Top 10 Must-Watch TV Shows of 2024: The Ultimate Guide to This Year’s Best Television

Top 10

The year 2024 has been an incredible one for television. With more platforms and channels producing original content than ever before, viewers have been treated to a true golden age of outstanding shows. From gripping dramas to laugh-out-loud comedies, science-fiction epics to psychological thrillers, there has been something for everyone to enjoy.

As we reach the end of the year, it’s time to look back on the very best shows that 2024 had to offer. Which groundbreaking new series rose above the competition? Which returning favorites reached new dramatic heights? What shows kept us glued to our screens, pondering the big questions while waiting eagerly for the next episode?

This definitive guide breaks down the top 10 must-watch TV shows of 2024. Read on for an in-depth look at the year’s most spectacular, thought-provoking, and all-around entertaining television. Discover shows you may have missed, rediscover old favorites, and find your next binge-worthy obsession!

The Top 10

1. Judge Steve Harvey

Daytime television icon Steve Harvey branched out in a big way this year with his own courtroom show, Judge Steve Harvey. While Harvey is best known for hosting family-friendly programs like Family Feud, his new show has proven he has the chops to preside over a competitive court show with plenty of memorable and meme-worthy moments.

Judge Steve Harvey stands out for its balance of laughs and thoughtful life lessons. Harvey rules his courtroom with a firm but fair hand, doling out sensible advice alongside witty zingers. The wide variety of cases showcases Harvey’s versatility as he tackles disputes between friends, couples, and even celebrity guests. Viewers tune in not just for the entertaining verdicts but for Harvey’s infectious energy and words of wisdom.

The show has been a hit thanks to Harvey’s natural charisma on the bench. Judge Steve Harvey proves traditional court shows can still feel fresh and fun with the right personality at the helm.

2. The Curse

This haunting horror series created waves earlier this year on FX. The Curse follows a couple trying to renovate a neglected Victorian mansion, only to find themselves tormented by supernatural forces linked to the home’s dark history. The show stands out for taking a slow-burn approach to its scares, ratcheting up the tension over time to deliver blood-curdling payoffs.

With its ominous atmosphere and startling imagery, The Curse provides a masterclass in horror filmmaking. Yet the show is also about much more than jump scares. Through the cursed manor, it weaves in complex themes around generational trauma, women’s rights, and the consequences of trying to bury the past. Outstanding performances from the ensemble cast, led by Claire Holt and Sebastian Roche, bring nuance and humanity to the tale.

For horror fans seeking a psychological rollercoaster ride as well as bone-chilling set pieces, The Curse is a must-see. The curse may end each season, but viewers remain haunted long afterwards.

3. Harlem

This delightful comedy series lit up screens when it debuted on Prime Video. Harlem follows four stylish and ambitious best friends navigating life and love in Harlem, New York City. Through its quartet of vibrant leads, it celebrates the joys and struggles of being a young black professional woman today.

Led by a stellar cast including Meagan Good and Grace Byers, Harlem excels at exploring relatable relationships with humor and heart. While the show is undeniably fun and sexy, it also does not shy away from addressing real issues around sexuality, identity, and career fulfillment. Audiences have connected strongly with both the bawdy escapades and grounded emotion.

With its fresh perspective and dynamic heroines, Harlem earns laughs while forging new territory for black women in comedy. It captures the energy and culture of Harlem through an aspirational lens, making it an irresistible escape.

4. Bargain

Viewers were glued to their seats this year thanks to the inescapable pull of Bargain, Shudder’s hit survival thriller series. The show strands contestants in a remote forest with only the clothes on their backs and forces them to barter for food and shelter to last 35 days. Part survival guide, part social experiment, Bargain keeps ratcheting up the tension as contestants scramble not just to survive the elements but each other.

Smart tactics and creative negotiating are often not enough on Bargain; contestants must carefully manage fragile alliances and egos in order to endure. Blindsiding betrayals and cunning mind games abound, making for addictive viewing. Through it all there is a fascinating look at human nature when pushed to the limits.

With its binge-worthy mix of strategy, drama, and exotic locales, Bargain has become priority viewing. The backstabbing and shifting dynamics will keep audiences invested right up until the final bargain.

5. American Born Chinese

Disney+ broke new ground this year with their first TV adaptation of an acclaimed graphic novel. American Born Chinese transforms author Gene Luen Yang’s genre-blending coming-of-age story into a magical realist fable celebrating identity and heritage.

