Game of Thrones series finale s8ep6 (Courtesy of HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

FALL 2019 TV SURVEY: 20 TV Shows That Defined the 2010s

For Rotten Tomatoes’ annual Fall TV Survey, we asked thousands of our users what they’re most looking forward to in the coming TV season and to reflect on the best shows from seasons past.

We’re looking at TV series that were so iconic in their era that they essentially defined the decade in which they aired the majority of their seasons. (If a show aired half its seasons in one decade and the other half in another, we tended to count it toward the earlier decade.) So we asked our survey respondents which shows best represented each of the five most recent decades.

Game of Thrones stole the 2010-2019 category, garnering 74% of the vote, compared to No. 2 Stranger Things’ 56%, and The Big Bang Theory’s 45% for third place.

We also asked which TV star ruled in the decade — no surprise here: The entire cast of Game of Thrones won with 45% of the vote; followed by Benedict Cumberbatch, who snagged 9% of the vote (Sherlock showed up at No. 24 in the list of TV titles that “defined the decade”); and, in third place, Veep‘s Julia Louis-Dreyfus with 8%.

Disagree with the survey results? Tell us in the comments who you think should have made the list or have been ranked higher.

Veep (2012)
93%

#20
Synopsis: "Politics is about people," former Sen. Selina Meyer is fond of saying. Unfortunately, the people Meyer, a charismatic leader and... [More]

Synopsis: Even though things are always changing for the Kardashian family in ways they never expected, Kim, Kourtney, Khloe and the... [More]

Doctor Who (2005)
90%

#18
Synopsis: An eccentric yet compassionate extraterrestrial Time Lord zips through time and space to solve problems and battle injustice across the... [More]

True Blood (2008)
69%

#17
Synopsis: Small-town Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse already is viewed as an oddball by her friends and neighbors, since she can read... [More]
Directed By: Alan Ball

Better Call Saul (2015)
98%

#16
Synopsis: He wasn't always Saul Goodman, ace attorney for chemist-turned-meth dealer Walter White. Six years before he begins to represent Albuquerque's... [More]

#15
Synopsis: Live from New York for more than four decades, celebrity hosts join an award-winning ensemble cast to perform comedic sketches,... [More]
Directed By: Lorne Michaels

Glee (2009)
70%

#14
Synopsis: Optimistic teacher Will Schuester heads up McKinley High School's glee club -- New Directions -- a place where ambitious and... [More]

Grey's Anatomy (2005)
84%

#13
Synopsis: The medical drama series focuses on a group of doctors at a hospital in Seattle, including several who began their... [More]

Black Mirror (2011)
84%

#12
Synopsis: Featuring stand-alone dramas -- sharp, suspenseful, satirical tales that explore techno-paranoia -- "Black Mirror" is a contemporary reworking of "The... [More]
Starring:

The Handmaid's Tale (2017)
83%

#11
Synopsis: Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, this series is set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used... [More]

#10
Synopsis: Leslie Knope, a midlevel bureaucrat in an Indiana Parks and Recreation Department, hopes to beautify her town (and boost her... [More]

Modern Family (2009)
85%

#9
Synopsis: Told from the perspective of an unseen documentary filmmaker, the series offers an honest, often-hilarious perspective of family life. Parents... [More]

This Is Us (2016)
94%

#8
Synopsis: The Pearson family's generational story unfolds in this emotional drama. In moments of love, joy, triumph and heartbreak, revelations emerge... [More]

#7
Synopsis: "American Horror Story" was created by the co-creators of "Glee," but the shows have little in common besides that. The... [More]

Downton Abbey (2010)
91%

#6
Synopsis: This British drama series follows the lives of the Crawley family and its servants in the family's classic Georgian country... [More]
Directed By: Julian Fellowes

#5
Synopsis: Piper Chapman is a public relations executive with a career and a fiance when her past suddenly catches up to... [More]

The Walking Dead (2010)
80%

#4
Synopsis: Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, this gritty drama portrays life in the months and years... [More]

The Big Bang Theory (2007)
81%

#3
Synopsis: Mensa-fied best friends and roommates Leonard and Sheldon, physicists who work at the California Institute of Technology, may be able... [More]

Stranger Things (2016)
92%

#2
Synopsis: Mysteries unravel in a small Midwestern town in the 1980s, involving supernatural forces, secret experiments and one strange girl.... [More]

Game of Thrones (2011)
89%

#1
Synopsis: George R.R. Martin's best-selling book series "A Song of Ice and Fire" is brought to the screen as HBO sinks... [More]
Directed By: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss


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