Entertainment
4.7k voters

The TV Shows with the Best Writing

Updated September 3, 2020 56.9k votes 4.7k voters 70.7k 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.
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  • Breaking Bad1
    1,182
    758

    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

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  • The Sopranos2
    745
    678

    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

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  • The Wire3
    506
    517

    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

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  • Better Call Saul4
    330
    242

    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

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  • Fargo5
    194
    186

    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

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  • Frasier6
    329
    297

    Frasier

    Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves

    Premiered1993

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

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

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  • Sherlock7
    547
    602

    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

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  • The Twilight Zone8
    530
    546

    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

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    Small Details From 'The Twilight Zone' That Make The Show Much Better#8 of 285 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time

  • The Office9
    501
    528

    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

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  • Mad Men10
    509
    539

    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

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  • House11
    573
    452

    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

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  • Mr. Robot12
    150
    122

    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

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  • The West Wing13
    435
    488

    The West Wing

    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Political drama, Drama, Serial drama

    The West Wing (NBC, 1999) is an American serial political drama television series created by...  more

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  • The Americans14
    73
    59

    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

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  • Seinfeld15
    672
    731

    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

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  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel16
    59
    47

    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

    More 

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  • M*A*S*H17
    462
    513

    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

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    #9 of 64 The Best Sitcoms of the 1980s#8 of 403 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

  • Killing Eve18
    54
    40

    Killing Eve

    Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Spy thriller

    Killing Eve (BBC America, 2018) is a British drama television series developed by Phoebe...  more

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  • Fawlty Towers19
    188
    209

    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

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    #1 of 106 The Best British Sitcoms of All Time#37 of 449 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time

  • Game of Thrones20
    789
    895

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011-04-17

    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

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  • Anne with an E21
    182
    61

    Anne with an E

    Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Coming of age

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

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  • True Detective22
    236
    274

    True Detective

    Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Drama

    True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic...  more

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  • Star Trek: The Next Generation23
    201
    221

    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

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  • The Mentalist24
    106
    93

    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

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  • 3rd Rock from the Sun25
    75
    60

    3rd Rock from the Sun

    John Lithgow, Jane Curtin

    Premiered1996

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

    3rd Rock from the Sun is an American sitcom that aired from 1996 to 2001 on NBC. The show is...  more

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