The BEST Shows of 2012

The top 50 shows of 2012

Gintama

#1 - Gintama

Gintama is a story of a handyman named Gintoki, a samurai with no respect for rules set by the invaders, who's ready to take any job to survive. He and his gang, however, are also among the very few who have not forgotten the morale of a swordsman. Wherever they go, all they do is to create troubles.

star 8.48
12,615 votes
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Sherlock

#2 - Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. John Watson solve crimes in 21st century London.

star 8.33
71,675 votes
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Gravity Falls

#3 - Gravity Falls

Twin brother and sister Dipper and Mabel Pines are in for an unexpected adventure when they spend the summer helping their Great Uncle Stan run a tourist trap in the mysterious town of Gravity Falls, Oregon.

star 8.28
42,397 votes
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Fairy Tail

#4 - Fairy Tail

In the land of Fiore, magic is everywhere. Sorcerers are like skilled tradesmen who band together in "guilds" and take on paying assignments for non-magic wielders, like hunting monsters, retrieving lost items or running odd errands. Lucy is an aspiring wizard who wants to hook up with the coolest guild around, Fairy Tail. One day, she meets a red-headed boy who saves her from a unscrupulous wizard, and before she knows it, she's introduced to the wild and wacky band of wizards of Fairy Tail and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

star 8.25
30,626 votes
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Game of Thrones

#5 - Game of Thrones

Seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros. Friction between the houses leads to full-scale war. All while a very ancient evil awakens in the farthest north. Amidst the war, a neglected military order of misfits, the Night's Watch, is all that stands between the realms of men and the icy horrors beyond.

star 8.15
920,954 votes
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The Newsroom (2012)

#6 - The Newsroom (2012)

The Newsroom is an American drama television series created and primarily written by Aaron Sorkin. The series chronicles the behind-the-scenes events at the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) channel. It features an ensemble cast including Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McAvoy, who, together with his staff set out to put on a news show "in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal entanglements."

star 8.09
23,971 votes
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Call the Midwife

#7 - Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife is a drama series adapted for television by Heidi Thomas from Jennifer Worth's best selling memoir of the same name. The series is a colourful look at the world of midwifery and family life in 1950s East End London. Jenny joins an eccentric community of nursing nuns having just qualified.

star 8.05
17,597 votes
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Breaking Bad

#8 - Breaking Bad

When Walter White, a chemistry teacher, is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live, he chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime with the intent to secure his family's financial security.

star 8.05
291,555 votes
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Teen Wolf

#9 - Teen Wolf

Scott McCall, a high school student who is bitten by a werewolf, must cope with its effects on him, his friends, and his family.

star 8.05
108,954 votes
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Hunter x Hunter (2011)

#10 - Hunter x Hunter (2011)

Remake of the 1999 TV series of Hunter x Hunter based on the manga by Togashi Yoshihiro. A Hunter is one who travels the world doing all sorts of dangerous tasks. From capturing criminals to searching deep within uncharted lands for any lost treasures. Gon is a young boy whose father disappeared long ago, being a Hunter. He believes if he could also follow his father’s path, he could one day reunite with him. After becoming 12, Gon leaves his home and takes on the task of entering the Hunter exam, notorious for its low success rate and high probability of death to become an official Hunter. He befriends the revenge-driven Kurapica, the doctor-to-be Leorio and the rebellious ex-assassin Killua in the exam, with their friendship prevailing throughout the many trials and threats they come upon taking on the dangerous career of a Hunter.

star 8.03
24,233 votes
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Line of Duty

#11 - Line of Duty

A drama about the investigations of AC-12, a controversial police anticorruption unit.

star 8.02
33,820 votes
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Young Justice

#12 - Young Justice

The series follows the lives of teenage heroes and sidekicks who are members of a fictional covert operation group referred to simply as "the team." Young Justice is essentially a young counterpart to the famous adult team, the Justice League. The main setting is a fictional universe apart from the previous DC Animated Universe (and other continuities) during a time period in which superheroes are a relatively recent phenomenon.

star 8.02
26,030 votes
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Dragons

