Monday, June 3, 2013

101 Best Written TV Series of All Time - My Thoughts

The Writers Guild of America and TV Guide has released their list of what they consider to be the 101 Best Written TV Series of All Time. Being the TV connoisseur that I am, I am quite familiar with most of the shows, even some that were on before my time. Some I have never seen but know something about and some I agree with and also disagree with.

There are a lot of ties and it's a list that combines comedies, dramas, variety and talk shows all together, which I'm not sure I would have done, but then again it is a master list so ...


I do have my favorite writers/creators, like Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams, so I was happy to see Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Abrams's Lost make the list (#49 and 27, respectively).  Deservedly on the list from cable are Game of Thrones (#40), Dexter (#66), Breaking Bad (#13), Six Feet Under (#18), Mad Men (#7) and Sex and the City (#39).  The Sopranos was awarded the #1 slot, which I'm not on board with ... never liked the show myself.  But I can't deny that it was very critically acclaimed and awarded, so whatever.


Not too many genre shows made the list,  but I was happy to see, in addition to BuffyThe X-Files (#26), Star Trek: The Next Generation (#79) and Battlestar Galactica (#38).


I do think Roseanne was one of the best sitcoms - until it's last couple of seasons - so glad to see it on the list (#71).  In good company with it are Friends (#24), The Cosby Show (#29), The Golden Girls (#69) and Will & Grace (#94).

There are shows on the list that haven't finished their series run, so let's hope they don't blow it with their eventual conclusions.

Naturally there are shows I wish had made the list - Supernatural, Firefly, Quantum Leap, Freaks and Geeks, The Big Bang Theory, Family Guy - but I do agree with most of this one.  What about you?

Here is the complete list:

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