A Definitive Ranking Of Fox’s Top 20 TV Series

Fox is youngest of the powerhouse networks on television. Coming up in the late ’80s, it gave way to edgier content in homes across America. While most of the country was living for the wholesomeness Full House and The Facts of Life delivered on a weekly basis, Fox tossed that aside. Harkening back to the days of All in the Family and Sanford & Son, Fox shows have always strived to bring a sense of attitude to the table while still being as funny, dramatic and enthralling as the other networks.

From the laughs that New Girl has brought us to the classics like The Simpsons, these are the best Fox shows ever.

20. Gotham

Marvel may own the movie realm, but when it comes to TV, DC has gotten it down. Yes, 90% of the shows are over on The CW but Gotham is keeping it real on Fox. Seeing all of our favorite Batman characters from the start has been captivating us since 2014. Plus, how can we deny the gift that is Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot? Exactly. While it’s definitely a good one — it just doesn’t quite stack up with the quality and fandom that some of the other shows over on Fox have.

19. Family Guy

Not the only show on the list to be brought back from the dead, but it is the first. Family Guy premiered back in the late ’90s and was canceled soon after. But when fans united and petitioned for the show to be resurrected, Fox thankfully brought it back. It’s hard to think of where we’d be today without a character like Stewie Griffin. We’re truly blessed Fox didn’t let this one live in cancel-land forever, but because Seth MacFarlane thought he could basically just rip off the format of Family Guy and create a few other shows that weren’t as great, we’ll leave his original towards the bottom of the Fox bunch.

18. Malcolm in the Middle

“Life is unfair…” is what we heard for seven seasons thanks to Malcolm in the Middle. A sitcom based on a family that was more dysfunctional than most, Malcolm fit in just fine in the Fox realm. It stared Frankie Muniz in the titular role, a smarter-than-average kid with a trio of brothers, one just as bad as the last. Then there were the parentals, Lois and Hal. Of course, we all know Hal went on to be Walter White on Breaking Bad. In fact, his portrayal of the meth dealer is so good that it often makes people forget Bryan Cranston was ever Hal in the first place. Thus, kind of making people forget about Malcolm in the grand scheme of things.

17. Hell’s Kitchen

Every network has its fair share of reality shows but Fox does things a little different. So far there have been 17 seasons of Hell’s Kitchen with each one as hilarious (and sometimes cringeworthy) as the last. Chefs fight it out (sometimes literally) to win a monetary prize and a job working as the head of one of Chef Gordon Ramsey‘s restaurants. Each season brings about so much drama, we can’t help but stay glued to our sets. If the phrase “hot mess” had to be one TV show, it’d be Hell’s Kitchen and that’s why we love it. But it’s also why we kind of tune out sometimes —n predictable.

16. Glee

This is definitely not the best-acted show on Fox BUT we cannot deny the impact it had on viewers. Each was an outsider in some form, but the characters on Glee resonated with people from all walks of life on various levels. That connection, along with the grade-A musical performances and guest stars, made this one of Fox’s finest. If we were basing this list on the first season (maybe two), it would have definitely earned a spot in the top 10. However, because the quality of the show went downhill fast as the series continued, we had to give it the perfectly mediocre spot of #1.

15. New Girl

Ever since Friends, every network has tried to create their own gang of besties audiences could fall in love with. How I Met Your Mother, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Happy Endings and — of course, New Girl.
No one could touch Friends but Fox has come close a couple of times, one of them being with this Zooey Deschanel-fronted comedy. The whimsical actress led a cast of colorful characters straight into the hearts of fans who quickly became diehards. This show is a rare one where it actually got better with time, but it’s controversial and sometimes problematic stereotyping keeps it from getting a spot too high on our list.

14. Ally McBeal

The beauty in Ally McBeal was that there was so much freaking girl power involved. Ally wasn’t a damsel in distress (most of the time), she was a woman with a great job and a lot of sh*t to deal with. Yes, she had her flaws that, at times, made her unlikable. Without her, though, we wouldn’t have that dancing baby that for some reason was one of the most iconic symbols of the ’90s.

13. King of the Hill

Had King of the Hill not been animated, we may not have loved it as much. Set in Texas, this animated gem showcased life in the Red state in the most charming way possible. TV nerds probably already know, but King of the Hill was brought to us by the same brain behind Beavis & Butt-Head, Mike Judge. Which is why it was such a hilarious hit.

12. Arrested Development

It may have found a new home over on Netflix, but Arrested Development started out on Fox. This show had comedy like pretty no other show on the air. It was quirky; it was campy; it was usually a bit bizarre — but Arrested Development knows what it’s doing. Because this show is a cult classic, and def not a fave for just anyone, we gave it a pretty solid #12 spot specifically for the show’s tenure on Fox (and ignoring what Netflix did with the show).

