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31 best '90s TV shows and where to stream them now

Take a walk down memory lane when streaming the best '90s TV shows, from Dawson's Creek to The Sopranos and more

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The television industry has dramatically shifted in the past three decades—streaming wars! Mini series! Binge-watching!

Yet, upon close inspection, the programs that dominated the airwaves back in the '90s still resonate today. Whether entertaining because always funny or as nostalgic windows into the past, old television shows are certainly worth a watch even today. They haven't really lost their magic. 

To that intent, we bring you an unranked list of the top TV shows of the '90s (to keep things in order, we only included shows that premiered between 1990 and 1999)—plus, where you can stream them today. 

Why unranked, you may ask? We believe TV habits are personal: as viewers, we invest much into the process, connecting with the characters and spending loads of time (sometimes up to 9 seasons!) watching a seemingly infinite amount of episodes. So we'd like for you to make your own choices, eventually working your way through our entire list, perhaps?

Happy viewing, America.

Best '90s TV shows

Beverly Hills, 90210

When it aired: 1990-2000

Where to stream it today: Hulu

The teen drama that spawned hundreds of others, Beverly Hills, 90210 is still referenced today as an emblem of the '90s. Tackling a variety of subjects—from divorce to drugs, teen pregnancy and more—it stands the test of time. 

Freaks and Geeks

When it aired: 1999-2000

Where to stream it today: Amazon

To this day, critics lament the premature cancellation of Freaks and Geeks, after a single season. Few people know that the now-renowned Judd Apatow actually executive produced this show, whose cast included Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Jason Segel and Busy Philipps.

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Sex and the City

When it aired: 1998-2204

Where to stream it today: HBO

Chances are you've already seen the show... Twice. Or three times. Or endless times. Needless to say, the adventures of four single women in New York City are worth binge-watching once again.

Charmed

When it aired: 1998-2006

Where to stream it today: Amazon

We all need a little magic in our lives, and who better to deliver it than a trio of "witchy" sisters? Charmed wasn't without its fair share of drama: following a falling out, Shannen Doherty dropped out after starring as Prue Halliwell for three seasons. She was eventually replaced by Rose McGowan, who took on the role of a fourth sister.

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Everybody Loves Raymond

When it aired: 1996-2005

Where to stream it today: Amazon

The classic, super successful sitcom stars Ray Romano as the central character, a Newsday sportswriter from Long Island.

Dawson's Creek

When it aired: 1998-2003

Where to stream it today: Hulu

Yes, the supposed "teen" characters have a tendency to talk like very smart, very responsible, very witty adults. Yes, the storylines are (mostly) unrealistic. But, we promise, the show is entertaining.

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Boy Meets World

When it aired: 1993-2000

Where to stream it today: Disney+

Boy Meets World used to air on ABC every Friday, much to the delight of families all over the country. The comedy is light-hearted but has a way of tackling serious topics at the same time, courtesy of the very wise Mr. Feeny, played by the now 92-year-old William Daniels.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

When it aired: 1996-2003

Where to stream it today: Hulu

Melissa Joan Hart plays Sabrina, who is, you guessed it, a teenage witch. As cherished as Hart's character was, fans still fondly remember Sabrina's 500-year-old aunts, Hilda and Zelda, and her talking cat Salem.

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Party of Five

When it aired: 1994-2000

Where to stream it today: Amazon

The first season of the Party of Five reboot just wrapped up on Freeform. Although the cast and setting are different, the underlining storyline is the same: five siblings are forced to live alone, under the tutelage of the oldest brother, following the death of their parents in a car accident. 

That '70s Show

When it aired: 1998-2006

Where to stream it today: Netflix

It aired in the '90s but it's obviously all about the '70s. The sitcom follows a group of friends "on the verge of adulthood" living in Wisconsin, and all that comes along with that.

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Will & Grace

When it aired: 1998-today

Where to stream it today: NBC

Will & Grace, a sitcom about the friendship between a gay lawyer (Eric McCormack) and a straight interior designer (Debra Messing) in New York City aired on NBC until 2006, for a total of eight seasons. In 2017, the show was revived with the same cast on the same network, picking up ten years after the end of the first run. The current season, the third one as part of the revival, will be the last one.

Daria

When it aired: 1997-2002

Where to stream it today: Hulu, MTV

The adult animated series is a spin-off of the popular Beavis and Butt-Head. Today, Daria, the brainy and low-energy title character, enjoys a sort of cult-following, a fandom that likely begged for a reboot, which is currently in the works, courtesy of Tracee Ellis Ross.

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3rd Rock From the Sun

When it aired: 1996-2001

Where to stream it today: Amazon

An extraterrestrial family is sent to Earth (the third planet from the sun) to observe human behavior. The premise might sound weird but will certainly tickle your fancy as early as season one.

Felicity

When it aired: 1998-2002

Where to stream it today: ABC

New York is as much of a character in this drama as Felicity Porter (Keri Russell), a high school graduate who follows her crush to the big Apple and attends the University of New York (yes, that would be the fictional version of New York University). 

