With seven decades of TV shows in consideration, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has compiled a list of the 101 Best-Written TV Series of all time. So, which TV show did they anoint the best-written show ever?
After tallying the online votes from the WGA's West and East Coast members, the show selected as the No. 1 Best-Written Series was the highly acclaimed mob drama The Sopranos, created by principal writer David Chase.
"'The Sopranos' received the most votes, and no show has been more responsible for TV's storytelling renaissance, in which writers use character both as engines for commenting on the contemporary world and for teasing out the ways in which action reflects psychology in the troubled inner lives of real people," WGA wrote.
The series, starring James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, won a myriad of awards over its six-season run, most notably reaping six Emmy awards for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.
A product of one of The Sopranos' protégés also made the top ten.
The applauded period drama series Mad Men, created by Sopranos writer Matthew Weiner, made No. 7 on the Best-Written TV Series list, bookended by the classic series The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Cheers.
"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," WGA, West President Chris Keyser and WGA, East President Michael Winship said. "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."
Coming in at second on the list is the side-splitting sitcom Seinfeld, which is trailed by the '60s sci-fi series The Twilight Zone, '70s sitcom All in the Family, and long-running war comedy M*A*S*H.
Check out the WGA's top 25 Best-Written TV Series below. For full list, check out the WGA's site.
1. The Sopranos
3. The Twilight Zone
4. All in the Family
6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
7. Mad Men
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
20. The Larry Sanders Show
21. 30 Rock
22. Friday Night Lights
25. Saturday Night Live
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