Ah, a single favorite. Well, I mentioned five possibilities here.
Early favorites included Captain Kangaroo – there was a character named Mister Green Jeans! – and most Hanna-Barbera cartoons (Yogi Bear, Huckelberry hound, Top Cat).
Later, the Fugitive, and pretty much any Quinn Martin production. Also, any show with a lawyer: Perry Mason, of course, but also The Defenders, starring E.G. Marshall and a pre-Brady Bunch Robert Reed as father-and-son attorneys.
Sitcoms from Norman Lear (All in the Family, Maude), pretty much anything from MTM (Bob Newhart Show, St. Elsewhere). Barney Miller. Taxi.
JEOPARDY!, of course. 60 Minutes.
But when I think of one show I’ve watched for years and would miss it if it were gone: CBS Sunday Morning. It’s a magazine on the air, covers a wide variety of topics, both hard news and entertainment features. History is respected by noting in the almanac some interesting event that happened on that date. It notes the passing of significant people and institutions. Commentary comes from a variety of POV, some of which I even agree with. The show explains trends that I need to know as a librarian in an entertaining way.
It’s been on for over 30 years, initially hosted by the late Charles Kuralt and, since 1994, by Charles Osgood. When it first started, I used to watch it leisurely in real time, while reading the paper. Later, I would record it on the VCR, or now, the DVR, for watching, sometimes only a section or two at a time, but it is structured so that one can do that too.
Now, if you forced me to pick a scripted show, it would have to be The Dick van Dyke Show, a program with the perfect mix of home and family life. It didn’t last too long or was canceled too early, though it almost was. Carl Reiner was smart enough NOT to cast himself as the lead. Richard Deacon (Mel Cooley) was from my hometown of Binghamton, NY. And Mary Tyler Moore wore those capri pants.