When it comes to sitcoms, the 90’s was the undeniable decade of dominance. One could even call the 90’s the golden age of TV.
We were gifted to a plethora of memorable shows filmed in front of a live studio audience (or at least a soundtrack). There’s a great deal of society that hold these shows in such high regard that they remain part of our normal TV rotations.
So successful were the sitcoms in the 90s, they began to redefine the genre. This allowed 2000’s shows such as Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, Parks And Recreation, Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory to thrive in primetime slots. You can check out our ranking of the Top 5 Best Sitcoms Of The 2000’s
The only requirements for this list is that the show must have had the majority of its run within the 90’s and cannot be an animation.
Okay, let’s go!
10. Spin City
1996-2002 | ABC
Spin City had a fantastic cast, which is why this show worked on a lot of levels. It was a political comedy, situated in the Mayor’s office in New York City. Between Michael J Fox, Richard Kind, Alan Ruck, Carla Gugino, Michael Boatman, Connie Britton and later, Charlie Sheen, this show had a wonderful blend of humour, seriousness, and quality acting, even within the sitcom format. Spin City probably doesn’t get the credit it deserves in many sitcom rankings, and this is mostly due to the fact they show was eventually cancelled due to poor ratings, but we loved it and so did a lot of other people and that’s why it rounds out our top 10.
9. The Drew Carey Show
1995-2004 | ABC
Cleveland Rocks! Cleveland Rocks! Well, the Drew Carey Show certainly rocked. The Drew Carey Show consisted of a bunch of people that would probably struggle to get an acting gig in another show, yet somehow just worked, and was very, very funny. Drew was your quintessential large funny man, with loveable friends. His ability to land some very attractive girlfriend’s showed that it pays to be funny. This might not be at the top of everyone’s lists, but we loved this show growing up through the 90’s and early 2000’s, so it more than earns its place here.
8. Full House
1987-1995 | ABC
Full House was a very wholesome family comedy that followed the lives of Danny Tanner’s family after recently losing his wife and his children’s mother.
He enlists his Brother in law and best friends help to raise his 3 young daughters. Full House found itself in interesting waters as it was loved by a huge audience, yet consistently received critical reviews, particularly in its first few years.
7. Home Improvement
1991-1999 | ABC
Tim Allen starred as Tim Taylor, a loveable TV host is this long running ABC comedy. Home Improvement run for 204 episodes across 8 seasons and was extremely popular, rating top 5 in the Nielsen TV ratings in its first 4 season. The show was very family centred, with the cast mostly consisting of the Taylor family, but also included some loveable side characters such as Al Borland and Wilson, his neighbour whose face is never shown.
6. Married With Children
1987-1997 | FOX
Al Bundy typified the working-class American man of the 80’s & 90’s. He was grisly, loved his sports, drank plenty of beer and loved his wife & kids (most of the time).
This was a perfect setting for a easy going, wholesome, 90’s sitcom. Married With Children was a great show for sitting down with the family and watching over dinner. A well deserved place in the top 10.
5. Just Shoot Me
1997-2003 | NBC
Just Shoot Me! didn’t follow the standard friends and family dynamic of most sitcoms. Instead, it developed very funny and very tight relationships between co-workers working for a New York based magazine, Blush. Just Shoot Me! Put together a wonderful ensemble of characters, spearheaded by the (at the time) rising star of David Spade.
4. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
1990-1996 | NBC
Will Smith starred as a fictional version of himself. The show’s humour is derived from constant clashes between the lifestyle Will had/has and the lifestyle of his relatives in Bel Air. Fresh Prince was a very funny show which had a tremendous ability to shift quite quickly into dramatic scenes. The relationships that were developed throughout the shows run, specifically that of Will & Uncle Phil, was a major reason this show worked.
1993-2004 | NBC
We’re expecting Frasier to be the one of the members of this list to draw the most heat. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the large amount of people that love this show would probably have it as their number one.
Frasier’s developers aimed to put together a show which would remain as timeless as possible, and with the exception of a fair haircuts and clothing styles, it’s gone pretty close to doing that. It remains to this day one of the most clever sitcoms to be put together. It’s writing is sharp, witty & places a huge emphasis on the evolution of its characters. Equally impressive to all of the above, is that Frasier is still one of the most successful spin-offs of all time and is arguable more popular than its predecessor, Cheers.
Seinfeld was the show that re-wrote the manual when it comes to what is and isn’t acceptable in a sitcom. Unlike almost every other show in this list, Seinfeld’s main draw was that its characters were sensationally unlucky and end up on the negative side of almost every situation they find themselves in. Their luck, however, was generally self inflicted.
With the high-quality of the comedic writing, along with some of the most iconic characters we’ve seen in comedy television, Seinfeld, much like it’s characters, is dreadfully unlucky to miss out on top spot.
Friends focusses on 6 friends living in NYC in their mid-20’s (originally). For many of us, our own lives grew at the same pace as theirs and the wholesome quality, and witty humour has had us hooked for over 25 years. Friends is one of the most universally loved shows in the world. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that doesn’t like watching this New-York based comedy. It’s this universality that skyrockets Friends to the top of the list.