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Saturday, January 02, 2016

2015 IN REVIEW: The Year In Television

I hope that the first day of 2016 was good to you, and I hope that you're ready to make the rest of the year a great one!  Keep in mind that it's a leap year this year, so you have an extra day to make it awesome!

Of course, we still have a little bit of stuff to talk about regarding the year that just ended a couple of days ago. 

For instance, this is the day that I plan to talk about all of the great television that aired during 2015.  And while online services like Netflix, Hulu, Shomi, and Crave TV are gaining in popularity, you can't dismiss the standards that air on the four major networks. 

There's a lot to discuss, so why don't we start by taking a look at the list of television shows that ended their runs in 2015.  There's quite a long list of them. 

A To Z (January 22)
Bad Judge (January 22)
The Taste (January 22)
Resurrection (January 25)
Web Therapy (January 28)
Parenthood (January 29)
Red Band Society (February 7)
Constantine (February 13)
Mulaney (February 15)
State of Affairs (February 16)
About A Boy (February 17)
Marry Me (February 17)
The Mentalist (February 18)
Two and a Half Men (February 19)
Parks and Recreation (February 24)
Allegiance (March 5)
The Queen Latifah Show (March 6)
Glee (March 20)
Hart of Dixie (March 27)
Cougar Town (March 31)
Cristela (April 17)
One Big Happy (April 28)
Backstrom (April 30)
Forever (May 5)
Revenge (May 10)
Mad Men (May 17)
The Following (May 18)
Stalker (May 18)
19 Kids and Counting (May 19)
Late Show With David Letterman (May 20)
Battle Creek (May 24)
Hot In Cleveland (June 3)
Phineas and Ferb (June 12)
Nurse Jackie (June 28)
The McCarthys (July 11)
Degrassi:  The Next Generation (August 2)
Melissa & Joey (August 5)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (August 6)
Key & Peele (August 26)
Extant (September 9)
Under The Dome (September 10)
Up To The Minute (September 18)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (September 27)
Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris (November 3)
The Player (November 19)
America's Next Top Model (December 4)
Haven (December 17)
The Soup (December 18)
Downton Abbey (December 25)

Of all of these shows, the clearest loser in this is NBC, the network that is no longer Must See TV.  Most of the network's new shows didn't even last a full season before being canned!  Even The CW has a better track record!  Clearly, people weren't happy with "One Big Happy", the best time ever was NOT with Neil Patrick Harris, and I don't even think I can explain how "Bad Judge" was even greenlit.  It's a good thing NBC still has "Hollywood Game Night", "The Voice", and "Heroes: Reborn", or else it would be completely screwed!

Though, "Parenthood" and "Parks and Recreation" had been on for quite some time, so we'll give them a pass.

It was also the year that a lot of long running shows said their goodbyes.  CSI wrapped up a fifteen year run with a two hour television movie.  "America's Next Top Model" crowned its first (and I guess only) deaf winner in 26-year-old Nyle DiMarco.  "Two and a Half Men" ended their series in what could be considered one of the most bizarre series finales ever created.  "Mad Men", on the flipside, had a finale that was completely satisfying and wonderful.  And while we still have to wait to see this play out here in North America, the UK aired the final episode of "Downton Abbey" on Christmas Day.

The late night landscape took a few hits as David Letterman retired from hosting the Late Show with David Letterman, and Jon Stewart stepped down from hosting The Daily Show.  But Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah have proven that they have the chops to keep the show going.  I only wish Joel McHale had a way to keep "The Soup" going.  That show is really the only reason I ever watch "E!". 

At least we have James Corden and his Carpool Karaoke to keep us entertained.

Now, let's chat about some of the shows that debuted in 2015 and are getting a lot of people talking.

People are talking about "Empire" - the FOX show that stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson and is about the struggles within a hip hop record company.  The show debuted last January and is one of the more successful shows of the year.

CSI is determined not to let its brand die, and the fourth spinoff series "CSI: Cyber" debuted in February 2015.  But already the show has had some retooling.  Out was Peter MacNicol and in went Ted Danson who reprised the role he played on the original CSI series.  Time will tell if the decision was a good one.

