101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: FX, 2002-2008

You could argue that no series in the history of television left a greater imprint on its network than The Shield, which enabled FX to branch out into grittier, R-rated dramatic fare while also keeping its dignity intact. The Shield was a cop show about a specific time and place Los Angeles, with a police force still mired in a reputation for brutality and corruption left by the Rodney King beatings and the Rampart scandal. "I moved to Los Angeles just before the most interesting eight-to-ten-year stretch any American city has had in the last century, I think," series creator Shawn Ryan told Written By. The Shield, in style, put the accent on verisimilitude both in terms of its editing style and in its fine multi-ethnic cast, with a complicated figure at the center Det. Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) who headed his department's rogue, anti-gang Strike Team.

Credited Writers

Kevin Arkadie
Evan Bleiweiss
Kim Clements
Elizabeth Craft
Charles H. Eglee
Sarah Fain
Adam E. Fierro
Ted Griffin
Diego Gutierrez
Elizabeth A. Hansen
John Hlavin
Randy Huggins
Lia L. Langworthy
Gary Lennon
Emily Lewis
James Manos, Jr.
Glen Mazzara
Renee Palyo
Lisa Randolph
Jennifer R. Richmond
Scott Rosenbaum
Angela Russo
Shawn Ryan
Tony Soltis
Reed Steiner
Kurt Sutter
Jameal Turner