Pilot episode: March 22, 1995
What it is about: The show focuses on and follows the life of Quinn Mallory, a genius who discovers a way to travel to different dimensions and parallel worlds. However, amid travelling, Quinn and his friends get lost and stuck in the parallel universe. While looking for their way home, they also get involved in a rescue mission of the biggest scale.
36. Lois & Clark
Pilot episode: September 12, 1993
What it is about: Based on Superman, this TV series gives more focus to the ironic love triangle that occurs between Lois Lane, Clark Kent, and Superman. In the backdrop of this love story is the consistent and persistent efforts of evil Lex Luther to destroy the world, which Superman must thwart.
35. 7th Heaven
Pilot episode: August 26, 1996
What it is about: This TV series primarily revolves around the struggles of a couple, Eric and Annie Camden, a minister and a stay at home mum, respectively, in raising all of their seven children. The show focuses on the challenges they need to face – from regular toddler struggles to complicated young adult drama.
34. Touched by an Angel
Pilot episode: September 21, 1994
What it is about: Another Christian-themed family TV show, this series focuses on three angels, Tess, Monica, and Andrew, whose mission is to lead people closer to God. However, the series shows not only people learning lessons but also the angels learning from their mistakes as well.
33. Dharma & Greg
Pilot episode: September 24, 1997
What it is about: Polar opposites Dharma and Greg get married too soon despite their huge differences. For one, Dharma is a yogi and dog trainer while Greg is a lawyer who graduated from Harvard. Add to the mix the two sets of parents, one hippy and the other socialite snobs, and you’ll be following a funny love story that is truly against all odds.
32. Ned and Stacey
Pilot episode: September 11, 1995
What it is about: The 90s is surely a decade full of character name titles, and Ned and Stacey is one of them. The show focuses on the marriage of two characters, which is actually a marriage done for convenience and not out of love. Ned marries Stacey for a promotion while Stacey marries Ned to move out of her parents’ house.
Pilot episode: October 7, 1998
What it is about: Charmed revolves around the lives of three sisters, Phoebe, Piper, and Paige, who discover that they are witches – the good kind. Set in San Francisco, they find themselves tasked to fight evil, and while they possess different individual powers, the best way to defeat the enemy is to fight together.
30. Family Matters
Pilot episode: September 22, 1989
What it is about: The sitcom focuses on the life of Carl Winslow, who is a cop and, at home, has to deal with not only his wife and kids but also his mum and his sister-in-law. He also finds himself dealing with a nerdy kid next door, Urkel, who doesn’t seem to know that he’s not part of the family.
Pilot episode: August 11, 1991
What it is about: A cartoon show that revolves around a group of babies (and toddlers) and pretty much focuses on their perspective, Rugrats attempts to discuss the mysteries of the adult world with, ironically, clueless adults. There’s also a theme of bullying as Angelica bullies her younger cousin and friends.
Pilot episode: September 23, 1995
What it is about: J.A.G., which stands for “Judge Advocate General,” follows the life of Harmon “Harm” Rabb Jr., a former pilot turned lawyer who is now working for said division of the military. His primary responsibility is to work on military-related cases and crimes, and he has to work closely with Lt. Col. Sarah Mackenzie.
Pilot episode: September 29, 1998
What it is about: The show follows the life of the title character, Felicity, who used to be a sheltered girl until her high school graduation. Beginning with her decision to go to New York for college to follow her high school crush, she begins to break out of her parents’ control, makes decisions for herself, and ultimately discovers life.
26. The Ren & Stimpy Show
Pilot episode: August 11, 1991
What it is about: The second animated show on our list, The Ren & Stimpy Show features Ren, an unstable chihuahua, and Stimpy (whose full name is Stimpson J. Cat), a dimwitted cat. The show follows their adventures, or should I say misadventures, involving a smorgasbord of animal troubles.
25. The Powerpuff Girls
Pilot episode: November 18, 1998
What it is about: Perhaps one of the most well-loved animated series ever made, The Powerpuff Girls is about the Powerpuff girls, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. They were made by Professor Utonium who accidentally created them with superpowers. Despite being in kindergarten, they constantly save Townsville from the evil.
Pilot episode: October 6, 1999
What it is about: Set in the city of Roswell in New Mexico, the show follows the lives of some Roswell citizens who are not supposed to be on Earth. Max and Isabel Evans and Michael Guerin are not ordinary teenagers; instead, they are half-humans and half-aliens with extraordinary powers who must live among humans.
23. Mad About You
Pilot episode: September 23, 1992
What it is about: Set in New York, the series follows the lives of married couple Paul and Jamie Buchman. Paul, who is a film maker, and Jamie, who works as a public relations officer, lead a fairly ordinary life as a couple. However, they bicker and argue about everything down to the most mundane of things.
22. Murphy Brown
Pilot episode: November 14, 1988
What it is about: This TV series follows the life of the titular character, Murphy Brown, who is the star reporter of FYI, a news magazine. While she is dedicated and great at what she does, sometimes she can be quite stubborn and bossy, which results to some rifts in the office. But she also struggles with personal challenges like breast cancer.
21. Melrose Place
Pilot episode: July 8, 1992
What it is about: Another drama that focuses on the lives of young adults, this show, set in Los Angeles, revolves around the lives of young adults living in an apartment complex called “Melrose Place.” Multiple conflicts arise every now and then leading to manipulative schemes and even murderous plots.
20. The Wonder Years
Pilot episode: January 31, 1988
What it is about: Told through the eyes of the main character, Kevin Arnold, The Wonder Years is set in the American suburbs in the 1960s and 1970s and chronicles his childhood and teenage years. The show is a mix of humour and drama as it also includes Kevin’s heartaches, heartbreaks, and obstacles.
