The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME

"First, I apologize. I know I left some of your favorite shows off this list. How do I know that? Because I left some of my favorite shows off this list. The happy and unfortunate fact is that there are far more than 100 great shows, and more created every year. Lists are incredibly important: they are how we define what matters to us, what we want entertainment and art to do, what we expect of our culture."
TIME TV critic James Poniewozik

General Hospital

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Considering that successful soaps tend to outlast stars, viewers, and nearly everything except giant tortoises and redwoods, it makes more sense to assess them by their individual eras rather than as overall series. In the Luke and Laura Era, during the late '70s and early '80s under producer Gloria Monty, GH had the greatest cultural reach of any daytime soap ever. It dominated the ratings—nearly 30 million people watched the star-crossed couple wed—and paved the way for primetime soaps like Dynasty, with its over-the-top stories and characters like the Quartermaine Family. The glitzy, garish, ga-ga golden era of GH defined a TV genre in which too much was barely enough.

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