100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time

From time-capsule sitcoms to cutting-edge Peak-TV dramas — the definitive ranking of the game-changing small-screen classics

44. 'Columbo'

1971-78
Peter Falk's cheap detective was the coolest TV cop of the Seventies. With all due respect to Kojak, Baretta, Starsky, Hutch and all six of Charlie's Angels, it was Lt. Columbo who snagged the cover of Rolling Stone. John Cassavetes sidekick Falk hit the streets as a rumpled dirtbag in a trench coat, always mumbling and asking for a pencil, walking away from the bad guy at the end but then turning around with one of his crazy grins to say, "Oh, wait – just one more thing." He's always the underdog, but that's how he plays his mind games on all the smug L.A. high-society types who make the fatal mistake of thinking he's an idiot. 

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