My 2014 Top 10 By-the-Numbers…
Repeat Shows from 2014: 4
Shows Premiering in 2014: 4
Established Shows Rising into My Top 10: 2
Network Shows: 1
Cable Shows: 5
Premium Cable Shows: 3
Streaming Shows: 1
Comedies: Between 3 and 5
Adapted Formats: 6
I did that breakdown mostly for my own purposes trying to figure out if I cans see any trends emerging from my Top 10. The biggest trend, I suppose, is that there's a lot of great TV and there's a lot of great TV coming in a lot of great formats and coming from a lot of new and interesting directions even if it maybe isn't necessarily coming from the five broadcast networks, though I'd argue that there's a lot of very good TV coming from there. [Network TV isn't the best source of great TV going, but network TV is probably still the best source, by volume, of GOOD TV.]
There was a fair amount of Top 10 changeover my 2013 List because “Breaking Bad” and “Enlightened” ended, “56 Up” was a TV movie and the second season of “The Returned” has yet to air. A couple shows fell out of my Top 10 as well, but they didn't fall far.
A certain amount of wealth is spread in my list, which features two shows apiece from FX and HBO and then shows from six other individual services/networks. There's been a running perception that HBO is in a period of transition or that the network has been somewhat usurped when it comes to quality TV, but my preliminary list of No. 11-30, which will post in a couple weeks, could have as many as seven more HBO shows. And that list of 20+ additional shows (there may be cheating once I get past this pure Top 10) is going to feature some shows I think are pretty terrific. As both Sepinwall and I always say: If you can't find good stuff to watch on TV these days, that's a “you” problem, not a “TV” problem.
When I started gestating this Top 10, the top four were locked in, I knew the next four were going to be on the list even if I didn't know about their placement and then the last two were a minor nightmare. There were at least a half-dozen shows that could have taken those spaces, with a couple dark comedies and a couple HBO dramas making the strongest cases.
Our video team did a FANTASTIC job of editing my Top 10 list in video form above.
Sound off on my list!