A-List TV Titans Best & Worst: Every Greg Berlanti Series Ranked

Sick of run-of-the-mill best-and-worst lists? We were, too. So in this new series of features, TVLine is singling out the small screen’s biggest behind-the-scenes titans, then ranking their output from their least to most impressive creations.

Greg Berlanti is more than just the master of the Arrowverse.

Since making a name for himself in his “hometown” of Dawson’s Creek, the writer/director/producer has moved with almost superhuman ease from one genre (say, family dramas a la Brothers & Sisters) to another (police procedurals such as The Mysteries of Laura) — occasionally throwing in a George Michael soundtrack to boot (Eli Stone).

But which of the Supergirl executive producer’s series did we decide was the cream of the crop? And does its protagonist wear tights? Sport a bunch of meaningful tattoos? Disprove the myth that gingers aren’t sexy?

To find out, click on the gallery above right. Then feel free — better yet, encouraged — to hit the comments with both your reactions and your own rankings for Berlanti’s series.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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94 Comments
  1. Erik says:

    I agree with this list with the exception of the Flash. The show has become unwatchable. I love Grant Gustin’s portrayal of Barry and it kept me watching for a long time past when I wanted to stop but it’s just lack luster in comparison to its amazing first season. I hope the show can get better but it’s not 2nd place in this for me.

  2. Thank you for putting Everwood as Greg’s number one! It’s one of my all time favorites and usually just forgotten. Everwood started my love for TV and I never would have tried Arrow or Flash if they weren’t being done by Berlanti. I never thought I liked superhero stories but I love these!

    • Csb says:

      I was the recapper/reviewer of Everwood on a long dead tv website, and I absolutely still adore that show. Analyzing it every week was not work, but an honor.

    • Robert45 says:

      Everwood was such a smartly written, non-patronizing show that made me a Berlanti fan for life. Dawson’s Creek is on this list and another one of my favorites but I tend to think of it as more of a Kevin Williamson show than anyone else. Brothers and Sisters was a good show and then it got kinda creepy when Emily Vancamp’s character and one of her brothers got together.

    • Leona says:

      Agree completely! I adored Everwood!

  3. Marianne says:

    I loved Everwood. I’m actually shocked it is #1 because my friends were not into it, so I assumed it was just something I liked. Because of that and the higher up on the list I got, I lost my faith of it being included.

    I was so sad when they canceled it, but brought 7th Heaven back for a 2nd final season.

  4. A says:

    Love the Olicity mention! I think Dawson’s Creek is probably the best overall, but Arrow’s definitely up there because it gave me Felicity Smoak!

  5. Leonie1988 says:

    Everwood, really? It was good, but the best will always be Brothers & Sisters for me, tied with Arrow.

    • Dude says:

      Brothers and Sisters will always be inferior to Everwood in my opinion. B&S careened off the rails mid-way through the series while Everwood was fantastic throughout its four season run and kept getting better. If we’re going with runner ups, Dawson’s Creek should have been #2.

  6. Paula says:

    Brothers and Sisters
    Everwood
    Two consistently excellent and entertaining series. I never missed an episode!
    Not a fan (nor a viewer) of the other shows listed.

  7. Gospino says:

    Legends of Tomorrow is too low. Jack & Bobby is way too high. Mysteries of Laura was horrid and should be last or next to it. Everwood can stay first, Dawson’s Creek I maybe would bump up a little but maybe not, most of the others are about right.

    • Ann says:

      Jack and Bobby should have been higher. It was a well written and unique show. The fact that it only lasted one season but was given the chance to have a proper finale makes it a nearly perfect limited series.

      • Lex says:

        I agree. Jack and Bobby was one of those shows that you knew could have gone the distance, had it been given a chance. Such an interesting concept, especially when you learned which one would grow up to be President.

  8. Sammi says:

    Great list, Greg Berlanti is easily my most watched tv guy! Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, Dawson’s Creek, Jack & Bobby, Political Animals, Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Legends, and Riverdale. All shows I love! I was surprised, and happy to see Jack & Bobby so high on this list. I loved that show, and I still get upset that it only had one season!

