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Top TV Shows of the 1990s

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0


In the 1990s there was an explosion of choices for television viewers. By the end of the decade more than 200 channels available were available.

Niche channels became increasingly popular. Viewers could tune in to channels devoted to golf, history, biographies and food.

Satellite dishes came on the market in the early 1990s. In the early years the pictures were somewhat fuzzy but became sharper as the technology improved. Today more than 18 million people subscribe to satellite TV services which offer hundreds of channels to choose from.

You may also enjoy Top TV Shows of the 1960's.

You may also enjoy Top TV Shows of the 1970's.

You may also enjoy Top TV Shows of the 1980's.

Top TV Shows of the 1990s - Ally McBeal

Ally McBeal ran 112 episodes over five seasons from 1997 to 2002. The quirky characters and plot were a large part of the shows popularity.

Ally McBeal


Ally McBeal                     Calista Flockhart

Richard Fish                    Greg Germann

Elaine Vassal                    Jane Krakowski

Georgia Thomas              Courtney Thorne-Smith

Nelle Porter                      Portia de Rossi

Ling Woo                          Lucy Lui


Ally McBeal is set in a fictional law firm which claims to be very modern, including unisex toilets, but there is constant sexual tension amongst the main characters.

McBeal is a young lawyer with a vivid fantasy life and a habit of falling down every time she sees an attractive man.

The gang hangs out at a local bar and enjoys the music of Vonda Shephard which in itself is a great reason to tune in.

Top TV Shows of the 1990s - China Beach


China beach
Beach ran from 1988-1991 and produced 62 episodes. (not nearly enough in my opinion) The opening theme was "Reflections" by Diana Ross and the Supremes. The show won two Emmys.







Lieutenant Colleen McMurphy             Dana Delaney

Cherry White                                          Nan Woods

Samuel Beckett                                       Michael Boatman

K.C. Koloski                                             Marg Helgenberger

Captain Dick Richard                             Robert Picardo

Wayloo Marie Holmes                            Megan Gallagher

Holly Pelegrino                                        Ricky Lake


China Beach is set in a fictitious evacuation hospital during the Vietnam War. The show had all the warmth and humanity of M.A.S.H. without the laugh track.

China Beach follows the life of Colleen McMurphy, a nurse from Kansas, as she deals with the stress of caring for trauma patients in a war zone.

The show was gritty and at times gruesome. Producers took the advice of real Vietnam nurses to create a realistic and compelling series.

The Top TV Shows of the 1990s - Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks ran from 1990-1991 and produced 3o episodes. The show was a combination of psychological thriller and dark humor. It's theme song was "Falling" by Angelo Badalamenti. Twin Peaks received 18 E

Twin Peaks
mmy nominations and won a Golden Globe for best television show.






FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper            Kyle MacLaughlan

Sheriff Harry S. Truman                      Michael Ontkean

Bobby Briggs                                         Dana Ashbrook

Donna Marie Hayward                        Laura Flynn Boyle

Dr. William Hayward                           Warren Frost

Norma Jennings                                   Peggy Lipton


Special Agent Dale Cooper is called in to investigate the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer. Evidence suggests the murderer is from Twin Peaks.

Cooper soon discovers that many people in the quiet town lead double lives and every seems to have a secret.

Top TV Shows of the 1990's -Murphy Brown

Murphy Brown ran on CBS from 1988 to 1998 for a total 0f 247 episodes. The show won ten Emmys

Murphy Brown
and three Golden Globe awards. Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown won five Emmys and then withdrew her name from the competition.






Murphy Brown                        Candice Bergen

Corky Sherwood                      Faith Ford

Jim Dial                                   Charles Kimbrough

Frank Fontana                        Joe Regalbuto

Eldin Bernecky                        Robert Pastorelli

Miles Silverberg                       Grant Shaud


">Murphy Brown is a hard-nosed journalist who is also a recovering alcoholic. Much of the tension in the show is caused by her relationship with co-worker Corky Sherwood, a former Miss America who has no sense of current events.

The show tackled social issues and story lines ripped from the day's headlines.

Throughout the decade the audience was treated to remarkable character development from the cast including the changes in Murphy Brown as she becomes a single mother.

Top TV Shows of the 1990s - Frasier

The comedy show Frasier ran from 1993-2004 and produced 264 episodes. The program was a spin-off of the very

popular sit-com Cheers. Dr. Frasier Crane maintains his Cheers character but the series is set in a new location with a new cast of supporting actors.

Frasier won 37 Emmys and three Golden Globe awards.







Frasier Crane                                         Kelsey Grammer

Niles Crane                                            David Hyde Pierce

Martin Crane                                         John Mahoney

Daphne Moon                                        Jane Leeves

Rox Doyle                                              Peri Gilpin


Frasier Crane is a Seattle based psychiatrist with a call in radio show. He is much better at giving advice to strangers than tackling his own issues.

Frasier lives with his father Martin, a disabled former police officer who is mystified by his extremely intelligent and occasionally snobbish sons.

Niles is Frasier's younger brother. Niles is high strung, pretentious and secretly in love with Frasier's British housekeeper Daphne.

The Top TV Shows of the 1990s - Quantum Leap

Quantum Leap ran from 1989-1993 and produced 95 episodes. The show was created by Donald Bellisario. Qu

Quantum Leap(89314)
antum leap received five Emmy awards and two Golden Globe awards.







Sam Beckett                                      Scott Bakula

Al Calavicci                                       Dean Stockwell

Guest appearances by Jennifer Aniston, Jason Priestly, Marcia Cross and Tia Carrere.


Sam Beckett is a scientist who finds himself leaping through time after a failed time travel experiment.

Each week he leaps into a new body and life in an attempt to resolve problems.

The only one who can see Sam is his coworker Al who jumps back and forth into Sam's news lives to figure out why Sam is there.

Top TV Shows of the 1990's - The Golden Girls

The Go

Golden Girls
lden Girls aired between 1985-1992 amd produced 180 episodes. The show won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and each of the main characters won individula Emmys.

Empty Nest was a spin-off of the Golden Girls.





Dorothy Zbornak                          Bea Arthur

Rose Nylund                                 Betty White

Blanche Deveraux                        Rue McClanahan

Sophia Petrillo                               Estelle Getty


The Golden Girls follows the lives of four elderly women who share a home in Miami. Dorothy is a no nonsense retired school teacher. Blanche is a highly sexually charged southern belle and Rose is a charming innocent.

Dorothy's mother Sophia has a quick mind and a sharp tongue.

The show explores the themes of frindship and family.



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