'The Sopranos' and 'Seinfeld' top WGA's 'TV 101' list of best-written series ever

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The Sopranos was named the best-written show in television history by the Writers Guild of America, edging out an eclectic collection of some of the most beloved and admired series. Members of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) voted online for the 101 Best Written TV Series, with David Chase’s iconic “family” drama topping Seinfeld, The Twilight Zone, All in the Family, and M*A*S*H*.

“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.”

Click below for complete list:

1. The Sopranos, HBO
Created by David Chase

2. Seinfeld, NBC
Created by Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld

3. The Twilight Zone (1959), CBS
Season 1 writers: Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson, Robert Presnell, Jr., Rod Serling

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

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

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

7. Mad Men, AMC
Created by Matthew Weiner

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

9. The Wire, HBO
Created by David Simon

10. The West Wing, NBC
Created by Aaron Sorkin

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

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

13. Breaking Bad, AMC
Created by Vince Gilligan

14. The Dick Van Dyke Show, CBS
Created by Carl Reiner

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

16. Arrested Development, FOX
Created by Mitchell Hurwitz

17. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, COMEDY CENTRAL
Created by Madeleine Smithberg, Lizz Winstead; Season 1 – 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, HBO
Created by Alan Ball

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

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

21. 30 Rock, NBC
Created by Tina Fey

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

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

24. Friends, NBC
Created by Marta Kauffman & David Crane

25. Saturday Night Live, NBC
Season 1: 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, FOX
Created by Chris Carter

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

28. ER, NBC
Created Michael Crichton

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

30. Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO
Created by Larry David

31. The Honeymooners, CBS
Season 1 writers: Herbert Finn, Marvin Marx, A.J. Russell, Leonard Stern, Walter Stone, Sydney Zelinka

32. Deadwood, HBO
Created by David Milch

33. Star Trek, NBC
Created by Gene Roddenberry

34. Modern Family, ABC
Created by Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd

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

36. NYPD Blue, ABC
Created by David Milch & Steven Bochco

37. The Carol Burnett Show, CBS
Season 1: 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), SYFY
Developed by Ronald D. Moore, Based on the Series Battlestar Galactica Created by Glen A. Larson

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

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

41. (Tie) The Bob Newhart Show, CBS
Created by David Davis and Lorenzo Music

Your Show of Shows, NBC
Season 1: Written by Mel Tolkin, Lucille Kallen, Max Liebman

43. (Tie) Downton Abbey, PBS
Created by Julian Fellowes

Law & Order, NBC
Created by Dick Wolf

thirtysomething, ABC
Created by Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick

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

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

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

49. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, WB
Created by Joss Whedon

50. (Tie) The Colbert Report, COMEDY CENTRAL
Season 1 writers: Stephen Colbert, Rich Dahm, Eric Drysdale, Peter Gwinn, Jay Katsir, Laura Krafft, Allison Silverman

The Good Wife, CBS
Created by Robert King & Michelle King

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

For the rest of the WGA TV 101 list, click here.

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