  9. Ana says:

    I love that you guys are doing these lists :) Just out of curiosity, how many more are you guys gonna do? The only other “TV Titans” that I can think of are Dick Wolf and maybe Julie Plec (idk if she counts).

  10. Alexis says:

    Agree with a lot on your list and certainly for Flash: The superheroics with the perfect mix of WestAllen is what I love about the show. I only wish we could see more of an Independent Barry, Iris’s investigative journalism in season 4

  11. N says:

    Brothers and Sisters!

  12. Diana says:

    I love seeing The Flash so high. It’s definitely my favorite show from this list. And thanks for the WestAllen mention :). If I was making the list I’d probably have put LOT higher. Of the 4 CW Superhero shows it might be nr. 2 for me (The Flash being 1st).

  13. Cori Robison says:

    Everwood is my all-time favorite show. Nice choice!

  14. jade4813 says:

    Love the list and definitely agree about Flash (and absolutely Westallen)! I was more surprised to see how many of these shows I watched and never realized they were Berlantis.

  15. Drew says:

    Oh, my. I can’t believe I’ve watched 14 of Greg Berlanti’s 17 series! Damn, I apparently like his work. This is a very good ranking, but I’d swap Riverdale and Smallville, though. (Minor quibble!)

    17. [x] Golden Boy: watched it for the eye candy, gave up because of boredom
    16. [x] The Tomorrow People: loved it, fell in love with Luke Mitchell, sad it didn’t survive longer
    15. [x] DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: happy with the casting changes in season 2
    14. [ ] The Mysteries of Laura: Never caught my fancy
    13. [ ] No Ordinary Family: Never watched it
    12. [x] Blindspot: Watching it for Jaimie Alexander (Kyle XY!) and loathing it for Sullivan Stapleton
    11. [x] Dirty Sexy Money: needed more Seth Gabel!!!
    10. [x] Riverdale: Yes. Everything about this show is a yes. Lili Reinhart is amazing. AJ Appa’s abs are amazing. Cole Sprouse’s hair is … covered in a hat. :)
    9. [x] Eli Stone: Definitely my favorite show on this list. I loved everything about this (vaccination error aside) and was happy it came back for a second season and we got a somewhat meaningful ending.
    8. [x] Smallville: Better on CW, absolutely love Chris Wood, but the show needs to figure out what to do with James Olsen.
    7. [x] Arrow: Grateful we may be nearing the end of flashbacks. I don’t think there’s been a moodier superhero than Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow.
    6. [x] Brothers and Sisters: Kevin and Scotty! Luke Macfarlane! Dave Annable, the best curled lip since Elvis! Another show I absolutely loved.
    5. [x] Political Animals: Ellen, Sigourney, Sebastian Stan. Needed more Sebastian Stan. A very good show though.
    4. [ ] Dawson’s Creek: I never watched this for some reason, not even in repeats. Someday?
    3. [x] Jack & Bobby: How adorable was Matt Long? How talented was this cast? I was in love with this show.
    2. [x] The Flash: Has started to veer into downer territory, but when Grant Gustin’s Barry remembers to enjoy his tremendous gift and has fun with it, I have fun with it.
    1. [x] Everwood: Oh, yes, I 100% agree with this as the best of Greg Berlanti’s series. I have the box set, the only one of Berlanti’s series I own.

  16. Olicity: (noun) poorly written fan relationship pushed down the throats of sane Arrow viewers. Encouraged by vicious soccer moms & teenage girls who suck up to the producers while playing the victims and touted as the best thing since sliced bread by Emily Bett Rickards’s entertainment journalist friends.

    • Jess says:

      That’s your opinion and while you’re welcome to it, please don’t try and make it sound like fact. As a non-soccer mum or teenager, I’m both an Olicity and Arrow fan who enjoys the show and the characters. Why don’t you try and celebrate what you enjoy, rather than tear apart what you don’t?

