Entertainment

The TV Shows with the Best Writing  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 5

Breaking Bad is an American drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on the AMC network for five seasons, from January 20, 2008, to September 29, ...more

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2
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

Premiered: 1999

Number of Seasons: 6

The Sopranos is an American drama television series created by David Chase. Revolving around the fictional New Jersey-based Italian-American Tony Soprano, the show portrays the difficulties he ...more

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

Premiered: 1989

Number of Seasons: 9

Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally ran for nine seasons on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as ...more

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4
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

Premiered: 1959

Number of Seasons: 5

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5
M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

Premiered: 1972

Number of Seasons: 11

M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH. The series, which was produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television for ...more

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6
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser

Premiered: 2007

Number of Seasons: 6

Mad Men is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner. The series premiered on July 19, 2007 on the cable network AMC and is produced by Lionsgate Television. The ...more

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7
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 8

Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on the series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. Nine noble ...more

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8
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 3

Sherlock is a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it ...more

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9
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

Premiered: 2002

Number of Seasons: 5

The Wire is an American drama television series set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Created and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon, the series was ...more

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10
Cheers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

Premiered: 1982

Number of Seasons: 11

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

Premiered: 2003

Number of Seasons: 4

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12
The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

Premiered: 1989

Number of Seasons: 24

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the ...more

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13
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

Premiered: 1993

Number of Seasons: 9

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14
30 Rock is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 6

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15
The Daily Show is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, Hasan Minhaj

Premiered: 1996

The Daily Show (Comedy Central, 1999) is an American late-night talk and news satire television program. Described as a fake news program, the show draws its comedy and satire from recent news ...more

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16
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
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Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

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

Premiered: 2004

Number of Seasons: 8

House is an American television medical drama that originally ran on the Fox network for eight seasons, from November 16, 2004 to May 21, 2012. The show's main character is Dr. Gregory House, a ...more

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18
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 3

Downton Abbey is a British period drama television series created by Julian Fellowes and co-produced by Carnival Films and Masterpiece. It first aired on ITV in the United Kingdom and Ireland on ...more

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19
The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney

Premiered: 1999

Number of Seasons: 7

The West Wing is an American serial political drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin that was originally broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1999, to May 14, 2006. The series is set ...more

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20
The Office is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 9

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Monty Python's Flying Ci... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

Premiered: 1969

Number of Seasons: 4

Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a British sketch comedy series commissioned by David Attenborough, created by the comedy group Monty Python and broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974. The shows ...more

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22
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

Premiered: 2001

Number of Seasons: 5

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23
Buffy the Vampire Slayer... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters

Premiered: 1997

Number of Seasons: 7

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24
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 7

Dexter is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also leads a secret life ...more

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25
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

Premiered: 2004

Number of Seasons: 3

Deadwood is an American western television series created, produced, and largely written by David Milch and aired on the premium cable network HBO from March 21, 2004, to August 27, 2006, ...more

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