As 2012 comes to a close, us television reviewers reflect on the year that was, and all the quality TV we witnessed. While we here at Blast Magazine recap and review a fair amount of shows each week, it’s impossible for us to get to it all. But for your amusement, we’ve submitted our ballots, counted up the tallies, and have determined, by our collective opinion, the top ten and “next ten” TV shows of the calendar year.
In the interest of full disclosure, let me share how we calculated our totals. Each writer submitted their ballot of their top ten shows of the year. A couple of us went beyond the first ten because there were more shows we wished to put up for consideration. Our separate ballots will be shown at the bottom, so you can get a sense for how we individually ranked each show.
Using those ballots, we ascribed a point total to each ranking that would represent how many “votes” a show would earn. A first-place ranking on a ballot was worth 20 votes, second place: 19 votes. Third place is worth 18 votes, and so on and so forth. Tenth place ends up worth 11 votes, and for extended lists the pattern continues with 11th place earning 10 votes, down to one vote for a 20th-place finish.
Feel free to advocate for your favorites in the comments section. Which shows do you feel deserve a higher place on our list? Which shows did we neglect to recognize? Quibble all you like with our rankings, but we also hope you might discover a show you hadn’t been aware of before. Maybe we’ll also convince you to give an excellent show a second chance based on insights that hadn’t occurred to you, until now. You’ll have the next couple weeks or so to catch up as January brings back many of the programs mentioned in our lists.
Without further ado…drumroll please…your TOP TEN TV SERIES OF 2012, in descending order! Below them still is your “Best Next Ten” followed by a series of honorable mentions—shows that earned at least ten total votes.
10. Sherlock (BBC, 32 total votes)
Allyson Johnson–Its painfully brief season (only three episodes!) may have aired and ended last January, but its impact has yet to leave. Starring two rising stars Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek: Into Darkness), this show manages to expertly capture the magic of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Returning to a long awaited season was a daunting feat and showrunner Steven Moffat and Co. achieved victoriously with a season of emotional exploration, a wonderfully devious villain with Andrew Scott’s Moriarty and some truly beautiful cinematic shots, especially in the season’s finale “The Reichenbach Fall.” The premise of the show is to put these classical characters in modern day London and present them cases that still have the air of those you’d find in an old mystery novel. The shots are highly stylized, lots of light grays to infuse the senses with curiosity and doubt, and the two leads Cumberbatch and Freeman do much with what is given, exemplifying why they’re both on the verge of stardom. The show’s popularity lies on their shoulders, for it would not work without the charismatic, often times frustrating, and odd couple-like tendencies of Sherlock and Watson. This show isn’t without its faults (season two’s episode “A Scandal in Belgravia” and the disparaging portrayal of one of classical literature’s strong female characters), but when it falls flat, they more than make up for it. Though short, the series promises a narrative and cinematography most often only seen in theaters.
9. Downton Abbey (PBS, 33 total votes)
Bill Peloquin—Downton Abbey is easily one of the biggest TV surprises of the last couple years, coming from a channel nobody would have expected: PBS. The Public Broadcasting Service I remember consisted of This Old House episodes, Nova specials on space, and dated-looking film adaptations of classic novels. But this 42-year-old network has now captured the attention of viewers of all ages with the trials and tribulations of the Crawley family and their servants. The show is a fascinating illustration of young and old, rich and poor, notables and nobodies, all encompassed within the intriguing setting of the early 1900s. But despite the roughly 100 years that separate us from the Crawleys, what’s startling is how easy these characters are to relate to, empathize with, and feel for. Times have certainly changed, but the romances, friendships, hardships, and triumphs are ageless. Compelling storylines, touching drama, and superb acting easily put “Downton” on this year’s Best of 2012 list. The only problem with “Downton” is that there just isn’t enough of it! Each of the first three seasons is comprised of nine episodes or less. Nine measly episodes can be awfully depressing for U.S. fans, who have grown accustomed to shows that typically air 12-24 episodes a year. And then there’s that pesky business about the U.K. getting new episodes a few months before we do! In the end though, if 8 or 9 months between seasons is really what it takes to create such an excellent show, then so be it. Like they say, you can’t rush greatness.
8. Parks and Recreation (NBC, 34 total votes)
Christopher Peck— The fourth season of “Parks” made a bold move by orchestrating a season-long arc for Leslie Knope’s city council election. Not only did it mean having to execute humorous shenanigans around a high-stakes drama such as her campaign, but it meant putting a stellar ensemble under a microscope. How would the supporting players respond as pawns in her scheme? It turns out that like always Mike Schur and his talented team ensured that their actors would still shine. April (Aubrey Plaza) underwent transformative growth as she began to realize the passion she held within for her friends, Ron F*cking Swanson (Nick Offerman) held off Two Tammys while supplying sage advice to his number two, and best-boyfriend-ever Ben Wyatt put his career on hold to manage his girlfriend’s campaign. Guest stars galore—the two standouts Paul Rudd and Kathryn Hahn were seamless additions—and a bottomless knowledge of character continues to earn big-time praise for this show about small-town politics. Amy Poehler directed and wrote one of the most heartfelt, dynamic and thrilling half-hours with “The Debate” and the season four finale “Win, Lose or Draw” had me blubbering like an emotionally-invested idiot. I trust these creative minds completely and season five has delivered just the same with a proposal that would give the coldest heart a case of the warm and fuzzies. What it boils down to is, no other comedy makes me smile like “Parks and Rec.” All of the characters genuinely care about each other, and feel real in their idiosyncrasies and impulses. Want to have your faith in humanity restored? Stop by the parks department of Pawnee, Indiana every Thursday night.
7. Community (NBC, 40 total votes)
Bill Peloquin—Though it may feel like it’s been ages since Community last graced our television screens (the last episode aired May 17th), that doesn’t mean that this unique, hilarious, and often heart-warming comedy was left off our Best TV Shows of 2012 list. Season three treated fans to episodes ranging from a Law & Order spoof, to a documentary about the pillow and blanket fort war, to a video game-centric “Digital Estate Planning,” to a phenomenal Halloween episode. Community continues to blaze trails where half-hour comedies—including its peers, like fan-favorite The Big Bang Theory— have never gone before. The show is, in my humble opinion, hands down the best comedy since Arrested Development and is loaded with pop culture references, lovable characters, incredible humor, and fantastic Easter eggs for the fans (Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!). If you still aren’t convinced, take a look at the rabid fan base, which has created flash mobs, art shows, and video games to demonstrate their love and support for this critically-hailed but ratings-plagued television show. The new season is a bit of a question mark after creator/show runner Dan Harmon’s messy dismissal, but there’s no question that diehard fans will just be happy to have their beloved show back when season four finally airs on February 7th.
6. New Girl (FOX, 42 total votes)
Danielle Gillette—Despite its original reliance on the “adorkable” factor of its star Zooey Deschanel, New Girl has managed to grow into itself as a strong comedy show. The second half of season one and the first half of season two aired this year, and it’s all been consistently funny. A lot of the appeal admittedly lies in the other cast members, especially when Jess strays a little too far into that “adorkable” territory. The writers seem to have realized this and given more of the spotlight to Jess’s roommates and friends recently. Schmidt (Max Greenfield) has been a particular fan favorite, striking a good balance this season between growing as a character (especially when it comes to his relationship with Cece) and doing things like pretending to be a Romney son to get a girl. This year has also seen some great guest star roles, from Dermot Mulroney’s arc as Russell at the end of season one to Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner as Jess’s parents in the Thanksgiving episode to Olivia Munn as Nick’s new love interest Angie in the very latest episodes. As odd as some of the plotlines may seem (Winston and Jess’s handling of the bathtub fiasco comes to mind), New Girl still lands the laughs. And come on, who doesn’t want to play a game of True American?
4. (TIE): Homeland (Showtime, 42 total votes)
Christopher Peck— Season two was a game changer for Showtime’s prestige drama. And frankly, some might not want to play the game anymore. In the first few episodes, the show swiftly dispensed with their original conceit by capturing Sergeant—and now Congressman—Brody (Damian Lewis) and vindicating Carrie’s (Claire Danes) suspicions. It was electric, but we didn’t know how this ship would support itself with such stormy seas ahead. There was some exhilarating and unprecedented drama like in “Q&A,” when nearly half the episode was spent inside a dank basement where Carrie deconstructed her former lover and reassembled him as a CIA informant. But there were also the head-scratching developments like the bad horror movie antics of Abu Nazir hiding in tunnels. Plausibility became a major concern of the fanbase, who had relished in the gritty portrait of the intelligence game painted in the first season, when certain twists begged the question “How could they let that happen?” For me, Abu Nazir and the writers proved to be the masterminds we thought they were in the end when it came down to character truth. Carrie Mathison’s recklessness combined with her genius is a volatile concoction, and when you add in a dose of Brody’s desperation it made for television as compelling as I’ve ever seen. Mandy Patinkin as Saul also got his highlight episode in the finale where he ran the emotional gamut as he scolded, mourned, and welcomed back his surrogate daughter who he deemed the smartest and dumbest person he’s ever known. And perhaps this season was as smart and as dumb as it got, but it asked tough questions about how our actions can result in horrifying reactions. I suppose some were angered to realize this show was about a damaged romantic relationship between a turned-POW and a bipolar intelligence analyst, but despite the “squishy” scenes, it both confounded and astounded me like no other show this year.
