Best of Tube

updated 12/25/1995 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/25/1995 01:00AM

The O.J. Verdict
After 372 days—and surely more hours of TV coverage than any event in history—the Trial of the Century reached the moment of truth (or at least a verdict). A nation, eyes glued to the set, held its collective breath.

Friends
That trendy Manhattan coffee bar Central Perk is our pick as the Cheers of the '90s, a place where everyone knows your name—and every quirk rates a snappy wisecrack.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Ol' Lantern Jaw finally hit his stride this year, pumped up not only by O.J. mania but by wacky new sketch characters like Iron Jay and Mr. Brain.

Homicide
With a more electric ensemble cast than Get Shorty, whip-smart writing and attitude to burn, NBC's gritty Baltimore-based cop show is the most arresting drama on TV.

Frasier
Pick an episode, any episode of this droller-than-ever NBC sitcom. Frasier and his station boss falling in lust? Niles lost and forlorn without his Maris? Even Eddie, the Jack Russell terrier, doggone it, displayed a waggish wit.

The Adventures of Pete & Pete
It's a kids' show on Nickelodeon, so if you're not under 12, you may not have seen this often surreal series about two brothers named Pete. We especially like the mom with a metal plate in her head. Just watch it.

ER
Nothing, it seems, can roll a gurney alongside NBC's infectiously popular hospital drama. Best storyline? Dissolute doc Douglas Ross (George Clooney) being redeemed by rescuing a drowning boy.

The Simpsons
Those krusty klowns at the Emmys keep shunning it. But this Fox sit-toon is TV's most consistently funny show—so chockfull of sight gags, you have to tape each episode to catch 'em all.

The Larry Sanders Show
HBO's canny, candid, off-camera look at a fractious late-night talk show was in top form in its fourth season. Our favorite regular: Rip Torn as Arthur, Larry's snarlingly unflappable producer.

Murder One
Although it has not sustained the narrative punch of its mesmerizing opener, Murder rewards with intelligent dialogue and a crackerjack cast.

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