• 121
    Judge Judy

    Judge Judy

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    The people are real. The cases are real. The rulings are final. This is Judge Judy. Judge Judith Sheindlin tackles real-life small claims in her courtroom with her no nonsense attitude. Having made a name for herself as a tough but fair judge in New York's Family Court, Judge Judith Sheindlin retired from the bench in 1996 and segued to television to host this syndicated series. Judge Judith Sheindlin brings her trademark wit and wisdom to the widely successful half-hour series that takes viewers inside a television courtroom where justice is dispensed at lightning speed.moreless
  • 122
    Bonanza

    Bonanza

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    NBC (ended 1973)
    White-haired Ben was the proud patriarch of the Cartwrights, the family at the center of one of TV's most beloved and long-running series. Their ranch, the Ponderosa, was 1,000 square-miles (600,000 acres) in size and sprawled from mountainous shores of Lake Tahoe to the desert terrain near Virginia City in the Nevada Territory. Ben oversaw his frontier empire with the help of his three sons: Adam, Hoss, and Joe. The series was set in 1859 when the series began and would progress through and following the Civil War.
    ---------------------------------- Series creator and producer David Dortort, who oversaw the series during its 14 year network run on NBC, says he first first got the idea for the series writing the 1953 episode of "Fireside Theatre" titled "Man of the Comstock."
    ---------------------------------- By 1959, NBC wanted a big filmed series to promote the sales of color television sets. NBC was the only network investing in color programs since its parent company RCA owned the electronic color transmitting system used by TV. "Bonanza" was just the type of show the network needed to "show off" its living color. In its initial season, it floundered in the ratings on Saturday nights against CBS' "Perry Mason"; it's said its renewal had a lot to do with its being shot in color. In the second season, "Bonanza" more than held its own in the Nielsens. It was the network's decision to move the series to Sunday nights that allowed it explode into a Top-10 hit.
    ---------------------------------- "Bonanza" differed in many ways from the dozens of other westerns on the air during its run. It relied more heavily on the characters than it did on action--though there was plenty of that. Good and bad weren't always as simple as "black hats" vs. "white hats"; many times, good people didn't live happily ever after. Despite that, Ben imparted a high code of ethics upon his sons. Among the principles: 1-Intolerance and bigotry were not acceptable. The Cartwrights often came to the defense of Indians, Chinese, and others who were the targets of the narrow-minded. 2-Once a man had paid his debt to society and was released from prison, he deserved a clean slate and a chance to start over. 3-The land was sacred. Ben's greatest business headaches came from his refusal to allow his land to be polluted and destroyed for profit. When the Cartwrights cut down a tree for lumber, they planted another. Their environmental concerns remain unique for a television series.
    ---------------------------------- Ben's path to his dream home of the Ponderosa (named for the Ponderosa Pine, plentiful in that area) was a long time in coming. He was a seaman, acting as first mate for Captain Abel Stoddard, when he met his boss' daughter Elizabeth and fell in love. She died after giving birth to first child Adam. Leaving the sad memories behind in the Northeast, he traveled to St. Louis and opened a trading company. He met and married the Swedish stunner Inger Inger Borgstrom who loved horses and shooting. She gave birth to son Hoss en route to the frontier, but was killed by an arrow during an ambush. Moving to New Orleans, Ben became an importer/exporter and fell for Creole beauty Marie DeMarigny. He made her wife number three and finally made it to the West. They established the Ponderosa and she gave him another son, Joseph. Marie died several years later in a riding accident. The story of each of these romance were detailed in individual episodes early in the series' run.
    ---------------------------------- The high mortality rate of women encountered by Ben and his sons, known jokingly as the "Cartwright Curse," became a running gag among comedians and viewers alike. If a female became a love interest to any of the show's men, even money says she'll be sick, dying, or dead by the end credits.
    --------------------------- Location filming kept the series from feeling "studio bound" and gave Bonanza a chance to highlight its color cinematography. Though much was filmed on a huge sound stage at Paramount Studios, scenes were regularly shot on the studio's outdoor "Western Street" and on locations throughout Southern California and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The rising cost of shooting at Paramount eventually forced a move to the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank. To explain the new appearance of Virginia City, Season 12 began with "The Night Virginia City Died" where a huge fire destroyed the "old" town.
    ---------------------------------- Changes inevitably took place among cast members during "Bonanza"'s long run. After several years of complaining about being held back from a movie career, Pernell Roberts was finally sent on his merry way after of Season 6. Prior to that, amid fears of Roberts' departure, Guy Williams was brought in for a few episodes as Ben's nephew Will Cartwright. It's said the cast resented his character being added and he disappeared after five appearances. Beginning with "Sense of Duty" in Season 9, David Canary joined the cast as Ponderosa ranch foreman Candy Canady. He practically became a Cartwright, appearing in roughly a third of the series' total episodes. He disappeared with no mention at the end of season eleven after failing to get a raise from producer Dortort. Young orphaned teenager Jamie Hunter did become a real fourth Cartwright son when he was taken in by Ben in Season 12 and legally adopted in "A Home for Jamie" the next season. In the wake of Dan Blocker's death following Season 13, the cast was beefed up. David Canary returned as Candy (reportedly Michael Landon personally asked him to appear) and Tim Matheson was added a Griff King, a young man paroled into Ben's custody who was hired as a ranch hand.
    ---------------------------------- The loss of Blocker left a hole that simply couldn't be filled. This, combined with the show's move to Tuesday nights after eleven years on Sunday, dealt the series a death blow. Ratings took a nosedive and Bonanza aired it final episode in the middle of Season 14 on January 16. 1973.
    ---------------------------------- After all these years, Bonanza remains hugely popular. Besides the quality of the program itself, having filmed in color has kept it from looking "old". Episodes began to be released by CBS/Paramount on DVD beginning in 2009, and were uncut from their network airing with all the original music intact.
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  • 123
    Star Trek