  17. Dennis says:

    Before I read this, gosh I hope Everwood is high on that list, such an amazing show!

    • Dennis says:

      THANK YOU for ranking Everwood #1!
      Totally agree, it was a gem for The WB, and such an amazing showcase of Emily van Camp’s and Chris Pratt’s talent, not to mention Gregory Smith!

  18. Becca says:

    Legends deserves a much higher spot! It’s consistently fun and enjoyable and has shown characters deeply flawed and growing together.

  19. brandydanforth81 says:

    Super girl,Riverdale
    Ever wood,DC ok I guess..

  20. Sarah says:

    So glad that Everwood is #1. It is one of the most underrated TV shows in my opinion. I still love it all of these years later.

  21. Lizzie says:

    Love the Olicity mention! I was sold on Arrow because of Olicity – they were what initially drew me to the show through friends telling me I had to watch. I stayed for other things too but it got me watching!

  22. Antwon303 says:

    I’m giving that list the side eye lol. Arrow is a shell of its former self and cannot touch Legends of Tomorrow…which is way more fun, exciting and written. I loved Everwood but I don’t feel it it was hit best show.

  23. dude says:

    With so many shows, not everyone is going to agree with rankings but I wholeheartedly agree that Everwood is by far his best show.

  24. Pedro says:

    It’s a travesty that Dawson’s Creek and Brothers and Sisters are not the Top 2. Really, The Flash, with its convoluted and yet convenient time travel plots is nowhere close.

  25. joeyconnick says:

    test
    test
    and again

  26. joeyconnick says:

    Maybe if we were only including the first season of the Flash, I could see it ranking #2 (still a bit high if you ask me) but it has done nothing but go steadily downhill since Season 1 and at this point, I think Arrow easily holds together better as a series than the Flash. And putting it above Dawson’s Creek, which was a zeitgeist show with a lasting cultural impact, is just silly.

    Supergirl is likewise way too high. Sure, it’s entertaining (and hugely better without Calista Flockhart’s inconsistent Cat Grant in Season 2) and Chyler Leigh elevates the role of Alex every week with her performance , but it’s hardly better than the sublime Eli Stone.

    There’s a lot of recency bias here… Riverdale in the top ten? Uh no. Maybe in a season or two, that would be a reasonable assessment but between the ridiculousness of Sheryl’s antics and Cole Sprouse’s overwrought, desperate-to-be-Dawson’s-Creek-like voiceovers… yeah, not worthy of that high a spot. Blindspot should definitely rank higher, if only because Jaime Alexander, Archie Panjabi, and the under-the-radar Ashley Johnson. Also, the friendship between
    Zapata and Reade is being masterfully portrayed/written.

    I think No Ordinary Family needs to be a bit lower, too.

    I think my take would be:

    #17 Golden Boy (this was a show?)
    #16 Tomorrow People
    #15 No Ordinary Family
    #14 Mysteries of Laura
    #13 Legends of Tomorrow
    #12 Riverdale
    #11 Dirty Sexy Money
    #10 Supergirl
    #9 Flash
    #8 Blindspot
    #7 Arrow
    #6 Eli Stone
    #5 Brothers & Sisters
    #4 Political Animals
    #3 Jack & Bobby
    #2 Dawson’s Creek
    #1 Everwood

  27. Cate says:

    Of the current DC Berlantiverse shows, I think it is very hard to make a judgement. This season of Legends had been much more entertaining and fun while The Flash has been a drag of brooding! A couple of under appreciated shows I liked, Eli Stone and No Ordinary Family were quirky and interesting and would be much higher on my list.

    I’d have Supergirl as my number 1. Love the blend of bright and frothy superhero hijinks from a perfectly cast Melissa Benoist and emotional bonds between Kara and her sister Alex.

  28. Dominique says:

    i would rank loegends of tomorrow much higer than #15, definitely at least top 10.
    riverdale would rank much lower if it were up to me. i do not get the hype with this show.

