The best writing for television

It’s easy to make fun of bad writing on television.  The television landscape is littered with bad writing.  But there is also great writing on television.  The Writers’ Guild of America has recently announced its choices for the 101 best written TV series.

The top ten, best-written TV series, according to the Writers’ Guild are

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

It’s not an unreasonable list, but when I scroll down the rest of the list and I don’t see Northern Exposure until #53, Fawlty Towers until #58 and I Claudius until #76, I realize it’s time to re-draft the list.

So here are the top ten, best written series for TV, according to me.

1.  The Twilight Zone
2.  I Claudius
3.  All in the Family
4.  M*A*S*H
5.  Fawlty Towers
6.  Taxi
7.  Seinfeld
8.  Northern Exposure
9. The West Wing
10. Chicago Hope (the first season, and only the first season)

Here’s a link to the 101 Best Written TV Series

What say ye?


12 thoughts on “The best writing for television

  1. I have to say though, I think the Wire’s impressive use of various dialects really ought to bring it up to the top 10 list. Also, I’d be glad to throw in a show like The Daily Show or even the early years of The Office


  2. I agree with Seinfeld, All in the Family, Mash, Fawlty Towers, but there are a lot of well-written shows that I just don’t like so I haven’t watched them that much. I’m still a sucker for original Star Trek and Monty Python, and I enjoyed The Cosby Show and Early Edition when they were on. I don’t see Dr Who (2005 on) in the list. I enjoy Carol Burnett more now than when I was young.


  3. The Newsroom. That’s absolutely the best on TV right now. But I’m glad you moved Northern Exposure farther up the list. I loved that show.


  4. I don’t know if the shows I enjoy are well written. I know a well written book when I read it, but not sure I recognize good writing in a television show. Even some not so well written shows can come out well if the acting is good enough. Northern Exposure was amazing, but I also thought 30-Something was too. Wooster and Jeeves and Doctor Who. DW makes me cry so often; in a good way. I think.


  5. Cheers and The Wire go back on; Chicago Hope has to come back off because anyone can do *anything* for one season.


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