Special Report

Classic TV Shows You Can Binge Right Now

Of the many benefits of streaming services such as Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime – to name a few platforms – one advantage is being able to binge-watch classic television series.

To compile a list of classic TV shows you can binge right now, 24/7 Tempo reviewed user ratings on  IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon, as of October 2022. Data on streaming availability comes from Reelgood. We considered only TV shows that premiered before 1995, ran for at least six seasons, have at least 25,000 ratings on IMDb, and are currently streaming on Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Tubi, or Pluto TV. In cases of tied ratings, shows with more votes were ranked higher.

Making these classic series available on the streaming services introduces a new generation of viewers to beloved television shows that, for the most part, predated cable television.

Of the 18 series on this list, all but three are comedies. The types of comedy range from slapstick (“I Love Lucy”) to sardonic (“M*A*S*H”) to acerbic (“Married… With Children”) to family-friendly (“Full House”).

Some of the sitcoms that can be viewed again are among the most Emmy-honored in television history: “Frasier,” “The Golden Girls,” and “Seinfeld.” (They obviously rank among the best sitcoms of all time.)

Click here to see classic TV shows you can stream right now

Speaking of Emmy honorees that are not comedies, “ER,” the drama set in a Chicago hospital that won 23 Emmys during its 15-season run and made a star out of George Clooney, is available for binge-watching. Conspiracy theorists will be delighted to know “The X-Files” is out there on Hulu. (The show, of course, featured one of the most famous duos in TV history.)

Source: Courtesy of National Broadcasting Company

18. Baywatch
> IMDb user rating: 5.4/10 (28,096 votes)
> Series run: 1989-2001
> Season count: 11
> Streaming on: Amazon Prime

Famous for its prolonged slow-motion scenes and male and female eye candy, “Baywatch” made stars out of David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. The nine-season series is about a group of Los Angeles lifeguards who fight crime and cope with daily dramas.

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of American Broadcasting Company

17. Family Matters
> IMDb user rating: 6.6/10 (27,776 votes)
> Series run: 1989-1998
> Season count: 9
> Streaming on: HBO Max

The nine-season family sitcom is remembered for the comically annoying nerdy character Steve Urkel, played by Jaleel White, whose wacky behavior disrupts the neighboring Winslow family.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

16. Full House
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (59,036 votes)
> Series run: 1987-1995
> Season count: 8
> Streaming on: HBO Max

In “Full House,” Bob Saget is a widowed broadcaster living in San Francisco who raises his three daughters with the help of his hunky rock ‘n’ roll brother-in-law (John Stamos) and goofball best friend (Dave Coulier). Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen launched their career alternately portraying the youngest child in the sitcom.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia TriStar Domestic Television

15. The Nanny
> IMDb user rating: 7.0/10 (43,802 votes)
> Series run: 1993-1999
> Season count: 6
> Streaming on: HBO Max

Fran Drescher stars as “The Nanny,” a grating-voiced, streetwise New Yorker who loses her job as a cosmetics salesperson and becomes the nanny to an English widower’s three children. Drescher created and produced the series along with her then-husband, Peter Marc Jacobson.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of American Broadcasting Company

14. Home Improvement
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (44,352 votes)
> Series run: 1991-1999
> Season count: 8
> Streaming on: Hulu

“Home Improvement” was a sitcom starring Tim Allen as the goofy host of a do-it-yourself TV show who’s probably better off letting someone else do the task. Patricia Richardson plays his oftentimes exasperated wife and the mother of their three boys, Richard Karn is Allen’s put-upon assistant host and Earl Hindman is the enigmatic neighbor whose face is never seen.

Source: Courtesy of American Broadcasting Company

13. The Flintstones
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (37,173 votes)
> Series run: 1960-1966
> Season count: 6
> Streaming on: HBO Max

“The Flintstones,” based loosely on the sitcom “The Honeymooners,” was about the madcap adventures of Fred Flintstone, and the zany situations he puts his family and neighbors in during the Stone Age. The six-season series was the first prime-time animated network series.

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of National Broadcasting Company

12. ER
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (61,410 votes)
> Series run: 1994-2009
> Season count: 15
> Streaming on: HBO Max

This long-running drama is about the relationships between nurses, doctors, and emergency personnel at a Chicago hospital. The drama helped launch George Clooney into stardom and the show would go on to win 23 Emmys over its 15 seasons.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

11. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (134,663 votes)
> Series run: 1990-1996
> Season count: 6
> Streaming on: HBO Max

This is the comedy series that made Will Smith an A-lister (he also rapped the memorable theme for the show). The sitcom features Smith as a young man from a rough neighborhood in Philadelphia sent by his mother to live with wealthy relatives in California to avoid trouble. The NBC series ran for six seasons.

