Best Sitcoms Ever

by jamesfp | created - 29 Jun 2011 | updated - 04 Jun 2013 | Public
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1. Cheers (1982–1993)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The regulars of the Boston bar Cheers share their experiences and lives with each other while drinking or working at the bar where everybody knows your name.

Stars: Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger, George Wendt

Votes: 39,061

#1 through #3 are in a virtual tie. "Cheers," "Seinfeld," and "The Larry Sanders Show" are a cut above any sitcom ever made. The listing of the order is based upon when these series started chronologically.

2. Seinfeld (1989–1998)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

8.9
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The continuing misadventures of neurotic New York stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his equally neurotic New York friends.

Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander

Votes: 200,944

#1 through #3 are in a virtual tie. "Cheers," "Seinfeld," and "The Larry Sanders Show" are a cut above any sitcom ever made. The listing of the order is based upon when these series started chronologically.

3. The Larry Sanders Show (1992–1998)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy

8.4
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A comedic behind the scenes look at a late night talk show.

Stars: Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, Wallace Langham, Rip Torn

Votes: 6,274

#1 through #3 are in a virtual tie. "Cheers," "Seinfeld," and "The Larry Sanders Show" are a cut above any sitcom ever made. The listing of the order is based upon when these series started chronologically.

4. Arrested Development (2003– )

TV-PG | 489 min | Comedy

8.9
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Level-headed son Michael Bluth takes over family affairs after his father is imprisoned. But the rest of his spoiled, dysfunctional family are making his job unbearable.

Stars: Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett

Votes: 235,582

If #1 through #3 are in a virtual tie, then #4 is just slightly below that first group, but not for lack of being great. This is one of the most well-written shows in the history of television. Multiple viewings only reveal the layers upon layers of jokes that this show had. It is not hurt by only having 53 episodes over 3 seasons. This show truly never "jumped the shark." The only other series that never did so would be #3 ("The Larry Sanders Show"), which broadcast 89 episodes over 6 seasons. "Cheers" (275 episodes, 11 seasons) and "Seinfeld" (180 episodes, 9 seasons) each had runs to the very end that were better than 99% of the television shows around them, BUT the level of storytelling tends to fade after telling so many stories. The reason that they are upper-echelon shows is that they could still be strong even after jumping that proverbial shark.

With the 4th season of ARRESTED coming to Netflix on 05/26/13, it will be interesting to see if the show can maintain its brilliance after 7 plus years off the air. Although the 4th season is not actually a season but a prequel to a hopeful movie, it still is part of the ARRESTED canon.

5. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000– )

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy

8.7
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The life and times of Larry David and the predicaments he gets himself into with his friends and complete strangers.

Stars: Larry David, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman

Votes: 77,857

There is a true consistency to what this show has been through these years. Although season 8 was his least best effort, it was also forced to follow the SEINFELD reunion (season 7), which truly was something special. The first three seasons of CURB feel like an extension of SEINFELD... the work and stories that Larry David never got to finish... when he was absent for the final two seasons of SEINFELD (except for the finale).

6. Family Guy (1998– )

TV-14 | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

8.2
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In a wacky Rhode Island town, a dysfunctional family strive to cope with everyday life as they are thrown from one crazy scenario to another.

Stars: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis

Votes: 264,580

If you take what encompassed the first three season of FAMILY GUY, then you are talking about a perfect 10. This was the point when FOX decided to cancel the show. Three years later, Family Guy was back. The next few seasons maintained some good laughs, but as the show reached around season 7, it became hit or miss. It still does not diminish the unbelievable work done in the early years.

7. Scrubs (2001–2010)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Drama

8.4
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In the unreal world of Sacred Heart Hospital, intern John "J.D." Dorian learns the ways of medicine, friendship, and life.

Stars: Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, John C. McGinley

Votes: 211,825

If this show had stopped at 5 or 6 seasons, it would have been hard not to give it a 10/10. Season 7, the final season on NBC was decent, but then came the first season on ABC (season 8). Season 8 was okay, but no where near the level of where this show began. And then there was Season 9, which truly was a train wreck. The show simply was unwatchable.

8. The Office (2001–2003)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

8.6
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The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager David Brent as they continue their daily lives.

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Lucy Davis

Votes: 78,653

12 episodes and a special... all of it brilliant. This can be said for THE OFFICE or for Gervais/Merchant's other great EXTRAS.

9. The Simpsons (1989– )

TV-14 | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

8.8
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The satiric adventures of a working-class family in the misfit city of Springfield.

Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith

Votes: 306,435

Like FAMILY GUY, THE SIMPSONS just suffers from having to tell too many stories. But for the first 7 to maybe 9 seasons, this show was great. It is an important influence not only to other animated sitcoms but to the sitcom in general.

10. Extras (2005–2007)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

8.3
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Andy Millman is an actor with ambition and a script. Reduced to working as an extra with a useless agent, Andy's attempts to boost his career invariably end in failure and embarrassment.