    Star Trek

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    NBC (ended 1969)
    "Space...The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before!"

    The series is set in the 23rd century where Earth has survived World War III then moved on to explore the stars. Humanity has allied with other alien races and formed the United Federation of Planets, and Starfleet serves as its exploratory and military branch. Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise explores the galaxy with a crew of 430 men and women, contacting new life forms, conducting diplomat missions, and exploring the unknown.

    Star Trek premiered on NBC after executive producer and creator Gene Roddenberry produced not one but two pilots to convince them of the quality of his show. The series ran two years but never achieved good ratings despite building a small but solid fan following. A letter-writing campaign convinced NBC to run a third season, but Roddenberry left in protest and the network buried the show in a late Friday night time slot.

    After its three-year run Star Trek began running syndication where it was discovered by legion of new fans and became a phenomenon. This led to an animated series, six movies, and four spin-off television shows. Despite its short network run, Star Trek has become one of the most successful shows in television history.

    Aside from its three main stars, Star Trek featured a large cast of reoccurring guest stars that includes James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, and Grace Lee Whitney. Other notable guest stars include Diana Muldaur, Gary Lockwood, Ricardo Montalban, Sally Kellerman, Julie Newmar, Frank Gorshin, John Colicos, Roger C. Carmel, William Campbell, Ted Cassidy, Michael Ansara and Elisha Cook, Jr. Notable writers for the series include Gene Roddenberry, Gene L. Coon, George Clayton Johnson, Jerry Sohl, Jerome Bixby, Robert Bloch, Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, David Gerrold, and D.C. Fontana.moreless
  • 124
    Leverage

    Leverage

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    TNT (ended 2012)
    "Get ready to get even." Meet Nathan Ford, a former insurance investigator who spent his professional career dedicated to the company that he recovered millions in stolen goods for. This same insurance company would refuse a medical claim for his son that would take the life of the innocent child. Unemployed and teetering on the edge, Nate is approached about a Robin Hood-like scheme. He enlists the help of the best thieves and grifters in the business, and with their help, he steals from the rich and gives to the poor to help balance the crooks in high power positions. He and his team help provide...leverage. Leverage is produced by Electric Entertainment.moreless
  • 125
    The Sopranos

    The Sopranos

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    HBO (ended 2007)
    Meet Tony Soprano: your average, middle-aged businessman. Tony's got a dutiful wife. A not-so-dutiful son. A daughter named Meadow. An uncle who's losing his marbles. A hot-headed nephew. A not-too-secret mistress. And a shrink to tell all his secrets, except the one she already knows: Tony's a mob boss whose troubles are wrapped up in his two families. These days, it's getting tougher and tougher to make a killing in the killing business. Just because you're 'made' doesn't mean you've got it made.moreless
  • 126
    The Twilight Zone

    The Twilight Zone

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    CBS (ended 1964)
    The series was a collection of various tales that range from the tragic to the comedic. They may be scary or just thought-provoking. Most episodes have unexpected endings and a moral lesson. But, no matter what, it's "a journey into a wondrous land, whose boundaries are that of the imagination." Rod Serling, creator and host of the series, won two Emmys for outstanding writing (1960 & '61), and the Golden Globe in 1962 for best TV director/producer. Reruns of the original Twilight Zone can be seen on the US Sci Fi channel. This is the Original 1959 series, not the CBS The Twilight Zone (1985) version nor the UPN The Twilight Zone (2002) version. CBS Programming History October 1959-September 1962 ..... Friday 10:00 January 1963-September 1963 ..... Thursday 9:00 September 1961-September 1964 ..... Friday 9:30 May 1965-September 1965 ..... Sunday 9:00 Note: Seasons 1-3 & 5 have a running time of 30 minutes. All of the episodes in Season 4 have a running time of one hour.moreless
  • 127
    Queer as Folk

    Queer as Folk

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    Showtime (ended 2005)
    Queer as Folk is an innovative, provocative, and groundbreaking series that has now ended after a five year run, the series chronicled the friendships, careers, loves, trials, tribulations, and ambitions of a diverse group of gay men and lesbians living in Pittsburgh, PA. Blending strong drama with necessary charm and humor, it rivals any other show presented on television.

