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From ‘Friends’ to ‘Wonder Years’: 10 shows that rewrote the rules of TV

This generation knows Grey’s Anatomy as the consummate medical primetime drama. But anyone over the age of 30 understands that before McDreamy, there was Dr. Donald Westphall from St. Elsewhere, a show that blazed the trail for television programming following a team of doctors. Cop dramas are common nowadays. But before top series like NYPD Blue came innovators like Hill Street Blues. And American Idol, The Voice, and other reality television competition shows have that little show called Star Search to thank for their concepts.

Related: 7 of the longest-running primetime scripted series in U.S. history

Inspiration is drawn in everything from music to movies, technology and yes, even television programming. So it’s no surprise that most of today’s top shows have innovative, game-changing programs of yesteryear to thank for paving the way for their success.

Here are 9 shows that arguably set the pace for some of the most popular series on television today.

What are your favorite trailblazing shows?