In celebration of Fox celebrating its 25th Anniversary this Sunday with a star-studded special hosted by none other than Ryan Seacrest (More on that later), your very own TV Addict thought now would be as good a time as any to count down — in no particular order — 25 things we love about the Network that gave us “Donna Martin Graduate!” See for yourself, after the jump.
1. BEVERLY HILLS 90210
For better or for worse, this show and our unabashed love of the fictional lives of Brandon, Brenda, Dylan, Kelly, Andrea, Steve, Donna and David was the fuse that lit the match to the seemingly never-ending flame that is our addiction to television. No really. Just to give you an indication as to how impact-full our obsession with this show was, our commercial conversations with than “bff” Allison [Last name withheld to avoid embarrassment] necessitated our parents to purchase a second phone line!
2. MELROSE PLACE
We defy you to find a more shocking small screen moment than the time Kimberly (Played by a pre-DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES Marcia Cross) ripped off her wig to reveal a massive surgical scar left after surviving a death-defying car accident. Seriously… go ahead, we’ll wait.
3. THE SIMPSONS
Fun Fact: 500 episodes and counting later, this animated treasure still remains the first thing we watch on an increasingly-competitive Sunday night.
4. THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY JR.
Aside from fuelling our love of horses and inspiring us to finally head west last summer, this brilliant-but-cancelled Bruce Campbell starrer will always hold a special place in our heart thanks to one of our all-time favorite theme songs.
5. MARRIED WITH CHILDREN
If there is one thing we remember about this ground-breaking Fox comedy, it’s that as a result of its crude and crass nature, with no valuable life lessons to boot, the anti-FULL HOUSE was not welcome in my household growing up. Which as you might imagine was reason enough for it to quickly become appointment viewing whenever we had the opportunity to visit a friends!
6. AMERICA’S MOST WANTED
Before reality television and the internet in general opened our eyes up to a whole wide world of crazy, AMERICA’s MOST WANTED was there first to keep us up a night and terrifying us with reenactments that at the time seemed all too real.
7. KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL
Despite Fox’s best efforts to keep this show, as the title suggests… confidential, this short-lived series that featured a pre-Hangover Bradley Cooper as a bad boy New York City chef was not only a sexy and smart single-camera comedy, it featured an insanely talented ensemble including Nicholas Brendon, John Francis Daley, Jaime King, Bonnie Somerville, Owain Yeoman, John Cho, Sam Pancake and Frank Langella. Thank God for DVD.
No longer willing to be the butt of the joke, Fox has pretty much proven all the naysayers wrong (Yes, we’re talking to you FIREFLY fans) by keeping this mythology ridden science fiction gem of a series afloat for four ratings anemic seasons.
Suffice it to say, ENTOURAGE’s Ari Gold has got nothing on Jay Mohr’s Peter Dragon.
Just how good was this short-lived space western? So much so that to this day we still feel a tinge of guilt for only having discovered it on DVD years after it was unceremoniously canceled by Fox.
10. Seth MacFarlane
Although we’re the first to admit that we have more than a few issues with Seth MacFarlane’s trifecta of shows (FAMILY GUY, AMERICAN DAD! CLEVELAND SHOW) penchant for cheap laughs and juvenile humor, there’s no debating our level of admiration and respect for this multi-talented actor/singer/writer/director/license-to-print-money.
11. THE X FILES
Nothing says addictive television like a March Break spent under the covers watching rented X-FILES episodes on VHS. Scarier still, doing so when one was supposed to be enjoying an expensive vacation at a beautiful ski resort in Quebec!
13. THE OC
Just when we thought we had outgrown watching twenty-somethings play high school students comes this ridiculously likeable ensemble drama that may-or-may-not be responsible for a good portion of our iTunes music collection.
14. ALLY McBEAL
Mock if you must, but this David E. Kelley series didn’t just give birth to a controversy surrounding the state of feminism in America and dancing babies… when nobody in Hollywood would touch him with a ten foot pole it gave a
second fourth chance to Robert Downey Jr.’s career. So by all means, feel free to fire off a thank you tweet to Mr. Kelley when you’re waiting in line to see The Avengers in a little over a week.
UNDECLARED was not only Judd Apatow’s admirable FREAKS AND GEEKS follow up, it was the straw that broke the came’s back in that Apatow quickly moved to films following the swift cancellation of yet another hilarious and heartwarming series.
16. MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE
Fans of 30 ROCK, NEW GIRL and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER can thanks MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE for ushering in the era of single camera comedies. TMZ can thank MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE for years of guaranteed headlines.
17. 20th Century Fox Television
Without the success of the Fox Network you can pretty much bet that there would be no Fox Television Studio. The Network’s production arm responsible for ushering in years upon years of hits such as BURN NOTICE, WHITE COLLAR, THE SHIELD, HOMELAND, MODERN FAMILY among many, many others.
Strange But True*: Internet chatter surrounding Booth and Brennan’s will-they-or-won’t-they was responsible for 74.4% of TV-related internet traffic over the course of the past few seasons, not to mention a good portion of TVLine, E! Online, TVGuide and Entertainment Weekly’s ad revenue! Also on the subject of BONES, if there is a friendly cast and creative team off screen, it’s news to us.
19. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
Never have such taboo topics like incest, embezzlement and “analrapists” been this funny!
20. Thinking Different
No, not a TV Show about a lawyer who plays by his (or her!) own rules, but rather the one thing we’ve always given Fox a ton of credit for. Be it a series about a group of nerdy high school kids singing (GLEE) or a multi-million-dollar-per-episode dinosaur infused time-travel extravaganza (TERRA NOVA), Fox has always gotten full marks from us when it comes to thinking outside the procedural box.
21. THAT 70’S SHOW
True it gave us Ashton Kutcher, but it also gave us the immensely likeable Topher Grace, the absolutely awesome Mila Kunis and two of our all-time favorite televised parents in Red and Kitty Forman (Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp)
22. Ryan Seacrest
Say what you will about the host of AMERICAN IDOL, but our working theory currently has us convinced that the unstoppable workaholic that is Ryan Seacrest is the next step in human evolution and our best chance of survival when robots inevitably overtake our world TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES-style.
23. Set Visits
Way back when theTVaddict.com was little more than a needle in this internet haystack, the fine folks at Fox gave this fledgling TV blogger his first jolt of credibility by inviting us to the set of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES. It was an invitation that we not only will never forget, but one that helped us get to where we are today. Thanks “C”
Appropriately slotted in at number 24 came one of the most exciting hour-longs in recent memory. And not just because we’re still waiting on the edge of our seat for Jack Bauer to take a God Damn Bathroom Break!
25. Press Packages
Although this last point will mean little to anyone outside of the media, Fox is pretty much the only one of the major five Networks that continues to send out really exciting press packages. And while many may scoff at the fact that a good 60% of our wardrobe is comprised of t-shirts from now defunct Fox shows (RIP: HUMAN TARGET), in a world where snail mail has pretty much boiled down to bills, bills and more bills, there is something exceedingly exciting about receiving a mystery mailer from Fox that might contain anything from your typical DVD to your very own NEW GIRL Douchebag Jar!
FOX’s 25th ANNIVERSARY Special kicks off with a rebroadcast of the MARRIED WITH CHILDREN pilot at 7PM, an SIMPSONS episode at 7:30PM and a two-hour special at 8PM on Sunday April 22nd, 2012 no FOX
* Not really true!