The 20 Best TV Series from the Past 20 Years

Once described as the “idiot box,” television has come a long way since its beginnings in the middle of the 20th century. Garnering the comparison as film’s lesser cousin, the format has earned its chops in the last two decades and now stands as a highly regarded and much loved form of entertainment. By offering much more room for character and story development, many actors and writers are now defecting to the TV side. This translates to a much more fanatical viewership, and in turn, stronger connections between creator and audience.

The last 20 years can be considered a Golden Age for television and the future looks even brighter as cable channels now compete with online streaming outlets such as Netflix for distribution. In anticipation of what’s to come, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best TV series from the past 20 years. Featuring a wide cross-section, these are the shows that have stuck out and made a big cultural impact.

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