1 of 16 CBS
How I Met Your Mother
The manic flashbacks and sharp writing always keep things unpredictable. Any one of the stars could anchor their own show, but we're glad they're all together here.
2 of 16 Mary Ellen Mathews/NBC
The funniest show on television, even though no one seems to be telling jokes. This is the deadpan House of Fey: everyone is funniest when they act completely serious.
3 of 16 Showtime
Cable is full of sympathetic bad guys, but find one more sympathetic, or sociopathic, than everyone's go-to-guy for blood spatter.
4 of 16 NBC
Saturday Night Live
Thanks to a few gifts from the comedy gods (especially a certain Alaska governor), SNL is better than it's been in years. Lorne Michaels seems to have found the perfect blend of fresh talent and old hands.
5 of 16 Art Streiber/Bob D'Amico/ABC
We finally, finally, finally get to go back to the island. It's a good thing, because we've never had so many unanswered questions. And it'll be good to see the Losties reunite.
6 of 16 AMC
If you aren't watching yet, we envy you: We're still nostalgic about seeing it for the first time. Someone start up the Kodak Carousel.
7 of 16 Chris Haston/NBC
Why do we care about a boss who's an idiot, a kiss-up who seems dangerous, and two nice kids who can barely manage to live in the same city? Because they're funny.
8 of 16 Justin Stephens/ABC
We'll respect this show too much to make the obvious joke about how it's about to be pushing up... never mind. We'll miss it for its acting, and for being one of the quirkiest shows on the air.
9 of 16 Art Streiber/Sci Fi Channel
Who would think a sci-fi show about a space war with Cyclons would provide so much human drama? Battlestar succeeds by asking what makes us human at all.
10 of 16 HBO
Alan Ball read out minds, Sookie Stackhouse-style: We didn't know we were looking for a love story/true-crime mystery about Southern gothic vampires, but now that we have it, we're in true love.
11 of 16 AMC
A struggling high school teacher, a fatal diagnosis, crystal meth... it should be the most depresssing show ever, but it's not. We're hooked.
12 of 16 Andrew Eccles/The CW
The drama of high school mixed with the natural tendency to gawk at poor little rich girls and boys make this one a can't-miss. xoxo.
13 of 16 Brian Bowen Smith/The CW
Angels and demons. Smoking-hot stars. And a wicked sense of humor. Just a few of the reasons this one has TV's most obsessive fans.
14 of 16 Virginia Sherwood/Bravo
Ohhh, how you frustrate us, Project Runway. So much talent, so many catfights. Never say auf wiedersehen.
15 of 16 Virginia Sherwood/NBC Photo
Law & Order
A procedural, a mystery, a glimpse into the dark side of humanity. The show's long run proves the genius of Dick Wolf's formula for success: do everything right.
16 of 16 Timothy White/Fox
Why do we keep our appointment every week with such a grumpy M.D.? Because we're sick of all the do-gooding docs with their easy-to-solve ailments. Bring on the hard cases.