  29. david says:

    So happy to see Flash is #2

  30. Jess says:

    Great list! I can’t believe how many shows Berlanti’s been involved in! As an Arrow fan I would definitely swap Flash and Arrow, but that’s obviously a personal preference. (Love the Olicity shout out by the way – we need to get onto Merriam Webster ASAP! haha).

  31. lrdslvrhnd says:

    Wait… there’s a myth that gingers aren’t sexy?! I think you have that backwards.
    .
    Going through the list I was initially thinking that I’d move Eli Stone higher up it, but then couldn’t figure out *where* (other than dropping Political Animals, simply because I never saw it). Never realized just how many of his shows I’ve watched!
    .
    Also, what did you mean by “years from now, people will look back on [Golden Boy] and ask what was that about again?” – I suspect they already are!

  32. Douglas from Brazil says:

    Everything on this list is horrible, as The Flash being #2 is the most atrocious thing.

  33. Lex says:

    So… praising The Flash for it’s acceptance of it’s core romance, mentioning Arrow’s inconsistencies and how it “doesn’t know what show it wants to be…” then listing Olicity as a given fact worth inclusion in the dictionary. Is it just me, or does Team TVLine think Arrow should cut the bull— and get back to it’s love story?

  34. peter says:

    after seen this i think i will watch everwood again !!! that was so good

  35. KLS says:

    I didn’t watch any of the other ones, but Political Animals was very entertaining.

  36. Jean Ann Crenshaw says:

    Everwood is still one of the best made tv shows ever. Every episode had something that would make you want to cry. My friends and I made the phrase “Damn you Berlanti” because of that. Now every time a tv show or movie makes us cry we say “Damn you Berlanti”

  37. Lola says:

    Gosh I loved Jack and Bobby. That’s still a show I’m bitter about all these years later. How can you put Riverdale so high? And I thought DC was the work of Kevin Williamson not Berlanti?

    • Lola says:

      And thumbs up to Everwood. I forgot to say. That show should’ve had another season instead of another waste of season for 7th Heaven.

    • Sammi says:

      I really thought I was the only bitter Jack & Bobby fan left haha. From the comments it seems like there are a lot more than I thought. Berlanti was one of the executive producers on Dawson’s Creek in the years after Williamson left. I think Williamson left after season 2. I’ve always heard that Pacey/Joey was a Berlanti idea, and that’s one of the reasons I love him haha.

  38. Melosm says:

    This is why I love Tvline, of course the #1 is Everwood! I love the superhero shows too but I wish he would do something more like Everwood again!

  39. Guest says:

    Does JJ Abrams have enough shows to do a list? Lost, Felicity, Alias … maybe not enough hits on tv.

    • Chuck says:

      You are missing some pretty big ones yes I would say JJ Abrams more than qualifies, he has executive produced all of these shows

      Felicity
      Alias
      What About Brian
      Six Degrees
      Lost
      Undercovers
      Alcatraz
      Fringe
      Almost Human
      Revolution
      Believe
      11.22.63
      Person of Interest
      Roadies
      Westworld
      Castle Rock (upcoming)

      • Chuck says:

        Just for your info here is my ranking for JJ Abrams shows including probably a controversial #1, seeing it’s not Lost

        1. Fringe
        2. Lost
        3. Person of Interest
        4. Alias
        5. Felicity
        6. Westworld
        7. What About Brian
        8. 11.22.63
        9. Alcatraz
        10. Almost Human
        11. Roadies
        12. Revolution
        13. Believe
        14. Six Degrees
        15. Undercovers

  40. Sheldon Wiebe says:

    #17 Mysteries of Laura
    #16 Golden Boy (this was a show?)
    #15 Tomorrow People
    #14 Riverdale
    #13 Dirty Sexy Money
    #12 No Ordinary Family
    #11 Legends of Tomorrow
    #10 Political Animals
    #9 Dawson’s Creek
    #8 Arrow
    #7 Supergirl
    #6 Blindspot
    #5 Eli Stone
    #4 Brothers & Sisters
    #3 Jack & Bobby
    #2 Flash
    #1 Everwood

  41. Ashley says:

    Ouch! Didn’t expect Legends to fall that low, but I can’t fairly judge because I haven’t seen all of these shows.

