Earlier this month, the Writers Guild of America announced its list of the top 101 written television shows ever. The list was compiled by votes cast from the East and West Coast Writers Guild members. Given the endless hours of programming the past 70 years includes this seems almost impossible and of course can spark endless hours of debate over which shows belong on the list and at what rank.
HBO’s The Sopranos was number one followed by a diverse set of classic shows. The top fifteen in order include Seinfeld, The Twilight Zone, All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mad Men, Cheers, The Wire, The West Wing, The Simpsons, I Love Lucy, Breaking Bad, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Hill Street Blues.
There are many shows from recent decades in the top 101, several on the air now and nods to classics from years past many of us may have never seen and have only heard of. Alas, no reality shows made the cut.
Apparently 100 shows wasn’t enough, and even though the list is for the top 101 shows there are there are several ties so more than 101 shows are represented. For example, Downton Abbey, Law & Order and ThirtySomething all ranked at #43.
Given the recent passing of James Gandolfini, otherwise known as televisions legendary mob boss Tony Soprano, having The Sopranos place at number one is a timely and fitting tribute to the actor and to Jean Stapleton, AKA Edith Bunker from All in the Family, who also passed away right after the release of the list.
Given the passion many feel about “their” shows, check out the list and see if you agree, disagree and what shows should have made the list that didn’t. The full list is available on the WGA site: http://www.wga.org/uploadedfiles/news_and_events/101_TV_Series/TV-101-List-web.pdf