4. (TIE): The Walking Dead (AMC, 42 total votes)
Danielle Gillette—The Walking Dead is probably the most improved show to make our top ten. Last season proved that even the zombie apocalypse can make for boring television, but the writers have really stepped up their game with season three. The stakes are higher for the characters, who have lost limbs and lives (and maybe their sanity, in the case of Rick), and there is all the zombie carnage you could ever ask for. Seriously, they might have slaughtered more zombies in the season premiere alone than there were in all of season two. The new characters in particular help to make the show so top ten-worthy this year: Michonne is one of the most intriguing and completely bad-ass characters to appear on the show, and David Morrissey nails every scene as the twisted Governor of Woodbury. Splitting the story between two locations, the prison and Woodbury, has done wonders for the show. The plot has been richer, the suspense has been amplified, and you know how they’ve always been good at the twist ending? Well, half of this season has felt like a twist ending, and it’s been awesome. The Walking Dead hasn’t been the most consistent show in the past, but this year is definitely different. “Hounded” and “Made to Suffer” are particularly stand-out episodes from this season, and the show returns February 10th – plenty of time to catch up if you haven’t been watching!
3. Louie (FX, 53 total votes)
Christopher Peck—Louis C.K is an auteur. He may not be nearly as pretentious as that sounds, but he embodies every sense of the word. He writes, directs, and stars in this comedy about a divorced, middle-aged father looking for love and reasons to live. He soaks in misery most of the time, sleeping in and waking up to find a spilled pint of Ben and Jerry’s splayed on his stomach. This season saw many tumultuous relationships reinvigorate and wreck him, but his truest devastation came in a three-episode arc about him trying to succeed David Letterman on The Late Show. It was the longest of shots, and just as Louie began to believe in himself, the universe was cruel and pulled the rug out from under him. And ultimately, in his grief, he found triumph in trying. The show’s balance between the profound and absurd strikes a glorious harmony, and the experimental value of what Louie explores cannot be overstated. He both spits in the face of continuity and embraces it, and that same fearlessness carries over into the themes he addresses. Male intimacy, date rape, the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” archetype, and absentee fathers were just some of the topics he approached, and yet, you never felt forced into his perspectives. His greatest asset as a comedian is his willingness to learn. While he may mock and tease, he doesn’t limit himself at all. He exposes us all to a vast world where happiness and wisdom are open to interpretation, and nothing elicits more laughs than sadness.
2. Breaking Bad (AMC, 58 total votes)
Christopher Peck— The promotional material read, “All Hail the King,” but the first-half of the final and fifth season felt more like a descent into Hell than an ascent to the throne. Creator Vince Gilligan cultivated that vibe from the first frames with his “flash-forward” to Walt’s 52nd birthday. We find him in New Hampshire with a full head of brown hair, a new identity, a nagging cancer cough that has been suppressed since season two, and a semiautomatic weapon in his trunk. Dark times, indeed. So, before Heisenberg has even achieved kingpin status, we know that he’s fated to fall a long way down. It wasn’t a flawless season. There were some stumbles along the way due to condensing 12 episodes into eight, but with supporting performances like Jonathan Banks’ weary enforcer Mike and Anna Gunn’s petrified wife Skyler, it’s hard not to consider this show as one of the upper echelon. I haven’t even spoken about the brilliance of leads Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston (Paul is a lead no matter what the Emmys say). Paul’s role was reduced due to narrative demands, but the glimpses we did get of him pleading his mentor to quit while he’s ahead were terrific. His shriek and subsequent disgust when a child became collateral damage was also stunning. And what else is there to say about Cranston’s work as Walt—it’s mesmerizing. To watch a man’s soul deteriorate with each decision is painful enough, but watching Cranston portray his tragic pride with such nuance and conviction is, needless to say, historic. Still, while all this devastation surrounds the proceedings, the episodes are infused with fun. Whether we’re watching Walt and Jesse cook under the shroud of a fumigation tent, conduct a caper involving super magnets, or steal precursor from a train, we’re anxiously anticipating each chapter. The second half of season five, slated for the summer of 2013, will be a sad event, since saying goodbye to these characters is just as traumatizing as the moral downfall of a cancer-riddled chemistry teacher.