    Over the shows run it has managed to cover a wide range of issues including Aids, cancer, drug addictions and the trials of love.

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  • 128
    Law & Order: UK

    Law & Order: UK

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    ITV
    The longest-running crime series in U.S. television history has made its way across the pond for a UK reworking. Series creator Dick Wolf has given Law & Order a makeover-for fans in the UK. Law & Order: UK sets out to retain the grittiness of the original series, but be uniquely British. The show commenced broadcast in 2009 and is not to be confused with the 1978 crime drama Law and Order.moreless
  • 129
    CSI: NY

    CSI: NY

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    CBS (ended 2013)
    The third edition of the "CSI" franchise sets up shop in the Big Apple, where taciturn Detective Mac Taylor (GarySinise) leads a crime-solving team. Like his counterparts in Las Vegas and Miami, Taylor knows that people may lie, but the evidence rarely does. In the city that never sleeps, CSI: NY never rests. A spin-off from CSI: Miami, the third edition to the CSI franchise follows a New York City forensics team/police officers headed by former tough Marine Major, Det. Mac Taylor. Against a backdrop of simmering ethnic and cultural tensions, Taylor probes cases similar to their Las Vegas and Miami counterparts, along with his team of Detectives, consisting of Det. Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo), Det. Lindsay Monroe (Anna Belknap), and Det. Dr. Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper). The CSIs work alongside Medical Examiner Sid Hammerback (Robert Joy), lab rat Adam Ross (A.J. Buckley), hardcore homicide Det. Don Flack (Eddie Cahill) and the newest addition to the team, Det. Jo Danville (Sela Ward), an experienced investigator from Washington, D.C., whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim. Former team members include the late Det. Aiden Burn (Vanessa Ferlito) and Mac's former second in command, Det. Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes).moreless
  • 130
    The Secret Life of the American Teenager

    The Secret Life of the American Teenager

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    ABC Family
    An ABC Family original series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager centers on the topic of teen pregnancy. Band geek Amy discovers that she's pregnant after a one-night stand with Ricky Underwood, the school's player. Meanwhile, devout Christian cheerleader Grace promises abstinence to her parents.moreless
  • 131
    Perry Mason

    Perry Mason

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    CBS (ended 1966)
    There are few actors so closely tied to a persona than Raymond Burr as Perry Mason. This long-running series was built upon Erle Stanley Gardner´s many novels about a brilliant defense lawyer and his staff, that solved many a crime with surprise witnesses and stern cross-examinations. It was the first mystery series to feature chalk or tape outlines to mark the spots where bodies were found. Filmed almost exclusively in the Los Angeles area, Raymond Burr had Gardner's seal of approval in the role. The cases were usually won by way of pivotal confessions of witnesses, solicited by Perry Mason (Burr's) surgeon-like examination or with last-minute, key evidence brought into the courtroom by private investigator Paul Drake (William Hopper). Della Street (Barbara Hale), Perry´s faithful secretary, was always at Perry's side in the courtroom where hapless Hamilton Burger (William Tallman) was the Los Angeles District Attorney who never seemed to win. As to the myth that Perry Mason never lost, there were two episodes where it did occur... but you'll have to watch to find out. The show was revived in 1973-74, with other actors in the familiar roles (Monte Markham as Mason), and then again with the some of the original cast, in a string of feature length TV films from 1985 until Raymond Burr´s death in 1993.moreless
  • 132
    In the Heat of the Night

    In the Heat of the Night

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    NBC (ended 1995)
    Based on the critically acclaimed novel of the same name, this series provided a hopeful, yet honest look at life in the new South. Set in the fictional Sparta, Mississippi, the show was a marvelous blend of heartfelt drama and folksy humor. It portrayed both the professional and personal pursuits of Sparta P.D's officers. Series star Carroll O'Connor, in a role far removed from Archie Bunker, served as executive producer. Using the pen name Matt Harris, Mr. O'Connor was also the story editor and wrote many of the episodes.moreless
  • 133
    Degrassi: The Next Generation

    Degrassi: The Next Generation

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    Much Music
    The Emmy nominated Degrassi: The Next Generation (shortened to 'Degrassi' from Season 10+) is a spin-off of the long running Degrassi franchise from Linda Schuyler, creator of Kids on Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High and School's Out. Similar to its predecessor the teens of Degrassi Community School face a variety of issues, from sexual abuse, to drug addiction, to heartaches. It's never a dull moment in the halls of Degrassi.