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant, Shaun Williamson

Votes: 45,094

12 episodes and a special... all of it brilliant. This can be said for EXTRAS or for Gervais/Merchant's other great THE OFFICE.

11. Louie (2010– )

TV-MA | 22 min | Comedy, Drama

8.6
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The life of Louis C.K., a divorced comedian living in New York with two kids.

Stars: Louis C.K., Hadley Delany, Ursula Parker, Pamela Adlon

Votes: 67,220

At first I was a bit confused by the format of the first 6 or 7 episodes. This is a re-invention of the sitcom. More along the lines of short movies, but more and more the show has found certain themes. It is brilliant. LUCKY LOUIE was somewhat of a disappointment on HBO, but Louis C.K. made a major comeback with this show on FX. So different and so smart that it may go down as a 10 when all is said and done.

12. It's Garry Shandling's Show. (1986–1990)

30 min | Comedy

7.6
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Garry Shandling pokes fun at sitcom conventions.

Stars: Garry Shandling, Molly Cheek, Michael Tucci, Scott Nemes

Votes: 1,077

Groundbreaking. My love of this led to a little show called THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW (see #3 on this list). The fact that Shandling has created and starred in two shows this good speaks to his boundless talent as a comic and more importantly as a writer.

13. Modern Family (2009– )

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

8.5
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Three different, but related families face trials and tribulations in their own uniquely comedic ways.

Stars: Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell

Votes: 285,152

The perfect blend of really funny and really touching. Cast and writing is excellent. Hope they can maintain what they've started.

14. The Big Bang Theory (2007– )

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

8.3
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A woman who moves into an apartment across the hall from two brilliant but socially awkward physicists shows them how little they know about life outside of the laboratory.

Stars: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg

Votes: 593,061

My only concern is what seems like two season of spinning its wheels and not doing anything with the Penny and Leonard relationship. The writing is still sharp, so there is hope.

15. Frasier (1993–2004)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

8.0
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Dr. Frasier Crane moves back to his hometown of Seattle, where he lives with his father, and works as a radio psychiatrist.

Stars: Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin

Votes: 61,476

Well-written from its conception to its finale. The storytelling done around the Daphne and Niles romance was stupendous. This show brought it week after week for 11 seasons. While it is a spin-off the greatest of them all (CHEERS), this show stands on its own legs.

16. South Park (1997– )

TV-MA | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

8.7
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Follows the misadventures of four irreverent grade-schoolers in the quiet, dysfunctional town of South Park, Colorado.

Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes, Mona Marshall

Votes: 277,306

It's hard to explain how a show like this can be at such high quality after all these years. SOUTH PARK is good at taking whatever is in the news and turning into something funny along with some social commentary that isn't overbearing. There are misses, but not as many as you would think after 16 seasons and counting.

17. 30 Rock (2006–2013)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy

8.2
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Liz Lemon, head writer of the sketch comedy show "TGS with Tracy Jordan", must deal with an arrogant new boss and a crazy new star, all while trying to run a successful television show without losing her mind.

Stars: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jack McBrayer

Votes: 98,745

Quality writing from beginning to end. Never got its just due from NBC. Not absolutely always my favorite style of humor, but hard to ignore this show's greatness.

18. Entourage (2004–2011)

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy, Drama

8.5
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Film star Vince Chase navigates the vapid terrain of Los Angeles with a close circle of friends and his trusty agent.

Stars: Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara

Votes: 145,743

Around season 5 or 6, this show just began to spin its wheels. The stories really were no different, and every time something interesting was on the horizon, the show would just skip over those stories and get back to the familiar.

19. Friends (1994–2004)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

8.9
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Follows the personal and professional lives of six 20 to 30-something-year-old friends living in Manhattan.

Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc

Votes: 577,319

After season 6, this show really became more and more misses than hits. One of the brilliant things about this show is that it was able to create two equally terrific romances: Ross and Rachel, which dipped and turned for ten seasons AND Chandler and Monica, which was equally as good and did not have the turmoil of the former.

20. The Office (2005–2013)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

8.8
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A mockumentary on a group of typical office workers, where the workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, and tedium.

Stars: Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson

Votes: 243,434

For five seasons, one of the better shows on television. Season 6 was still pretty special with Jim and Pam's wedding, but this is when the show lost its center. The entire Jim/Pam relationship drove the show. Yes, there was the absolutely terrific performance by Steve Carell (Michael) also driving the show, but not in the way that Jim and Pam were. When Steve Carell left during season 7, the show had lost the only other thing that had kept it alive.

21. How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A father recounts to his children, through a series of flashbacks, the journey he and his four best friends took leading up to him meeting their mother.

Stars: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris

Votes: 502,587

I kind of thought HIMYM hit a lull somewhere in the middle. But the past few seasons (7 and 8) have been amazing. This show has earned its 9th season, and I have a feeling that they will go out on a high note.

22. I Love Lucy (1951–1957)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

8.4
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A daffy woman constantly strives to become a star along with her bandleader husband and gets herself in the strangest situations.

Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley

Votes: 19,241

23. Community (2009–2015)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

8.5
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A suspended lawyer is forced to enroll in a community college with an eclectic staff and student body.

Stars: Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover, Chevy Chase

Votes: 162,156

The first three season are terrific. The 4th season without creator Dan Harmon and more problems from cast member Chevy Chase was more hit or miss. I hope they get their renewal for season 5 and can finish what they began.

24. Wilfred (2011–2014)

TV-MA | 22 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

7.8
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The story of a depressed man who inexplicably is the only one who can see his neighbor's dog as a full grown man in a dog suit.

Stars: Elijah Wood, Jason Gann, Fiona Gubelmann, Dorian Brown Pham

Votes: 37,403

The first season is absolute brilliance. The second season not quite as good. I'm hopeful that with this premise and this cast, the future is still bright for this show.

25. The King of Queens (1998–2007)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

7.4
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Delivery man Doug Heffernan has a good life: He's got a pretty wife (Carrie), a big TV and friends to watch it with. Then Carrie's goofy and annoying father Arthur moves in with them.

Stars: Kevin James, Leah Remini, Jerry Stiller, Patton Oswalt

Votes: 65,938

Certainly the final season was less than stellar, but this show has so many great moments. It was great to see Jerry Stiller continue from his great work on SEINFELD (George's father, Frank Costanza) and add to his legacy as Arthur Spooner on THE KING OF QUEENS. Remini and James have screen chemistry, and it paid off in a major way.

26. Legit (2013–2014)

30 min | Comedy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Jim and his put upon friends try to learn what it means to be a good person.

Stars: Jim Jefferies, Dan Bakkedahl, DJ Qualls, Mindy Sterling

Votes: 7,125

The first season is irreverent, funny, and smart. This show could certainly shoot up this list, but with only one season thus far, it's wait and see.

27. Family Ties (1982–1989)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

7.2
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Chronicles liberal ex-hippies Steven and Elyse Keaton, their conservative son Alex, daughters Mallory and Jennifer, and later, youngest child Andrew.

Stars: Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter, Justine Bateman

Votes: 13,083

28. Veep (2012– )

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy

8.2
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Former Senator Selina Meyer finds that being Vice President of the United States is nothing like she hoped and everything that everyone ever warned her about.

Stars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott

Votes: 31,930

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is perfect for this role. The moment that she hears that the president may have taken ill is a tour de force in acting. Is she happy? Is she upset? Should she show any emotion? This show has a cast member from SEINFELD (Julia) and from ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (Tony Hale) and they are surrounded by good actors in their own right. The writing is smart, and the future seems bright.

29. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005– )

TV-MA | 22 min | Comedy

8.8
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Five friends with big egos and slightly arrogant attitudes are the proprietors of an Irish bar in Philadelphia.

Stars: Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson

Votes: 155,398

The promise of 4-5 season run that was excellent has been burned away by a show that seems more over-the-top and less interested in story. Still good for a few laughs, but not what it once was.

30. Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000)

TV-14 | 44 min | Comedy, Drama

8.8
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A high school mathlete starts hanging out with a group of burnouts while her younger brother navigates his freshman year.

Stars: Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, James Franco, Samm Levine

Votes: 109,193

Great show. Cancelled in its infancy. Comedic talent that continues to thrive with and without Judd Apatow.

31. Lucky Louie (2006–2007)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy

8.0
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A working class family and their oddball friends.

Stars: Louis C.K., Pamela Adlon, Mike Hagerty, Laura Kightlinger

Votes: 8,772

It was just short of what could have been. What could have been ended up being C.K.'s follow-up on FX: LOUIE.

32. Parks and Recreation (2009–2015)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

8.6
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The absurd antics of an Indiana town's public officials as they pursue sundry projects to make their city a better place.

Stars: Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt

Votes: 151,265

As this show has moved past its first season, it continues to improve and find its way. What looked like a copycat of THE OFFICE (from the U.S. showrunner Greg Daniels) has truly found its own voice in some sense. The cast is great.

33. Bob's Burgers (2011– )

TV-PG | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

8.1
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Bob Belcher, along with his wife and 3 children, try to run their last hope of holding the family together, which is running Bob's dream restaurant.

Stars: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, John Roberts

Votes: 48,733

Slow start, but the show is funny. May not be what THE SIMPSONS or FAMILY GUY was at the beginning their runs, but it still has a chance to be special. Louise (voiced by Kristen Schaal) is absolutely hilarious on this show.

34. Workaholics (2011–2017)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy

8.2
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A single-camera comedy featuring three friends who work together as telemarketers from 9 to 5, and live together from 5 to 9.

Stars: Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, Anders Holm, Maribeth Monroe

Votes: 40,529

This show has promise. The first season was decent, but the second season really got funnier. I'm looking forward to this show's future.

35. The Wonder Years (1988–1993)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

8.3
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Kevin Arnold recalls growing up during the late 60s and early 70s; the turbulent social times make the transition from child to adult unusually interesting.

Stars: Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern, Alley Mills

Votes: 30,380