‘The Sopranos’ tops 101 Best Written TV Series



The Writers Guild of America has released their list of the 101 Best Written TV Series, with 101% less Two and a Half Men. Did your favorites make the cut? While most of these were also popular, the list acknowledges shows for the high caliber of writing rather than if it’s popular among the people that make Wipe Out a smash hit.

1. The Sopranos

“A mobster in therapy, having problems with his mother,” was how The Sopranos initially sparked, according to creator David Chase, though he was thinking about the premise for a feature film. Though The Sopranos did indeed become a show about a mob boss with mother problems, it quickly sprawled to comment upon, or observe, innumerable aspects of American life, from the efficacy of psychotherapy to the ways in which a family-run business, even the Mafia, was dying out to a corporatizing culture. For Chase, The Sopranos was a reaction away from everything he had done as a television writer until then. “I was so tired of episodic television. Did I want to make a grand statement? No. But I did want to make films in which the audience had to pay attention.”

2. Seinfeld
3. The Twilight Zone
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 & The City
40. Game of Thrones
41. The Bob Newhart Show and Your Show of Shows 
43. Downton Abbey, Law & Order and Thirtysomething 
46. Homicide: Life on the Street and St. Elsewhere 
48. Homeland
49. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
50. The Colbert ReportThe Good Wife and the UK Office
53. Northern Exposure
54. The Wonder Years
55. L.A. Law
56. Sesame Street
57. Columbo
58. Fawlty Towers and The Rockford Files
60. Freaks and Geeks and Moonlighting
62. Roots
63. Everybody Loves Raymond and South Park
65. Playhouse 90
66. Dexter and the US Office
68. My So-Called Life
69. Golden Girls
70. The Andy Griffith Show
71. 24, Roseanne and The Shield
74. House and Murphy Brown
76. Barney Miller and I, Claudius
78. The Odd Couple
79. Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Upstairs, Downstairs
83. Get Smart
84. The Defenders and Gunsmoke
86. Justified, Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show
88. Band of Brothers
89. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In
90. The Prisoner
91. Absolutely Fabulous and The Muppet Show
93. Boardwalk Empire
94. Will & Grace
95. Family Ties
96. Lonesome Dove and Soap
98. The FugitiveLate Night with David Letterman and Louie
101. Oz

You can check out details on all of the shows that made the list of 101 Best Written TV Series on WGA. While it may be a lot of clicking around, there are some interesting insights about each series.

Now it’s time to bitch and moan. What do you think got snubbed? The most glaring omission for me is Thundercats.