101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: CBS, 1955-1975

Already a hit on radio starring William Conrad as Marshall Matt Dillon, Gunsmoke, starring James Arness, became the most popular Western in TV history and one of the longest running shows ever. John Meston and Norman MacDonnell are credited as creators of this “adult Western” on radio, which was adapted three years later into the TV series by Charles Marquis Warren. Warren, a novelist and screenwriter, had once been a young protégé of F. Scott Fitzgerald (according to Warren’s obituary in the Los Angeles Times, an in-his-cups Fitzgerald, having met Warren in a Baltimore theater, formally adopted him as his godson and sent him to Hollywood to look into a film treatment for Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night). Warren left Gunsmoke after one season to do movies, but as Westerns enjoyed their TV heyday in the ’50s and ’60s, Warren would return to do Rawhide and The Virginian.

Credited Writers

Leo Bagby
Gwen Bagni
Bob Barbash
Shimon Bar-David
Jack Bartlett
Ron Bishop
Walter Black
William Blinn
True Boardman
Thelma Boardman
Dudley Bromley
Arthur Browne, Jr.
Jim Byrnes
Joann Carlino
Jess Carneol
Richard Carr
Harriet Charles
Marian Clark
Calvin Clements, Jr.
Francis Cockrell
Will Corry
Les Crutchfield
Jack Curtis
Arthur Dales
Gerry Day
Joy Dexter
Howard Dimsdale
Frank Q. Dobbs
Gil Doud
Warren Douglas
John Dunkel
George Eckstein
Paul F. Edwards
Antony Ellis
James Favor
Gustave Field
Richard Fielder
Michael Fisher
Jack Freeman
Merwin Gerard
J. E. Gessler
Ray Goldrup
Herman Groves
Tom Hanley
Jack Hawn
Robert Heverly
Kathleen Hite
Ron Honthaner
Scott Hunt
Don Ingalls
Verne Jay
Joe Ann Johnson
Beth Keele
William Kelley
Ray Kemper
William Keys
John A. Kneubuhl
Donald Z. Koplowitz
S. L. Kotar
Harry Kronman
James Landis
Anthony Lawrence
William Leicester
Kay Lenard
Bethel Leslie
Robert Lewin
Herbert Little, Jr.
Norman MacDonnell
John Mantley
Harvey Marlowe
John Meston
Jack Miller
Hal Moffett
Emily Mosher
Donn Mullally
Dick Nelson
Frank Paris
Sam Peckinpah
Vic Perrin
Gil Ralston
Chris Rellas
John Rosser
Arthur Rowe
Benny Rubin
Donald S. Sanford
Paul Savage
Richard Davids Scott
Jack Shettlesworth
Jay Simms
Hal Sitowitz
Anne Snyder
Robert C. Stewart, Jr
Charles Joseph Stone
Thomas Thompson
Robert E. Thompson
Robert Totten
Ken Trevey
Jack Turley
Dan Ullman
Warren Vanders
David Victor
Earl W. Wallace
Clyde Ware
Thomas Warner
Charles Marquis Warren
Shimon Wincelberg
Preston Wood
Robert Vincent Wright