#13 - Dragons

Taking place between How to Train Your Dragon and HTTYD 2, DreamWorks Dragons follows Hiccup as he tries to keep balance within the new cohabitation of Dragons and Vikings. Alongside keeping up with Berk's newest installment—A Dragon Training Academy—Hiccup, Toothless, and the rest of the Viking Teens are put to the test when they are faced with new worlds harsher than Berk, new dragons that can't all be trained, and new enemies who are looking for every reason to destroy the harmony between Vikings and Dragons altogether.

star 8.01
16,569 votes
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Person of Interest

#14 - Person of Interest

John Reese, a presumed dead former CIA agent, is approached by a mysterious billionaire named Harold Finch to prevent violent crimes before they happen by using an advanced surveillance system dubbed "The Machine". Their unique brand of vigilante justice attracts the attention of two NYPD officers, Joss Carter and Lionel Fusco, whom Reese uses to his advantage as he investigates persons of interest.

star 7.98
217,519 votes
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Louie (2010)

#15 - Louie (2010)

Louis C.K. stars as a fictionalized version of himself; a comedian and newly divorced father raising his two daughters in New York City.

star 7.97
25,595 votes
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Duck Dynasty

#16 - Duck Dynasty

Series introduces the Robertsons, a Louisiana bayou family living the American dream as they operate a thriving business while staying true to their family values and lifestyle. Ask anyone in Louisiana and they'll tell you that the bayou state's favorite first family doesn't live in the governor's mansion but in the backwoods, where the Robertsons' rags-to-riches story is still unfolding. A homegrown mom-and-pop operation, Duck Commander has become a sporting empire by fabricating top-of-the-line duck calls and decoys out of salvaged swamp wood. This newly minted multimillionaire family is kept in line by business-savvy Willie, who runs Duck Commander with the help of his brother Jase, their respective wives Korie and Missy, patriarch and founder of the company, Phil, and uncle Si. Together they run a booming business that employs half their neighborhood, but at the end of the day, you can find the whole family around matriarch Miss Kay's dinner table.

star 7.97
19,799 votes
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Parks and Recreation

#17 - Parks and Recreation

The series follows Leslie Knope, the deputy head of the Parks and Recreation department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Knope takes on a project with a nurse named Ann to turn a construction pit into a park, while trying to mentor a bored college-aged intern. However, Leslie must fight through the bureaucrats, problem neighbors, and developers in order to make her dream a reality, all while with a camera crew recording her every gaff and mishap.

star 7.96
181,897 votes
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Key & Peele

#18 - Key & Peele

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele present "Key & Peele," an original sketch-comedy show coming to Comedy Central in 2012. In this new series these fresh, relevant comedic actor-writers, used to being on the outside looking in, will examine life in a provocative and irreverent way, through a combination of filmed sketches and live stage segments. Whether it's satirizing the President, spoofing Nazis, or ordering up some soul food, "Key & Peele" will showcase their chemistry, camaraderie and unique point of view, born from their shared background and experiences growing up biracial in a not quite post-racial world.

star 7.96
12,827 votes
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The Legend of Korra

#19 - The Legend of Korra

Avatar Korra, a headstrong, rebellious, feisty young woman who continually challenges and breaks with tradition, is on her quest to become a fully realized Avatar. In this story, the Avatar struggles to find balance within herself.

star 7.96
44,852 votes
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Spartacus

#20 - Spartacus

Betrayed by the Romans. Forced into slavery. Reborn as a Gladiator. The classic tale of the Republic’s most infamous rebel comes alive in the graphic and visceral new series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Torn from his homeland and the woman he loves, Spartacus is condemned to the brutal world of the arena where blood and death are primetime entertainment. But not all battles are fought upon the sands. Treachery, corruption, and the allure of sensual pleasures will constantly test Spartacus. To survive, he must become more than a man. More than a gladiator. He must become a legend.

star 7.95
30,771 votes
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Downton Abbey

#21 - Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era—with great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.

star 7.94
54,591 votes
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Dexter

#22 - Dexter

Dexter Morgan is a Miami-based blood spatter expert who doesn't just solve murders; he commits them too. In fact, he's a serial killer -- but he only murders the guilty, so he feels justified with his lifestyle choices. His policewoman sister and his cop co-workers have no idea Dexter lives a double life; however, adoptive father Harry knows his secret, and does, in fact, help Dexter hone his "skills." It's a unique brand of justice for which charming Dexter feels a psychological hunger.

