101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: CBS, 1988-1998

Series creator Diane English left after four popular and award-winning seasons to create new shows, just as Murphy Brown's decision to become a single mother was blasted as morally irresponsible by then-Vice President Dan Quayle. Quayle was just the sort of figure who was supposed to be threatened by a Murphy Brown. The show debuted as the Reagan '80s gave way to the Republican presidency of George H.W. Bush. "I was just trying to level the playing field," English said in 2006. "So I felt pretty justified, and somehow in the body of that actress, Candice Bergen, we got away with it. I give Candice a lot of credit for that, because people completely embraced her." Helped by Quayle's confirmation of Murphy as a political lightning rod, 70 million viewers tuned in to the fifth season opener.

Candice Bergen presents Diane English with the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television 

Credited Writers

Chris Alberghini
Lisa Albert
Marilyn Anderson
Lee Aronsohn
Kathryn Baker
Adam Balsam
Bill Barol
Anne Beatts
Adam Belanoff
John Bowman
Rob Bragin
Alana Burgi
Diane Burroughs
Lisa Chernin
Mike Chessler
Gred Czech
Bill Diamond
Gary Dontzig
Sy Dukane
Sarah Dunn
Diane English
Ron Fassler
Marc Flanagan
Norm Gunzenhauser
Joey Gutierrez
Eileen Heisler
DeAnn Heline
Janis Hirsch
Craig Hoffman
Hayes Jackson
Scott Kaufer
Michael Patrick King
Dinah Kirgo
Joshua Krawitz
Bill Kunstler
Ron Lux
Jhoni Marchinko
Deborah Markoe-Klein
Bill Masters
Marilyn Suzanne Miller
Denise Moss
Marsha Myers
Molly Newman
Tom Palmer
Bill Paolantonio
Eric Peterkofsky
Steven Peterman
Daphne Pollon
Elaine Pope
Billy Riback
David Sacks
Michael Saltzman
Kirk Savell
Eric Schotz
Nell Scovell
Tom Seeley
Korby Siamis
Eugene Stein
Joshua Sternin
Bob Stevens
Ellen Svaco
Colleen Taber
Peter Tolan
Jeffrey Ventimilia
Barbara Wallace
Chris R. Westphal
Thomas Wolfe
Russ Woody
Douglas Wyman