1. Game of Thrones (HBO, 59 total votes)
Christopher Peck— If you didn’t know “winter is coming,” season two sent shivers up your spine to remind you. From the outset, the ramifications of season one were felt like immense weights sitting on the shoulders of characters scattered across the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. In King’s Landing, the reign of boy King Joffrey is a terrorizing one, and Lena Headey’s Queen Cersei comes off as both heartless and human. In the North, Robb Stark has rallied the lords to war, but his fragmented regiment will unravel eventually. Arya Stark is headed for The Wall, but is bound into service by Tywin Lannister. The Baratheon brothers, Stannis and Renly, ally themselves with ambitious women to better legitimize their claims to the throne. Jon Snow is navigating the perilous path beyond The Wall, and Daenerys wants her damn dragons back! Just the breadth of the season is enough to marvel at, but the true wonder comes when you step back and see the stitching together of such a vivid tapestry. Yes, it’s a fantasy world, and yet the tension and emotion is far from contrived. Credit is due to writers and actors alike for emphasizing the stakes with rich dialogue that has subtext and ulterior motives seeping out of every syllable. David Benioff and D.B Weiss’s faithfulness to the source material can be troublesome at times—the disparate story threads meandered and most narrative steam is spent ramping up for the battle of “Blackwater.” But skillful thematic parallels provided needed cohesion, and transcendent performances (Peter Dinklage as the conniving Tyrion and Maisie Williams as the resourceful Arya were both superbly badass) served as beacons in the misty night bringing the season into sharper focus. While nerds are rejoicing the loudest over the successful adaption of George R.R Martin’s epic novels, television critics are clamoring, too. It’s truly a triumph to see such an expansive and intricate story told on the small screen. Gripping, addictive and dire, the cutthroat contest for the Iron Throne has whisked many away into its “You win or you die” world.
BLAST’S “BEST NEXT TEN” TV SERIES OF 2012
11. Wilfred (FX, 30 total votes)
Kayla Lopez—It may seem like an odd addition to a Best TV of 2012 list, but only to those who don’t watch. Wilfred is a dark comedy about a man (Elijah Wood) and his doggy friend (named Wilfred) who he sees as another man (Jason Gann, reprising his role from the Australian television series) in a dog suit. Wilfred puts his friend–Ryan–through plenty of wacky and hilarious adventures. If you’ve been thinking about picking up this show, you should. It’s totally worth it, simply just to watch Jason Gann as Wilfred. His jokes, sarcasm, and surprisingly realistic dog-like attitude have made this comedy show worth watching. The chemistry between Gann and Wood makes for a great comedic duo, and has lead to some wonderfully hilarious GIFs (if you’re Tumblr-savvy, I would check them out). With such a fantastic supporting cast, season three is bound to bring plenty more laughs in 2013.
12. Happy Endings (ABC, 27 total votes)
Allyson Johnson—The third season, while dipping in the ratings (watch people, watch!), hasn’t slowed in terms of its consistent ability to turn out great episodes. It’s the simplicity of the premise of putting six strong personalities together and watching how they act. It’s the chemistry of the cast and the authentic feeling of the friendships. It’s the unarguable fact that Jane and Brad are the best couple on television right now just as Eliza Coupe and Damon Wayans Jr. who play them have some of the best comedic timing on television right now. The show’s constantly delivering bizarre character quirks, meta-filled one liners and fast-paced and hilarious dialogue. The ratings may be putting this show in a dire situation, so make sure to keep tuning in until the very end.
