BBC names The Wire as the best TV show of the 21st century

TV experts from across the world helped compile the list

Sam Moore
Wednesday 20 October 2021 08:36 BST
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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


The BBC has crowned The Wire as the greatest TV show of the 21st century.

In a poll conducted by the broadcaster that features 206 TV experts from 43 different countries, it was David Simon’s crime drama that came out on top.

In second place polled Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men, an exploration of the advertising industry in the 1960s that starred Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss. Crime saga Breaking Bad took third position.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s comedy, Fleabag and sci-fi epic, Game of Thrones, both of which concluded in 2019, made positions four and five respectively.

Of the 100 shows represented on the list, 79 of them were created by men, 11 by women and 10 by male and female teams.

There are also only four animated shows on the list with the highest-ranking one being Netflix’s BoJack Horseman.

The list also features several shows that are still airing such as HBO’s hugely popular comedy drama, Succession, Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and historical drama, The Crown.

Additionally, limited series have been included on the list with the highest one being Michaela Coel’s lockdown smash, I May Destroy You. Other notable limited series’ to appear on the list include Watchmen, Chernobyl and Twin Peaks: The Return.

Several writers had their work appear on the list more than once, including Damon Lindelof with three shows – Lost, The Leftovers and Watchmen.

People also took to social media to discuss shows that were omitted from the list including Boardwalk Empire, The Deuce and Gavin & Stacey.

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