In each reincarnation, the Doctor is interpreted as a Time Lord alien who travels through time with the TARDIS to prevent evil forces from hurting innocent people. They make companions — usually humans from Earth — with whom they form endearing and memorable relationships.


37 Chernobyl Makes A Thriller Out Of A Real Disaster

ChernobylMiniseriesDisasterHistory Release Date May 6, 2019 Creator Craig Mazin Cast Jared Harris , Stellan Skarsgård , Emily Watson , Paul Ritter Seasons 1 Number of Episodes 5 Streaming Service(s) HBO Max

Chernobyl was a catastrophic disaster in 1986. The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant suffered an accident that killed people immediately and proceeded to kill hundreds more in the coming years due to cancer and other illnesses the radiation inflicted on workers, residents, and first responders.


The drama miniseries named after the disaster gets to the root of the problem, which ultimately boils down to terrible human mistakes and ignorance.

Chernobyl is a five-hour gripping piece that does justice to a nation defined by a singular incident. The series is seldom positive, as it peels back the layers to the devastating truth behind the accident, but the bleakness doesn't drag the story. It instead pushes it towards the truth and tells the stories of the brave scientists and responders who risked their lives to contain the accident.

36 Band Of Brothers Brilliantly Captures The Tragedy And Camaraderie Of War


Band of Brothers


The story of Easy Company of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division and their mission in World War II Europe, from Operation Overlord to V-J Day.

Release Date September 6, 2001 Creator Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg Cast Rick Gomez , Kirk Acevedo , Elon Bailey , Dale Dye Main Genre Drama Seasons 1

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Before Chernobyl, Band of Brothers was the HBO miniseries that left people in shambles. The 2001 10-episode series was created by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who both worked on the World War II film Saving Private Ryan.


The series was decorated with critical acclaim and awards, winning Emmys and Golden Globes.

The highly emotional saga features an ensemble cast of characters who portray soldiers in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division during World War II. Throughout the series, viewers come to understand these characters and the conditions they're forced under in the war. Most importantly, as a miniseries that's over 20 years old, Band of Brothers has held up quite well. There's a fine line in depicting war, as there's a delicate sociopolitical nature that can't be ignored, no matter how painful it is. But Band of Brothers puts it all on the table, even the ugliness.


35 Avatar: The Last Airbender Puts Other Children's Shows To Shame

Avatar: The Last Airbender


In a war-torn world of elemental magic, a young boy reawakens to undertake a dangerous mystic quest to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar, and bring peace to the world.

Release Date February 21, 2005 Cast Dee Bradley Baker , Mae Whitman , Jack De Sena , Dante Basco Main Genre Animation Seasons 3


Related 10 Best Multi-Episode Avatar: the Last Airbender Arcs, Ranked Avatar the Last Airbender is an epic show for many reasons, including its detailed arcs that can take several episodes to conclude.

Children's shows hardly ever make it on the "greatest shows of all time" lists. Most of the time, these types of shows are written to keep children stimulated and distract them long enough, so parents can have time for themselves. But in the rare case of Avatar: The Last Airbender, it's engaging for everybody — the story is just that exciting.

The Nickelodeon show takes no time to show the costly effects of war and genocide on all civilians.


These mature concepts may go over the heads of young children, but that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't effective. The series uses the backdrop of an imperialistic war to deliver an emotional story of Aang, the young Avatar who can bend all four elements. So few children's shows have yet to replicate the mastery of conveying such dark themes in a series appropriate for every age.

34 Arrested Development Remains A Cult Classic Comedy

Arrested Development


Level-headed son Michael Bluth takes over family affairs after his father is imprisoned.


But the rest of his spoiled, dysfunctional family are making his job unbearable.

Release Date November 2, 2003 Cast Jason Bateman , Michael Cera , Portia de Rossi , Will Arnett , Alia Shawkat , Tony Hale , David Cross , Jeffrey Tambor Main Genre Comedy Seasons 5

Before Schitt's Creek, Arrested Development had a rich family who lost everything and was forced to cope with going bankrupt. In a similar vein to Game of Thrones, fans of the series felt that the revived fourth and fifth seasons on Netflix failed to capture the tone of the series before it was canceled. But even if the last couple of seasons didn't measure up to much, the first three seasons are brilliant enough to override a dull ending.


Arrested Development juggles a lot of characters at once when the patriarch of a wealthy Orange County family is sent to jail. But each character is so incredibly distinct from each other that it never feels messy or convoluted. What makes Arrested Development one of the best comedy shows is its ruthlessness to laugh at its own characters while carrying multiple subplots that pay off exceptionally well.

