Our Television Heritage Preface

In 2002, the Television Critics Association introduced the Heritage Award during their annual awards ceremony. In each ceremony, the TCA picks a series to be added to their preverbal hall of fame, primarily consisting of a murder’s row of important TV series.

  • 2002- The Simpsons

  • 2003- Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • 2004- 60 Minutes

  • 2005- Nightline

  • 2006- The West Wing

  • 2007- The Sopranos

  • 2008- The Wire

  • 2009- ER

  • 2010- M*A*S*H

  • 2011- The Dick Van Dyke Show

  • 2012- Cheers

  • 2013- All in the Family

  • 2014- Saturday Night Live

  • 2015- The Late Show/Late Night with David Letterman

  • 2016- The Mary Tyler Moore Show

  • 2017- Seinfeld

  • 2018- Friends

  • 2019- Deadwood

  • 2020- Star Trek

Ever since discovering this award and realizing that I’ve seen or had most of these series on my to-watch list, I’ve kept an eye on it every year, hoping to do my own retrospective take on each inductee. Now with this blog, I can hopefully do so.

Why? Film has often be canonized, and while there have been attempts to do so for television, there feels like a less definite push towards canonization for the medium. Most of these series show up in various GOAT lists for TV, and I think it would be worthwhile to look through each of these shows, one or so at a time.

Not to mention that it would be fun to have some people watch a show with me, whether this is your first time watching it or not. Especially during this hellhole time.

Some notes:

  • I won’t be touching magazine-style series or talk shows, so 60 Minutes, Nightline, and Letterman are out.

  • Everything I hope to cover will be something I have previously seen, so I should hopefully know what I’m talking about. I still need to finish some of these series, but the first few series I should be covering (Simpsons, Buffy, West Wing, Sopranos, Wire), I’ve seen all the way through.

  • As of now, I’m intending to do two episodes a week for network shows, one for cable. I might make exceptions depending on the series, and if I think I can do disc-length marathons, I’ll give it a shot. Bear with me as I learn.

  • There was one proto-Heritage induction, Hill Street Blues in 1987, which won their Career Achievement Award. I’ll get to it at some point, but I don’t plan to add it to my queue immediately. (I also need to watch past the first season, oops)

  • Anyone here have a favorite series they’re looking forward to seeing me cover? Or one they’re interested in seeing how they turn out? I’ll just say that I like some more than others, and leave it at that.