The 5 Best American TV Shows of All Time

It's publication day for TV (THE BOOK), by me and Matt Seitz, where we rank and write essays about what we feel are the 100 best shows ever. When we did our first round of scores, we wound up with a five-way tie for first, which we resolved through a debate reproduced in the book. Here are those shows. More info at http://www.tvthebook.com/
  1. 1.
    The Simpsons
    The ultimate winner of that tie-breaking argument, and one I had to argue very strongly for to get Matt to see the light. Our essay about why it's the best is excerpted here: http://www.vulture.com/2016/09/tv-the-book-simpsons-best-television-show.html
  2. 2.
    The Sopranos
    Was neck-and-neck with The Wire for most of our debate. No spoilers for how this was resolved.
  3. 3.
    The Wire
    Again, basically a coin toss with Sopranos, and we could have very easily put it at number 1 without any objections. (Not that we were aiming for controversy, but The Wire would probably be the easiest consensus top pick we could have made.)
  4. 4.
    Cheers
    These next two were also virtually tied. I've heard some surprise about how highly we placed this compared to some other comedies like Seinfeld or I Love Lucy (both in the back half of our top 10). I would just suggest heading over to Netflix or Hulu to rewatch from the beginning. It's amazing.
  5. 5.
    Breaking Bad
    Easily the most consistent and in many ways most satisfying of the shows in our top 5. We just wound up being slightly more drawn to the others, flaws and all.