Whether all these figures are anti-heroes, or in some cases something else entirely, is an interesting question. As is the question of why anti-heroes are so important in quality television. Short form answer is that they match the times. It's a mostly cynical and sour era, with little faith in institutions or, generally speaking, leaders.
To my mind, Jimmy Cannon was the greatest sports writer who ever lived. I read his columns in the New York Post avidly and religiously. When he wasn't writing about sports, he was musing, offering his personal, mostly one- or two-liner opinions, about anything that hit his off-the-charts observant eye. Most had little to do with sports.