One year ago today, HitFix published its first-ever Television Critics Poll, in which we asked several dozen of the top North American TV critics to pick their 10 favorite shows of 2012. “Breaking Bad” finished in first place, “Homeland” was in second, and more than 80 different shows got at least one vote. Clicking on the above link will show you all of those results.
For the 2013 Television Critics Poll, which just went live, we added even more critics, who again named “Breaking Bad” the best series of the year. And with so many great new shows debuting this year, we added a second poll for people to pick their 10 favorite debuting shows of the year. As it turns out, half of this year’s overall top 10 was made up of new shows – including “Orange Is the New Black,” which finished a very distant second to “Breaking Bad” and just ahead of “Game of Thrones”) – after the 2012 poll had only a single first-year series (“Girls”) in the top 10. (And the overall list has six shows in common with my own top 10 for the year, while three others will be in my top 20, being published later this week.)
Because each critics’ taste is different, and because the two polls were done separately, you’ll see some quirks here and there. On the overall shows list, for instance, “House of Cards” was the fourth-highest ranked new series, while it finished sixth on the new show list. And as you move further past the overall top 10, you’ll see the power (on a weighted ballot with only 10 choices) of being loved by a few over being liked by many. Only four critics, for instance, voted for “Southland” (I was one of them), but two of those votes were for first place, and another was for second, so it finished 23rd overall. “Girls,” meanwhile, got more votes, but most of them were at the bottom of critics’ ballots, so it finished only 44th. (Shows like that and “Shameless,” which I suspect many critics had ranked just outside of their top 10s, finished fairly low as a result, just like “Boardwalk Empire” finishing only 29th last year.)
So go look at the poll, which allows you to look at individual ballots (click on the name of any critic) as well as to check the vote tallies for individual shows (click on the title of any show). What do you think of this year’s results?