Welcome to HitFix's First Annual Television Critics' Poll. We asked critics to select their top 10 shows of 2012 and gave 10 points to the number one show on each list, nine to the number two show, eight to the number three, etc. The overall list was determined by the cumulative point total for each show. Enjoy the list and see how your own choices match those of the critics.

Top 10 Television Shows of 2012

  • 1
    Breaking Bad
    Breaking Bad

    "Breaking Bad" follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Anna Gunn) and teenage son (RJ Mitte) who has cerebral palsy. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years to live.

    335 points
  • 2
    Homeland
    Homeland

    The winner of 6 Emmy® Awards including Outstanding Drama Series, "Homeland" is a gripping thriller in which ex-marine Nicholas Brody and volatile CIA agent Carrie Mathison perform a delicate dance built on lies, suspicion, and desire.

    264 points
  • 3
    Mad Men
    Mad Men

    Set in 1960s New York, the sexy, stylized and provocative AMC drama "Mad Men" follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising, an ego-driven world where key players make an art of the sell.

    251 points
  • 4
    Louie
    Louie

    From the inventive imagination of Louis C.K., "Louie" puts a spotlight on C.K.’s everyday ordeals, his quest to find love and his pursuit of humor. Each episode features a scripted story and a mix of his stand-up comedy, which is original material for the series. The single-camera comedy is shot in New York.

    164 points
  • 5
    Game of Thrones
    Game of Thrones

    Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle of the Iron Throne has begun.

    138 points
  • 6
    Girls
    Girls

    Created by and starring Lena Dunham ("Tiny Furniture"), the Emmy®-winning HBO series "Girls" takes a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of women in their early 20s.

    132 points
  • 7
    The Walking Dead
    The Walking Dead

    Waking up in an empty hospital after weeks in a coma, County Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) finds himself utterly alone. The world as he knows it is gone, ravaged by a zombie epidemic. "The Walking Dead" tells the story of the weeks and months that follow after the apocalypse.

    106 points
  • 8
    Parks and Recreation
    Parks and Recreation

    "Parks and Recreation" is a hilarious ensemble comedy that follows Leslie Knope (Emmy nominee Amy Poehler) a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana, and her tireless efforts to make her quintessentially American town just a little bit more fun.



    91 points
  • 9
    Downton Abbey
    Downton Abbey

    Welcome to Downton Abbey, the splendid ancestral home of the Earl and Countess of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern) and their daughters, who live there under the watchful eye of the Dowager Countess (Dame Maggie Smith).

    79 points
  • 10
    Sherlock
    Sherlock

    The struggle goes on in 21st-century London as the updated team of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson battle the worst that modern criminality has to offer, including a computer-savvy arch-villain who wants to rule the world.

    66 points

Shows with Additional Votes