The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has a new list of the 101 best-written TV series of all time. The Sopranos finished on top. The WGA wrote of its top choice:
The Sopranos received the most votes, and no show has been more responsible for TV’s storytelling renaissance, in which writers use character both as engines for commenting on the contemporary world and for teasing out the ways in which action reflects psychology in the troubled inner lives of real people.
WGA, West President Chris Keyser and WGA, East President Michael Winship, stated, “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. 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.”
The announcement came the same week that Sopranos star James Gandolfini passed away from a heart attack at the age of 51.
Seinfeld finished second, with The Twilight Zone third, All in the Family fourth and M*A*S*H fifth. Rounding out the top ten were The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mad Men, Cheers, The Wire, and The West Wing.
The most glaring omission is the Canadian series Slings and Arrows: an utterly brilliant, literate and often hilarious three-year series revolving around a Shakespearean Theater company.
The complete list is here.