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  • 134
    Hostages

    Hostages

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    CBS
    Dr. Ellen Sanders is a prominent surgeon whose life changes when her family is taken hostage in the midst of a political conspiracy. Their captor, rogue FBI Agent Duncan Carlisle, wants her to kill the President when she operates on him. With a team of accomplices, Carlisle keeps the family in their home putting Ellen in a desperate position to keep her not so ordinary family safe. moreless
  • 135
    Sleepy Hollow

    Sleepy Hollow

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    FOX (Returning Fall 2014)
    This is a modern day twist on Washington Irving's classic in which Ichabod Crane, resurrected 250 years in the future, pairs up with a present-day cop, Lieutenant Abbie Mills, to save the town of Sleepy Hollow from unparalleled evil. With Ichabod's extensive first-hand knowledge of this country’s hidden history and Abbie’s superior profiling and modern threat assessment skills, the two make an awesome team. Ichabod realizes early on that stopping his formidable foe, the Headless Horseman, is just the beginning, and he is but the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Clues from past mysteries enlighten the present as each episode features a flashback to Ichabods's 1776 life. The stories are shrouded in American history and mythology. Besides his own, another life in the balance is Ichabod's late wife, Katrina, who has become trapped in a type of netherworld. In order to save her, all he can do is gather the secrets he finds about her. Part of Ichabod's new life is Captain Frank Irving who doesn't always believe Ichabod's tales of 1776 but when bizarre events unfold that can't be explained, Irving grudgingly hands over the cases to Ichabod and Abbie.moreless
  • 136
    Days of our Lives

    Days of our Lives

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    NBC
    Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of our Lives...

    For over forty years, those words, spoken by the late Macdonald Carey, have introduced and underscored one of daytime drama's rare mainstays. NBC's Days of our Lives, will celebrate its 48th anniversary on November 8, 2013. It first premiered as a half-hour drama in 1965 and expanded to an hour ten years later. Today, it remains a consistent favorite among viewers of daytime television serials. It is the powerhouse of NBC's soap opera lineup and demonstrates its staying power in television history.

    In its lifetime years, Days of our Lives has garnered numerous Emmy Awards, Soap Opera Digest Awards and People's Choice Awards. The show's success derives from its consistent commitment to excellence in writing and storytelling, supported by an ensemble of performers, and an uncanny knack for anticipating viewer interests. From demonic possessions and baby switches to exciting teen stories and love triangles, Days of our Lives remains a perennial favorite among viewers of all ages.

    Filmed in Burbank, California, Days of our Lives is set in the fictitious midwestern town of Salem. The core families are the Hortons and the Bradys, and the multi-layered storylines involve elements of romance, adventure, mystery, comedy and drama. Original cast member Frances Reid continues to star as Alice Horton.

    Days of our Lives is produced by Corday Productions Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Executive producer, Ken Corday, is following in the tradition of his parents, Betty and Ted Corday, who co-created Days of our Lives and helmed the series for many years.moreless
  • 137
    The Waltons

    The Waltons

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    CBS (ended 1981)
    This is the story of the Waltons. The show takes place during the Depression and then during World War II. John & Olivia had eight kids, three girls and five boys. One of the boys died at birth; he was a twin to Jim-Bob. John and Olivia's children names are John-Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Erin, Ben, twins Jim-Bob & Joseph, and Elizabeth; Joseph died at birth. John's parents also lived with them - Esther and Zeb. The Waltons was based on the life of the Hamner family. Earl Hamner Jr. was the show's creator and narrator. This show was based on his life growing up.moreless
  • 138
    Hell on Wheels

    Hell on Wheels

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    AMC
    The series focuses on former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon, a foreman working on the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad, and his mission to hunt down the Union soldiers responsible for his wife's death.moreless
  • 139
    Nikita

    Nikita

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    The CW (ended 2013) (Returning November 22, 2013)
    This project by The CW Network is based on the original French film La Femme Nikita. The story is about two assassins for a top-secret government organization called Division. One of the assassins goes rogue, and a second assassin is training to replace the old one. Maggie Q stars as Nikita, who tries to take down the division with her ally, a mole inside the Division, Alex, played by Lyndsy Fonseca. Nikita was trained by Michael, played by Shane West, who sees the new recruits of the Division as a family to him.moreless
  • 140
    Spartacus: Blood and Sand

    Spartacus: Blood and Sand

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    Starz (ended 2010)
    Starz is set to bring gladiators to the small screen withSpartacus: Blood and Sand from executive producers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Joshua Donen. The high budget 13-episode first season premieres on January 22, 2010 with a second season already scheduled for 2011. The show will star Andy Whitfield as the infamous title character Spartacus.moreless
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