*“The Sopranos” tops a new list of the 101 Best Written TV Shows Of All Time, as chosen by the Writers Guild of America and revealed Sunday night along with their sponsor TV Guide in an event at the WGA theatre in Beverly Hills.
At No 9 on the list is HBO’s “The Wire,” the Baltimore-set drama that focused on the illegal drug trade, the seaport system, city government bureaucracy, the failing school system and the print news media over the course of its five-season run.
Created and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon, the series received modest ratings and never won a major television award, but critics and fans loved the show for its realistic portrayal of urban life and its deep exploration of sociopolitical themes.
Below are the WGA’s top 25:
1. The Sopranos – HBO – Created by David Chase
2. Seinfeld – NBC – Created by Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld
3. The Twilight Zone (1959) – CBS – Season One writers: Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson, Robert Presnell, Jr., Rod Serling
4. All in the Family – CBS – Developed for Television by Norman Lear, Based on Till Death Do Us Part, Created by Johnny Speight
5. M*A*S*H – CBS – Developed for Television by Larry Gelbart
6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show – CBS – Created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns
7. Mad Men – AMC – Created by Matthew Weiner
8. Cheers – NBC – Created by Glen Charles & Les Charles and James Burrows
9. The Wire – HBO – Created by David Simon
10. The West Wing – NBC – Created by Aaron Sorkin
11. The Simpsons – FOX – Created by Matt Groening, Developed by James L. Brooks and Matt Groening and Sam Simon
12. I Love Lucy – CBS – “Pilot,” Written by Jess Oppenheimer & Madelyn Pugh & Bob Carroll, Jr.
13. Breaking Bad – AMC – Created by Vince Gilligan
14. The Dick Van Dyke Show – CBS – Created by Carl Reiner
15. Hill Street Blues – NBC – Created by Michael Kozoll and Steven Bochco
16. Arrested Development – FOX – Created by Mitchell Hurwitz
17. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – COMEDY CENTRAL – Created by Madeleine Smithberg, Lizz Winstead; Season One – Head Writer: Chris Kreski; Writers: Jim Earl, Daniel J. Goor, Charles Grandy, J.R. Havlan, Tom Johnson, Kent Jones, Paul Mercurio, Guy Nicolucci, Steve Rosenfield, Jon Stewart
18. Six Feet Under – HBO – Created by Alan Ball
19. Taxi – ABC – Created by James L. Brooks and Stan Daniels and David Davis and Ed Weinberger
20. The Larry Sanders Show – HBO – Created by Garry Shandling & Dennis Klein
21. 30 Rock – NBC – Created by Tina Fey
22. Friday Night Lights – NBC – Developed for Television by Peter Berg, Inspired by the Book by H.G. Bissinger
23. Frasier – NBC – Created by David Angell & Peter Casey & David Lee, Based on the Character “Frasier Crane” Created by Glen Charles & Les Charles
24. Friends – NBC – Created by Marta Kauffman & David Crane
25. Saturday Night Live – NBC – Season One: Writing Supervised by Walter Kempley, Harry Shearer; Written by: Ann Beatts, Chevy Chase, Tom Davis, Al Franken, Rosie Michaels, Garrett Morris, Michael O’Donoghue, Herb Sargent, Tom Schiller, Alan Zweibel