101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: PBS, 1974-1977

Long before the sotto voce buzz and chatter at Edwardian era Downton Abbey, there was 165 Eaton Place, London, and the Bellamy family. First aired on London Weekend Television (now ITV), Upstairs Downstairs put Masterpiece Theatre and the show's recumbent host, Alistair Cooke, on the map in the U.S. The show won the Emmy for producers Rex Firkin and John Hawkesworth from 1974-76. Upon his death in 2005, The Guardian newspaper noted that the chief writer and script editor of Upstairs, Downstairs, Alfred Shaugnessy, encouraged the producers to develop the series not as "a comedy series about two sparky maids in a grand household," but to encompass the grandees upstairs as well. "What he contributed was, literally, a class act," The Guardian wrote. "His stepfather, the Hon Sir Piers Joey' Legh, was equerry to the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) and master of the household to George VI."

*Non-WGA determined credit

Credited Writers

Eileen Atkins
John Hawkesworth
Jean Marsh
Heidi Thomas
John Whitney