33 True Detective Daringly Reinvents Itself Every Season

True Detective



Anthology series in which police investigations unearth the personal and professional secrets of those involved, both within and outside the law.

Release Date January 12, 2014 Cast Matthew McConaughey , Woody Harrelson , Rachel McAdams , Colin Farrell , Mahershala Ali , Ray Fisher Main Genre Crime Seasons 4 Creator Nic Pizzolatto Streaming Service(s) HBO Max

Related REVIEW: True Detective Season 3 is an Engaging Mix of Old and New HBO's noir anthology series returns, as Mahershala Ali leads the cast in the latest story from creator and sole writer Nic Pizzalatto.


Crime dramas never go out of style on television. Usually, they're stylized as a procedural, such as Law and Order or Criminal Minds. HBO's True Detective accomplishes something different by creating an anthology that focuses on a different crime each season, with different detectives solving the case.

True Detective's Leads Each Season:




Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson


Colin Farrel, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch


Mahershala Ali


Jodie Foster, Kali Reis

The second season of the series fell a bit flat, not being able to live up to its phenomenal first season featuring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.


Yet, viewers don't let the second season stop them from recommending the series and continuing onto the third season, which picked back up with Mahershala Ali as its lead. The neo-noir, Southern Gothic style of this melancholic drama creates a tense narrative that slowly unfolds over each episode, building up to a finale that never stumbles.

32 The Crown Follows Queen Elizabeth II Through The Decades

The Crown


Follows the political rivalries and romances of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped Britain for the second half of the 20th century.


Release Date November 4, 2016 Cast Claire Foy , Olivia Colman , Imelda Staunton , Matt Smith , Tobias Menzies , Jonathan Pryce , Vanessa Kirby , Helena Bonham Carter , Lesley Manville , Victoria Hamilton , Marion Bailey , Marcia Warren Main Genre Biography Seasons 6 Seasons Website Cinematographer Stuart Howell, Adriano Goldman Creator Peter Morgan Distributor Netflix Main Characters Peter Townsend, Prince Philip, Anthony Eden, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Queen Mary, Prince Charles, Princess Margaret Producer Andy Stebbing, Martin Harrison, Michael Casey, Andrew Eaton, Oona O'Beirn, Faye Ward


Production Company Sony Pictures Television, Left Bank Pictures Writers Peter Morgan

Related The Crown Season 4 Moves into Modern British Royal History With Compelling Results The fourth season of The Crown introduces familiar figures Margaret Thatcher and Diana Spencer, leading to a series that's more engrossing than ever.

People have always been fascinated by the royal family, which Netflix took advantage of. Love them or hate them, the royal family has had a fascinating life that, for the most part, people still do not know much about due to high-level secrecy.


The Crown feels like unauthorized access into the lives of some of the most prestigious individuals in the world, which is entirely why people still click "play" for six seasons.

Actor Changes Throughout Six Seasons of The Crown

Queen Elizabeth II

Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Imelda Staunton

Prince Philip

Matt Smith, Tobias Menzies, Jonathan Pryce

Princess Margaret

Vanessa Kirby, Helena Bonham Carter, Lesley Manville

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

Victoria Hamilton, Marion Bailey, Marcia Warren

Princess Diana

Emma Corrin, Elizabeth Debicki

Prince Charles

Josh O'Connor, Dominic West

Spanning across many decades, The Crown is known for switching actors every two seasons to represent the aging process.


The first two seasons, starring Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, take place from 1947 to 1964 as the new queen establishes her rule in the United Kingdom. The final two seasons notably have a shift in narrative as it focuses less on the Queen and more on Diana, Princess of Wales, as she copes under the pressures of royalty.

31 The X-Files Left A Mark On Fandoms And The Supernatural Genre

The X-Files


Two F.B.I. Agents, Fox Mulder the believer and Dana Scully the skeptic, investigate the strange and unexplained, while hidden forces work to impede their efforts.


Release Date September 10, 1993 Cast David Duchovny , Gillian Anderson , Mitch Pileggi , William B. Davis Main Genre Sci-Fi Seasons 11

Procedurals have their place in the television world, but they hardly stand tall against gripping dramas such as Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, and Game of Thrones. The X-Files was no different from other procedurals in that it featured a "monster of the week," similar to Supernatural. But it did reimagine the TV procedural by adding an overarching story of a planned alien invasion.

As a supernatural series, it kept viewers on the edge of their seats each week, hoping to learn more about the alien storyline. But it was also a slow-burn romance saga between the two leads, Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. The "will-they, won't-they" dynamic between the FBI agents inspired the term "shipping," a commonly used word in fandoms today. To say The X-Files had an impact on fandom culture is quite an understatement.

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