star 7.92
140,722 votes
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Heartland (2007) (CA)

#23 - Heartland (2007) (CA)

Life is hard on the Flemings' ranch in the Alberta foothills where abused or neglected horses find refuge with a kind, hard-working family. Debts abound and the bank is about to foreclose. Can they keep the ranch running?

star 7.91
17,142 votes
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White Collar

#24 - White Collar

A white collar criminal agrees to help the FBI catch other white collar criminals using his expertise as an art and securities thief, counterfeiter, and conman.

star 7.91
62,433 votes
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Wilfred (US)

#25 - Wilfred (US)

Ryan, a young man struggling unsuccessfully to make his way in the world forms a unique friendship with Wilfred, his neighbor's canine pet. Everyone else sees Wilfred as just a dog, but Ryan sees a crude and somewhat surly, yet irrepressibly brave and honest Australian bloke in a cheap dog suit. While leading him through a series of comedic and existential adventures, Wilfred the dog shows Ryan the man how to overcome his fears and joyfully embrace the unpredictability and insanity of the world around him.

star 7.91
10,518 votes
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Chicago Fire

#26 - Chicago Fire

No job is more stressful, dangerous or exhilarating than those of the Firefighters, Rescue Squad and Paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51. These are the courageous men and women who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way. But the enormous responsibilities of the job also take a personal toll. With big reputations and hefty egos, the pressure to perform and make split-second decisions is bound to put squad members at odds. When a tragedy claims one of their own, there's plenty of guilt and blame to go around. When it's "go-time" though, they put their differences aside and everything on the line for each other.

star 7.91
196,221 votes
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Ripper Street

#27 - Ripper Street

A drama set in the East End of London in 1889, during the aftermath of the "Ripper" murders. The action centres around the notorious H Division – the police precinct from hell – which is charged with keeping order in the chaotic streets of Whitechapel. Ripper Street explores the lives of characters trying to recover from the Ripper's legacy, from crimes that have not only irretrievably altered their lives, but the very fabric of their city. At the drama's heart our detectives try to bring a little light into the dark world they inhabit.

star 7.89
11,025 votes
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Sons of Anarchy

#28 - Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy is an adrenalized drama with darkly comedic undertones that explores a notorious outlaw motorcycle club’s (MC) desire to protect its livelihood while ensuring that their simple, sheltered town of Charming, California remains exactly that, charming. The MC must confront threats from drug dealers, corporate developers, and overzealous law officers. Behind the MC’s familial lifestyle and legally thriving automotive shop is a ruthless and illegal arms business driven by the seduction of money, power, and blood.

star 7.89
149,950 votes
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Sword Art Online

#29 - Sword Art Online

In the near future, a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online has been released where players control their avatars with their bodies using a piece of technology called Nerve Gear. One day, players discover they cannot log out, as the game creator is holding them captive unless they reach the 100th floor of the game's tower and defeat the final boss. However, if they die in the game, they die in real life. Their struggle for survival starts now...

star 7.89
24,013 votes
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Impractical Jokers

#30 - Impractical Jokers

Four comedians and lifelong friends compete to embarrass each other out amongst the general public with a series of hilarious and outrageous dares. When Sal, Joe, Q, and Murr challenge each other to say or do something, they have to do it. And if they refuse, they lose. At the end of every episode, the biggest loser must endure a punishment of epic proportions.

star 7.89
74,983 votes
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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (2012)

#31 - JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (2012)

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure follows an intergenerational feud between the Joestar Family and various forces of evil, the most prominent of which is Dio Brando and his followers.

star 7.89
13,147 votes
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Ultimate Spider-Man

