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June 4, 2013

TV Talk: WGA Names Best 101 Written TV Shows

The best 6 written television shows ever determined by the Writers Guild of America, and The Sopranos took the top spot followed by Seinfeld.


The Writers Guild of America (WGA), consisting of Writers Guild of America, East and Writers Guild of America, West - is the labor union that represents writers in television and film.

The WGA conducted a poll, and asked their members to decide the best written shows on television, past and present, and they’ve come up with a list of what their writers feel are the best 101 television series that have aired to date.

The Sopranos  took the top spot, followed by Seinfeld, The Twilight Zone, All In The Family, M*A*S*H, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

I agree with their list for the most part, though I would rate Curb Your Enthusiasm higher, Absolutely Fabulous higher, Louie much much higher (one of the best shows on TV), Late Night with David Letterman higher, and Downton Abbey higher.

What do you think?

The complete list can be found below, after the break.

1. The Sopranos
Created by David Chase

2. Seinfeld
Created by Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld

3. The Twilight Zone (1959)
Season One writers: Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson,
Robert Presnell, Jr., Rod Serling

4. All in the Family
Developed for Television by Norman Lear, Based on Till Death
Do Us Part, Created by Johnny Speight

5. M*A*S*H
Developed for Television by Larry Gelbart

6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns

7. Mad Men
Created by Matthew Weiner

8. Cheers
Created by Glen Charles & Les Charles and James Burrows

9. The Wire
Created by David Simon

10. The West Wing
Created by Aaron Sorkin

11. The Simpsons
Created by Matt Groening, Developed by James L. Brooks
and Matt Groening and Sam Simon

12. I Love Lucy
“Pilot,” Written by Jess Oppenheimer & Madelyn Pugh &
Bob Carroll, Jr.

13. Breaking Bad
Created by Vince Gilligan

14. The Dick Van Dyke Show
Created by Carl Reiner

15. Hill Street Blues
Created by Michael Kozoll and Steven Bochco

16. Arrested Development
Created by Mitchell Hurwitz

17. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Created by Madeleine Smithberg, Lizz Winstead; Season
One – Head Writer: Chris Kreski; Writers: Jim Earl, Daniel J. Goor,
Charles Grandy, J.R. Havlan, Tom Johnson, Kent Jones,
Paul Mercurio, Guy Nicolucci, Steve Rosenfield, Jon Stewart

18. Six Feet Under
Created by Alan Ball

19. Taxi
Created by James L. Brooks and Stan Daniels and David Davis
and Ed Weinberger

20. The Larry Sanders Show
Created by Garry Shandling & Dennis Klein

21. 30 Rock
Created by Tina Fey

22. Friday Night Lights
Developed for Television by Peter Berg, Inspired by the Book by
H.G. Bissinger

23. Frasier
Created by David Angell & Peter Casey & David Lee, Based
on the Character “Frasier Crane” Created by Glen Charles &
Les Charles

24. Friends
Created by Marta Kauffman & David Crane

25. Saturday Night Live
Season One: Writing Supervised by Walter Kempley,
Harry Shearer; Written by: Ann Beatts, Chevy Chase, Tom Davis,
Al Franken, Rosie Michaels, Garrett Morris, Michael O’Donoghue,
Herb Sargent, Tom Schiller, Alan Zweibel

26. The X-Files
Created by Chris Carter

27. Lost
Created by Jeffrey Lieber and J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof

28. ER
Created Michael Crichton

29. The Cosby Show
Created by Ed Weinberger & Michael Leeson and
William Cosby, Jr., Ed. D.

30. Curb Your Enthusiasm
Created by Larry David

31. The Honeymooners
Season One writers: Herbert Finn, Marvin Marx, A.J. Russell,
Leonard Stern, Walter Stone, Sydney Zelinka

32. Deadwood
Created by David Milch

33. Star Trek
Created by Gene Roddenberry

34. Modern Family
Created by Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd

35. Twin Peaks
“Pilot,” Written by Mark Frost & David Lynch

36. NYPD Blue
Created by David Milch & Steven Bochco

37. The Carol Burnett Show
Season One: Written by Bill Angelos, Stan Burns, Don Hinkley,
Buz Kohan, Mike Marmer, Gail Parent, Kenny Solms,
Saul Turtletaub; Writing Supervised by Arnie Rosen

38. Battlestar Galactica (2005)
Developed by Ronald D. Moore, Based on the Series Battlestar
Galactica Created by Glen A. Larson

39. Sex & the City
Created by Darren Star, Based on the Book by Candace Bushnell

40. Game of Thrones
Created by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss, Based on A Song of Ice
and Fire by George R. R. Martin

41. The Bob Newhart Show
Created by David Davis and Lorenzo Music

Your Show of Shows
Season One: Written by Mel Tolkin, Lucille Kallen, Max Liebman

43. Downton Abbey
Created by Julian Fellowes

Law & Order
Created by Dick Wolf

thirtysomething
Created by Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick

46. Homicide: Life on the Street
Created by Paul Attanasio, Based on the Book Homicide: A Year
on the Killing Streets by David Simon

St. Elsewhere
Created by Joshua Brand & John Falsey, Developed by
Mark Tinker / John Masius

48. Homeland
Developed by Howard Gordon & Alex Gansa, Based on the
Original Israeli Series Prisoners of War by Gideon Raff

49. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Created by Joss Whedon

50. The Colbert Report
Season One writers: Stephen Colbert, Rich Dahm, Eric Drysdale,
Peter Gwinn, Jay Katsir, Laura Krafft, Allison Silverman
The Good Wife
Created by Robert King & Michelle King

