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Top 10 TV series of the decade
Fri Nov 27, 2009 6:56pm EST
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By Barry Garron
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Every decade has its landmark TV shows, and there will or should never be complete agreement on which 10 series belong at the top of the list.
For purposes of this list, a TV show is eligible only if it premiered in or after 1999. In addition, TV shows were judged on their artistic merit and overall contribution to the medium, not on their ratings or profit margins.
10. MODERN FAMILY
* ABC, 2009-present
It's a little risky to pick a new show as one of the best of the decade, even after seeing about a dozen episodes. In the case of "Modern Family," the risk is minimized by the track record of its creators, Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd. At a time when most new shows are just finding themselves, this one has been so consistently funny, smartly produced and crisply written that it has all the earmarks of a classic in the making.
* ABC, 2004-present
Part adventure, part mystery and part sci-fi, "Lost" defies convenient characterization. Supposedly conceived as a blend of "Lord of the Flies," "Survivor," "Gilligan's Island" and "Cast Away," the series developed a unique mythology and an unconventional rhythm that mixed stories of the present with those from the past and future. Creators Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof created one of TV's biggest casts, then made each character utterly fascinating.
* Fox, 2001-present
Robert Cochran and Joel Surnow conceived this series when the idea of a terrorist attack that would bring down the World Trade Center towers seemed inconceivable. But when the unthinkable happened, America rallied around indefatigable agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and some super-suspenseful, action-packed, provocative stories. Even the real CIA took notes. With an uncanny knack for selecting guest stars and a real-time format, "24" injected shots of excitement to the small screen.
7. 30 ROCK
* NBC, 2006-present
Maybe it's because Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels know TV from both sides of the camera. More than that, they understand the nutty things that happen when the surf of corporate culture pounds the shore of creative anarchy. "30 Rock," a TV show within a TV show, is occasionally guilty of biting the hand that schedules it, but never runs out of business and showbiz targets ripe for being lampooned.
6. MAD MEN Continued...
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