30 Beloved TV Shows You Won't Believe Are 30 Years Old
Some of these TV series feel fresher than ever, while others are perfect time capsules of 1990.
For those of us who grew up watching TV in the '90s, our favorite series are getting up there in years. From kids' cartoons to cult classics to police procedurals, it's been three decades since some of these shows premiered—even though it might feel like it was just yesterday. To celebrate some of television's most enduring classics, as well as a few lesser known series that still have their fair share of fans, here's our list of 30 TV shows you won't believe are now 30 years old. And for a look back at more recent series, revisit these 20 Beloved TV Shows You Won't Believe Are 20 Years Old.
Twin Peaks got a mind-bending third season on Showtime in 2017, but David Lynch's cult series first premiered on ABC in 1990, hooking and ultimately baffling audiences. And for movies that hit theaters in 1990, check out these 30 Beloved Movies You Won't Believe Are 30 Years Old.
In Living Color
The title In Living Color was a play on words, cleverly referencing the fact that this groundbreaking sketch comedy show had a predominantly Black cast, in contrast to shows like Saturday Night Live.
Law & Order
Before the still-running Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, there was the original Law & Order, a classic procedural that has defined the genre for the past 30 years. And for more series that aired for ages, these are The 40 Longest-Running American TV Shows of All Time.
With its 1990 premiere, Blossom helped bridge the gap between the '80s and the '90s, reflecting the changing tastes of the time. Whoa!
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Will Smith became a household name playing a fictionalized version of himself in this classic sitcom, with a theme song that anyone who grew up in the '90s still knows all the words to. And for more series the critics love, these are The 50 Best Netflix Shows Ever, According to Critics.
Wings wasn't a spin-off of Cheers, but characters occasionally crossed over—and it's hard to imagine this workplace sitcom would have taken off without the success of Cheers before it.
Beverly Hills, 90210
One of the most iconic teen soaps of all-time, Beverly Hills, 90210 defined teenage cool in the '90s, no matter how old some of those high schoolers were in real life. And for more '90s teen nostalgia, we're Ranking Every '90s Teen Movie, From Worst Reviewed to Best.
Very loosely inspired by The Jungle Book, TaleSpin gave characters like Baloo the bear and Shere Khan the tiger a new look for a new generation.
The original Supermarket Sweep ran from 1965 to 1967, but most people are familiar with this modern iteration, which debuted in 1990 and made grocery shopping seem like the ultimate thrill.
The comedy-drama Northern Exposure focused on the quirky characters in a small Alaskan town, and won over audiences, critics, and Emmy voters. And for more fun content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Tiny Toon Adventures
Looney Tunes got a much needed update with Tiny Toon Adventures, which introduced new, younger characters like Babs and Buster Bunny (no relation), alongside the classics.
Parker Lewis Can't Lose
There were two shows inspired by Ferris Bueller's Day Off in 1990—Ferris Bueller, which flopped despite being directly based on the movie, and Parker Lewis Can't Lose, which ran for three seasons.
Wild & Crazy Kids
Whether or not you were a particularly active young person, if you were a kid watching Nickelodeon in the '90s, you wanted nothing more than to compete on Wild & Crazy Kids.
Once the pinnacle of '70s nostalgia, The Brady Bunch got a very '90s update with The Bradys, a soapier, more adult take on the series that only aired six episodes but left a lasting (if not all that positive) impression.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers
Environmentalism needed a hero, and it found one in Captain Planet, who taught kids how to "take pollution down to zero" over the course of 113 episodes.
It doesn't get much better than the cast of Evening Shade: Burt Reynolds, Marilu Henner, Ossie Davis, and Hal Holbrook all had starring roles on the sitcom.
Howie Mandel created this animated series about a kid named Bobby, and he also voiced the title character for all seven seasons.
From Marta Kauffman and David Crane, the creators of Friends, came this distinctly more adult sitcom, which had the dirty words and nudity that came to be known as an HBO staple.
Not to be confused with the 1991 animated series or the 2019 reboot, the original live-action Swamp Thing TV show was also based on the titular DC Comics character.
Get a Life
Get a Life may have been ahead of its time: The Chris Ellott-led sitcom was so surreal that many found it off-putting, thanks in no small part to the main character dying in 12 of the series' 35 episodes.
Tom & Jerry Kids
Tom and Jerry have been TV favorites for decades, but the '90s iteration aged them down to kitten and baby mouse to appeal to an even younger audience.
Nearly 25 years before a new version of The Flash zoomed onto The CW, a CBS series based on the DC Comics hero aired for a single season.
While it never achieved the fame or longevity of its predecessor, the 1990 Adam-12—also known as The New Adam-12—still ran for a respectable 52 episodes, which aired weekly over the course of exactly one year.
Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories
Jim Henson's Creature Shop has molded our dreams and invaded our nightmares—and in the case of the creations on this nursery rhyme-inspired series, it might have been a little of both.
The Baby-Sitters Club
Thirty years before the highly acclaimed Netflix show, HBO aired their own adaptation of the Baby-Sitters Club novel series, which ended up finding new fans with reruns on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures
Between the first two Bill & Ted movies came this animated series, which got Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, and George Carlin to reprise their roles—at least, for the first season.
Calling Cop Rock "beloved" may be a stretch, but this truly bizarre police procedural musical—yes, you read that right—has developed a cult following in the three decades since its brief TV run.
Carol & Company
Instead of a series of sketches, each episode of Carol Burnett's anthology series Carol & Company used the same cast of actors—including Richard Kind and Jeremy Piven—in different half-hour comedies.
The Trials of Rosie O'Neill
Sharon Gless returned to TV post-Cagney & Lacey with The Trials of Rosie O'Neill, which didn't reach the same heights, but did reunite her with Tyne Daly for one special episode.
New Kids on the Block
New Kids on the Block tried to translate their boy band popularity to a hit animated series, but it didn't help that they were played by voice actors outside of song performances.