The Office (UK)
Created by Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant

53. Northern Exposure
Created by Joshua Brand & John Falsey

54. The Wonder Years
Created by Neal Marlens & Carol Black

55. L.A. Law
Created by Steven Bochco & Terry Louise Fisher

56. Sesame Street
Created by Joan Ganz Cooney

57. Columbo
Created by Richard Levinson & William Link

58. Fawlty Towers
Written by John Cleese & Connie Booth

The Rockford Files
Created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell

60. Freaks and GeekS
Created by Paul Feig

Moonlighting
Created by Glenn Gordon Caron

62. Roots
Written by William Blinn, M. Charles Cohen, Ernest Kinoy,
James Lee; Based on the Book by Alex Haley

63. Everybody Loves Raymond
Created by Philip Rosenthal

South Park
Created by Matt Stone & Trey Parker

65. Playhouse 90
Season One writers: Edna Anhalt, Edmund Beloin,
Harold Jack Bloom, Marc Brandel, George Bruce,
James P. Cavanagh, Whitfiled Cook, Helen Doss,
Scott Fitzgerald, Devery Freeman, Frank D. Gilroy, Helen Howe,
Speed Lamkin, Ernest Lehman, Herbert Little, Jr.,
Don Mankiewicz, Elick Moll, Paul Monash, Dean Reisner,
Norman Retchin, Selma Robinson, William Sackheim,
Rod Serling, Leonard Spigelgass, Leslie Stevens,
Brandon Thomas, David Victor, Charles M. Warren, Hagar Wilde,
Cornell Woolrich

66. Dexter
Developed for Television by James Manos, Jr., Based on the
Novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

The Office (US)
Created by Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant, Developed by
Greg Daniels, Based on the BBC Series The Office

68. My So-Called Life
Created by Winnie Holzman

69. The Golden Girls
Created by Susan Harris

70. The Andy Griffith Show
Episode 1, “The New Housekeeper,” Written by Jack Elinson and
Charles Stewart

71. 24
Created by Joel Surnow & Robert Cochran

Roseanne
Created by Matt Williams, Based on a Character Created by
Roseanne Barr

The Shield
Created by Shawn Ryan

74. House
Created by David Shore

Murphy Brown
Created by Diane English

76. Barney Miller
Created by Danny Arnold & Theodore J. Flicker

I, Claudius
Written by Rupert Graves and Jack Pulman

78. The Odd Couple
Episode 1, “The Fight of the Felix,” Written by Peggy Elliott &
Ed Scharlach

79. Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Season One writers - Gwen Bagni, Samuel Blas, Robert Blees,
Ray Bradbury, Richard Carr, James Cavanagh, Eustace Cockrell,
Francis Cockrell, Marian Cockrell, John Collier, Robert C. Dennis,
Mel Dinelli, Stanley Ellin, Fred Freiberger, Irwin Gielgud,
Gina Kaus, Terence Maples, Richard Pedicini, Louis Pollock,
Joseph Ruscoll, A.J. Russell, Stirling Silliphant, Andrew Solt,
Harold Swanton, Victor Wolfson, Cornell Woolrich

Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Conceived and Written by Graham Chapman, John Cleese,
Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Neil Innes, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Created by Gene Roddenberry

Upstairs, Downstairs
Created by Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins

83. Get Smart
“Pilot,” Written by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry

84. The Defenders
Created by Reginald Rose

Gunsmoke
Episode 1, “Matt Gets It,” Written by Charles Marquis Warren &
John Meston

86. Justified
Developed for Television by Graham Yost, Based on the Short
Story “Fire in the Hole” by Elmore Leonard

Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show)
Created by Nat Hiken

88. Band of Brothers
Written by Erik Bork, E. Max Frye, Tom Hanks, Erik Jendresen,
Bruce C. McKenna, John Orloff, Graham Yost; Based on the Book
by Stephan E. Ambrose

89. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In
Season One: Written by Chris Beard, Phil Hahn, John Hanrahan,
Coslough Johnson, Paul Keyes, Marc London, Allan Manings,
David Panich, Hugh Wedlock, Digby Wolfe

90. The Prisoner
Premiere Episode: Written by George Markstein and
David Tomblin

91. Absolutely Fabulous (UK)
Episode 1, “Fashion,” Written by Jennifer Saunders, Based on
an Original Idea by Jennifer Saunders & Dawn French

The Muppet Show
Season One: Written by Jack Burns, Jim Henson, Jerry Juhl,
Marc London

93. Boardwalk Empire
Created by Terence Winter, Based on the Book Boardwalk
Empire by Nelson Johnson

94. Will & Grace
Created by David Kohan & Max Mutchnick

95. Family Ties
Created by Gary David Goldberg

96. Lonesome Dove
Teleplay by Bill Wittliff, Based on the Novel Lonesome Dove by
Larry McMurtry

Soap
Created by Susan Harris

98. The Fugitive
Episode 1, “Where the Action Is,” Written by Harry Kronman

Late Night with David Letterman
Season One: Writing Supervised by Merrill Markoe,
Writers: Andy Breckman, Tom Gammill, David Letterman,
Richard Morris, Gerard Mulligan, Max Pross, Karl Tiedemann,
Steve Winer

Louie
Season One: Written and Directed by Louis C.K.

101. Oz
Created by Tom Fontana

Voted by the members of the Writers Guild of America, West and Writers Guild of America, East

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