The 50 Most Popular TV Shows of All Time

According to a YouGov poll, these are Americans' favorite TV series.


Chances are you have a favorite TV series—and it's probably not the same as what your friends would pick. With so many shows to choose from, and so many different tastes, it would be impossible to find one consensus choice. That doesn't mean some series aren't more universally well-liked than others, as a poll of Americans' television tastes found. In fact, based on polling, you can easily determine the most popular TV shows of all time.

We drew our ranking from a YouGov poll, which lists the percentage of respondents who liked any given show. In order to keep things clear, we combined any entries that seemed to be different phrasings of the same series and went with the most likely pick. Did your favorite show make the cut? Read on to find out. And for a ranking of more recent series, these are The 50 Best Netflix Shows Ever, According to Critics.


still from columbo
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

Before the detectives from Law & Order were solving crimes, it was tough to compete with LAPD homicide detective Frank Columbo, memorably played by Peter Falk.

Laverne & Shirley

laverne and shirley
CBS Television Distribution

Laverne & Shirley may have started off as a spin-off of Happy Days, but the winning dynamic between the title characters—Penny Marshall's Laverne and Cindy Williams' Shirley—made it a hit of its own. And for some more recent favorites, revisit these 20 Beloved TV Shows You Won't Believe Are 20 Years Old.

Mork and Mindy

mork and mindy
CBS Television Distribution

Another Happy Days spin-off that found major success outside of the original series, Mork and Mindy let audiences fall in love with Robin Williams, who played an alien from the planet Ork.

The Brady Bunch

the brady bunch
CBS Television Distribution

The pinnacle of '70s nostalgiaThe Brady Bunch was the story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls—and, well, you know the rest. And for a look back at the grooviest decade, check out these 50 Things Only People Who Lived in the 1970s Will Remember.

Everybody Loves Raymond

everybody loves raymond
CBS Television Distribution

With 210 episodes airing over the course of nine seasons, Everybody Loves Raymond's title might have been a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Leave It to Beaver

leave it to beaver

Few series capture quintessential 1950s Americana like Leave It to Beaver, a very wholesome look at the Cleaver family and youngest son Theodore—better known as "The Beaver."

Married… with Children

married with children
Sony Pictures Television

On the less wholesome end of the spectrum, there's the Bundy family, led by Ed O'Neill's Al and Katey Sagal's Peggy. And for more series that ran for many years, these are The 40 Longest-Running American TV Shows of All Time.

All in the Family

all in the family
Sony Pictures Television

Dealing with the controversial issues of the day, All in the Family was a vehicle for creator Norman Lear's incisive social commentary, filtered through the bigoted mouth of Archie Bunker.

The Simpsons

the simpsons

The longest-running scripted primetime series of all time, The Simpsons has aired nearly 700 episodes about everyone's favorite yellow-hued family.


still from seinfeld
Sony Pictures Television

Seinfeld changed the course of the modern sitcom by being a "show about nothing," focusing on life's little annoyances and finding plenty of fans along the way. And for more fun content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Little House on the Prairie

little house on the prairie
Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Based on the autobiographical book series by Laura Ingalls WilderLittle House on the Prairie ran for nearly a decade, starring Melissa Gilbert as Laura herself.

The X-Files

the x-files
20th Television

Skeptic Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) teamed up with alien enthusiast Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) in this long-running sci-fi series that spawned two feature films and a disappointing reboot.

The Jeffersons

the jeffersons
Sony Pictures Television

Archie Bunker would be sour to learn that audiences preferred The Jeffersons, a spin-off of All in the Family in which the titular family moved on up to the East Side from Queens.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Mary Tyler Moore in The Mary Tyler Moore Show
SFM Entertainment

Starring Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards, The Mary Tyler Moore Show was groundbreaking for centering an independent, unmarried female character in the '70s.

America’s Funniest Home Videos

america's funniest home videos
Disney-ABC Domestic Television

From Bob Saget to Tom Bergeron to Alfonso RibeiroAmerica's Funniest Home Videos has showcased the best and worst of embarrassing physical comedy caught on camera for the past 30 years.


still from house
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

Given how mean the title character of Dr. Gregory House was, it's impressive that Americans still rate this series so highly—a testament to star Hugh Laurie's undeniable charm.

60 Minutes

60 minutes logo

Sorry, The Simpsons: When it comes to all primetime shows (including unscripted series), 60 Minutes—which has been airing since 1968—is the longest-running.

Sanford and Son

sanford and son
Sony Pictures Television

Another Norman Lear series that earned kudos for tackling tough subject matter, Sanford and Son was also hugely influential as a Black-led sitcom, predating The Jeffersons by a few years.

Curious George

curious george
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

Whether they're fans of the children's books, the '80s series, or the current iteration, Americans can't get enough of this inquisitive ape and his keeper, The Man with The Yellow Hat.

The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

the tonight show with johnny carson
ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

You might have a current favorite talk show host, but it's tough to beat Johnny Carson, who defined the genre for the majority of Americans.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

alfred hitchcock presents
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

The Master of Suspense made plenty of critically-acclaimed films, but Alfred Hitchcock also gave us this spooky anthology series that ran from 1955 to 1965.

The Price Is Right

the price is right

It's not surprising that a large number of Americans rate The Price Is Right as one of their favorite shows when so many of us grew up watching it while home from school on sick days.

Law & Order

still from law and order
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

While the still-running Special Victims Unit might get most of the attention nowadays, it doesn't get much better than the O.G. Law & Order, a formative procedural series.