13. The Colbert Report (Comedy Central, 26 total votes)
Christopher Peck— In an election year, American parody thrives. Stephen Colbert’s on-air persona has always been popular, but with the abundance of absurd soundbites from the Republicans running for office (I’m looking at you Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock), Colbert was able to ride the wave. With seething irony, he discussed his ambivalence toward Mitt Romney, his support for Donald Trump, the “birther” movement and “job creators,” his opposition to same sex marriage and Obama-brand “socialism,” all while sneakily delegitimizing “his” party’s platform. Another hallmark has always been his interviews. Some guests can’t handle his undermining, some go toe-to-toe, but whenever ever a politician sits opposite him it’s “open mouth, insert foot” time. Satire is a growing industry in these times of increasing divisiveness, and somehow Stephen’s sarcasm is one the most levelheaded voices emerging from the fray. He’s quietly giving one of the best performances of our lifetime, and by that I mean he’s crafted a likable conservative—someone who represents prejudice, privilege, ignorance and idiocy, but we love him for it.
14. Doctor Who (BBC, 22 total votes)
Allyson Johnson—There isn’t a show that fully embodies the idea of escapism such as this. It’s nowhere near perfect and, for some, the low budget special effects may ruin its appeal, but the show projects a heartfelt atmosphere that is constantly in a state of wonder such as the Doctor himself. In the past year, there’s been strong performances from Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill, Karen Gillan and Jenna Louise Coleman. We, as fans, have watched tearful goodbyes, painful losses and introductions full of hope. We’ve gotten to see a room full of Daleks, the return of the Weeping Angels and in the upcoming year, the Cyberman will return with Neil Gaiman at the writing helm. This is an exciting year to be a Who fan because there is so many new experiences and faces to look forward to. But don’t worry, the Doctor’s bow tie is still rightfully in place.
15. (TIE): Mad Men (AMC, 19 total votes)
Christopher Peck— AMC’s ad man drama set in the 1960s is one that has been showered with awards. This year it went 0 for 17 at the Emmys. Was there that much of a drastic dip in quality? On the contrary, I believe that more shows stepped their game up and the usual adoration was dulled somehow. For me, Mad Men turned in its strongest, smartest season so far. Starting with “Mystery Date,” the show went on a tear of five episodes, ending with “Lady Lazarus” which were as layered and full as any the show has produced. While some episodes were maligned for being less subtle and slightly melodramatic, like the prostitution plot of “The Other Woman” and Lane’s demise in “Commissions and Fees,” I felt it solidified in stone and chisel the lofty aspirations the show established from its first season—to destroy the illusion of the American Dream. Like The Great Gatsby, it speaks of inescapable pasts, and like another iconic series The Sopranos it shows the sadness inherent in men who can never have enough. I’ll go out on a limb and say that’s the show most enduring quality—no matter how many times you mull over the meaning of each line of dialogue, each arresting scene, you’ll always discover a different truth. With a central philosophy as concrete and fully envisioned as Matthew Weiner’s, I’m confident this show’s last two seasons (it’s been scheduled to finish after the seventh) will wrap up in a satisfying, startling fashion.
15. (TIE): 30 Rock (NBC, 19 total votes)
Danielle Gillette—It’s 30 Rock’s last season, and the show is going out strong. Everything that’s great about 30 Rock – the witty humor, the social commentary, Jenna’s increasingly wacky bids for attention – is in full swing again this year. 2012 brought not only the beginning of the end, but also the entirety of season 6, aired between January and May, which included the meta goodness that was the second live episode in 30 Rock history and Liz’s descent into Joker-dom in “The Tuxedo Begins.” This season is all about wrapping things up: Liz is settling down with Criss (James Marsden) but still being, y’know, Liz Lemon, Jenna is settling down with her fiancé Paul, Tracy is just the right amount of obnoxious, and Jack has to deal with an unexpected loss. After a slow stretch a couple of seasons ago, 30 Rock looks like it’s finishing even better than it started.
15. (TIE): American Horror Story: Asylum (FX, 19 total votes)
Kayla Lopez—If you’re not watching AHS: Asylum, then I’m questioning your sanity. From creators Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy (yes, the same men responsible for Glee), American Horror Story has raised the bar for cable TV. If you need a good reason to watch, I have two words for you: Jessica Lange. In 2012, Lange snatched up awards left and right for her portrayal as Constance Langdon in season one, including an Emmy and a Golden Globe. Her acting in season two is poised to earn her repeat wins, but she has competition in the form of the lovely Lily Rabe, who is scary good as Sister Mary Eunice. Compared to her season one character, some might say Rabe is a woman possessed. Season two takes place in an asylum (hence the title) in the 1960s, with a crazed serial killer named Bloody Face running around. With the season finale coming in 2013 (January 23rd, for those who are wondering), we can’t help but wonder what else Murphy and Co. could have up their sleeves for season three.
