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10 Best TV shows that premiered in 1993

Ian Chaddock

BY Ian Chaddock

16th Jan 2023 Film & TV

10 Best TV shows that premiered in 1993

Thirty years on, we look back at iconic shows like The X-Files, Frasier and Cracker

1. The X-Files (1993-2002)

The long-running supernatural sci-fi classic saw FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) teaming up to investigate the X-Files—unsolved cases involving paranormal occurrences. Mulder’s belief in extra-terrestrial life and the supernatural and Scully’s scepticism, as well as their sexual tension, is at the heart of the show, but the aliens and monsters are out of this world!

It lasted 11 series and two films (including a 2008 stand-alone revival film) because there’s a lot of us who want to believe…

2. Frasier (1993-present)

Frasier season 1 boxset cover

Frasier may have started as a spin-off of Boston bar sitcom Cheers, but it grew to become a timeless comedy classic itself, winning 37 Emmy awards. Returning to his hometown of Seattle, the show follows the life, loves and squabbles of radio psychiatrist Dr Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) and his family and friends, including brother and fellow psychiatrist Niles, father Martin, Martin’s caregiver Daphne and Frasier’s producer, Roz.

"Frasier may have started as a spin-off of Cheers, but it grew to become a comedy classic itself"

The 11th series may have ended in 2004, but October 2022 saw Paramount+ order a 12th series, with Grammer returning as Frasier. It’s time to order more tossed salads and scrambled eggs!

3. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999)

The cast of Star Trek Deep Space Nine season 1Credit: CBS

Bold and ambitious, Deep Space Nine was one of the most daring series in the Star Trek universe, with some storylines that hit home and others that admittedly missed the target. But what is clear is that the seven series of the show weren’t afraid to explore new, and sometimes challenging, stories.

A spin-off of the series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994), the series’ seven-year run was centred around the eponymous space station Deep Space Nine, with Commander Benjamin Sisko and his Starfleet crew, as well as the conflict between two alien species—the Bajorans and the Cardassians. Truly the edge of the final frontier.

4. Goodnight Sweetheart (1993-1999)

Cast members of BBC sci-fi show Goodnight Sweetheart Credit: BBC

A BBC sci-fi show that saw Gary Sparrow (Nicholas Lyndhurst) accidentally time travel from London in the 1990s to the capital in the Second World War-era of the 1940s, mysteriously being able to travel between the two times by portal whenever he wanted. This was not Only Fools and Horses.

The six-series run saw Lyndhurst win two awards at the National Television Awards and resulted in a one-off special, titled “Many Happy Returns”, in 2016 and a musical adaptation in 2017. Maybe the portal is still working because there’s even talk of a sequel series…

5. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1996)

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season 1 cover

Although it might seem ridiculous now, and only lasted three series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was a 1990s pop culture phenomenon! It followed five teenagers given the ability to transform into the fighting force the Power Rangers (each with their own different colour suit), who could combine into a giant humanoid machine, the Megazord, to battle evil aliens. It was as colourful as it was crazy.

"Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was a 1990s pop culture phenomenon"

Resulting in huge sales of toys, action figures and other merchandise, it also led to two 1990s films, numerous reboot series and a 2017 film too. It may have started 30 years ago, but for people who grew up watching, it’s still “morphin’ time!”

6. Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-1997)

Showing iconic superhero Superman in a new light, this show’s four series followed Clark Kent’s (Dean Cain) day job at the Daily Planet newspaper, alongside love interest Lois Lane (Teri Hatcher). However, he still had to transform into the Man of Steel to save the day frequently.

The romance between Clark and Lois and the humour throughout—not to mention the perfect casting—made it more than the usual superhero antics. It was an entertaining watch. Yes, it was incredibly 1990s and cheesy, but it had heart.

7. Cracker (1993-1996)

Cracker complete series box set cover

The late, great Robbie Coltrane played criminal psychologist (also known as a “cracker”) Dr Edward “Fitz” Fitzgerald, who worked with the Greater Manchester Police on cases. The Scottish Fitz was a drinker, smoker, gambler and womaniser, but he was obviously good at helping to solve crimes.

More emotional and hard-hitting than police procedural shows of the time, like Prime Suspect, the three series and two specials (the last of which was actually in 2006) of Cracker won over critics and viewers alike. Fitz may have confessed to be, but Cracker was never too much.

8. Beavis and Butt-Head (1993-present)

Beavis and Butt-HeadCredit: Paramount+

Mike Judge’s politically incorrect, adult animated series about a pair of metal music-loving, stupid and horny teenagers received critical acclaim for its satire. Without it there’s no way that popular animated shows like South Park and Rick and Morty would exist.

"Without Beavis and Butt-Head there’s no way that popular, satirical animated shows like South Park and Rick and Morty would exist"

MTV’s highest-rated show, it was one of the most popular series when it premiered in 1993. It ran for seven series between 1993 and 1997, with two films and, more recently, two more revival series following. Huh, huh, cool!

9. Sharpe (1993-1997)

Sean Bean playing the character Sharpe holding a swordCredit: ITV

Although the original run lasted just 14 episodes, with a pair of two-parter episodes following in 2006 and 2008, this historical British drama show had plenty of dedicated fans. It also had plenty of swearing from proud Yorkshireman, Sean Bean.

Following the story of Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean), a fictional soldier in the Napoleonic Wars, alongside his second-in-command Patrick Harper (Daragh O’Malley), the story is mostly based on the “Sharpe” novels written by Bernard Cornwell. In the subtle words of Sharpe himself, watch it, “you b*****d”.

10. Animaniacs (1993-present)

Fun, animated kids shows are somewhat timeless and this comedy series is loved by children and adults alike to this day. Produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, the show had a wide cast of characters, but the Warner siblings—Yakko, Wakko and Dot—feature heavily in the skits and are the stars.

Its initially ran for 99 episodes (five series) and a film, but the show was rebooted in 2018 and is still going strong with more ani-mane-y, totally insane-y fun!

Banner photo credit: The X-Files (20th Century Fox)

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