And the Winner of the WGA’s Giant List of the Best-Written Shows Ever Is …

The SopranosCongratulations, David Chase! Sure, no one really saw your directorial debut, Not Fade Away, but everyone still thinks The Sopranos is that crack. Exhibit A: The Writers Guild of America has just voted on the “101 Best-Written TV Series” ever, and the winner is Tony, Carmela, and the gang.

The rest of the top 10 was a nice combination of the classic and the contemporary, without any major surprises. In order, we have Seinfeld, The Twilight Zone, All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mad Men, Cheers, The Wire, and The West Wing. (The Simpsons just got edged out, coming in at no. 11.) Scrolling down the rest of the list, you will either be heartened or horrified by how many of the shows you’ve developed close personal relationships with. Oh, hello, Friday Night Lights, at no. 22! Why how are you, Battlestar Galactica, at no. 38! So good to see you, Law & Order, tied at no. 43! It’s also a nice reminder that, however some of these shows’ reputations suffered after ignominious endings, they still belong in the canon. (Yes, I’m talking to you, Lost, at no. 27.) And poking around the bottom half of the list offers all kinds of future viewing options on some shows you may have never heard of (Does Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) ring a bell? I, Claudius? The Defenders?). Honestly, though, the big takeaway here is that I always forget how much people like Frasier. Top 25? Really?!

Anyway: The whole list is over at WGA.org. Please, argue away.

Filed Under: The Sopranos

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Amos Barshad has written for New York magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

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