10 Greatest Ensemble TV Shows of the Last 20 Years, Ranked

10 Greatest Ensemble TV Shows of the Last 20 Years, Ranked
Image credit: HBO/Netflix, FXX Networks, NBC, Yahoo! Screen

One lead is good, but the more the merrier.

Creating an ensemble cast show is a difficult task. Instead of writing one major compelling storyline for the main character, the writers have to come up with multiple storylines for the entire ensemble. And they all should be good, because the characters are equal in the show like that.

But when that mission is accomplished, we have the most entertaining kind of a show, because nothing works better than the dynamic and chemistry that actors share on screen for many years. And these ten series are the best examples of modern shows like that.

10. Parks and Recreation

The comedy show became an instant hit, largely because of the extremely talented cast. They all share a great sense of humor and a commitment to the genre. The cast is full of big names like Aubrey Plaza, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt and others. The series revolves around the local government employees who do their best to make their town a better place to live.

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9. Stranger Things

This Netflix hit stands out in the list of ensemble shows because most of its actors are quite young. They all came into the show as unknown actors but became superstars over the course of four seasons. There was one main storyline – dealing with the Upside Down and destroying Vecna – but the writers did an amazing job of carefully plotting out each character's life and making it exciting.

8. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

The series premiered in 2005 and is still on the air, making it one of the longest-running shows on television. The secret to its success is the perfect chemistry between its five main characters that thrive on comedy. One of the show's leading stars is Danny DeVito, and that alone makes It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia worth watching.

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7. Orange Is The New Black

Orange Is The New Black won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series three years in a row. This dramedy revolves around so many different characters who are united by being in one place – a women's prison. The show is a great mix of seriousness and humor.

6. Community

The show's huge fan base loves it for many things; there really aren't that many smart, inventive, and heartwarming sitcoms in the world. But what makes it absolutely special is the level of weirdness that goes into it. The characters handle their plots so well that sometimes you forget they are actors. And their on-screen synchronization is just something amazing.

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5. Succession

Succession can really win all the awards for being the best drama series released in recent years. The cast put so much of themselves into their characters that the on-set improvisation almost became a defining part of the show. The energy (both positive and negative) among the cast is phenomenal and makes the show a must-watch.

4. Modern Family

The show is an excellent example of how well family comedy can work. All the characters were given their own unique personalities and they used them perfectly, creating so many awkward moments on screen while mimicking the relationship with relatives. The show starring Ed O'Neill and Sofia Vergara is just so relatable that you can't help but laugh at every scene.

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3. The Wire

The Wire is considered one of the best shows ever created, and the ensemble cast makes that statement even stronger. There are so many big names in it, including Dominic West, John Doman, Deirdre Lovejoy, and others. Each episode of the crime drama show is full of events that never fail to shock the fans.

2. The Office

So much has already been said about The Office, but it never hurts to say that this mockumentary about the office workers of a paper company is one of the best things that could have happened to the television industry. The Office is full of so many different characters, each adding their own charm to the show and making it absolutely adorable.

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1. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is the show that everyone places number 1 on many rankings – from bloodiness to the sheer scale of the filming process. The show has truly become a cultural phenomenon of our time and has skyrocketed the careers of many of its cast members. Although there is a huge cast, each character has exceptional depth, which makes the show so unique and unrivaled.