Fans of The Wire have been saying it for years, but now it’s official: David Simon is a genius (at least according to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation).

According to a Reuters report, Simon, who created The Wire as well as other influential TV programs such as Generation Kill, Treme, and Homicide: Life on the Street, was chosen as one of the 23 recipients of the MacArthur Foundation’s famed “Genius” grants.

Alongside a wide range of other notable individuals, including scientists, musicians, and authors, Simon was awarded the grant and the no-strings-attached $500,000 stipend that comes with it, for his critically-acclaimed contributions to television.

In summarizing why Simon was selected for the grant, the MacArthur Foundation perfectly articulated why so many fans and critics believe that Simon is the best writer and producer working in television today.

From the MacArthur Foundation summary:

“With the nuance and scope of novels, Simon’s recent series have explored the constraints that poverty, corruption and broken social systems place on the lives of a compelling cast of characters, each vividly realized with complicated motives, frailties, and strengths.”

David Simon also filmed a short interview for the MacArthur Foundation talking about his approach to narrative filmmaking and the way he hopes to use television drama to not only entertain, but to reflect the real issues facing our society. Check out the interview below.

I’ve said it a number of times here at Screen Rant, but I’ll say it again: The Wire is the best TV show in the history of television. If that sounds like hyperbole, I’m sorry, but I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. In my opinion, David Simon is supremely deserving of this MacArthur Grant and I hope that it further inspires him to continue creating work that challenges audiences to think about social issues, while challenging other filmmakers and writers to dig deeper into their own narrative abilities.

While I haven’t enjoyed it as much as The Wire, I still thought that Treme was excellent and I am excited for the show to come back for a second season. As with most David Simon shows, I suspect that Treme will only get better with time as the narrative becomes more complex and the characters continue to evolve and intertwine with one another.

Source: Reuters via reader “S.S. Shockandawe”