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

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5. 'Seinfeld'

1989-98
The show about nothing that blew up into the great American comedy. Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer: four friends who happen to be horrible people, in a New York full of soup Nazis, close talkers, anti-dentites, sponge baths, astronaut pens and lobster bisque. Even at the time, everybody could tell Seinfeld was the funniest sitcom we'd ever witness, a week-to-week miracle. But no matter how many times you've double-dipped into all 180 episodes, they keep luring you back like pretzels making you thirsty. Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David set the rules from the start – "No hugging, no learning." As Julia Louis-Dreyfus told Rolling Stone in 1998, "The reality is that these four characters are a pathetic group, and they should disassemble promptly. I mean, if you stand back from it and look at what happens every week, they do terrible things to one another. And yet they continue to hang out. It's sociopathic." Not that there's anything wrong with that. 

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