'The Sopranos' Named Best-Written TV Series of All Time

Monday, 03 Jun 2013 09:13 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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"The Sopranos," the HBO mob drama that captivated audiences from 1999-2007, has been named the No. 1 best-written TV series of all time, the Writers Guild of America East and West revealed Sunday.

The list, compiled for the first time ever through polls of film and TV writers, features selections from nearly 70 years of television history, from classics like "I Love Lucy" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" to staples of today's lineup, including "Saturday Night Live" and "Law & Order."

"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," WGAW president Chris Keyser and WGAE president Michael Winship said 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."

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"Seinfeld," "The Twilight Zone," "All in the Family," and "MASH" rounded out the top five.

The announcement of "The Sopranos" as No. 1 kicked off an online debate.


"A thousand times no," one person commented on The Hollywood Reporter. "Yes, it was fabulous, but not deserving of the #1 spot. 
That would be 'The Wire,' which is the most incredible series ever shown on television... 
It was truly amazing!!!!"

But others felt "The Sopranos" was deserving of the No. 1 spot.



Some shows that just missed the cut? "Ally McBeal," "Happy Days," and "Family Guy."

Here is the full list of the 101 best-written TV series ever:

1. "The Sopranos"
2. "Seinfeld"
3. "The Twilight Zone"
4. "All in the Family"
5. "MASH"
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. "Sergeant 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 and Grace"
95. "Family Ties"
96. "Lonesome Dove"
97. "Soap"
98. "The Fugitive"
99. "Louie"
100. "Late Night With David Letterman"
101. "Oz"

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