40.) TAXI – I don’t think there’s been a sitcom that made better use of its cast. Constantly pushing and pulling them in odd directions and what a cast! Andy Kaufman, Christopher Lloyd, Danny Devito.
39.) THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO – With apologies to Frank Cannon and Barnaby Jones, this is the best example of Quinn Martin’s overblown, stagey, sometimes unintentionally hilarious style . This was a very good cop show powered by the chemistry between Karl Malden and Michael Douglas.
38.) GILLIGAN’S ISLAND – A very imaginative show actually powered by a great cast and ideas so silly the audience (or at least me) suspends belief plus it is genuinely funny.
37.) QUINCY – – Is this the first medical detective show? When Jack Klugman, who is perfect for this role, gets on his high horse about food poisoning and asbestos it’s an overacting delight but what’s really fun is the more esoteric subjects covered – Nazi war criminals, grand juries, dangerous pet dogs.
36.) FRIDAYS - - Although it only ran for a couple of years, this was a far funnier show than Saturday Night Live with far better writing, awesome comedic turns by Michael Richards and Mark Blankfield, and the hippest, best musical guests of the day.
35.) EMERGENCY! – I preferred the Randolph Mantooth/Kevin Tighe paramedic adventures to the hospital segment of the show but this was fun, fast paced drama.
34.) ELLERY QUEEN – The ending of this show wherein Jim Hutton (in fine form as the title character) faced the camera and asked if we knew who the murderer was followed by a sequence in a room with all the suspects where he reveals the killer is great fun. Too bad this show only lasted one season.
33.) THE OUTER LIMITS – More than just the monster of the week, this show could be as moralistic as The Twilight Zone. For its time, great special effects. I want to be clear I am talking about the original series not the substandard remake.
32.) CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM – This is in fact a purer presentation of Larry David’s comedic essence than Seinfeld. Teeth grinding at times in its awkwardness but also unflinchingly hilarious.
31.) FRINGE – – Didn’t get into this show at first but its original plots especially the ongoing stories about alternate universes and parallel dimensions hooked me as well as John Noble’s perfect performance as Walter Bishop.