Eliot Ness vs. assorted mobsters (“The Untouchables,” 1959-63, ABC): During the Prohibition era, federal agent Ness led his team of sleuths into showdowns with many of the most notorious — and dangerous — felons Chicago had.
U.N.C.L.E. vs. THRUSH (“The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” NBC, 1964-68): Week in and week out, secret agents Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin (Robert Vaughn, David McCallum) battled clever enemies working for an organization bent on world domination.
Batman and Robin vs. the Riddler, the Joker, the Penguin, et al. (“Batman,” ABC, 1966-68): Gotham City’s Caped Crusaders (Adam West, Burt Ward) often were left in some trap they’d have to get out of the next night on the show.
J.R. Ewing vs. Cliff Barnes (“Dallas,” CBS, 1978-91): Continuing the feud that engulfed their fathers, and that resumes in this summer’s TNT update, Cliff (Ken Kercheval) was determined to destroy — and was continually foiled by — master schemer J.R. (Larry Hagman).
Bo and Luke Duke vs. Boss Hogg (“The Dukes of Hazzard,” CBS, 1979-85): As long as the Duke cousins (Tom Wopat, John Schneider) drove the General Lee, corrupt county boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) sought ways to foil them before they could bring him down.
Alexis vs. Blake (“Dynasty,” ABC, 1981-89): Ever vengeful toward oil tycoon and ex-husband Blake Carrington (John Forsythe), Alexis (Joan Collins) relished using her wealth and connections against him professionally and personally.
Jack Bauer vs. assorted terrorists (“24,” FOX, 2001-10): Whenever there was a plot against America, the resourceful Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) was called in to wade through murky alliances.
Clark Kent vs. Lex Luthor (“Smallville,” WB/CW, 2001-11): Initially friends, the young Clark (Tom Welling) came to distrust privileged Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) as Luthor’s quest for power became increasingly evident.
Alicia Florrick vs. Louis Canning (“The Good Wife,” CBS, 2009-present): Alicia (Julianna Margulies) always has to stay on her toes against cunning courtroom rival Canning (Michael J. Fox), who never is above using his neurological condition as a sympathy ploy.