TVGuide.com talks with the men and women who made the decade's best TV
To celebrate the end of the decade, TVGuide.com interviewed a select group of the men and women who helped create some of the most memorable programming of the '00s. We asked all of our Players who inspired them, how they created their successes and why they think their programs worked when so many others did not. Their answers give us an idea of what TV might look like in the next decade, and beyond.
Creator/executive producer of Alias, Lost and Fringe
Abrams has created some of the most exciting television experiments of the last decade, from Alias' head-tripping spy shenanigans to Lost's tense existential drama to Fringe's spooky forays into science and technology.
Executive producers of Lost
Lindelof and Cuse have taken Lost's simple premise plane-crash survivors are stuck on an island and elevated it to art with a heady stew of literature, philosophy, religion and ethics. The show's sharply drawn antiheroes bare their flaws on a bumpy path to redemption.
Host of The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel/Host of Countdown on MSNBC
Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann proved political talk shows can be aggressive, funny, and daring - as well as fiercely entertaining.
Creator/executive producer of Grey's Anatomy
She didn't invent the TV medical drama, but with Grey's, she created the first hospital show that delivered its medicine with sassy, sophisticated dialogue and a daring look at post-feminism. What's surprising is that it's also a mainstream hit.
Creator/executive producer of The Shield and The Unit; executive producer of Lie to Me
With The Shield, Ryan created a business model and style of storytelling that led to the boom of basic cable dramas.
Creator/executive producer of The Corner, The Wire and Treme
His unflinching, exposition-free and often bleak portrayal of the city of Baltimore and the war on drugs is one of the most entertaining pieces of social commentary ever on television.
Creator/executive producer of The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
With The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Sorkin captured audiences (and statuettes) with his smart, snarky melding of politics and entertainment.
Creator/executive producer of Mad Men
Weiner’s '60s period piece became a critical and pop cultural obsession, while also becoming the first basic cable drama to win an Emmy for best series.
Creator/executive producer of Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Wolf, a veteran of TV's Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice, created the enduring Law & Order brand by grafting a gritty cop show to a brainy legal drama. His canny TV savvy has made his shows some of the hottest properties in syndication. Just try to avoid them on your TV dial.