71. THE SHIELD - TIE 

Created by Shawn Ryan  

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Aired: FX, 2002-2008

You could argue that no series in the history of television left a greater imprint on its network than The Shield, which enabled FX to branch out into grittier, R-rated dramatic fare while also keeping its dignity intact. The Shield was a cop show about a specific time and place – Los Angeles, with a police force still mired in a reputation for brutality and corruption left by the Rodney King beatings and the Rampart scandal. “I moved to Los Angeles just before the most interesting eight-to-ten-year stretch any American city has had in the last century, I think,” series creator Shawn Ryan told Written By. The Shield, in style, put the accent on verisimilitude – both in terms of its editing style and in its fine multi-ethnic cast, with a complicated figure at the center – Det. Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) who headed his department’s rogue, anti-gang Strike Team.

Shawn Ryan on scripting one of The Shield's most disturbing and controversial episodes 

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