#32 - Ultimate Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider-Man will be a unique journey exploring our favorite web-slinger as he teams up with other fan favorite Marvel Super Heroes in never before seen stories with a new life filled with great challenges, new friends, intense action and character growth. Ultimate Spider-Man will tell a coming of age story, where hapless Peter Parker evolves from a naive teen hotshot to a true hero who comes to terms with his origins and abilities. As the storyline begins, Peter Parker has been Spider-Man for just one year. Hes fought villains, saved lives, but still has much to learn about being a super-hero. Now, Nick Fury gives Peter the chance to go to the next level to train to be a real super-hero and become The Ultimate Spider-Man. But before he can do that, Peter will have to learn how to work with a team of fellow teenage super-heroes. Along the way, he will have to navigate challenging relationships with mentors and super-colleagues, and emerge with a better understanding of his parents' legacy and his own destiny.

star 7.87
19,288 votes
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One Piece

#33 - One Piece

It was a time when pirates ruled the seas. Several bands of pirates were battling over the great hidden treasure, One Piece, which was left by the now legendary pirate captain, Gold Roger. There was a young boy who admired the pirates, his name was Monkey D. Luffy. One day, he mistakenly eats the devil's fruit and turns himself into a rubber human being. Ten years have passed since that incident. Luffy sets out to sail all alone. He sets out to become a great pirate captain and that's when his great adventure begins. "I'm going to be the Pirate King! I'm going to get One Piece!".

star 7.87
84,301 votes
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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

#34 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Four egocentric friends who run a neighborhood Irish pub in Philadelphia try to find their way through the adult world of work and relationships. Unfortunately, their warped views and precarious judgments often lead them to trouble, creating a myriad of uncomfortable situations that usually only get worse before they get better.

star 7.87
135,780 votes
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

#35 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

Four ninja turtles, mutated by a mysterious alien substance, must rise up out of the sewers and defend their city against evil forces from both the past and present.

star 7.87
13,051 votes
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Red Dwarf

#36 - Red Dwarf

Three million years after the demise of humanity, third technician Dave Lister awakes aboard the mining ship Red Dwarf. Sentenced to a period of suspended animation for smuggling his pet cat on board, he is joined by just four fellow survivors: second technician Arnold J Rimmer, a sneering-yet-inept hologram based on his one-time superior; Holly, a ship's computer reduced to near-senility by eons adrift in space; a humanoid descendant of the cat obsessed with fashion and fish; and Kryten, a salvaged android programmed to serve his useless companions. Together, this bickering band must come to terms with an existence which, in terms of productivity and purpose, isn't that far removed from its old one.

star 7.87
23,890 votes
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Bleach

#37 - Bleach

For as long as he can remember, Ichigo Kurosaki has been able to see ghosts. But when he meets Rukia, a Soul Reaper who battles evil spirits known as Hollows, he finds his life is changed forever when Rukia transfers most of her powers to him. Now a Soul Reaper himself with a newfound wealth of spiritual energy, Ichigo discovers his true calling: to protect the living and the dead from evil.

star 7.85
28,040 votes
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Suits

#38 - Suits

Suits follows college drop-out Mike Ross, who accidentally lands a job with one of New York's best legal closers, Harvey Specter. They soon become a winning team with Mike's raw talent and photographic memory, and Mike soon reminds Harvey of why he went into the field of law in the first place.

star 7.85
403,458 votes
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Justified

#39 - Justified

At the explosive center of the action, Western-style, gun-slinging U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens confronts murder, drugs, bank heists, mobsters, crime families, corrupt politicians and even his own tumultuous past and never backs down. His ultimate adversary is the cunning, complex outlaw Boyd Crowder, but the real wild card is Ava Crowder, the mysterious woman torn between the two men and both sides of the law.

star 7.85
66,117 votes
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Regular Show

#40 - Regular Show

The series revolves around the lives of two friends, a blue jay named Mordecai and a raccoon named Rigby—both employed as groundskeepers at a local park. Their regular attempts to slack off usually lead to surreal, extreme, and often supernatural misadventures. During these misadventures, they interact with the show's other main characters: Benson, Pops, Muscle Man, Hi-Five Ghost, Skips, Thomas, Margaret and Eileen.

star 7.85
36,944 votes
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Boardwalk Empire

#41 - Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire is a period drama focusing on Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (based on the historical Enoch L. Johnson), a political figure who rose to prominence and controlled Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition period of the 1920s and 1930s. Nucky acts with historical characters in both his personal and political life, including mobsters, politicians, government agents, and the common folk who look up to him. The federal government also takes an interest in the bootlegging and other illegal activities in the area, sending agents to investigate possible mob connections but also looking at Nucky's lifestyle—expensive and lavish for a county political figure. The final season jumps ahead seven years, to 1931, as Prohibition nears its end.