    And I now feel compelled to spend $89 on all 4 seasons of Everwood. Thanks, TVLine!

  42. Liam says:

    Jack & Booby was wonderful. The writing and acting was brilliant.

  43. JC1 says:

    I have not seen a lot of these shows, but personally Legends is way too low and Flash is way too high. Yeah, it was not so good in its first season, but it’s sooooo much better this year in my opinion. It’s easily my favorite of the superhero shows, whereas after a stellar first season, Flash has just gone way downhill.
    .
    And Supergirl being as high as it is? I enjoy the show, but it tends to be a bit of a mess.

  44. phredd! says:

    I STILL miss “No Ordinary Family.” I disagree about it being unstainable. That show-ending cliff-hanger could’ve lead to some interesting turns of events, I believe. I don’t mourn many shows, but that one is on my short list . . .

  45. James R. says:

    Even though I’m not the biggest fan of either supergirl or legends of tomorrow, I think they should be switched. Supergirl is just boring and predictable.
    .
    The biggest issue I have with Legends of Tomorrow is the acting. It’s all so bad. Story is entertaining and fun but the acting hurts my head.

  46. Will says:

    12. BLINDSPOT

    “In a television era where truly original ideas are hard to come by, Blindspot‘s unique premise — a woman emerges, naked, from a duffel bag in Times Square, covered head to toe in tattoos — instantly set it apart.”

    What? Did you forget about John Doe? Kyle? Both shows opened with a naked man who couldn’t recall their past and have unusual abilities. Just because Blindspot has a woman star instead of a man doesn’t make it a unique premise or a truly original idea.

  47. I knew Berlanti had created a lot of shows, but I didn’t know he had this many to his credit. Surprisingly, I’ve watched over 10 of them.

    1) For me, Jack & Bobby gets the win. It was such a great show and despite the “re-tooling” mid-season that changed the show to more of a teen soap in order to gain viewers, it was still amazing. I wish it would’ve lasted longer. (Plus, it introduced me to Bradley Cooper, who was shirtless for most of the time he recurred on the show, so that was a bonus!)

    2) Dawson’s Creek was definitely better than the average teen show and since I was in high school at the time, it spoke to me. Season 2 was amazing! However, as Brothers & Sisters did, it overstayed its welcome.

    3) Political Animals: I still want more of this show and feel bad for James Wolk that his talents have been relegated to Zoo.

    4) Brothers & Sisters was a favorite of mine, but became a chore to watch after it went off the rails about halfway through its run.

    5) Eli Stone was entertaining, but never had a solid focus as it shifted tones and time slots trying to find an audience.

    6) Superhero Shows: While I still like Arrow the best (I keep hoping it will return it to its season 1.5 – 2.5 greatness and Amell is hot), The Flash has been the more consistent show. That being said, The Flash has been getting redundant with speedsters being the main big bads each season and the constant focus on Iris’ maybe death this season has me hoping that she dies just to get it over with. I’ve tried both Supergirl ans LOT, but can’t get into either of them.

    7) The Tomorrow People: This show got better as the season went on and had some great younger actors on it. I’ll always be greatful that it introduced me to the younger, hotter Amell cousin – Robbie!

    I’ve never watched Everwood, so I’ll have to give that a shot.

  48. Is Riverdale worth watching? I’m 32, so I’m on the higher end of the target demographic (I was most excited about seeing Luke Perry back on my TV!). I watched the first few eps. and thought that it was OK, but have the last 8 eps. piled up on the DVR and am deciding whether to watch or delete them.

  49. Gwen says:

    I really miss “Eli Stone” – I liked all the actors and the use of music made the series stand out from everything else. I also believe “Legends of Tomorrow” should be ranked higher than #15.

  50. Marco Piazzo says:

    Everwood absolutely deserves number 1. One of the best WB shows of all time, and dare I say one of the best of its kind.