101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: NBC, 1985-1992

The sitcom that stormed the gates of prevailing wisdom about TV and the over-50 set. Susan Harris, with husband Paul Junger Witt, had become a proven hit-maker thanks to Benson and Soap; this time she created a sitcom about four retirees in Florida and didn't pussyfoot around the premise. Estelle Getty, quoted on the Paley Center for Media's Web site, said of Harris: "She has a way of writing things people want to say, but don't say. I tell people it's like when you look in a refrigerator and there's only a little left. You don't pour it in a glass, you drink it from the bottle. She does that with her writing. She goes straight to the bone." The actresses dispensing the zingers were deeply skilled at comedy. Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Getty played the script as if conducting a continuous roast.

Credited Writers

Kevin Abbott
Jeff Abugov
Harold Apter
Susan Beavers
James Berg
Robert Bruce
Marc Cherry
Eric Cohen
R J. Colleary
Rick Copp
Jeffery Duteil
Barry Fanaro
Jeffrey Ferro
Jan Fischer
Tracy Gamble
David A. Goodman
Scott Spencer Gorden
Terry Grossman
Susan Harris
Harriet B. Helberg
Sandy Helberg
Winifred Hervey
Mitchell Hurwitz
Philip Jayson Lasker
Christopher Lloyd
Russell Marcus
Mort Nathan
David Nichols
Gail Parent
Jerry Perzigian
Don Reo
Bob Rosenfarb
Liz Sage
Don Seigel
Patt Shea
Stuart Silverman
Marc Sotkin
Kathy Speer
Robert Spina
Eugene B. Stein
Richard Vaczy
Jim Vallely
William Weidner
Fredric Weiss
Martin Weiss
Harriett Weiss
Tom Whedon
Jamie Wooten
Stan Zimmerman