M*A*S*H Voted 2nd Best TV Show of All Time

On Tuesday, ABC broadcast a two-hour installment of 20/20 titled “Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time with Barbara Walters.” The special counted down the Top 5 shows in a number of categories including Best Comedy, Best Drama, Best TV Mom, Best Non-Human Character, Best Reality Show and Best Shows of All Time.

According to an ABC News article, “nominees in all categories were determined by an all-star panel of television writers, producers, actors and directors. And from the list of nominees, Americans registered more than one million online votes earlier this summer.”

In the Best Shows of All Time category, M*A*S*H came in second behind I Love Lucy. Here’s the Top 5:

  1. Cheers
  2. All in the Family
  3. Seinfeld
  4. M*A*S*H
  5. I Love Lucy

Confusingly, M*A*S*H ranked third in the Best Comedy category where it was beaten by Seinfeld and I Love Lucy:

  1. All in the Family
  2. The Cosby Show
  3. M*A*S*H
  4. Seinfeld
  5. I Love Lucy

You can view clips or the entire show at the ABC News Best in TV site.


  • I was pleasantly surprised to see that M*A*S*H was the number two best TV series of all time, even though I was hoping it would be in the top five, I didn’t think it would rank that high… in fact, I was thinking it would come in somewhere lower, similar to the top five best comedies. My thinking was something like this…

    5. The Big Bang Theory (just based on how over-rated it is)
    4. M*A*S*H
    3. All in the Family
    2. I Love Lucy
    1. Seinfeld

  • chuckles says:

    I say M*A*S*H, then I Love Lucy, Waltons, and All in the Family………I personally hate Seinfeld…….

  • Chuck says:

    I really see no basis for comparison of MASH and I Love Lucy. I don’t get how Lucy can push out MASH.

    • chuckles says:

      I totally agree. M*A*S*H dealt with so many more aspects of acting besides comedy….

    • Well I Love Lucy was pretty much the first successful sitcom that television ever produced, and it managed to make a lot out of what limitations they had to work with (ala just four main actors, among other things). Not to mention, look at all the classic, memorable moments that everybody remembers: the chocolate factory, Vitameatavegemin, stomping grapes, Lucy’s pregnancy, the visit to Hollywood story arc, the visit to Europe story arc, among other things… just about the only memorable moments people remember from M*A*S*H are Henry’s death, and GFA.

  • Pinkpagoda says:

    Also I Love Lucy was groundbreaking, for showing an interracial couple happily married – for a woman being the head of the production – and for being actually believable (for the most part) – and FUNNY – in a Non Milton Berle manner.

    EVERYONE loved Lucy. However, Mash does still get my vote.

  • Mr truth Seeker says:

    All in the Family is in a league of its own. Like The Beatles , nothing compares. Seinfeld is quite possibly the MOST OVER RATED PIECE of mediocrity ever forced down the collective public throat. If the network spins a campaign calling Seinfeld a genius , and his rating fly because of an aggressive PR blitz , people will begin to believe the hype. In Seinfelds case, he is the monkeys of rock and roll . A Nice jewish boy , a not so gifted comedian with his own TV show , in an industry run by jews . Take it from me , i am a New York jew. Seinfeld ain’t no Genius , on the contrary, he is manufactured hit , with one genuine talent on his show, and believe me it’s not Jerry.

  • Mr truth Seeker says:

    Seinfeld or andy griffith. ? Wow , Look at all that talent on Andy griffith , Seinfeld made a lot of money for a lot of people , but so did Prince And Brittany Spears . Com’ on folks, lets thaw the ice here, The Andy Griffith show is a pioneering gem stone , a monumental tour de force with great performances from the entire cast, Seinfeld is a yuppy bar/club hoppers delight. And never in history have yuppies been deemed fit to be good intellectual minds with artistic sensibility . Seinfeld is what happens when you pander to that sports jock all american anti intellectual god fearing sanitized yuppy. Seinfeld is the result of the manipulation of millions of young anti intellectual, generally conservative americans, in a generation that saw great leaps and bounds in financial affluence. Financial affluence gained from the fruit and labor of cold vacant unimaginative sweat. Sweat on the brow of a yuppy , those seinfeld followers , those sanitized hicks, we’ve come to know as yuppies.

  • todd says:

    I judge them by how timeless they are, and the breadth of emotions they tend to evoke.

    M*A*S*H did not need a laugh track. M*A*S*H transcended comedy. I watched it in prime-time when new, and still watch it today.

    Most all other TV pales by comparison.

    Saturday Night Live has had ups and downs, but it should be in the top five.
    Another absolute gem that only lasted but two seasons(one can easily be too good for television) is My So-Called Life.

    I have no issue with Seinfeld, All In The Family or Cheers. If Cheers would have been killed off when Shelley Long departed, I might place it a solid No. 2. That comedy just about perfect during the ‘Diane Days.’ The humor that abounds in Frasier is terrific as well.

    It is really sad that this list is entirely Amero-centric as there are many British comedies that I would slot in there.

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