For television fans, it will be a Happy New Year, indeed. However, we will be losing so many amazing television series in 2013, it’s hard to imagine that this year will ever be again topped in terms of event television. Some of our favorites will still be around, but looking ahead, the drop-off in 2014 may do a lot of damage to the television landscape. Two of our favorite series will be ending their runs, plus Netflix will attempt to become the true equivalent of another television network with original programming. We will also be saying goodbye to AT LEAST four other long-running series, some of which we love, and some of which we used to love. Here are, tentatively, the 10 Most Important Television Events of 2013.
10. The Walking Dead Series 3 Finale (March 31, 2013) — If that date looks familiar to you, it’s also the same date as number three on the list, which is going to make March 31st the Super Bowl of scripted television. The season two finale wouldn’t have made this list last year, but after an incredibly strong first half of season three, this series finale — the last episode from showrunner Glen Mazzara — could be a doozy. Hopefully, it will allow us to add to the 10 Most Bad Ass Michonne Kills.
9. Fringe Series Finale (January 18th) — A lot of hardcore Fringe fans, blinded by their loyalty to the series and the characters, have not really picked up on the fact that the final season has been a muddled mess. The final season has strayed from what many of us love about the series — the mythology episodes mixed with quirky cases of the week, plus the entire ensemble of outstanding characters including Phillip and Lincoln — and focused exclusively on a quest to vanquish The Observers in the future. It was fun to see Walter trip on LSD a couple of episodes back, but it kind of feels like the 13 episodes could’ve been easily condensed into eight or nine, as much of the season has been slow moving. That said, it is a series that’s had some really great episodes, and through the good and the bad and the endless resets, we’ve never lost our affection for the characters, especially Walter Bishop.
8. Dexter Finale (December) — I couldn’t be happier to see Dexter come to an end, as it’s been a long three seasons since the Trinity Killer, and the finale of season seven was completely flubbed last month. It will be a relief, more than anything, to simply put the series out of its misery, although I wouldn’t dismiss a spin-off series starring Yvonne Strahovski.
7. 30 Rock Finale (January 31st) — It’s not getting as much attention as The Office finale, but later this month, we will also say goodbye to Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy, and the rest of the 30 Rock gang. Unlike The Office, 30 Rock has managed to remain creative throughout its run, but then again, it’s always good to go out on a high note, and seven seasons is plenty of time. I will be sad to see it go, but I’m not sad it’s going.
6. The Office Finale (TBA, Sometime in May) — It’s been a long time since we cared all that much about The Office, but most of us are still hanging on until the bitter end, and — as Josh wrote — there are things we will still miss about the show, including the Cold Opens. At one point, there was going to be a Schrute Farms spin-off, starring Dwight (the backdoor pilot of which will still air), but that was nixed. Come May, it’ll be the last of a lot of characters we’ve grown to love, and fall out of love with over the last eight years. At least we will probably get one last episode with Michael Scott, if the rumors are true.
5. House of Cards Premiere (February 1st) — Before Netflix releases the fourth season of Arrested Development, it will premiere the massively budgeted House of Cards, a 13-episode series from David Fincher starring Kevin Spacey as the House Majority Whip in the US Congress trying to climb his way up the political ladder. There’s a lot of talent behind the series, and it will be the first real test of Netflix’s ability to go head to head with traditional television networks. Also, it looks fantastic.
4. Community Season Four Premiere (February 7th) — It will have been a long eight months between the finale of season three and the premiere of season four, and in the interim, Community lost its showrunner, Dan Harmon, and Chevy Chase has departed the series, though not before filming the finale. Will there be a season five? Unlikely. An UPROXX anonymous source has revealed to us that the Community set has been torn down. Then again, it’s likely they would have graduated, so in the very remote chance there is another season of the series, it might not take place at Greendale. I have no idea how we are going to fill the vacuum here at Warming Glow created by the absence of Alison Brie GIFs.
3. Game of Thrones Season Three Premiere (March 31, 2013) — When last we left Game of Thrones, Joffrey had managed to hang on to the throne in the Battle of Blackwater (no thanks to himself), and we were introduced to the White Walkers. George R.R. Martin’s massive third novel from the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Storm of Swords, will be split into two seasons, and some have even wondered with so much content, how will Game of Thrones ultimately end?
2. Arrested Development Season Four Premiere (TBA, Maybe But Probably Not May 4th) — Now that Mitch Hurwitz has added to the original 10-episode order, our national holiday has been pushed back, tentatively until May. Once that date has been firmed up, I expect the number of preplanned vacation days to skyrocket, as all 12-14 episodes of season four will be released simultaneously, which means no one will go to work that day. Welcome Back, Anal Rapist.
1. Breaking Bad Series Finale (Date TBA, Probably Late August) — For viewers of great television, anyway, the Breaking Bad finale will undoubtedly be the most important event of 2013. In fact, everything that comes after will likely be compared to the Breaking Bad finale: “The Walking Dead premiere was awesome, but it was no Breaking Bad finale.” “Wow! I just had the most mindblowing sex of my life, but it was not Breaking Bad finale!” What will happen is anyone’s guess, but there will almost certainly be body bags.