Netflix is fast becoming a powerhouse in the television industry.  They've already had hits with "Orange is the New Black" and "House of Cards", and in 2015, they added "Sense8", "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", "Bloodlines" and "Narcos" to their program line-up.  

Plus, the network already has people salivating over the "Fuller House" series, set to debut on February 26, 2016.  Definitely a good reason to "Netflix & Chill" this past year!

As if we needed any more Kardashians to clog up the airwaves, "I Am Cait" debuted in the summer of 2015.  At first, I admit that the show - which featured the former Bruce Jenner trying to figure life out as Caitlyn - was an interesting piece...but then as she made the show all about herself and less about the transgendered community, it got real old, real fast.  If you want to watch a decent show about transgendered people, might I recommend "Transparent" starring Jeffrey Tambor.  It's scripted, yet somehow more believable.

Proving that zombies aren't quite dead yet, The CW debuted "iZombie" in March.  New Zealander Rose McIver shines as Liv, a woman who is not quite alive, not quite dead, who uses the brains of murder victims to solve crimes.  It sounds unbelievable, but it's strangely captivating.  On a related note, have you ever wondered what life was like before "The Walking Dead"?  Well AMC made a prequel series entitled "Fear The Walking Dead", depicting how society collapsed as the zombie outbreak increased.  Some say it's not as good as the parent series, but's worth watching.

SPIKE TV is the site of one of the surprise breakout hits in a show entitled "Lip Sync Battle".  Hosted by LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen, celebrities go head to head against each other lip synching to popular hits in costume.  The first season debuted in April, and season two is set to debut next week!  Who knows what the latest television trends will bring, huh?

I certainly hope the Sharknado obsession has finally dried up.  The third movie was even more terrible than ever...and that's NOT a good thing.

Finally, when it comes to network television, this season could be potentially one of the stronger ones to date.  Good reviews have been issued for "Limitless", "Code Black", "Quantico", "Scream Queens", "Blindspot", "Life In Pieces", and "The Muppets", and I can safely say that at least half of these shows will likely still be on the air before 2016 wraps up.

And yes...people are still obsessed with "Game of Thrones".  In other news, the sky is still blue.

Now, let's have a look at some of the people who have won some of the various reality shows that have aired this past year.  I already revealed the winner of "America's Next Top Model", but here are some others.

AMERICAN IDOL:  Nick Fradiani
THE VOICE 8:  Sawyer Fredericks
THE VOICE 9:  Jordan Smith
BIG BROTHER 17:  Steve Moses
THE AMAZING RACE 26:  Tyler Adams/Laura Pearson
THE AMAZING RACE 27:  Joey Buttitta/Kelsey Gerckens
THE AMAZING RACE CANADA 3:  Gino and Jesse Montani
MASTERCHEF 6:  Claudia Sandoval
DANCING WITH THE STARS 20:  Rumer Willis/Valentin Chmerkovskiy

DANCING WITH THE STARS 21:  Bindi Irwin/Derek Hough

Congratulations to all winners!

Finally, some major achievements.

First off, congratulations to the soap opera "Days of our Lives" for celebrating fifty years on the air.  The show, which debuted in November 1965, has seen several storylines involving births, deaths, teen issues, and even a devil possession!  But after years of declining ratings, DAYS has seemed to hit their stride once more and is still chugging along.  Congratulations!

Overseas, I also want to extend a happy belated 30th birthday to "EastEnders" and "Neighbours".  Both series debuted in 1985 and both were still strong ratings winners in 2015!  

And while we're across the pond, a happy 20th birthday to "Hollyoaks" as well!

A hearty congratulations also go out to "The Young and the Restless" for celebrating its twenty-seventh consecutive year as the most watched daytime drama!  That news would even make Victor Newman melt with pride!

Finally, here is a list of the Primetime Emmy Award winners for 2015.

OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SHOW:  The Daily Show with Jon Stewart


I think that about wraps up this look at television during the year 2015.  Thanks for tuning in!

Coming up tomorrow - strap on your dancing shoes!  We look at the best and worst in music of 2015!

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