While I recognize how subjective this topic can be, here's some textbook definitions that can lead you to an accurate application of genre categories to 99% of the shows in your collection.
1. A collection of literary pieces, such as poems, short stories, or plays. 2. A miscellany, assortment, or catalog, as of complaints, comments, or ideas. (Etymology: Medieval Greek anthologi, collection of epigrams, from Greek, 'flower gathering', from anthologein, to gather flowers : antho-, antho- + logos, 'a gathering' (from legein, to gather))
1a. An undertaking or enterprise of a hazardous nature. b. An undertaking of a questionable nature, especially one involving intervention in another state's affairs. 2. An unusual or exciting experience. 3. Participation in hazardous or exciting experiences: the love of adventure. (Etymology: Middle English aventure, from Old French, from Latin adventrus, future participle of advenre, 'to arrive'.)
1a. A dramatic work that is light and often humorous or satirical in tone and that usually contains a happy resolution of the thematic conflict. b. The genre made up of such works. 2. A literary or cinematic work of a comic nature or that uses the themes or methods of comedy. 3. Popular entertainment composed of jokes, satire, or humorous performance. 4. The art of composing or performing comedy. 5. A humorous element of life or literature: the human comedy of political campaigns. 6. A humorous occurrence. (Etymology: Middle English comedie, from Medieval Latin comedia, from Latin comoedia, from Greek komoidia, from komoidos, 'comic actor' : komos, 'revel' + aoidos, 'singer' (from aeidein, 'to sing') )
1. An act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it and for which punishment is imposed upon conviction. 2. Unlawful activity: statistics relating to violent crime. 3. A serious offense, especially one in violation of morality. (Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin crimen.)
1. Of or relating to detectives or their work: detective novels. 2. Suited for or used in detection.
drama (or melodrama)
1a. A drama, such as a play, film, or television program, characterized by exaggerated emotions, stereotypical characters, and interpersonal conflicts. b. The dramatic genre characterized by this treatment. 2. Behavior or occurrences having melodramatic characteristics. (Etymology: Alteration of melodrame, from French mélodrame, spoken drama that includes some musical accompaniment, 'melodrama' : Greek melos, 'song' + French drame, 'drama' (from Late Latin drma.))
1. Not fully grown or developed; young. 2. Of, relating to, characteristic of, intended for, or appropriate for children or young people: juvenile fashions. 3. Marked by immaturity; childish: juvenile behavior. (Etymology: Latin iuvenlis, from iuvenis, 'young'.)
1. One that is not fully understood or that baffles or eludes the understanding; an enigma: How he got in is a mystery. 2. One whose identity is unknown and who arouses curiosity: The woman in the photograph is a mystery. 3. A mysterious character or quality: a landscape with mystery and charm. 4. A work of fiction, a drama, or a film dealing with a puzzling crime. (Etymology: Middle English misterie, from Latin mystrium, from Greek mustrion, 'secret rite', from musts, 'an initiate', from mein, 'to close the eyes', initiate.)
propaganda (or patriotic vehicle)
Political propaganda, disseminated through literature, drama, art, or music. (Etymology: Russian, short for otdel agitatsii i propagandy, 'incitement and propaganda section' (of the central and local committees of the Russian Communist party); name changed in 1934.)
Published or produced in installments, as a novel or television drama.
A humorous radio or television series featuring the reactions of a regular cast of characters to unusual situations, such as misunderstandings or embarrassing coincidences; a 'sitcom'.
1. A drama, typically performed as a serial on daytime television or radio, characterized by stock characters and situations, sentimentality, and melodrama. 2. A series of experiences characterized by dramatic displays of emotion. (Etymology: From its originally having been sponsored by soap companies.)
1. The condition of being physically suspended. 2a. The state or quality of being undecided, uncertain, or doubtful. b. Pleasurable excitement and anticipation regarding an outcome, such as the ending of a mystery novel. 3. Anxiety or apprehension resulting from an uncertain, undecided, or mysterious situation. (Etymology: Middle English, from Old French suspens, from Latin suspensus, past participle of suspendere, 'to suspend'.)
One that thrills, especially a sensational or suspenseful book, story, play, or movie.
A theatrical entertainment consisting of successive unrelated acts, such as songs, dances, and comedy skits.
A novel, film, television program, or other dramatic work including themes, characters, or settings characteristic of the American West. (Etymology: Middle English, from Old English westerne. )
Given the above definitions, a show or series can be categorized with a genre construction derived from the above general definitions, as in the following examples:
- "Damon Runyon Theater" A drama, as well as a collection of pieces (anthology) from the same source or author (e.g., Damon Runyon), or adapted from same. Hence we can categorize it as a Dramatic Anthology.
- "The Lone Ranger" A western, as well as a serial, appealing to and targetted toward a primarily juvenile audience. Hence we can categorize it as a Juvenile Western Serial.
- "The Great Gildersleeve". A situational comedy, but not necessarily a serial. Hence we can categorize it as a Situation Comedy
- Examples of 'Juvenile Serial' Constructions:
"The Green Hornet" A Juvenile Crime Serial
"The Adventures of Superman" A Juvenile Adventure Serial
"The Adventures of The Blue Beetle" A Juvenile Crime Serial
"The Adventures of Jungle Jim" A Juvenile Adventure Serial
- Examples of 'Situation Comedy' Constructions:
"Our Miss Brooks", "The Life of Riley", "Life With Luigi", "The Mel Blanc Show", "My Friend Irma", and "Father Knows Best"
- "Crime Classics". A crime-based drama series, based on the works of the same authors (anthology). Hence we can categorize it as a Crime Anthology.