After much deliberation between the TV fanatics that run this site and TV Guide Magazine (and many hours spent rewatching these classics), TV Insider revealed our full 90 Best Shows of the ’90s list back in July. The list was part of the launch of our nostalgia-filled Throwback section, where fans can deep dive into their core TV memories to their heart’s delight.
To qualify for the list, a show had to have more than one season debut during the decade, unless the show only ran one season. Some shows that began in the ’80s but ran into the ’90s did not make the list because they were quintessentially ’80s. The same went for shows that dominated the early 2000s but premiered in the ’90s.
For our team, Buffy the Vampire Slayer reigned supreme as the definitive show of the decade. Here’s our full Top 10 ranking from the 90 Best Shows of the ’90s list:
10. Twin Peaks
9. Freaks and Geeks
7. Law & Order
6. The Simpsons
3. The X-Files
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Another part of our Throwback section launch was our Best Show of the ’90s Bracket. In it, 64 shows from the ’90s were selected for fans to vote on in a March Madness-style competition. The same qualification rules above applied to the bracket. Over a five-week window, readers cast 44,939 total votes for their favorite show, the final two being Friends and ER. In the end, readers chose ER as their pick for the best show of the ’90s with 51 percent of the vote.
Now that we know the fan favorite, we want to hear your thoughts about our ranking. We combed through the comments sections of our ’90s list, polls, and other Throwback articles, as well as comments on social media, to see which shows readers felt were snubbed. In the poll, below, we’ve gathered the most common snubs we’ve seen you mention. Some readers felt we got our Top Five wrong, and others couldn’t believe some shows didn’t even make it onto the list — albeit, some of them were not, in fact, ’90s shows at all. For example, Tour of Duty ended in 1990, making it a definite ’80s show, and The Sopranos and The West Wing started in 1999 and are quintessential parts of early 2000s pop culture, specifically.
Let us know what you think the biggest snub of our 90 Best Shows of the ’90s list is in the poll, below. And just to be clear: we stand by our ranking. This is a Buffy Summers stan page.