30.) KOJAK – Interesting storylines with well developed characters plus Telly Savales’s iconic performance made this a truly classic show. Recently watched some episodes as I was preparing this list and it has aged well.
29.) FAWLTY TOWERS – Basil Fawlty is a great comic creation and John Cleese was always my favorite member of Monty Python. Bonus points for ending the show quickly not dragging it out for years until it lost all traces of humor (as they do in America).
28.) HAWAII-5-0 – Jack Lord as square jawed Steve McGarrett is one of TV’s great heroes. Hawaii was the perfect backdrop for his investigations. Remained fairly consistent for its full 12 year run. The remake is horrible.
27.) MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS – Rather than the canned repeated lines of post-SNL skit shows, Monty Python relied on absurdity and wit. Perhaps the cleverest comedy show of all. Everyone on this show was tremendously talented.
26.) THE ODD COUPLE – An excellent play into an excellent movie into an excellent TV show. Just as play and movie actors (Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau) had perfect chemistry so did Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. Great writing on this show as well.
25.) TWIN PEAKS – David Lynch didn’t seem like a great fit for TV but this show worked! It retained elements of the evening serial ,threw in all manner of surrealist, symbolic imagery and situations, and ended on a cliffhanger. One of the most original shows of all time.
24.) CRIMINAL MINDS – While the first two years with Mandy Patinkin were the best, the show was still decent after he left. Rather than taking the easy path of the serial killer of the week, they have really strove for original storylines. Dr Reid is a great character.
23.) MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – The solid Peter Graves led his team through great twisty storylines. Supporting cast – Martin Landau, Leonard Nimoy, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris also great.
22.) WILD WILD WEST – The first steampunk TV show. Highly inventive plots. Ross Martin as a master of disguise and the always ridiculous Robert Conrad in leather pants. Great fun.
21.) WKRP IN CINCINATTI – Another fantastic comedic ensemble show with two of the greatest comic creations in sitcom history – Les Nessman and Herb Tarlek. Also accomplished the delicate task of making us realize the characters care for each other despite their quirks without the show becoming too sentimental (unlike Friends for example- a show that I despise).