18. (TIE): The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 18 total votes)
Christopher Peck— Jon Stewart is the champion of common sense. He’ll deride a Democrat and eviscerate a Republican with equal viciousness. While Fox News pundits will lump him in with liberals, all he wants is to cut the bullshit. He dubbed the imaginary world that conservatives inhabit “Bullshit Mountain” in his live debate with Bill O’Reilly, his cable adversary, and while he’s comfortable dealing in lies, he used this election season to speak truth to stupid—not unlike comedy legend George Carlin. For Stewart, there are two sides, but not the ones we’re accustomed to. Not liberals and conservatives, but the responsible and the ridiculous. While politicians cushion their blows with cliches, The Daily Show delivers the boom. The correspondents were impressive as well, often executing Stewart’s crusade with even less remorse. In particular, Samantha Bee did a number on the Republican National Convention and pointed out the inconsistencies in their politics around abortion. Her methods of entrapping these candid citizens into contradicting themselves was diabolical. That’s what separates Stewart and The Daily Show and the cable news cycle. He’ll boldly illustrate what’s wrong with this country more succinctly in 22 minutes than they can spitting out talking points for 22 hours.
18. (TIE): Elementary (CBS, 18 total votes)
Allyson Johnson—There are many reasons why this show’s debut season deserves to be recognized as the year draws to a close: its high caliber performances given by Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller, the way in which the narrative allows Sherlock’s process of the case, rather than the case itself, to dictate the episode’s path, or maybe the fact the two leads share an electric chemistry that keeps the viewers watching each week. However, the highlight of the series so far is the way it exceeds all pre-conceived, asinine assumptions of the show. It’s once again modern day Sherlock Holmes, but this time we see it in a grounded to reality style. Critics and fans alike believed it to be nothing more than a cash grab and a bastardization of beloved characters and instead showrunner Robert Doherty has only managed to strengthen the personalities of Sherlock and Holmes.
18. (TIE): Supernatural (CW, 18 total votes)
Kayla Lopez—Oh be still my heart! For eight years, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles have played Sam and Dean Winchester, respectively. While 2012 was a decent year for the two actors—Padalecki and his wife welcomed a baby boy in March—it was not a good year for the Winchesters. The end of season seven sent Dean and fan favorite Castiel (played by the ever so sexy Misha Collins) to Purgatory, leaving Sam behind to pick up the pieces. Season eight premiered with an adorable reunion between brothers, but that doesn’t last very long. Dean’s new friend Benny (Ty Olsson) and Sam’s left-behind ex-love Amelia (Liane Balaban) bring some serious tension between the siblings. This tension seemingly breaks in the midseason finale, along with plenty of fans’ hearts. So why watch in 2013? When the boys are on screen and on their game, there are plenty of laughs for such a dark drama. If you’re not hooked after watching one episode, you’re probably not meant to be a fan.
HONORABLE MENTIONS (over 10 total votes)
Suits (USA, 17 total votes), The Hour (BBC, 17 total votes), Smash (NBC, 16 total votes), Luck (HBO, 14 total votes), Grimm (NBC, 14 total votes), Arrow (CW, 13 total votes), Girls (HBO, 12 total votes), Boardwalk Empire (HBO, 12 total votes), Rizzoli and Isles (TNT, 12 total votes), Key and Peele (Comedy Central, 11 total votes), Once Upon A Time (ABC, 11 total votes), Psych (USA, 11 total votes), Shameless (Showtime, 11 total votes), Dexter (Showtime, 11 total votes)
1. Breaking Bad
2. Mad Men
5. Parks and Recreation
6. Game of Thrones
8. The Walking Dead
10. Key and Peele
11. New Girl
13. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
15. The Colbert Report
16. Last Resort
18. Bob’s Burgers
19. Saturday Night Live
20. American Dad
1. New Girl
2. Breaking Bad
4. The Hour
9. Happy Endings
11. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
12. Game of Thrones
13. Doctor Who
14. The Legend of Korra
15. 30 Rock
16. The Colbert Report
17. Modern Family
2. Breaking Bad
3. Downton Abbey
5. Game of Thrones
6. The Colbert Report
7. The Walking Dead
9. Boardwalk Empire
2. American Horror Story: Asylum
6. Downton Abbey
9. Rizzoli and Isles
10. Once Upon A Time
2. Game of Thrones
3. Parks and Recreation
4. The Walking Dead
6. Happy Endings
7. Doctor Who
8. 30 Rock
9. New Girl