28. 'The X-Files'
Oh, the Nineties – when our scariest worry about the government was its plot to cover up alien abductions. Chris Carter created a whole sci-fi mythology with The X-Files. All of the sinister conspiracies in the universe aren't as tough as the loyal bond between two FBI agents: David Duchovny's Mulder (he wanted to believe) and Gillian Anderson's Scully (she didn't). X-Files invented a new kind of TV fan for the online-message-board era, alternating between "monster of the week" and the overall arc, but always throwing in geek details for the hardcore devotees. And their archenemy: the Smoking Man, William B. Davis, the marvelously evil bureaucrat lurking in the shadows of every conspiracy from the JFK assassination to rigging the Super Bowl.