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TV Guide names top shows of 2002

Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) uncovers new information that hopefully will bring him closer to finding the terrorist bomb in last week's episode of
Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) uncovers new information that hopefully will bring him closer to finding the terrorist bomb in last week's episode of "24."

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TV Guide's Top 10 of 2002
1. 24 (Fox)
2. CSI (CBS)
3. Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
4. Alias (ABC)
5. Friends (NBC)
6. The Sopranos (HBO)
7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (UPN)
8. Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS)
9. Boomtown (NBC)
10. Gilmore Girls (WB)

(CNN) -- The new issue of TV Guide is sure to ruffle a few feathers among television fans. The magazine has released its picks for the best shows of 2002.

Topping the list this year is "24," the Fox drama set in real time and starring Kiefer Sutherland as a secret agent battling terrorists in Los Angeles. "We've named ['24'] the best show of 2002, absolutely," the magazine's deputy editor Lisa Bernhard told CNN Monday.

Also on the list, "Curb Your Enthusiasm," the HBO comedy starring "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David. The main character is an extension of "Seinfeld's" whiny George Costanza, Bernhard said.

"He's such a miscreant, a misanthrope, and he imagines worst-case scenarios and it's just hilarious," she said.

The show has been gaining momentum all year, according to Bernhard. "I think it really started to gain some buzz when it got nominated for an Emmy this past year," she said.

In a sign of changing times in television, only half of the shows selected this year come from the big three television networks: ABC, CBS and NBC. Two are from HBO, while Fox, WB and UPN have one show each on the list.

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" came in at No. 7. "This show has done so well consistently ... really dealing with the angst of young people. It's used humor, drama, it did a musical episode which blew everybody away. So we had to give it credit," Bernhard said.

But fans of the UPN show may soon be disappointed. "It's probably going to be the last year for 'Buffy,'" Bernhard predicted.

"Gilmore Girls" is a show TV Guide considers worthy, even though it doesn't have a large audience.

Bernhard said the TV Guide editors "try to go to bat for some shows that we think are really worthy," like "Gilmore Girls," the WB drama-comedy about a mother and daughter in a small northeastern town. The show was No. 10 on the list.

Another underdog favorite: ABC's spy thriller "Alias."

"'Alias' has buzz, but it's still trying to find more and more viewers," Bernhard said. "But that's a show that still we think is a real quality show."

Bernhard admitted some popular new series, like NBC's medical comedy "Scrubs," were passed over this year for top honors, while other, more established shows like NBC's "Frasier" and "Will and Grace" were ignored because they're "a little bit past their prime."

"It's always a battle," she said of the selection process.

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