Source: Courtesy of National Broadcasting Company

10. The Golden Girls
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10 (41,745 votes)
> Series run: 1985-1992
> Season count: 7
> Streaming on: Hulu

Four women from various generations live together in Miami, recollecting their life experiences and helping each other cope in this sitcom. The series starred television veterans Bea Arthur (“Maude”) and Betty White (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show”). It won 11 Emmys over its seven-year run. All four stars – Arthur, White, Estelle Getty, and Rue McClanahan – won an Emmy at some point.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Fox Network

9. Married… with Children
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10 (103,892 votes)
> Series run: 1987-1997
> Season count: 11
> Streaming on: Hulu

The caustic sitcom “Married… with Children” pushed the boundaries of good taste in its portrayal of a miserable lower-middle-class family in a Chicago suburb living out the low end of the American Dream. The 11-season series helped boost the career of Christina Applegate, while Ed O’Neill, who played the woman-ogling dad, would go on to more success with another family sitcom, “Modern Family.”

Source: Courtesy of National Broadcasting Company

7. Frasier
> IMDb user rating: 8.2/10 (84,213 votes)
> Series run: 1993-2004
> Season count: 11
> Streaming on: Hulu

“Frasier,” a sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer as a radio psychiatrist who lives in Seattle with his partially disabled father. The show was spun off from the successful long-running series “Cheers” and became one of the most celebrated spin-offs in television history, winning 37 Emmys.

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Warner Home Video

6. ‘Allo ‘Allo!
> IMDb user rating: 8.4/10 (25,490 votes)
> Series run: 1982-1992
> Season count: 9
> Streaming on: Amazon Prime

The British import is about a French café owner in occupied France during World War II who deals with German soldiers, a French Resistance leader, and hidden British airmen while concealing an affair with his waitress from his wife.

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

5. MASH
> IMDb user rating: 8.4/10 (57,487 votes)
> Series run: 1972-1983
> Season count: 11
> Streaming on: Hulu

This irreverent take on the U.S. military mixed in with not-so-subtle antiwar commentary was based on the movie of the same name. The 14-time Emmy-winning television series lasted longer than the Korean War, during which it took place. Its legendary finale on Feb. 28, 1983, was watched by 106 million viewers, setting a record at the time.

Source: Courtesy of CBS

4. I Love Lucy
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10 (26,843 votes)
> Series run: 1951-1957
> Season count: 6
> Streaming on: Hulu

The pioneering sitcom “I Love Lucy” became the template for television comedies to come and won four Emmys. Lucille Ball, who plays the wife of a Cuban-American bandleader (Desi Arnaz, Ball’s real husband), frequently gets into zany situations along with her neighbor, played by Vivian Vance.

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Fox Network

3. The X-Files
> IMDb user rating: 8.6/10 (224,578 votes)
> Series run: 1993-2018
> Season count: 11
> Streaming on: Hulu

The journey into the unexplained – whose catchline was “The Truth is Out There” – resonated with conspiracy theorists. The series starred Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as FBI agents investigating paranormal and alien activity. It spawned two feature films.

Source: Courtesy of National Broadcasting Company

2. Seinfeld
> IMDb user rating: 8.9/10 (316,013 votes)
> Series run: 1989-1998
> Season count: 9
> Streaming on: Netflix

This show about four neurotic New Yorkers became one of television’s most successful sitcoms. The series was among the top-rated television shows throughout its run, winning 10 Emmys in nine seasons. Of the four of the main characters on the show, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has had the most rewarding career after “Seinfeld” ended. She’s won 11 Emmys and has starred in the hit shows “Veep” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of National Broadcasting Company

1. Friends
> IMDb user rating: 8.9/10 (984,317 votes)
> Series run: 1994-2004
> Season count: 10
> Streaming on: HBO Max

This sitcom about six young people seeking love and successful careers in New York City made stars out of all six of its leads – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer. “Friends” won six Emmys over its 10-year run. The show’s finale drew 52.5 million viewers in May 2004 and was one of the top-rated television series endings in history.

Take This Retirement Quiz To Get Matched With A Financial Advisor (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the
advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.