Through three intertwined stories, the series examines the immigrant experience and generational divides through a speculative lens. Teen protagonist Jin Wang juggles high school life with his shape-shifting dragon alter ego. The show balances whimsy and heart as Jin struggles with feeling caught between two cultures.

Anchored by radiant newcomer Ben Wang, American Born Chinese wraps resonant themes around infectious humor and dazzling visuals. This refreshing take on the conventional high school drama succeeds as both a poignant family tale and an exhilarating fantasy adventure.

6. The Bear

This year, FX released one of the most critically-acclaimed shows across all networks: The Bear. A dramedy set in the frantic kitchen of a Chicago sandwich shop, it follows rising chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto as he returns home to run his family business after his brother’s death.

The Bear gleans poignancy and humor from its high-stress setting while nailing the details of restaurant life. As Carmy battles his own demons, he mentors the scrappy kitchen crew, driving them to culinary greatness through tough love.

Jeremy Allen White delivers a career-defining performance as Carmen, capturing his volatility and passion. The show has struck a chord through its emotional honesty in depicting grief, addiction, and ambition. With its singular mix of cuisines and tones, The Bear delivers a uniquely satisfying meal for audiences.

7. Mrs. Davis

Oscar-winner Emma Thompson headlined this conspiracy thriller streaming on Peacock. She stars as a nun with mysterious abilities determined to thwart an AI apocalypse in Mrs. Davis. Matching intrigue with heart, the show keeps viewers guessing right until its profound conclusion.

Thompson’s towering performance holds the sprawling narrative together. Surrounding her is a stellar ensemble including Adam Scott as her enemy. Weekly shocks and mind-bending twists build on themes of humanity’s love for technology and where it can lead.

Equal parts puzzling and profound, Mrs. Davis sticks the landing with an epic yet intimate finale worthy of endless debate. This provocative and emotional saga cements Emma Thompson as one of TV’s greatest: the Mother Superior of sci-fi.

8. Queen Charlotte

Historical drama fans were treated to a decadent origin story this spring in HBO’s Queen Charlotte. A prequel to Bridgerton, it depicts the rise and romance of the monarch who would shape polite society as viewers know it. Newcomer India Ria Amarteifio captivates as the young queen in this opulent yet progressive tale.

While indulging in sumptuous costumes and set pieces, Queen Charlotte also openly examines issues of race and biracial identity with nuance. Charlotte claims agency over her life in a patriarchal world, making difficult choices for the crown. The sharp writing and inclusivity of the diverse cast align perfectly with the show’s themes of radical change.

Sweeping in scope yet intimate in its focus on Charlotte, this royal drama succeeds as both a gripping chapter of history and a timely celebration of the force of social progress.

9. Yellowjackets

Showtime’s survival epic Yellowjackets generated buzz in its first season by fusing genres and eras. The show alternates between the present day and 1996, chronicling a girls soccer team who endure a plane crash and grueling wilderness. The timeline format allows the series to build mystery while exploring the toll of trauma across decades.

Equal parts horror, drama, and psychological study, Yellowjackets has carved out a unique niche. Standout performances from leads like Melanie Lynskey and Christina Ricci anchor the trauma while teasing future reveals. Along with plenty of shocks, the show provides incisive commentary on women’s rage and resilience through the lens of extreme crisis.

The series’ bold time-jumping structure pays off with big questions, ripe for heated discussion after every chilling episode. Yellowjackets has viewers already buzzing for the promise of Season 2.


The shows on this list represent the pinnacle of television achievement in 2024. From exploring vital social issues to weaving intricate mysteries, they delivered groundbreaking storytelling that demanded audiences’ attention. These series will stick with us thanks to riveting performances, dazzling visuals, and themes that resonated deeply in this moment in time.

This year’s outstanding lineup of shows proves we are in a golden age of television with more choice than ever before. Picking just 10 must-watches was no easy task. Whether you’re looking for a complex antihero saga, immersive sci-fi world, or just non-stop laughs, there has been a fantastic show airing to fit your taste.

As we look ahead to 2025, these exceptional shows have set the bar high for what television can accomplish. The variety and artistry represented across networks and platforms promise even more brilliant and binge-worthy series on the horizon. For now, we celebrate these 10 shows that captivated us and provided much-needed escape. Check out these must-see series if you haven’t yet – your newest TV obsession awaits!

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