TV The TV Shows with the Best Writing  

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List Rules Vote up the television series with the most consistently great writing

What are the best written TV shows of all time? The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and TV Guide recently compiled its list of the 101 Best Written TV Shows ever, and the results left things wide open for debate. So, do you agree with the choices? Was there a show left off? Vote for the TV programs that you believe featured the strongest writing. Add any shows that you believe deserve votes, and of course, feel free to re-rank this list of TV series with the greatest writing in any order you choose.

Many of the television shows listed here are considered among the best TV shows of recent memory, and with good reason: They are wonderfully scripted, featuring diverse characters and compelling storylines that made us want to keep watching, week after week. They are excellent dramas, outstanding comedies and awesome science fiction TV shows. Some of the programs here are older, but they were considered by many to be groundbreaking.

What should be the number one best written TV show ever? Certainly outstanding shows like 'The Sopranos,' 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad' could be considered. They are, after all, some of the greatest TV dramas of all time.
list ordered by

1
450 335
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The Sopranos James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

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2
604 393
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

3
488 386
Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Seinfeld Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

4
488 434
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington

5
365 383
The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The Simpsons Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

6
357 280
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The Twilight Zone Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

7
262 260
Cheers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Cheers Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

8
291 314
M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
M*A*S*H Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

9
301 316
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan

10
253 302
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Mad Men Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

11
332 341
Arrested Development is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Arrested Development Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi

12
289 273
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

13
259 287
Monty Python's Flying Circus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Monty Python's Flying Circus Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

14
278 336
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The X-Files David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

15
250 340
The Daily Show is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The Daily Show Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver

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16
177 289
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Downton Abbey Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

17
290 331
House is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
House Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

18
216 263
The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The West Wing Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney

19
220 255
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The Wire Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

20
266 369
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Dexter Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

21
225 342
30 Rock is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
30 Rock Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan

22
102 101
The Mary Tyler Moore Show is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Rinkydink added The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

23
262 283
South Park is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
South Park Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes

24
184 290
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Six Feet Under Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

25
128 122
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
House of Cards Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright

26
265 299
Modern Family is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Modern Family Ed O'Neill, SofĂ­a Vergara, Julie Bowen

27
144 152
All in the Family is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
All in the Family Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner

28
76 72
The Dick Van Dyke Show is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
DolittleD added The Dick Van Dyke Show Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie

29
312 301
Friends is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Friends Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

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30
129 177
Taxi is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Taxi Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito

31
154 224
Saturday Night Live is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Saturday Night Live Darrell Hammond, Kenan Thompson, Seth Meyers

32
118 181
Northern Exposure is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Northern Exposure Rob Morrow, Janine Turner, Barry Corbin

33
177 265
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Deadwood Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

34
138 153
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Columbo Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan

35
184 211
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Band of Brothers Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston

36
157 216
Star Trek: The Original Series is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Star Trek: The Original Series William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

37
114 172
Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Hill Street Blues Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz

38
219 242
The Office is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The Office Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer

39
138 168
Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Star Trek: The Next Generation Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

40
169 225
The Wonder Years is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The Wonder Years Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern

41
157 208
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Law & Order Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

42
88 75
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
rdrxscm added True Detective Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams

43
220 304
Lost is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Lost Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

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44
116 202
Late Night with David Letterma... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Late Night with David Letterman David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, Jerry Seinfeld

45
113 144
The Bob Newhart Show is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The Bob Newhart Show Bob Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Bill Daily

46
168 151
Frasier is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Frasier Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

47
61 100
L.A. Law is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Linus added L.A. Law Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Alan Rachins

48
129 130
Orange Is the New Black is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Orange Is the New Black Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning

49
61 84
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
murphycat added Outlander Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies

50
158 181
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Firefly Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk