My Top 30 Greatest Tv Dramas Pre Prestige Tv.

Kendall Rivers
3 min readOct 13, 2023

1999- Present day has been billed as the new “golden age of tv” as well as “prestige tv”. Television dramas have reached new heights with such praised television dramas such as The Sopranos, The Wire, Lost, Breaking Bad, Grey’s Anatomy, Blue Bloods etc. But before all of those shows there were plenty of great television dramas that paved the way for all these great shows. These are thirty amazing television drama series prior to The Sopranos’ debut in 1999 that provided all the feels and plenty of entertainment over the years that still resonate today for many.

30. Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer. 1984–1986.

29. 7th Heaven. 1996–2007.

28. Star Trek: The Next Generation. 1987–1994.

27. Murder, She Wrote. 1984–1996.

26. Spenser For Hire. 1985–1988.

25. Gunsmoke. 1955–1975.

24. Quincy, ME. 1976–1983.

23. Perry Mason. 1957–1966.

22. Highway To Heaven. 1984–1989.

21. Touched By An Angel. 1994–2003.

20. Mannix. 1967–1975.

19. Ironside. 1966–1975.

18. The Equalizer. 1985–1989.

17. In The Heat of The Night. 1988–1993.

16. The Incredible Hulk. 1978–1982.

15. Kojak. 1971–1977.

14. Moonlighting. 1985–1989.

13. Quantum Leap. 1989–1993.

12. Magnum, PI. 1980–1988.

11. New York Undercover. 1995–1998.

10. L.A. Law. 1986–1994.

9. The X-Files. 1993–2002.

8. Miami Vice. 1984–1989.

7. I Spy. 1965–1968.

6. ER. 1994–2008.

5. NYPD Blue. 1993–2005.

4. The Rockford Files. 1974–1980.

3. St. Elsewhere. 1972–1983.

2. Homicide: Life on The Street. 1993–2000.

  1. Hill Street Blues. 1981–1987.

Honorable Mentions:

The Wonder Years. 1988–1993. & M.A.S.H. 1972–1983.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “How could those two be mentioned on this list? They’re technically half hour situation comedies. Yes, that’s true, but the depth and rich dramatic excellence both shows provided were so crucial to their success that I consider them more as dramadies then straight up comedies.

Till next time, folks!

Mulder & Scully-Image Source: WIRED.
Festus & Matt Dillon-Image Source: Britannica
JC & Eddie- Image Source: EW

--

--

Kendall Rivers

Kendall is a screenwriter who’s a huge fan of classic tv and movies. He enjoys creating good stories and characters. https://www.facebook.com/kendall.rivers.3