The 10 Best TV Shows of All Time

The reality talent show has been a fixture for decades, and each long-running series has a legion of devoted fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the next superstar. Regardless of the talent on display, the biggest talent shows bring out the best and the brightest.

To sing essentials like american idolon variety shows like America’s Got Talent, the best talent shows are capable of making stars. Although there have been many great ones over the years, only the best have left an impression on the public and are still talked about today.


Little Big Shots (2016-2020)

While many talent shows feature artists at the top of their game and at the top of their game, Little big shots instead decided to focus on the next generation of superstars. Each episode featured talented young people who wowed the host with their special skills and unique views on the world.

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Steve Harvey hosted the show for the first three seasons, and his witty banter with the kids was one of the highlights. Unlike other talent shows which are all about judging, Little big shots was a showcase of talent that was about encouraging rather than harshly criticizing.

The Singing (2009–14)

Singing shows are a dime a dozen, but Singing added a unique twist to the tired competitive reality format. Teams of a cappella singers compete for a big cash prize and are judged by a host of different musical artists from a range of genres.

Avoiding the pop accent of many singing shows, Singing wasn’t afraid to tap into other genres, and the winners often reflected that. Best known for launching Pentatonix’s career, the show featured some of the hottest voice talent around, and viewers were treated to a quality show week after week.

The X Factor UK (2004–18)

Yet another hit on Simon Cowell’s impressive CV, The X factor had all the familiar trappings of the singing-based talent show. Contestants from all over the UK audition to win a big cash prize and a recording contract with one of Britain’s biggest labels.

Like its predecessor american idol, many winners have gone on to become stars, and even a few finalists have had successful careers. The judges were often what made the show tick, and Cowell was usually joined by a host of other industry professionals who could properly mentor the contestants.

Songland (2019-2020)

Although it didn’t last long, Songland really underlined talent, especially compared to other singing reality shows. Focus on songwriters, Songland pitted talented wordsmiths against each other to see who could write the next hit song.

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Without any of the over-the-top antics of other reality shows, Songland instead tried to show the challenges and triumphs of the people who write the best songs in the world. The show was judged and mentored by prominent figures in music production, and it offered fans a chance to see how their favorite music is really made.

So you think you can dance? (2005–present)

As the name suggests, So you think you can dance? is a challenge open to the best dancers in the world to show their talents. Through a series of auditions, contestants are narrowed down to the best where they must perform a wide variety of different dance styles in order to win the public vote.

As with any talent contest, SYTYCD? is known for its incredible winners and highly controversial eliminations. It’s impossible to fake the talent on display, and the skill level is often higher than that of many of its contemporaries when it comes to the raw ability that’s on the show’s stage each week.

Britain’s Got Talent (2007–present)

Despite its similarity to the American version of the show, England has an incredible talent has a unique touch that sets it apart in a very British way. Contestants from all walks of life audition with their individual talents to win prize money and a chance to perform for the British Royal Family at the Royal Variety Performance.

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Not relying on just one type of talent, the show welcomes all disciplines and results in a mix of popular winners and runners-up. Although the singers tended to put their best foot forward, the series also featured dancers, magicians, and a host of other odd acts that make the program memorable.

American Idol (2002–present)

Although it was far from the first, american idol revolutionized the format of talent shows and inspired every series that followed it. Singers from all over the country audition in hopes of becoming the next American Idol and securing a lucrative record deal.

american idol was a cultural touchstone in the early years of the 2000s, and her popularity took her to the top of television ratings. Although it faded over the following decades, american idolThe top winners are still remembered today, and several have gone on to become legitimate music superstars in their own right.

Star Search (1983–95)

Before american idol Where America’s Got Talentthere have been the pop culture phenomena known as star search. Hosted by Ed McMahon, the show featured talented young artists from various disciplines who were divided into age groups to determine individual winners.

Unlike later competitions, each category had separate champions, and winners had to compete week-to-week to stay on the show. At the end, the winners were crowned and also received a big cash prize. A multitude of celebrities have made their debuts star searchand few shows have been able to match the overall quality of its competitors.

The Voice (2011–present)

Emphasizing vocals, the show aptly titles The voice found a way to spin the already tired singer talent show format smartly. The singers compete each week for a chance to win a big recording contract and are mentored by one of the judges who also hopes to win the contest.

The coaching aspect defines The voice aside, and there’s a more positive overall vibe to the show. The Judge’s personalities are on full display and often help make the show as entertaining as it is every week. Although there are in the shadow of series like american idol, The voice nevertheless managed to carve out a place for herself in the world of reality TV talent.

America’s Got Talent (2006–present)

The show affectionately called AGT has broadened the horizons of the TV talent show by opening the doors to literally any talent. Contestants from across the country audition with their unique individual talents in hopes of becoming the winner and securing the massive cash prize.

The audition process has lent itself to some of the most hilarious and thrilling acts of all time, and the show’s sheer variety keeps fans coming back year after year. The series has had a revolving door of different celebrity judges, and each brings their own flair to the program. Unlike shows that are limited to a single talent exclusively, America’s Got Talent lives up to its name by showing everything and anything.

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