The Fien Print's TV Top 10 for 2013 - 'Breaking Bad,' Sundance's big year and more

The Fien Print's TV Top 10 for 2013 - 'Breaking Bad,' Sundance's big year and more

Which animated series, documentary and Netflix original made the cut?
I keep meeting fewer and fewer people who use that dreadfully snooty line, "Oh, I don't really watch TV."
 
Yes, my perception on these matters is skewed. 
 
I also feel like we get fewer and fewer comments on the site lamenting that there's nothing on TV but "reality crap."
 
Again, my perception may be skewed.
 
Our definitions of "great TV" may differ, but I think there was more "very good TV" airing in 2013 than ever before and that there were more types of very good TV airing than ever before and they're airing in more places.
 
My Top 10 list includes an animated series, a documentary, a zombie show, a fantasy series, three or four things that are kinda comedies, period shows and contemporary. They're shows from cable, network, PBS and an online platform.
 
Seven of the shows in my Top 10 were no-brainers for me. Another was a no-brainer on quality, but its brevity and format left me briefly contemplating its place. And two of the shows on my list could have been replaced by six or seven other shows and I'd have felt *almost* exactly the same satisfaction. 
 
So that means that when I do my Second 10 in a couple weeks, I think that's a list of very good shows as well and some of them really hurt to exclude from this list. And if that list only includes 10-ish shows (I usually allow some cheating once I get out of the Top 10), I'll probably feel bad about another six or seven shows that I left out.
 
That's how this goes. 
 
Check out my Top 10 in video form above. It'll be in list form on Tuesday morning as part of HitFix's Now-Annual TV Critics Poll.
<p>Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers</p>

Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Steelers-Bengals game, 'Family Guy' lead Sunday split

'Once' drops, while 'Survivor' finale puts CBS in third
Fast National ratings for Sunday, December 15, 2013.
 
NBC's Sunday Night Football showdown between the Steelers and Bengals helped the network to an overall win on Sunday night, but NFL overrun and a strong showing by "Family Guy" helped FOX eke out a slim win among young viewers.
 
There was a lot of competition on Sunday night, with CBS' "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" finale doing OK numbers and leading to a drop for "Once Upon a Time." We'll have to stay tuned for cable numbers as well, particularly the drama finales on Showtime.
 
Note, of course, that FOX had NFL overrun and CBS also had chunks of NFL overrun in several markets, so nearly all of these numbers are likely to shift a bit.
 
On to those preliminary numbers...
 
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<p>&nbsp;Jeff Probst and the &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot; Immunity Necklace</p>

 Jeff Probst and the "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" Immunity Necklace

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' Finale - 'It's My Night'

Who won the 27th installment of 'Survivor'?
Pre-credit sequence. "Another tough vote," Tyson says as Kasama returns to camp. Ciera is, once again, apologizing for playing the game and all that. She is, however, hopeful that Redemption Island will bring an alliance-mate back into the game. It could hardly not. "My best shot is going to be with Monica and Gervase," Tyson says, explaining that he may have to use the Immunity Idol to keep Monica in line. Tyson offers her the Idol and tells her that she can either use it or take it home to her kids. She doesn't take it, but Tyson says he'll send it to her. Monica has a plan. "If the guys really do think I'm their lapdog, fine. But I'm not going to be manipulated by Tyson and Gervase," Monica says, noting that whoever comes back from Redemption will give her two choices at the Final 3. This is gonna be a big Monica episode, I sense.
 
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<p>Friday's &quot;Grimm.&quot; Apparently.</p>

Friday's "Grimm." Apparently.

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank,' 'Blue Bloods' lead Friday, while NBC's 'Grimm' slips

'Raising Hope' and 'Carrie Diaries' are among several dipping shows
Fast National ratings for Friday, December 13, 2013.
 
Not much new to say about Friday night: CBS swept the primetime hours overall, with "Blue Bloods" as the evening's top show, while "Shark Tank" delivered Friday's best numbers among young viewers and let ABC win in the key demo.
 
Meanwhile, it was a weak night for NBC's double dose of "Grimm," for FOX's double dose of "Raising Hope" and for The CW's double dose of drama.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Katie Collins post-&quot;Survivor&quot; Jury clean-up</p>

Katie Collins post-"Survivor" Jury clean-up

Credit: CBS

Interview: Katie Collins talks 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'

Tina Wesson's daughter discusses her run to the season's penultimate episode
In many "Survivor" seasons, Katie Collins would have been the first person voted out. Her tribe lost the first challenge and she took responsibility for a big part of that failing. 
 
Instead, Brad Culpepper and his male alliance targeted Marissa and Katie was off on a surprisingly long run that ended on this week's episode only after a Duel in which her mother, Season 2 winner Tina Wesson, offered repeatedly to let her take second and stay in the game for another day or two. 
 
Katie declined her mother's offer and, months later, she sounds pretty comfortable with that decision. She also feels good about her last Tribal Council, in which she drew the white rock and was sent home by chance after multiple voting deadlocks. 
 
In the exit interview, Katie talks about her perpetually precarious position in the game, her feeling that she never would have written her mother's name down and the part of the game her mother couldn't have prepared her for.
 
Full Q&A after the break...
 
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<p>Kaley Cuoco in &quot;The Big Bang Theory.&quot;</p>

Kaley Cuoco in "The Big Bang Theory."