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Law & Order

When it aired: 1990-2010

Where to stream it today: Amazon

Not only did Law & Order air for 20 years but current reruns still gather huge audiences—and for good reason. The police and legal drama centers around the legal system and was filmed on location in New York. The majority of the episodes are inspired by actual media headlines and the show led to plenty of different spin-offs, including Law & Order: Special Victims UnitLaw & Order: LA and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Ellen

When it aired: 1994-1998

Where to stream it today: Amazon

The show, which introduced Ellen DeGeneres to America, has earned its spot on TV's best-of canon after becoming the first US series with a main character to come out as gay. "The Puppy Episode" aired shortly after DeGeneres' decision to come out in real life.

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Home Improvement

When it aired: 1991-1999

Where to stream it today: Amazon

The sitcom is based on Tim Allen's stand-up comedy and documents the "work and home life of Tim 'The Toolman' Taylor." Fun fact: Pamela Anderson was a recurring cast member in the first two seasons. 

Futurama

When it aired: 1999-2013

Where to stream it today: Hulu

This adult animated science-fiction sitcom has lived through three lives: on Fox from 1999 to 2003, on Comedy Central from 2008 to 2013 and today as a streaming and re-run favorite. We won't get into plot-related details, as they're way too convoluted, but we guarantee this to be one of the top animated series to sink your teeth into. It's won six Emmys, after all.

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NewsRadio

When it aired: 1995-1999

Where to stream it today: Crackle

Wit is the name of the game on this NBC sitcom about the personal and professional travails of the staff of a New York AM news radio station. Expect a young Andy Dick, an always great Maura Tierney and the wonderful Dave Foley to round up the cast.

My So-Called Life

When it aired: 1994-1995

Where to stream it today: ABC

To this day, over 25 years from the end of the first and only season of My So-Called Life, fans are upset about the cliffhanger ending. The show follows the lives of a set of teenagers—notably played by Claire Danes and Jared Leto, among others—who live in the suburbs near Pittsburgh. Show creator Winnie Holzman expected ABC to pick up a second season, which never happened.

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Sports Night

When it aired: 1998-2000

Where to stream it today: Amazon

Anything by Aaron Sorkin is worth a watch, but this half-hour comedy-drama about a fictional sports news show is some of his best work. Unfortunately, it was cancelled after a mere two seasons, a fact that we dare say wouldn't have happened in the age of streaming.

The X-Files

When it aired: 1993-2018

Where to stream it today: Hulu

After nine seasons that first premiered in 1993, The X-Files concluded. In 2016, a successful revival led executives to work on a previously-unplanned eleventh season, which aired in 2018. The science fiction drama about two FBI agents investigating paranormal-related cases is clearly worth catching.

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The Sopranos

When it aired: 1999-2007

Where to stream it today: HBO

The Sopranos is considered by many critics to have kicked off the golden age of television. The late James Gandolfini plays Tony Soprano, a mobster living in New Jersey. 

Ally McBeal

When it aired: 1997-2002

Where to stream it today: Hulu

Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart) is a funny (and dramatic) lawyer that looks for love, self-fulfillment and happiness in Boston. The program won two Golden Globes—both in the best TV series, musical or comedy category—and one Emmy (outstanding comedy series) in its heyday.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

When it aired: 1997-2003

Where to stream it today: Hulu

During and after its seven-year run, Buffy the Vampire Slayer became the subject of many a feminist think pieces and cultural essays seeking to dissect the various metaphors peppered throughout each episode. A critic darling, the supernatural drama stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as the title character, a literal slayer of vampires. 

Twin Peaks

When it aired: 1990-1991, 2017

Where to stream it today: Hulu, Netflix

This horror drama series, created by David Lynch back in 1990, follows the murder investigation of homecoming queen Laura Palmer in the fictional town of Twin Peaks. Although the show was cancelled due to declining ratings after two seasons, it built up a cult following that led to a 2017 revival on Showtime. Many original cast members, including Kyle MacLachlan, reprised their roles almost three decades later. You'll only have access to the first two original seasons on Netflix but why not see what all the fuss is about?

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Friends

When it aired: 1994-2004

Where to stream it today: Amazon

What can we say about Friends? Arguably the most recognized sitcom of all time, it follows a group of six friends living in New York. It made stars of the cast (Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer), enjoyed a new set of (younger) fans when streaming on Netflix, was in the middle of a streaming war and, to the delight of what seems like the entire world, will be revived in the near future, courtesy of new streaming network HBO Max.

South Park

When it aired: 1997-today

Where to stream it today: Hulu

Can you believe South Park is still going strong? The cartoon sitcom uses four fictional boys to explore a range of topics defining the world of today. Profanity and dark humor lead to a lot of laughs.

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Frasier

When it aired: 1993-2004

Where to stream it today: Hulu

A spin-off of CheersFrasier became one of the most critically acclaimed sitcoms of all time, winning a total of 37 Emmys through its 11-year run. The series follows the life of psychiatrist-turned-radio-advice-show-host Frasier Crane, played by the always remarkable Kelsey Grammer.

The Nanny

When it aired: 1993-1999

Where to stream it today: Roku

The always great Fran Drescher became a household name by playing a Jewish "fashion queen" from Queens who becomes a nanny to three upper class kids. The show is absolutely hilarious, just like anything else Drescher stars in.

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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

When it aired: 1990-1996

Where to stream it today: Amazon

Everything about this show is memorable: the theme song, Will Smith's hilarious almost self-inspired central performance and, of course, the entire Banks family.

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