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Writers Guild names 101 Best Written TV Series

The Writers Guild of America named the 101 Best Written TV Series of all time. The Sopranos landed at No. 1 while 17 shows still on the air are also honored.


On Sunday, The Writers Guild of America released its list of the 101 Best Written TV Series of all time. Topping off that list was HBO’s The Sopranos, which ran on the cable network from 1999–2007.

Other shows that made the top 5 were Seinfeld at No. 2, with Twilight Zone, All in the Family and M*A*S*H following right behind. The announcement of All in the Family‘s inclusion came in the same weekend that star Jean Stapleton, who played Edith Bunker, passed away.

One surprising fact about the list is that 17 shows named on the list are currently on the air. True TV fans will also be happy to learn that not a single reality show made the list.

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In a joint statement about the TV greats, WGA, West president Chris Keyser and WGA, East president Michael Winship said, “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. 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.”

The list was compiled by members of the WGA who voted online. The guild held a tribute event on Sunday night in Beverly Hills, California, that included panel discussions and a reception honoring the best in television.

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Some of the panelists included top series creators like Matthew Weiner from Mad Men, Steven Bochco of Hill Street Blues, James L. Brooks of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Steven Levitan from Modern Family.

The East Coast membership will also hold a reception on Wednesday in Manhattan with notable members like Seth Meyers participating.

Did your favorite show make the list?

Here is the 101 Best Written TV Series list from the WGA.

1. The Sopranos

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

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

39. Sex and the City

40. Game of Thrones

41. The Bob Newhart Show

42. Your Show of Shows

43. Downton Abbey

44. Law & Order

45. Thirtysomething

46. St. Elsewhere

47. Homicide: Life on the Street

48. Homeland

49. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

50. The Good Wife

51. The Colbert Report

52. The Office (British version)

53. Northern Exposure

54. The Wonder Years

55. L.A. Law

56. Sesame Street

57. Columbo

58. The Rockford Files

59. Fawlty Towers

60. Moonlighting

61. Freaks and Geeks

62. Roots

63. Everybody Loves Raymond

64. South Park

65. Playhouse 90

66. The Office (U.S. version)

67. Dexter

68. My So-Called Life

69. Golden Girls

70. The Andy Griffith Show

71. The Shield

72. Roseanne

73. 24

74. Murphy Brown

75. House

76. Barney Miller

77. I, Claudius

78. The Odd Couple

79. Star Trek: The Next Generation

80. Alfred Hitchcock Presents

81. Upstairs, Downstairs

82. Monty Python’s Flying Circus

83. Get Smart

84. Gunsmoke

85. The Defenders

86. Sgt. Bilko

87. Justified

88. Band of Brothers

89. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In

90. The Prisoner

91. The Muppet Show

92. Absolutely Fabulous

93. Boardwalk Empire

94. Will & Grace

95. Family Ties

96. Lonesome Dove

97. Soap

98. The Fugitive

99. Louie

100. Late Night With David Letterman

101. Oz

Image courtesy of WENN

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