vote on everything
Watchworthy
4.5k voters

The TV Shows with the Best Writing

Updated September 3, 2020 54.8k votes 4.5k voters 67.2k views201 items

List RulesVote 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.
Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    1,106
    709

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Thriller, Neo-western, Tragedy

    Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008) is an American neo-Western crime drama television series created by... more on Wikipedia

    More Breaking Bad 

    The Best Breaking Bad Characters of All TimeThe Most Plausible Fan Theories About Breaking Bad

  • 2
    The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    701
    640

    The Sopranos

    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama

    The Sopranos (HBO, 1999) is an American crime drama television series created by David Chase.... more on Wikipedia

    More The Sopranos 

    16 Small Details That Make 'The Sopranos' That Much BetterThe Best Characters on The Sopranos

  • 3
    Better Call Saul is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    280
    187

    Better Call Saul

    Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Drama, Comedy

    Better Call Saul (AMC, 2015) is an American television drama series created by Vince Gilligan... more on Wikipedia

    More Better Call Saul 

    The Best Characters On 'Better Call Saul,' RankedFan Theories For The Final Season Of 'Better Call Saul' That Just Might Be True

  • 4
    Fargo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    172
    132

    Fargo

    Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman

    Premiered2014

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Drama, Crime

    Fargo (FX, 2014) is an American black comedy drama anthology television series created by Noah... more on Wikipedia

    More Fargo 

    The Best Characters on Fargo (the TV Show), RankedAll of the Clever Easter Eggs Hiding in Fargo the TV Series

  • 5
    The Office is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    470
    469

    The Office

    Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Mockumentary

    The Office (NBC, 2005) is an American mockumentary sitcom television series developed by Greg... more on Wikipedia

    More The Office 

    The Best The Office (U.S.) CharactersThe Best Halloween Costumes From 'The Office,' Ranked

  • 6
    The Wire is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    452
    480

    The Wire

    Dominic West, Lance Reddick

    Premiered2002

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama

    The Wire (HBO, 2002) is an American crime drama television series created and written by David... more on Wikipedia

    More The Wire 

    The Best of The WIRE CharactersThe Best Seasons of 'The Wire'

  • 7
    Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    106
    77

    Stranger Things

    Winona Ryder, David Harbour

    Premiered2016

    Genres (Tv)Sci-fi, Horror, Supernatural, Period drama

    Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series... more on Wikipedia

    More Stranger Things 

    Wholesome 'Stranger Things' Moments That Turned Our Hearts Upside DownWho Would Be In 'Stranger Things' If It Were Cast In The '80s?

  • 8
    Frasier is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    296
    245

    Frasier

    Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves

    Premiered1993

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Frasier (NBC, 1993) is an American sitcom television series created by David Angell, Peter... more on Wikipedia

    More Frasier 

    Dark Behind-The-Scenes Stories About 'Frasier'The Best Frasier Actors

  • 9
    Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    506
    560

    Sherlock

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Mystery

    Sherlock (BBC One, 2010) is a British crime television series created by Steven Moffat and... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    502
    521

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

    Premiered1959

    Genres (Tv)Anthology, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction

    The Twilight Zone is a 1959 American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is... more on Wikipedia

    More The Twilight Zone 

    Creepy Parallels Between 'American Horror Story' And 'The Twilight Zone' You Never Even Knew Existed#10 of 11 Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

  • 11
    The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    400
    453

    The West Wing

    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Political drama, Drama, Serial drama

    The West Wing is an American serial political drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin... more on Wikipedia

    More The West Wing 

    Ranking the Best Seasons of 'The West Wing'#30 of 35 Longest Running US Drama Shows

  • 12
    House is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    523
    442

    House

    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Medical drama

    House, M.D. (Fox, 2004) is an American television medical drama created by David Shore. An... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Mr. Robot is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    115
    81

    Mr. Robot

    Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Techno thriller, Psychological thriller

    Mr. Robot (USA Network, 2015) is an American drama-thriller television series created by Sam... more on Wikipedia

    More Mr. Robot 

    'Mr. Robot' Has Inspired The Funniest Memes About Hacking On The InternetMr. Robot Easter Eggs

  • 14
    Fawlty Towers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    179
    194

    Fawlty Towers

    John Cleese, Prunella Scales

    Premiered1975

    Genres (Tv)Comedy

    Fawlty Towers is a BBC television sitcom that was first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975 and 1979.... more on Wikipedia

    More Fawlty Towers 

    #100 of 537 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time#1 of 148 The Best British Sitcoms of All Time

  • 15
    Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    467
    523

    Mad Men

    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss

    Premiered2007

    Genres (Tv)Period drama, Serial drama

    Mad Men (AMC, 2007) is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner.... more on Wikipedia

    More Mad Men 

    The 29 Best Mad Men GIFs on the InternetThe Best Mad Men Characters of All Time

  • 16
    The Americans is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    42
    27

    The Americans

    Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Period drama, Thriller

    The Americans (FX, 2013) is an American period drama television series created by Joe... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    765
    880

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Medieval fantasy, Drama, Adventure film, Epic, Action

    Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David... more on Wikipedia

    More Game of Thrones 

    The Most Epic Insults From Game of ThronesThe Best 'Game Of Thrones' Characters

  • 18
    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    38
    26

    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

    Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Zegen

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Comedy-Drama, Period drama

    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Video, 2017) is an American period comedy-drama web... more on Wikipedia

    More 

    The Best Characters On 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'#129 of 335 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

  • 19
    Anne with an E is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    185
    41

    Anne with an E

    Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Coming of age

    Anne with an E (2017, Netflix) is a Canadian television series created by Moira... more on Wikipedia

    More Anne with an E 

    #14 of 112 All The TV Shows Ending in 2020, Ranked#3 of 11 Teens In Time, The Best Historical Dramas About Teens

  • 20
    Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    640
    747

    Seinfeld

    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Premiered1989

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally ran for nine seasons on NBC from... more on Wikipedia

    More Seinfeld 

    19 Small But Hilarious Details That Make 'Seinfeld' Even Better#32 of 72 The Longest Running US Sitcoms

  • 21
    Star Trek: The Next Generation is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    191
    211

    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

    Premiered1987

    Genres (Tv)Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction

    Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by... more on Wikipedia

    More Star Trek: The Next Generation 

    14 Small But Fascinating Details Fans Noticed About Star Trek: The Next GenerationFamous People You Didn't Know Were On 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'

  • 22
    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    84
    84

    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

  • 23
    The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    95
    79

    The Mentalist

    Simon Baker, Robin Tunney

    Premiered2008

    Genres (Tv)Police procedural, Mystery, Drama

    The Mentalist (CBS, 2008) is an American police procedural television series created by Bruno... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    444
    525

    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers

    Premiered1972

    Genres (Tv)Black comedy, Medical drama, Sitcom, Satire, Military

    M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    All in the Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The TV Shows with the Best Writing
    197
    233

    All in the Family

    Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton

    Premiered1971

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    All in the Family is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS television... more on Wikipedia
TV ProgramsTVEntertainmentpollBest TVSmart Entertainment