NYC’s best television shows: The top 25 Gotham series

Tune into our era-spanning list of New York City’s best television shows—and watch a clip from each one.

0

Comments

Add +
  • NYC’s 25 best television shows

  • Photograph: Virginia Sherwood

    NYC’s 25 best television shows: 25. Law & Order (1990–2010)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 24. Naked City (1958–1963)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 23. Gossip Girl (2007–2013)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 22. Welcome Back, Kotter (1975–1979)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 21. Kojak (1973–1978)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 20. Sports Night (1998–2000)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 19. The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 18. The Odd Couple (1970–1975)

  • Photograph: Courtesy Margaret Herrick

    NYC’s 25 best television shows: 17. Fame (1982–1987)

  • Photograph: Eric McCandless/FOX

    NYC’s 25 best television shows: 16. How I Met Your Mother (2005–present)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 15. Barney Miller (1974–1982)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 14. Friends (1994–2004)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 13. I Love Lucy (1951–1957)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 12. Girls (2012–present)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 11. Louie (2010–present)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 10. Sex and the City (1998–2004)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 9. Delocated (2008–2013)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 8. The Honeymooners (1955–1956)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 7. 30 Rock (2006–2013)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 6. All in the Family (1971–1979)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 5. The Cosby Show (1984–1992)

  • Photograph: Dana Edelson/ NBC

    NYC’s 25 best television shows: 4. Saturday Night Live (1975–present)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 3. Sesame Street (1969–present)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 2. Mad Men (2007–present)

  • NYC’s 25 best television shows: 1. Seinfeld (1989-1998)

NYC’s 25 best television shows

20
NYC’s 25 best television shows: Sports Night (1998–2000)

Sports Night (1998–2000)

Before dissecting the inner workings of the White House (The West Wing) and Facebook (The Social Network), scribe Aaron Sorkin introduced us to another motormouth staff—toiling for a fictitious SportsCenter-esque show—in this cult fave. Its quick-witted characters, who bounce with tireless vigor from meeting to meeting in a downtown Manhattan office building, help illustrate a very New York go-getter reality: In some prized careers, your work is your social life, your coworkers your family.—Tim Lowery

19
NYC’s 25 best television shows: The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966)

The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966)

Like Sports Night, this was a behind-the-scenes look at at a TV program produced in Manhattan. Though it aired smack dab in the Mad Men era, the show centered on the anti–Don Draper: Van Dyke’s Rob Petrie, a head writer for a variety show who was steady, smiley, trustworthy and… you know, warm. (For proof that the real-life Van Dyke is as likable as the characters he’s portrayed over the years, check his recent delightful, career-spanning interview on WTF.)—Tim Lowery

18
NYC’s 25 best television shows: The Odd Couple (1970–1975)

The Odd Couple (1970–1975)

Right from its instantly identifiable musical shuffle, this sitcom captures a comically pathetic type of New Yorker: kicked out of his apartment for good, forced to crash with a frenemy and clinging to a shred of dignity. Fastidious Felix (Tony Randall) and slovenly Oscar (Jack Klugman) became classic roomie archetypes.—Joshua Rothkopf

17
NYC’s 25 best television shows: 17. Fame

Fame (1982–1987)

“You’ve got big dreams. You want fame. Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying… in sweat.” We’re getting goose bumps, peppy credit-sequnce dialogue. Goose. Bumps. (Fun fact: The show’s New York High School of the Performing Arts, where these youngsters do the aforementioned fortune-inducing perspiring, was modeled on Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School on the Upper West Side.)—Tim Lowery

16
NYC’s 25 best television shows: 16. How I Met Your Mother (2005–present)

How I Met Your Mother (2005–present)

A sitcom in the Friends model—you’ve got a group of pals who hang out in one place all the time, and date each other in varying permutations—HIMYM is never better than when it finds a way to incorporate realistic facets of New York City life into its episodes. See: Making fun of portmanteau-ed neighborhood names (“Dowisetrepla,” or “down wind from the sewage treatment plant,” the location of Marshall and Lily’s apartment), or gently mocking NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan with the character of Metro News 1 newsman Sandy Rivers, who reads the papers live on the air every morning.—Amy Plitt



Users say

10 comments
mark
mark

Family Affair! Taxi!

Billy
Billy

Night Court?!?

NMiguelCosta
NMiguelCosta

White Collar? Person of Interest? Why not?

AZ
AZ

will & grace?

LR
LR

Taxi was one of the top 5 I was looking for as well

Tom
Tom

Where are NYPD Blue and Taxi? C'mon.....

DB
DB

Where's White Collar? Absolutely stunning use of NYC as a backdrop.

ML
ML

Enormous miss on Taxi. Top 5 for sure.

GersonK
GersonK

Where are you Car 54, Where Are You?? So full of New Yorkers.

Ellen
Ellen

No Taxi? Definite miss!!