Looking back on the genius of 'The Simpsons,' 'Arrested Development' & more
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2. "The X-Files" (1993-2002)
This sci-fi series was one of the most influential TV dramas of the last 20 years and, for the first several years, one of the best. Chris Carter and company (the murderer's row of a writing staff included "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan, longtime "24" boss Howard Gordon and the occasional genius of Darin Morgan, among many others) showed that science-fiction TV could have broad commercial appeal if done right (in this case, by disguising it in cop show drag), that viewers would have patience for a complicated, ongoing "mythology" (even if it paid off poorly most of the time), and that you could achieve a cinematic look even while working on the schedule and budget of a weekly television series. A great series whose success made sci-fi experimentation a part of FOX's DNA, no matter who's been running the network since.