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7 TV Shows With Over 20 Seasons That Are Actually Still Worth Keeping Up With


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by Xtreme HD IPTV

Summary

  • Long-running TV series with extensive backstories can provide a rich and rewarding viewing experience.
  • Shows like The Simpsons and South Park have become cultural icons and are worth watching from the beginning.
  • Series like NCIS and Grey’s Anatomy have evolved over time, building complex character relationships and storylines.

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Some shows shatter expectations and survive well beyond 20 seasons, but only a few are worth following the story for a long time. As opposed to reality TV shows and sketch comedy, which appear to run forever, other genres of TV don’t usually have that much longevity. A series needs to build on whatever premise is at its core, and from there, expand and develop entertaining episodes that keep the audience engaged. If the concept is strong enough, it can go on for many years.

While reality TV doesn’t require audiences to watch every episode, a TV series such as a comedy, crime, or medical drama show benefits from having an extensive and rich backstory that builds with each season. Watching any TV show is a commitment, but when a show has 20 or more seasons, the time investment tends to be huge, some shows are worth taking the plunge and beginning to watch their extensive catalog. Whether it’s irreverent comedy, sci-fi adventures, or a great procedural, several shows have been going for a long time, and are worth every second it takes to watch them.

7 South Park (1997 – Present)

26 Seasons

Cartman in a crowd at CVS in South Park Not Suitable for Children

South Park, by creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, has been on the air for more than 25 years. The series has a highly unique animation style which makes the show quick to turn around each episode and one of the most on-the-pulse animated series of all time. The comedy is dark, and nothing is sacred, but the show is a good time throughout and the changes that occur around the fictional town of South Park, Colorado may be minor, but for an invested fan, it’s worth watching the entire series.

6 The Simpsons (1989 – Present)

35 Seasons

The Simpsons is the longest-running animated show in America, having run continuously since 1989. The Simpsons have amassed over 750 episodes to date, and with the series now streaming in its entirety on Disney+, it’s easier than ever to binge the entire show. Matt Groening’s original concept was featured during a long-running sketch show before the popularity of the characters warranted bringing them back multiple times. Eventually, Groening set up a new show focused on the Simpson family, and that is what became the powerhouse series that continues today, decades later.

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The Simpsons killed off only a handful of characters in over 750 episodes, and the show always has a good justification for these rare canon deaths.

The show has had a golden era and a significant dip in quality, but, in recent years, it appears to be picking back up. With the dysfunctional family that is so familiar to so many, the show is an easy watch, and full of great comedy moments, making it another ideal series to watch from the beginning and keep up to date with. However, more casual viewers can enjoy jumping in at any point, as the series doesn’t rely on an extensive backstory to make sense.

5 NCIS (2003 – Present)

20 Seasons

NCIS Season 1

NCIS is one of the most popular crime procedurals of all time, having inspired four spin-off shows, of which two are still going, and a new series is due to be released soon (via Forbes). During the show’s lengthy run, the core cast has changed considerably, with the show’s central protagonist, Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), seeking new creative pursuits and leaving the show in 2019. The show now focuses on Alden Parker (Gary Cole), who is heading up the department and is a relatively recent new entry to the series having first appeared in season 19.

4 Law & Order (1990 – Present)

23 Seasons

Mehcad Brooks as Jalen Shaw in Law & Order

Law & Order is a comprehensive crime procedural show that follows criminals and their court cases through the legal system. From crime to sentence, the show delivers a complete overview of the highlights of what happens in the justice system. The show is in its 23rd season after starting in 1990, and while there was an extended hiatus from 2010 to 2022, the show is now back on track and delivering even more intriguing and interesting cases. Law & Order has also inspired several spin-offs thanks to the strong following the show has amassed.

3 Family Guy (1999 – Present)

22 Seasons

Family Guy characters in the living room

While The Simpsons walks the line between being a family show and being entertaining for older audiences, Family Guy leans much more heavily into its adult humor. The show is full of visual gags and irreverent comedy, and overall, the series is incredibly funny. While many animated families on TV don’t grow or change much throughout the show’s run, there have been obvious changes throughout the main family, but nothing drastic. All that said, Family Guy is a great binge-series with over 400 episodes and additional specials to explore.

Related

10 Best Family Guy Characters Voiced By Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane, Family Guy’s creator, also voices many of the show’s characters. Some of his performances require more skill than others.

2 Doctor Who (1963 – 1989, 2005 – Present)

26 Seasons + 13 Seasons

Doctor Who has been going for more than 60 years, but the show did have a gap when the series was canceled in 1989, and it took years before it would return in 2005. With that in mind, most sources look at Classic Doctor Who and NuWho as two different shows that tell the same story. Both series deal with the adventures of the Doctor and his companions as they travel through space and time. Some classic Doctor Who episodes are impossible to find, due to some episodes being destroyed to make room for other recordings.

For dedicated fans, there are streaming platforms with the majority of the classic episodes, and some reconstructions and edits of other classic adventures to be accessed as well. The series is enriched by the extensive backstory, but with almost 700 episodes of the classic series, and a further 200 in the modern era, there are jumping-on points with each revival to make following the series easier. Doctor Who is another great example of a show that can be enjoyed as little or as much as the audience wants to engage with it and invest time in it.

1 Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – Present)

20 Seasons

Meredith with her new baby in Grey's Anatomy season 9 finale

Grey’s Anatomy is one of the most impressive medical dramas to appear on TV as the series has captured 20 years of the lives of doctors, patients, and other personnel. The actors grew from medical students, to fully qualified doctors and advanced and progressed in their professional and personal on-screen lives. The series just recently said goodbye to its lead actress, Ellen Pompeo, whose character the series was named for, but with such an intricate and extensive network of characters and their lives fleshed out, the series could almost continue indefinitely exploring their fictional lives.

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by Xtreme HD IPTV

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