The Munsters

the munsters
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

The Addams family may have been creepy and kooky, but the Munsters are ultimately more beloved when it comes to American audiences.

Looney Toons

looney tunes
Warner Bros. Animation

Produced during the golden age of American animation, Looney Tunes introduced some of pop culture's most enduring characters: Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, and, of course, Bugs Bunny.

The Beverly Hillbillies

the beverly hillbillies
CBS Television Distribution

Before the Jeffersons moved on up, the Clampett family struck oil and headed to Beverly Hills to start a new life for themselves in this iconic sitcom.

Family Feud

family feud
CBS Television Distribution

Another game show that's delighted audiences for decades, Family Feud now gets a lot of attention for the show's hilariously wrong answers—and host Steve Harvey's priceless reactions.

Home Improvement

still from home improvement
Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Tim Allen starred as Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor on this family sitcom that made him one of the most famous actor-comedians of the '90s.

Gilligan’s Island

gilligan's island
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

From Sherwood Schwartz, creator of The Brady Bunch, came this equally kitschy series about a gang of castaways trying and failing to escape the island where they've been shipwrecked.


Nicholas Colasanto, John Ratzenberger, and George Wendt in Cheers
CBS Television Distribution

The workplace sitcom may have peaked with Cheers, thanks to the memorable characters and the will-they-or-won't-they romance between Ted Danson's Sam Malone and Shelley Long's Diane Chambers.


still from bewitched
Screen Gems

With the twitch of her nose, witch Samantha could make magic happen, and Elizabeth Montgomery cast a spell on audiences in the role.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Alfonso Ribeiro and Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Warner Bros.

This fish-out-of-water comedy helped make Will Smith a household name, and gave us one of the greatest theme songs of all time.

Happy Days

happy days
CBS Television Distribution

Given that its most popular spin-offs made the list, it's only fair that Happy DaysGarry Marshall's nostalgic look at the '50s and '60s—earns its due.


still from mash
20th Television

Based on the Robert Altman film of the same name, M*A*S*H is best known for expertly blending comedy and drama, and for its record-breaking series finale.


still from lassie
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

One of the most famous TV characters of all time isn't little Timmy, but his dog, a Collie named Lassie who always saves the day.

The Carol Burnett Show

The Carol Burnett Show
CBS Television Distribution

Carol Burnett is best known for this series that bears her name, which had incalculable influence on the sketch comedy and variety shows that followed.

Wheel of Fortune

wheel of fortune
CBS Television Distribution

The gameplay is simple, but audiences have never tired of watching Vanna White turn those letters as contestants spin that wheel.

I Dream of Jeannie

I dream of jeannie
Sony Pictures Television

When it comes to fantasy heroines, it turns out American audiences favor Barbara Eden's genie Jeannie over Bewitched's witch Sam.

The Golden Girls

Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty in The Golden Girls
Disney-ABC Domestic Television Distribution

Thank you for being a friend, The Golden Girls, a series that reminded audience how funny, vibrant, and, yes, promiscuous, older women could be.

The Muppet Show

still from the muppet show
Disney–ABC Domestic Television

Jim Henson's Muppets have appeared in plenty of movies and TV series over the decades, but they were never better served than in this classic variety show.

The Andy Griffith Show

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts in The Andy Griffith Show
CBS Television Distribution

Just whistle the theme to The Andy Griffith Show, and you'll find yourself transported back to a simpler time and the idyllic town of Mayberry.

Misters Rogers’ Neighborhood

mister rogers' neighborhood

Where would so many of us be if we hadn't been taught important lessons of friendship and compassion by Fred Rogers on the formative Mister Rogers' Neighborhood?

The Twilight Zone

frightened woman cowering from monstrous deformed face on the twilight zone
CBS Television Distribution

Endlessly imitated, parodied, and rebooted, there's nothing quite like the original Twilight ZoneRod Serling's anthology series that included potent morals amid its fantasy and horror.

The Jetsons

the jetsons
Warner Bros.

In retrospect, The Jetsons' view of the 2060s seems remarkably dated, but the show colored the way a lot of us thought about the future—which is why we're still upset about the lack of flying cars.

The Bugs Bunny Show

the bugs bunny show
Warner Bros.

It's not just Looney Tunes that people love, and the character of Bugs Bunny—created in the late 1930s—has had particularly long-lasting appeal.

Sesame Street

sesame street characters in costume

Another childhood staple, Sesame Street introduced iconic characters like Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Grover alongside essential lessons—lessons it's still teaching now, in its 50th season on the air.

I Love Lucy

I love lucy
CBS Television Distribution

One of the most remarkable things about I Love Lucy is how funny the show is, which speaks to the impeccable comic timing and real-life chemistry of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, not to mention the great writing.


still from jeopardy
CBS Television Distribution

Trivia buffs and not-quite-buffs have found themselves hooked on Jeopardy! over the years, whether because of the fun categories, the quirk of answering in the form of a question, or the deadpan style of host Alex Trebek.

Tom and Jerry

tom and jerry logo
Warner Bros.

The simplicity of the (quite literal) cat-and-mouse game between Tom and Jerry has made the cartoon series one of TV's most enduring classics.

The Flintstones

the flintstones
Screen Gems

The most popular show ever among American audiences: The Flintstones, which was made in the '60s, inspired by a '50s sitcom, and set in the Stone Age. Talk about timeless.

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