star 7.84
45,846 votes
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Eastbound & Down

#42 - Eastbound & Down

Relief Pitcher Kenny Powers was poised to rule the Big Leagues, but two things got in his way: his fading fastball and his insufferable personality. After a spectacular career flame-out, Kenny came home to Shelby, NC and picked up a job as a substitute gym teacher (mostly so his brother Dustin would stop threatening to kick him out). He's spent every moment since then cashing in the last of his dying fame while plotting his inevitable comeback...one beer at a time.

star 7.84
11,214 votes
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Homeland

#43 - Homeland

A bipolar CIA operative becomes convinced a prisoner of war has been turned by al-Qaeda and is planning to carry out a terrorist attack on American soil.

star 7.84
334,575 votes
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The Killing (2011)

#44 - The Killing (2011)

From writer, executive producer and series showrunner Veena Sud (Cold Case), The Killing is based on the wildly successful Danish television series Forbrydelsen and tells the story of the murder of a young girl in Seattle and the subsequent police investigation. The Killing ties together three distinct stories around a single murder including the detectives assigned to the case, the victim's grieving family, and the suspects. Set in Seattle, the story also explores local politics as it follows politicians connected to the case. As the series unfolds, it becomes clear that there are no accidents; everyone has a secret, and while the characters think they've moved on, their past isn't done with them.

star 7.84
34,854 votes
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Murdoch Mysteries

#45 - Murdoch Mysteries

A Victorian-era Toronto detective uses then-cutting edge forensic techniques to solve crimes, with the assistance of a female coroner who is also struggling for recognition in the face of tradition. Based on the books by Maureen Jennings.

star 7.84
32,307 votes
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RuPaul's Drag Race

#46 - RuPaul's Drag Race

RuPaul's Drag Race and Untucked return with more sickening styles, fierce challenges and backstage drama. Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, Ross Mathews and celeb guest judges join RuPaul as she sets out to crown America's Next Drag Superstar in this Emmy Award-winning show.

star 7.83
32,336 votes
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Archer (2009)

#47 - Archer (2009)

Archer follows the exploits of eight dysfunctional secret agents of the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS), a fictional New York-based intelligence agency. They are : Sterling Archer, the show's narcissistic, womanizing protagonist, Malory Archer, ISIS director and Sterling's snarky, emotionally distant mother, Lana Kane, Sterling's love interest and mother of his infant daughter, and by far the most professional field agent at ISIS, Ray Gillette, the agency's openly gay bomb specialist, Pam Poovey, the head of the agency's Human Resources department who is often ridiculed by her peers, Cyril Figgis, a mild-mannered accountant-turned-agent, Cheryl Tunt, Malory's delusional, psychotic personal assistant and Dr. Algernop Krieger, a bizarre, morally bankrupt scientist with little regard for the well-being of his subjects.

star 7.83
136,571 votes
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Community

#48 - Community

From Emmy Award-winner Dan Harmon comes "Community", a smart comedy series about higher education – and lower expectations. The student body at Greendale Community College is made up of high-school losers, newly divorced housewives, and old people who want to keep their minds active. Within these not-so-hallowed halls, Community focuses on a band of misfits, at the center of which is a fast-talking lawyer whose degree was found to be fake, who form a study group and end up learning a lot more about themselves than they do about their course work.

star 7.83
154,642 votes
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Misfits

#49 - Misfits

A group of teenagers are sentenced to community service for past mistakes only to find their lives changed after a storm gives them strange new powers and new problems to overcome.

star 7.83
21,191 votes
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Shameless (US)

#50 - Shameless (US)

Chicagoan Frank Gallagher is the proud single dad of six smart, industrious, independent kids, who without him would be... franco, perhaps better off. When Frank's not at the bar spending what little money they have, he's passed out on the floor. But the kids have found ways to grow up in spite of him. They may not be like any family you know, but they make no apologies for being exactly who they are.

star 7.83
261,832 votes
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