In arguments about the best TV shows of all time, The Sopranos will invariably come up. The show, which follows antihero Tony Soprano as he reconciles his mobster lifestyle with a family and mental health issues, became a huge hit for HBO and spawned the modern era of premium cable dramas. Now, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has officially named The Sopranos the best written TV show of all time.
The WGA has just released its list of the 101 best written TV series’ of all time. The list was created using online votes from the WGA’s members.
One other HBO show appears in the top 10, The Wire, coming in at number 9. Many of the other shows toping the list, such as All in the Family (#4) and M*A*S*H (#5), dealt with issues that were controversial in their time. Others, such as Seinfeld (#2) and The Twilight Zone (#3) placed highly on the strength of creative writing. Some fan favorites that appear in the top 20 include Mad Men (#7), The Simpsons (#11), Breaking Bad (#13), Arrested Development (#17), and Six Feet Under (#18).
“At their core, all of these wonderful series began with the words of the writers who created them and were sustained by the writers who joined their staffs or worked on individual episodes,” said WGA Presidents Chris Keyser and Michael Winship in joint a statement. “This list is not only a tribute to great TV, it is a dedication to all writers who devote their hearts and minds to advancing their craft.”