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' wins Thursday for CBS

'The Sing-Off' beats 'The X Factor' head-to-head

Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 12, 2013.

"The Big Bang Theory" carried CBS to another Thursday night ratings win, while an undignified "X Factor" season continued with the FOX show losing a head-to-head battle with NBC's "The Sing-Off."

Preliminary numbers are subject to change a bit because the CBS affiliates in Denver and San Diego were showing the Broncos-Chargers game, but CBS should win comfortably regardless, with a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 11.32 million viewers overall. Buoyed by "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," ABC was second (2.2, 7.09 million), followed by NBC (1.2, 3.9 million), FOX (1.0, 3.68 million) and the CW (0.8, 2.13 million).

8 p.m. -- Again, the CBS numbers may move slightly up or down, but for now, the "Big Bang"/"The Millers" combo averaged a 4.1 demo rating and 15.3 million viewers, followed by "The Sing-Off" (1.4, 4.53 million), "X Factor" (1.2, 4.89 million), "The Vampire Diaries" (1.0, 2.41 million) and "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" (0.9, 3.45 million).

9 p.m. -- ABC took over in first place with "Grey's Anatomy" (2.7, 8.5 million), though new episodes of "The Crazy Ones" and "Two and a Half Men" (2.1, 9.13 million) averaged a slightly larger total audience. New episodes of "Sean Saves the World" and "The Michael J. Fox Show" were a distant third for NBC (1.0, 3.24 million), followed by a "Glee" repeat on FOX (0.7, 2.47 million) and the soon-to-relocate "Reign" on the CW (0.6, 1.86 million).

10 p.m. -- "Scandal" won the hour for ABC (3.2, 9.33 million), followed by CBS' "Elementary" (1.8, 9.53 million) and NBC's "Parenthood" (1.2, 3.94 million).

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
<p>Jason &amp; Amy celebrate their &quot;Amazing Race&quot; win</p>

Jason & Amy celebrate their "Amazing Race" win

Credit: CBS

Interview: Amy & Jason talk 'The Amazing Race'

This season's champs talk alliances, second place finishes and more
The "Amazing Race" exit interview season concludes, naturally, with our winners, Team Rhode Island, dating couple Jason & Amy. 
 
Through much of the season, as the Leg victories were going to quickly eliminated teams like Chester & Ephraim and Brandon & Adam, as well as eventual finalists Tim & Marie and Travis & Nicole, it seemed like Jason & Amy were destined to go down as the greatest second place team in "Amazing Race" history. By the last Leg, Jason & Amy had six second place finishes, meaning they spent half of the Race in second. 
 
But Jason & Amy got tough when it counted, winning two of the last three Legs, as the only thing that seemed to be able to stop them was their alliance with Travis & Nicole. One Leg after another it seemed like Amy was sacrificing valuable time assisting Nicole, as Jason stood on the sidelines getting increasingly flummoxed. 
 
In the last Roadblock, though, all three participants were in separate planes dropping bags of flour onto a small target and there was nothing Amy could do to help Nicole. Instead, Amy finished the Roadblock far ahead of Marie and Nicole and built a lead that the pair never relinquished. In fact, as you'll see from their first answer, the final result wasn't even close.
 
In their interview, Jason & Amy talk about their strength as a team, explain the dual value of their alliance with Travis & Nicole and discuss the frustration of all of those second place finishes.
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
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News Update: Golden Globes salute 'Orphan Black,' snub 'Homeland' and more

News Update: Golden Globes salute 'Orphan Black,' snub 'Homeland' and more

HitFix's Dan Fienberg and Greg Ellwood discuss the TV nominations
We've had a whirlwind two mornings of awards news on Wednesday and Thursday.
 
On Wednesday, the Screen Actors Guild announced a pretty dull slate of nominees on the TV side, a boring field that I discussed with HitFix's Greg Ellwood.
 
Fortunately, the Golden Globes made things interesting on Thursday, with a field that was loaded with pleasant surprises -- Monica Potter! Tatiana Maslany! Taylor Schilling! -- and variably shocking snubs -- Jon Hamm! Claire Danes!
 
That gave me and Greg plenty to talk about on Thursday morning when we chatted in the HitFix video studio. Check out my TV Golden Globes analysis above.
<p>&quot;Star-Crossed&quot;</p>

"Star-Crossed"

Credit: The CW

CW midseason schedule puts 'The 100' after 'Arrow,' puts 'Star-Crossed' on Mondays

'Hart of Dixie' and 'Whose Line Is It Anyway' are heading to Friday
The CW has announced its midseason schedule and after a solid fall, the network to look to shore up a few of its weaker spots, adding premieres for "Star-Crossed" and "The 100" and moving around the pieces for Monday and Friday nights.
 
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<p>Wednesday's &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Sing-Off' tops 'X Factor', while 'Survivor' leads CBS Wednesday

'Arrow' hits a series high with young men
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, December 11, 2013.
 
"Criminal Minds" paced CBS' easy Wednesday win overall, while "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" delivered the network's best demo numbers as CBS also won among young viewers.
 
"Modern Family" bounced back from lows in its most recent airing and helped ABC finish Wednesday in second in most measures, while "The Sing-Off" had NBC in third, despite the relative failure of "Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Tale."
 
Meanwhile, "The X Factor" continued to limp to the end of another season on FOX, while "The Tomorrow People" squandered more than half of its lead-in audience from a strong "Arrow."
 
On to the numbers…
 
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