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
456 345
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
617 400
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
493 398
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
502 441
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke

5
371 389
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
364 286
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
266 267
Cheers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Cheers Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

8
295 320
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
305 322
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
259 307
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
341 348
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
294 278
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

13
263 294
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
280 340
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
297 335
House is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
House Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

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16
256 346
The Daily Show is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The Daily Show Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver

17
179 292
Downton Abbey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Downton Abbey Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern

18
225 268
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
227 257
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
273 371
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
229 347
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
105 103
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
267 286
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
187 291
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
130 126
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
269 303
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
144 156
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
79 75
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
319 302
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
131 179
Taxi is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Taxi Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito

31
157 228
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
180 266
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Deadwood Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

33
140 155
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Columbo Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan

34
119 184
Northern Exposure is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Northern Exposure Rob Morrow, Janine Turner, Barry Corbin

35
185 212
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
226 243
The Office is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The Office Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer

37
159 216
Star Trek: The Original Series is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Star Trek: The Original Series William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

38
116 172
Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Hill Street Blues Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz

39
139 169
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
171 226
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
91 77
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
rdrxscm added True Detective Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan

42
158 211
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Law & Order Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

43
222 308
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
172 153
Frasier is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Frasier Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

45
116 205
Late Night with David Letterma... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Late Night with David Letterman David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, Jerry Seinfeld

46
114 146
The Bob Newhart Show is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
The Bob Newhart Show Bob Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Bill Daily

47
61 102
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
132 133
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
63 86
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
160 182
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
Firefly Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk