The hits keep on coming: The Sopranos voted best-written TV series of all time - ahead of Seinfeld

Mob drama topped a poll of 101 TV series voted by the Writers Guild of America

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The Independent Culture

Critically acclaimed US mob drama The Sopranos has once again whacked its rivals after it was voted the best written TV series of all time by the Writers Guild of America.

The hit HBO drama about James Gandolfini's New Jersey based mob boss Tony Soprano topped a poll of 101 TV series with comedy series Seinfeld in second place.

The guild's Paul Brownfield praised The Sopranos: "No show has been more responsible for TV's storytelling renaissance."

The poll - of TV series from comedies and drams to children's programming - was voted for by members of the Writers Guild of America East and West, which released its rankings based on a poll of its members.

The Twilight Zone, All in the Family and Korean war comedy M*A*S*H also made the top five. Mad Men was the only current TV series to make the top 10 with recent series Breaking Bad and 30 Rock amongst the top 20. Animated show The Simpsons was ranked 11th.

The highest rating British show on the list was Downton Abbey at number 43 with The Office at 50. Other British shows making the top 101 were Fawlty Towers, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Upstairs Downstairs and Absolutely Fabulous.

"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," said WGAW president Chris Keyser and WGAE president Michael Winship in a joint statement.

"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," they said.

US networks NBC, CBS and HBO were all represented in the top 10 but the highest-ranked ABC series was the comedy Taxi in 19th, followed by Lost in 27th place.

Top 20 best written TV series of all time*

1. The Sopranos

2. Seinfeld

3. The Twilight Zone (1959)

4. All in the Family

5. M*A*S*H

6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

7. Mad Men

8. Cheers

9. The Wire

10. The West Wing

11. The Simpsons

12. I Love Lucy

13. Breaking Bad

14. The Dick Van Dyke Show

15. Hill Street Blues

16. Arrested Development

17. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

18. Six Feet Under

19. Taxi

20. The Larry Sanders Show

*The full list featuring all 101 TV series can be seen here