Television, in moderation, can be a relaxing, enjoyable activity for all ages. With such a variety of shows to choose from, there is something for everyone. Here are some great TV shows that can be found on the air or are available on DVD. We've broken everything down into age range and genre for an easy-to-reference guide.
For those times when you crave something that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat:
Preschool (ages 2 to 4) -
The Backyardigans - 3-D animated series featuring 5 animal children whose backyard becomes a place of adventure.
Team Umizoomi - Kids learn math skills, patterns and shapes from Milli, Geo and Bot, who solve math problems during everyday experiences.
Young Kids (ages 5 to 9) -
Supah Ninjas - A kid discovers he comes from a long line of ninjas and must battle villains. George Takei stars as his grandfather.
Kim Possible - A teenage girl and her boyfriend are secret agents who fight villains.
Tweens (ages 10 to 12) -
Avatar: The Last Airbender - Animated series that features Chinese martial arts and elemental manipulation.
Merlin - Taking place during medieval times, based on a wizard's relationship with Prince Arthur.
Teens (ages 13 to 17) -
Human Target - Loosely based on the comic book character of the same name.
House of Anubis - Teens investigate mysteries that surround the House of Anubis.
Hawaii 5-O - A reboot of the old show from the '70s - Dano and his partner McGarrett fight crime on the big island.
The River - A documentarian, left for dead in the Amazon, is suspected to be alive and capturing videotape of strange happenings.
For those who prefer an imaginary, fantasy world:
Young Kids -
Transformers - The Autobots battle the Decepticons. Modeled after the popular film series.
Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive - Power Rangers battle monstrous creatures.
Goosebumps - Based on the popular books by R.L. Stine, each episode delves into a creepy adventure.
The Troop - Ordinary high school students work to keep the world's monster population under control.
Vampire Diaries - A town called Mystic Falls deals with vampires and other supernatural creatures.
Once Upon a Time - Fairy tales come to life in a modern-day town, complete with evil queens and princesses.
The Walking Dead - A comic book series come to life in a post-apocalyptic world that's overrun with zombies, it follows a group of survivors.
American Horror Story - Follows the story of the living and non-living who inhabit a cursed house.
When you need to tune in and enjoy a few belly laughs:
Young Kids -
That's So Raven - Heroine uses psychic powers, disguises and talent to get out of humorous situations.
Jessie - A teen who comes to New York City to live out her dreams becomes the nanny for a rich family.
So Random - A hilarious teen sketch comedy - think Saturday Night Live for the 'tween set.
Big Time Rush - Based on 4 teen hockey players who go to Hollywood to become a boy band.
The Middle - Follows the mundane yet hilarious lives of a family living in the Midwest.
Glee - Popular musical show focuses on a high school show choir.
The Office - A show that follows the lives and work days of inhabitants of a paper company.
Modern Family - Mockumentary comedy that follows the lives of a family.
Good Luck Charlie - A family adjusts to their 4th child, with another one on the way.
ANT Farm - Middle school kids with exceptional talents adjust to life in high school.
Because you're never too young or too old to learn:
Little Einsteins - Animated series that teaches art and music appreciation.
Bubble Guppies - Fishy friends teach kids about a wide range of topics like dinosaurs, colors and recycling while reinforcing lessons in literacy, science, math and more.
Young Kids -
The Electric Company - Modernized version of the 70s show that includes teaching 4 to 5 vocabulary words.
Beakman's World - An eccentric scientist uses comedy to do experiments and demonstrations. Get The Best of Beakman's World DVD at Amazon.com.
Human Planet - Explores the challenges people face globally when they live in unconventional environments.
Mythbusters - Scientific method used to test the truth behind myths, rumors, news stories and more
Call of the Wildman - Animal lover Ernie "Turtleman" Brown works to remove strange and dangerous nuisance animals from people's homes in Kentucky.
Planet Earth - An 11-part series that extrapolates the concepts of the popular Disney movie, exploring remote areas of the Earth.
Dr. G Medical Examiner - Dr. G works on unexplained deaths.
River Monsters - Worldwide travel to explore freshwater mysteries.
Unwrapped - Reveals the origins of different foods.
Shark Week - A classic event that airs once a year, Shark Week episodes and DVDs are always available.
Reality TV is among the most popular forms of entertainment available:
Young Kids -
Chefs A'Field: Kids on the Farm - Teaches how foods are grown, harvested and prepared.
Food Detectives - Uncovers mysteries and myths behind food.
Dirty Jobs - Profiles unfamiliar and often unpleasant ways in which people earn a living.
Ultimate Cake Off - Cake artists compete to make the ultimate cake.
30 Days - A documentary about people spending 30 days in the shoes of someone else. The show's three seasons are available on DVD.
Prank Stars - Features hot Disney stars surprising and playing pranks on their biggest fans.
The Biggest Loser - Contestants compete to lose the greatest amount of weight.
Intervention - Families try to help their loved ones face addiction.
Wipeout - Teams compete in silly, elaborate and often messy physical stunts to win money.
Life - The classic board game comes to life, families compete for cash and prizes.