Go to the NEW FORUM
This is considered as if you're about to watch the show right now. In other words, I don't care that NYPD Blue was groundbreaking in its day; we're still comparing it directly with The Wire.
This is just the size of my pantheon - Lost certainly isn't the worst show I've ever watched.
1. Arrested Development
2. The Wire
3. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
4. Freaks and Geeks
5. Friday Night Lights
6. Six Feet Under
7. Parks and Recreation
8. Breaking Bad
10. Mad Men
11. Veronica Mars
12. Flight of the Conchords
13. Party Down
15. The Office (US)
18. 30 Rock
21. Game of Thrones
22. The Comeback
23. The West Wing
24. Modern Family
26. The Inbetweeners
28. Queer as Folk (UK)
29. Curb Your Enthusiasm
31. My So-Called Life
32. South Park
33. How I Met Your Mother
34. Andy Richter Controls the Universe
35. Slings and Arrows
36. Chappelle's Show
38. Men of a Certain Age
39. United States of Tara
40. Downton Abbey
41. Better Off Ted
1. The Wire
2. Band of Brothers*
4. The Sopranos
6. Six Feet Under
8. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
9. Top Gear
10. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
11. The Shield
12. Arrested Development
15. How I Met Your Mother
16. Fawlty Towers
18. Breaking Bad
19. The Office (UK)
20. Generation Kill*
21. Game of Thrones
23. The Pacific
24. Battlestar Galactica
25. Sons Of Anarchy
*Mini-series. If they don't count, #24 and #25 are Justified and Family Guy, respectively.
Sorry my list is so recent-heavy. My exposure is limited by my age.
I'm about to catch up on The Wire and Breaking Bad on Netflix, so my list may change soon.
The Daily Show
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister
The Colbert Report
Band Of Brothers
Star Trek: The Original Series
The Office (US)
Parks and Recreation
Family Guy (Pre cancellation ONLY)
Six Feet Under
I've tried a few episodes of some of the older acclaimed television series (i.e. I Love Lucy, All In The Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show) to see what the fuss is all about and I find them to be rather mediocre, if not wholly disappointing. I think I can fairly confidently say none of those 4 would be in my top 25 if I'd seen them completely.
Those are just the sitcoms and melodramas though, they're the equivalent of say, 2 1/2 Men or Grey's Anatomy.
I've seen a few episodes of The Fugitive, and they were fantastic.
Oh, one big one I forgot from my list: The Twilight Zone. That's somewhere in the top ten.
A few more for lower in my list:
King of the Hill
Monty Python's Flying Circus
I'm not a huge TV guy, I mostly watch baseball and football.
However, I do like the Golden Girls, Family Guy, and Everybody Hates Chris.
I just started watching Breaking Bad and The Wire, definitely add them both to my list.
For BB I saw the first two episodes when it started then just kind of lapsed, I think because something else was on at the same time. But episode 3 is when it really becomes spectacular.
The Wire is awesome, if slightly below hype. The writing is great but the cops are a little cliche.
At the end of season one, you should be mildly impressed.
In the middle of season two, you should be mildly bored.
By the middle of season three, you should be excited.
Season four will make your brain explode.
Last night's Breaking Bad just made the show move up 5 spots on my list.
Also, I don't really agree with your assessment of The Wire.
1x01-1x05 - Mildly impressed.
1x06 - Things click and it's genius.
1x07-1x12 - Brilliant.
2 - Bit of a disappointment but still better than just about anything on TV
3 - Oh my god this is so fucking genius I can't believe some people stopped watching in season 2 because this is the best thing that ever existed ever.
4 - Where can they go from here? Oh. There. Awesome!
5 - See 4.
Not a big watcher of TV shows these days with 95% of what I watch being sports but some of my favourites over the years:
The Wonder Years
The Office (UK)
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
Saturday Night Live
Freaks And Geeks
Never been a huge fan of dramas - they generally require more attention than I can usually be bothered giving...
The second time you watch The Wire you're mostly just over-the-top impressed the whole time. Every character is awesome.