It’s not official yet, but it’s still stunning to hear that NBC is considering abandoning the 10 pm hour of primetime… because the network has been so successful in cranking out classic shows in that hour over the years.
Last month’s report — which said NBC may hand the 10 pm hour over to local affiliates, leaving themselves just two hours of primetime programming per night — may be a stark indication of where things are heading in this ultra-competitive streaming TV era. But it’s also made us nostalgic for all the great shows we’ve stayed up late to watch on NBC. (Remember when you had to stay up late to watch your favorite show live, or else wait for a rerun over the summer? Good times.)
The 10 pm hour is traditionally a place for drama, and some of NBC’s greatest dramas ever have aired in that time slot, racking up decade-long runs and dozens of Emmys along the way. So we’re looking back at the 25 best NBC shows that aired at 10 pm and ranking them, too — and honestly, this was not easy, with so many iconic series to choose from. (Note: We left out shows that aired only for a time at 10 pm, if their primary time slot was elsewhere, like Grimm, Chicago Fire and The Rockford Files. We also made the tough call not to include Southland, since it only aired on NBC for one season before moving to TNT for the bulk of its run.)
Read on to see the kind of exceptionally high-quality programming we’ll be missing if NBC does decide to axe the 10 pm hour… and hey, maybe this list will get them to rethink the whole thing. Then hit the comments to let us know any of your favorites we may have missed.