2011: A Year In Television

As I expressed in my recap of 2011 in music, I think listing art is a somewhat silly exercise. Still, as someone who started this blog to talk about television, I felt like I should share my thoughts on this year in TV.

Last year, I lamented the incredibly weak crop of fall pilots and the continuing erosion of broadcast ratings. Neither of those problems were really solved in 2011, though ratings seem to have stabilized for the time being. But, even with a less than stellar crop of new series on the network side, there were a handful of new treasures and even more returning favorites stepping up their game.

If all goes according to plan, I should have a piece up early next week praising individual performances and shows that missed my Top 10, but I wanted to make sure to get my list of this year’s best up before the ball dropped. So, without further ado, I give you my Top 10 TV Shows of 2011. Read more of this post


BET Playing A Different Game

When BET announced their plans to order original episodes of the failed CW sitcom The Game in April 2010, no one was particularly shocked. BET’s interest had been widely documented by media outlets, and syndicated reruns of the series had performed strongly for the network. More surprising was BET’s ability to retain the entire cast of the series and the services of its showrunner, given the nearly year long gap between The CW’s initial decision to cancel the show and their own renewal announcement.

On Tuesday night, The Game made its triumphant return, breaking several records in the process. Not only did The Game’s ratings improve, they more than quadrupled from the show’s 3rd season average. 7.7 million tuned in for the show’s basic cable debut, enough to make it the #1 Ad-Supported Sitcom Telecast in basic cable history. Moreover, the show ranked #2 overall for the 10pm hour, behind only CBS’ The Good Wife. This unprecedented turn events left many industry pundits,  myself included, scratching their heads. What does the success of The Game mean for television as a whole? Read more of this post