TV

Writers Guild of America names 101 Best Written TV Series Of All Time

Credit: HBO

Credit: HBO

Following up on 2006’s 101 Best Written Screenplays of All Time, the Writers Guild of America has unveiled its list of the 101 Best Written TV Series in the history of the medium. Unsurprisingly, the big winner is The Sopranos, which beat out an eclectic field that included Seinfeld, The Wire, The West Wing and countless other greats of yesterday and today.

“At their core, all of these wonderful series began with the words of the writers who created them and were sustained by the writers who joined their staffs or worked on individual episodes,” said WGAW President Chris Keyser and WGAE President Michael Winship in a joint statement. “This list is not only a tribute to great TV, it is a dedication to all writers who devote their hearts and minds to advancing their craft.”

Check out the full list below via Deadline:

1. The Sopranos

2. Seinfeld

3. The Twilight Zone (1959)

4. All In The Family

5. M*A*S*H

6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

7. Mad Men

8. Cheers

9. The Wire

10. The West Wing

11. The Simpsons

12. I Love Lucy

13. Breaking Bad

14. The Dick Van Dyke Show

15. Hill Street Blues

16. Arrested Development

17. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

18. Six Feet Under

19. Taxi

20. The Larry Sanders Show

21. 30 Rock

22. Friday Night Lights

23. Frasier

24. Friends

25. Saturday Night Live

26. The X-Files

27. Lost

28. ER

29. The Cosby Show

30. Curb Your Enthusiasm

31. The Honeymooners

32. Deadwood

33. Star Trek

34. Modern Family

35. Twin Peaks

36. NYPD Blue

37. The Carol Burnett Show

38. Battlestar Galactica (2005)

39. Sex And the City

40. Game Of Thrones

41. TIE: The Bob Newhart Show and Your Show Of Shows

43. TIE: Downton Abbey and Law & Order and thirtysomething

46. TIE: Homicide: Life On The Street and St. Elsewhere

48. Homeland

49. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

50. TIE: The Colbert Report and The Good Wife and The Office (UK)

53. Northern Exposure

54. The Wonder Years

55. L.A. Law

56. Sesame Street

57. Columbo

58. TIE: Fawlty Towers and The Rockford Files

60. TIE: Freaks And Geeks and Moonlighting

62. Roots

63. TIE: Everybody Loves Raymond and South Park

65. Playhouse 90

66. TIE: Dexter and The Office (US)

68. My So-Called Life

69. The Golden Girls

70. The Andy Griffith Show

71. TIE: 24 and Roseanne

72. The Shield

74. TIE: House and Murphy Brown

76. Barney Miller

77. I, Claudius

78. The Odd Couple

79. TIE: Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Star Trek: The Next Generation and Upstairs, Downstairs

83. Get Smart

84. TIE: The Defenders and Gunsmoke

86. Justified

87. Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show)

88. Band Of Brothers

89. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In

90. The Prisoner

91. TIE: Absolutely Fabulous and The Muppet Show

93. Boardwalk Empire

94. Will & Grace

95. Family Ties

96. TIE: Lonesome Dove and Soap

98. TIE: The Fugitive and Late Night With David Letterman and Louie

101. Oz

Hard for me to argue with The Sopranos being the top choice, since it’s really one of the most well-written shows that the medium of television has ever produced. But I will say that The Wonder Years is way too low, for my liking.

So what do you think of the list? Agree/disagree? Sound off in the comments!

TV WGAWriters Guild

Got Something to Add?

5 comments
MauiKane
MauiKane

Justified should be #1, or at least in the top ten.

drufyre
drufyre

Odd choices.  No love for Southland?  For me, The Shield is too lowly rated.  So many of the shows listed overstayed their heyday or were simply overrated or they exist on the list for political reasons.  

jpfajardo
jpfajardo

There should be more animated series in this list. Yay, Golden Girls! I seriously gave Arrested Development a chance but it's just not funny at all. I know it has a cult following but the narration alone makes me want to stick skewers in my ear.

Noelle
Noelle

Freaks and Geeks was the best. I finally got it on DVD for Christmas. Watching it is so bittersweet because it was SUCH a good show and it only lasted one season.

Klope62
Klope62 moderator

I hate lists like these. Particularly because...wtf is the criteria?