101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: NBC, 1999-2006

"The people who get angry at us on one Wednesday night will be standing up and cheering the next Wednesday night," Aaron Sorkin wrote in Written By before The West Wing premiered. Sorkin's White House will forever be associated with the Clinton presidency, both because it debuted during the end of Bill Clinton's two terms and addressed a certain Camelot magnetism that Clinton evoked (former Senate staffer Lawrence O'Donnell and former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers wrote and contributed to the show). Sorkin's President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) was different from Clinton in significant ways, including the fact that he was a Catholic from New Hampshire. The world crises the show sampled were believable, while the fanciful beats came via the president's staff, who comprised a winning band of hyper-smart, quick-witted but fallible planners and semanticists, harmonizing the sardonic tones of Sorkin's dialogue like a gospel choir.

Credited Writers

Allison Abner
Eli Attie
Jon Robin Baitz
Patrick Caddell
Debora Cahn
Nanda Chitre
Rick Cleveland
William Couturie
Julia Dahl
Kevin Falls
Carol Flint
David Gerken
Laura Glasser
Mark Goffman
Alex Graves
David M. Handelman
Alexa Junge
Pete McCabe
Dee Dee Myers
Peter Noah
Michael Oates
Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr.
Ron Osborn
Peter Parnell
Paul Redford
Jeff Reno
Lauren Schmidt
William Sind
Josh Singer
Aaron Sorkin
Gene Sperling
John Wells
Bradley Whitford
Felicia Willson
Paula Yoo
John Sacret Young