11. Empire

Speaking of super zealous fans, we have to talk about Empire. A newer addition to the Fox family, it was an overnight sensation. People were instantly hooked to this musical drama. How could they not be? While it can be a bit overdramatic at times, and can even toe the line on corny, but it’s a soap opera set to a hip-hop beat and once you accept it for what it is — you’ll love it. It was the exact show that Fox needed in their long line of fantastic programming.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

In its first season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine won a pair of Golden Globes. That’s highly impressive for a freshman series. More than a few years later and the cop comedy is still going strong. In a few years it may just work its way up the ranking, but so far we’re confident in having Andy Samberg and the rest of the cast rounding out the top ten.

9. Beverly Hills, 90210

When Fox decided to get into the nighttime drama game, they went hard. In fact, they created a completely iconic teen TV show that would spurn no less than three spin-off shows, Melrose Place, 90210, and the completely awful Melrose Place aughts reboot. Major points docked for their horrendous series finale, but the show did give us a young Brian Austin Green, Luke Perry, Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth, plus enough behind-the-scenes drama to last a lifetime, so we had to give it spot #9 in our ranking.

8. The O.C.

Speaking of iconic teen TV shows, how could we forget the show that gave us Seth Cohen and Chrismukkah?! Starring a peak Mischa Barton (before she was *spoiler alert* killed off), a dating-at-the-time Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson and a choker-wearing Ben McKenzie, there was nothing NOT to love about this show… except for the fact that it took Adam off of Gilmore Girls, thus ruining the legit only healthy relationship on the show. Whatever, not all good things can last.
Plus, it had so many A-list guest-stars before they were famous that re-runs of this show are like cultural artifacts.

7. American Idol

The last handful of seasons of American Idol were more than forgettable… they were unnecessary. While that’s true, we can’t deny the powerhouse that Idol started out as. Hi, Kelly Clarkson, we’re looking at you!
It seemed like everyone in the country was obsessed with everything from the auditions to the final two and there was always some sort of *scandal* about rigged voting every season. Yes, it fizzled but it was going strong for a few solid seasons so we weren’t going to act all Simon about it and be super harsh.

6. Martin

You can probably count on one hand the number of hit series starring black casts before 1992. Fox had a good deal of diversity up its sleeve in the ’90s and while it dropped off a bit until Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Empire, Martin was a definite leader of the pack back in the day. The physical comedy of Martin Lawrence is still one of the best laughs anyone will ever have. It’s a shame we only got five seasons of this show because Martin went off the deep end mentally and caused the rest the cast to be too uncomfortable during the last season to continue the show. Who knows where this show would be on the list had we gotten a few more years?

5. Bob’s Burgers

Animation Domination is Fox’s jam-packed Sunday night lineup that’s 95% cartoon goodness. Bob’s Burgers is still the rookie in the pack but it’s clearly a leader. The Belchers and their burger joint quickly rose to the top of the pop culture ladder. Which, you can clearly see why watching just five minutes of the show.
Tina Belcher is a feminist icon. Her mom is a queen and well, we could go on and on but we’ll just leave it at that. Nope, one more thing… it makes our Sundays a hell of a lot better. Just like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bob’s still has years ahead of it. One day it could top the list!

4. 24

Having a panic attack on a weekly basis shouldn’t be okay, but that’s what happened with 24. Kiefer Sutherland consistently raised the bar when it came to adrenaline as he tried to save the day. Intense would be an understatement. Wish we could say the same for that reboot they tried to serve us, but alas. While 24 was amazing in terms of addicting programming, ultimately it was kind of the same sh*t, different day, so we couldn’t give it the number one spot, right?

3. The X-Files

We’ve had some great sci-fi shows throughout the history of television and somehow The X-Files legitimately took it to new levels. This wasn’t about watching people in space. It was people here on earth dealing with some pretty creepy crap. This is considered one of the top cult TV programs ever and considering the nine season original run and the currently airing revival, it had to be pretty high on the list.

2. Married…with Children

Let’s just face the fact that most of our upbringings were far from Leave it to Beaver, meaning a slightly-dysfunctional TV family was one that we could relate to just slightly more. Nowadays we have the Dunphys and Johnsons, but first we had the Bundys. Married…with Children was a fantastic show that showed the world that a family doesn’t have to have the picket fence to be likable. They just had to be themselves. The only thing the Bundys were missing were the fact that they weren’t animated.

1. The Simpsons

Could we really put any other Fox show at the top? Nope! The longest-running show on the network, The Simpsons is likely responsible for half of the Fox employees salaries and probably has inspired countless other shows on this list (and on other networks) in one way or another. It’s been on the air as long as Taylor Swift has been alive. No for real. She was born only a few days before The Simpsons premiered on December 17, 1989. Swift aside, The Simpsons is like an animated history book. All of the biggest news stories, trends, pop culture moments – they’ve all been noted on the show and will continue to be until it comes to an end. Which we hope is never!

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