The Sopranos Honored as Best Written TV Show in History

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Let the debate begin!

The Writers Guild of America has come out with its 101 Best-Written TV shows of all-time, putting this HBO drama at the very top of the list.

The Sopranos Logo

And while plenty of arguments will likely get underway regarding certain slots (The Shield isn't in the Top 10?!?), it will be difficult for anyone to truly take issue with The Sopranos at number-one.

Sit back now and consider the full list:

1. The Sopranos
2. Seinfeld
3. The Twilight Zone
4. All in the Family
5. M*A*S*H
6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
7. Mad Men
8. Cheers
9. The Wire
10. The West Wing
11. The Simpsons
12. I Love Lucy
13. Breaking Bad
14. The Dick Van Dyke Show
15. Hill Street Blues
16. Arrested Development
17. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
18. Six Feet Under
19. Taxi
20. The Larry Sanders Show
21. 30 Rock
22. Friday Night Lights
23. Frasier
24. Friends
25. Saturday Night Live
26. The X-Files
27. Lost
28. ER
29. The Cosby Show
30. Curb Your Enthusiasm
31. The Honeymooners
32. Deadwood
33. Star Trek
34. Modern Family
35. Twin Peaks
36. NYPD Blue
37. The Carol Burnett Show
38. Battlestar Galactica (2005)
39. Sex & The City
40. Game of Thrones
41. The Bob Newhart Show and Your Show of Shows (tie)
43. Downton Abbey, Law & Order and Thirtysomething (tie)
46. Homicide: Life on the Street and St. Elsewhere (tie)
48. Homeland
49. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
50. The Colbert Report, The Good Wife and the UK Office (tie)
53. Northern Exposure
54. The Wonder Years
55. L.A. Law
56. Sesame Street
57. Columbo
58. Fawlty Towers and The Rockford Files (tie)
60. Freaks and Geeks and Moonlighting (tie)
62. Roots
63. Everybody Loves Raymond and South Park (tie)
65. Playhouse 90
66. Dexter and the US Office (tie)
68. My So-Called Life
69. Golden Girls
70. The Andy Griffith Show
71. 24, Roseanne and The Shield
74. House and Murphy Brown (tie)
76. Barney Miller and I, Claudius (tie)
78. The Odd Couple
79. Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Upstairs, Downstairs (tie)
83. Get Smart
84. The Defenders and Gunsmoke (tie)
86. Justified, Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show (tie)
88. Band of Brothers
89. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In
90. The Prisoner
91. Absolutely Fabulous and The Muppet Show (tie)
93. Boardwalk Empire
94. Will & Grace
95. Family Ties
96. Lonesome Dove and Soap
98. The Fugitive, Late Night with David Letterman and Louie
101. Oz

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While I would reposition some on the list more to the top, it's a pretty good list. The main omissions that come to mind right away include the British "The Avengers," "The Walking Dead," "Kung Fu," "Peyton Place," "F Troop," "SCTV," "The Burns and Allen Show," "The Outer Limits," "The Addams Family," "Bewitched," "Naked City," "Kojak," "The Untouchables," "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," "The Jack Benny Program," "The Abbott and Costello Show," "Car 54, Where Are You?" and "The Munsters," and if documentary series count, Carl Sagan's "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" and Ken Burns' "The Civil War." And since "Roots" makes the list, other miniseries for consideration would include "Shogun," "Rich Man, Poor Man" and "The Winds of War."


My personal top 10: The Sopranos, Seinfeld, Two and a Half Man, Friends, The Simpsons, Cheers, Saturday Night Live, MASH, House and finally... "El Chavo del Ocho"


I agree with Andy, Buffy was a well written show


Buffy was a brilliantly written show. Frasier on the other hand was smug and nowhere near as funny or smart as it thought it was .
How about Justified? That should be top 20


I agree this seem more like a a popularity contest than anything.


Well Hard to believe Buffy is in the list and Damages for example wasn't even mention.


Break* lol. A typo due to my fury.


The Shield is tied for 71st place? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? And Buffy is 49? Jesus. Give me a beak people. Glad to see My So-Called Life on the list though.


It is surprising how all encompassing this list is. You would think there were far more than 101 well written shows over a 6½ decade period. The only one they missed that jumps to mind right now is Babylon 5.


I'm not knocking The Sopranos for receiving such an honorable recognition but this list seems more like a popularity contest than anything.

The Sopranos Quotes

(to Junior) Remember the story you told me about the father bull talking to the son. They're up on this hill and looking down on a bunch of cows. And the son goes to the father, "Dad, why don't we run down there and fuck one of these cows?" Now do you remember what the father said? Father says, "Son, why don't we walk down there and fuck them all?"


(to Mahaffey) That's a shame. A medication comes along after your gambling gets your fucking hip busted to shit.

Big Pussy