101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: ABC, 1987-1991

Since this sensitive ensemble drama burst onto the scene at the end of the "greed is good" 80s, many have tried and just as many have failed to replicate a show about well, ennui-riddled, upwardly mobile strivers, encountering speed bumps or ruptures in their relationship lives. Back then the characters were called yuppies. Creators Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz would go on to shepherd My So-Called Life and Once and Again onto the air, before network television went the way of vampires, mentalists, criminologists and what have you. Meanwhile, the term "thirtysomething" (or twentysomething, or fortysomething) lives on as a self-identifying shorthand and as a metaphor for the weightless feeling of being less than fully formed in life. "As far as we're concerned, television very rarely had people who sounded like we did," Zwick told L.A. Times television critic Howard Rosenberg when the show went on the air.

Credited Writers

Tammy Ader
Joseph Dougherty
Ramsey Fadiman
Liberty Godshall
Jill Gordon
Paul Haggis
Ann Lewis Hamilton
Marshall Herskovitz
Winnie Holzman
Wes Irwin
Richard Kramer
William H. Macy
Susan Miller
Paul Monette
Susan Monsky
John Olive
Hugh O'Neill
Cynthia Saunders
Steven Schachter
Racelle Rosett Schaefer
Susan Shilliday
Ellen Simon
Jerry Stahl
Kathleen Tolan
Jean Vallely
Edward Zwick