19. Married… with Children
Pilot episode: April 5, 1987
What it is about: There were not a lot of TV shows from the 90s that largely focused on dysfunctional families, but Married… With Children is one of those that paved the way. Featuring a misogynistic husband, a bum housewife, and kids who don’t have a lot going for them, this sitcom is both funny and unnerving.
18. LA Law
Pilot episode: September 15, 1986
What it is about: This legal series revolves around the lives of the people working in a major Los Angeles McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak law firm. Handling high-profile crimes and cases, the courtroom, aside from the law offices, is the highlight of the show, but the drama often involves the characters’ personal lives.
17. Northern Exposure
Pilot episode: July 12, 1990
What it is about: The show centres on the life of Joel Fleischman, a new doctor from Columbia University medical school. To pay for his education, he accepts an assignment to work in the remote town of Cicely in Alaska. At first, he wants nothing to do with the town and its people, but soon, he begins to like them.
16. Beavis and Butt-head
Pilot episode: March 8, 1993
What it is about: Way back when MTV was still cool, Beavis and Butt-head gave many teenagers – and adults – across the world a dimwitted duo to follow and, eventually, a new addition to pop culture. Beavis and Butt-head are teenage pals who watch music videos and give their own silly, child-like running commentaries.
15. Home Improvement
Pilot episode: September 17, 1991
What it is about: The show follows the life of Tim “The Toolman” Taylor and his family. Tim hosts a show called “Tool Time,” but the reality is he couldn’t be more useless when fixing things at home. Set in suburban Detroit, Tim often has to rely on his smart neighbour, Wilson Wilson, to solve their problems.
Pilot episode: October 18, 1988
What it is about: The sitcom just basically revolves around the lives of the titular character, Roseanne Conner, and her family. What makes it different is that it is just one of the few shows that focus on the lives of an ordinary-looking blue-collar family whose daily issues and struggles involve making ends meet – not an oft-discussed topic during the time.
13. Freaks & Geaks
Pilot episode: September 25, 1999
What it is about: The show is about different cliques in high school featuring, in particular, two siblings, Lindsay and Sam Weir, who belong to different groups: the freaks and the geeks. Set in McKinley High in the 1980s, the show follows their navigation throughout high school and how they cope with problems many teenagers face.
Pilot episode: September 30, 1982
What it is about: Cheers is a bar in Boston that is owned and run by Sam Malone, who used to be the relief pitcher for Boston Red Sox. Out of sympathy, he hires Diane Chambers as a server, but they could not be more different. They are clearly attracted to each other, but they love to hate each other, causing constant bickering.
11. The X Files
Pilot episode: September 10, 1993
What it is about: The pop culture phenomenon that is The X-Files is one of the longest running science fiction TV series in television history. The show is about two FBI special agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who investigate the X-Files or crimes and cases of the paranormal and supernatural kind.
10. Everybody Loves Raymond
Pilot episode: September 13, 1996
What it is about: The series primarily focuses on the title character, Raymond Barone, who is a successful sports writer. A family guy, he often resorts to humour when issues arise much to his wife’s dismay. He also needs to deal with his family, including a meddling mum, who just lives across the street.
9. Ally McBeal
Pilot episode: September 8, 1997
What it is about: This legal comedy show revolves around the life – and fantasies – of Ally McBeal, a new lawyer who joins a law firm which also employs none other than her ex-boyfriend Billy Thomas – and his new wife. Apart from the complication of the situation, she also needs to deal with the other oddballs in the office.
8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pilot episode: March 10, 1997
What it is about: One of the most iconic and popular vampire-themed TV shows ever made, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is about Buffy Summers, who is chosen to do a difficult mission: seek vampires and demons and destroy them. The mission becomes even more difficult and complicated when she gets involved with a vampire.
7. Twin Peaks
Pilot episode: April 8, 1990
What it is about: Nothing is ever what it seems in Twin Peaks. When FBI Agent Dale Cooper is assigned to investigate the murder of teenager Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks, he discovers that there is more than meets the eye. A web of mysteries surrounds the town and it is up to him to discover the truth.
Pilot episode: September 22, 1994
What it is about: Perhaps one of the most well-loved show to ever appear on television history, Friends is a sitcom that revolves around the lives of six friends: Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey. Set in an apartment complex in New York City, along with the now iconic Central Perk cafe, it represents the struggles and successes of many adults all over the world.
5. South Park
Pilot episode: August 13, 1997
What it is about: No other animated series has probably outdone South Park when it comes to offending people. Following the adventures of grade-schoolers Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman, it is not afraid to mock influential people from controversial celebrities like Justin Bieber to powerful figures like Saddam Hussein.
Pilot episode: September 16, 1993
What it is about: Frasier follows the life of Dr. Frasier Crane, a Boston therapist, who moves to Seattle for a fresh beginning. Despite being a successful therapist and even having his own advice radio talk show, he appears to be unable to solve his personal problems involving his family and friends.
Pilot episode: September 19, 1994
What it is about: Set in County General Hospital in Chicago, this medical drama features the emergency doctors’ dilemmas that occur in the hospital, which may involve their professional and/or personal crises. The themes of life and death, as well as the everyday stress in the ER, make for an emotional roller coaster.
Pilot episode: July 5, 1989
What it is about: A more “mature,” more “neurotic” and even quirkier version of Friends, Seinfeld is a sitcom also set in New York that follows the lives of stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his equally funny and single circle of friends George Costanza, Elaine Benes, and Cosmo Kramer.
1. The Simpsons
Pilot episode: December 17, 1989
What it is about: The longest running animated series in TV history, The Simpsons has made a mark by combining ordinary and dysfunctional and turning it into a satire. Set in Springfield, this animated comedy revolves around the lives of the Simpsons – Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie – and the people around them.
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