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Deeper Into the TV Worth Watching Readers' Poll -- Your Questions, Your Other Favorites
January 5, 2009  | By David Bianculli

Some readers, checking out the results of and replies to the TV WORTH WATCHING Readers' Poll, asked some follow-up questions. What other shows placed highly in the poll? What shows drew more or less support than expected. Good questions. Here are the answers...

To recap, here were the Top 10, as voted by you impressively tasteful and discerning readers. Pat yourselves on your collective back:

1) Mad Men, AMC; 2) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Comedy Central; 3) 30 Rock, NBC; 4) Battlestar Galactica, Sci Fi Channel; 5) Pushing Daisies, ABC; 6) Damages, FX, and The Wire, HBO (tie); 8) True Blood, HBO; 9) Lost, ABC; 10) The Office, NBC.

And here, as previously reported also, were the winners of slots 11-15: The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Boston Legal (ABC), The Closer (TNT), Breaking Bad (AMC), and Dexter (Showtime), in that order.

But what about the lower half of the TV WORTH WATCHING Readers' Poll Top 30? Lots of great shows nestled there as well. So here, to answer that question, are the rest of the Top 30, reported for the first time:

16) The Shield, FX

17) The Colbert Report, Comedy Central

18) Burn Notice, USA

19) Life, NBC

20) Friday Night Lights, NBC and DirecTV 101 Network (tie)

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC (tie)

Dr. Who, Sci Fi and BBC America (tie)

23) Late Show with David Letterman, CBS

24) John Adams, HBO

25) Saturday Night Live, NBC (tie)

Life on Mars, ABC (tie)

27) House, Fox

28) In Treatment, HBO (tie)

Real Time with Bill Maher, HBO (tie)

Chuck, NBC (tie)


That list astounds me. Surprises? The biggest one is that, except for ABC's Life on Mars, which lost me about episode five, every one of those shows -- every one -- is a show I like and watch, almost off of them religiously. It's great to know that even on mainstream fare such as NBC's Life, I'm not alone.

But the other surprise is the sheer depth of discerning choices. More than 120 in all, including Showtime's Californication, HBO's Entourage, Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, CBS's The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and The Mentalist, ABC Family's The Middleman, even ABC's Hopkins.

Wow. Everything I watched and enjoyed in 2008, from How I Met Your Mother on CBS to Fringe on Fox, you seemed to be watching and enjoying too. (Except for ABC's Desperate Housewives, a show I still enjoy that didn't garner a single vote from readers.)

Good for you. Good for us. Good for TV. Good for 2008.

As for 2009, be patient. The good stuff starts arriving any day now. I hope.




Brooks said:

For the record, Desperate Housewives is a must-see show at my house. Not so much for me as for my wife, who will choose to watch a new episode of DH over any other show. While I like the show, it's usually fairly predictable and while the semi-reboot of the show this season added some interesting changes, it failed to really do anything new with itself. For example, last night's episode featured all of the characters in their usual predicaments - the only one that had anything interesting (or actual character development) had to do with Carlos and the job storyline. The rest felt very "here we go again..."

BSG is excellent! Our household is also very distressed at the unnecessary end of Pushing Daisies.

Finally, I wanted to support a favorite of mine, Doctor Who, which I've loved since I was a little boy. I'd love to see your take on the casting of the "Eleventh Doctor"! (Have to wait and see: Matt Smith, so far as I know, is a mystery to me. But I LOVED Tennant's take on Dr. Who, so he'll be a hard act to follow, regeneratively speaking. -- David B.)

Comment posted on January 5, 2009 11:20 AM

Sarah said:

Oh I know a couple of people who also still enjoy watching Desperate Housewives. I am happy to see Doctor Who there, I forgot to put it on my list. Rachel Maddow also rocks and Paul Giamatti as John Adams taught me more about the man (and his family) then I was able to learn in school. So I too applaud all of us!

Comment posted on January 5, 2009 6:24 PM

I too just LOVED John Adams. As Sarah said I also learned more from this series than I ever learned in school. My husband and I went to Boston not long after seeing the series and it was nothing short of amazing to see some of the buildings that were depicted.

The loss of Pushing Dasies is just ridiculous. ABC has LOST THEIR MINDS!! What are they thinking? In the land of dark, depressing, deadly TV Pushing Daises was this beautiful ray of sunshine. (even with the "dead" theme laced throughout!) The costumes and colors always leave me smiling and the silliness factor is like a cartoon for adults. I love ALL of the cast. I wish another network would pick it up.

I will forever miss Boston Legal.

In Treatment is amazing and I am excited for a second season!

Weeds was not mentioned and I happen to love that show as well. I don't get showtime so I am missing out on the current season and all the other cool shows on Showtime! Boo hiss!

I can't stop watching Sarah Connor. Totally addicted to that. Along with House and Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters and Dirty, Sexy Money.

I finally gave up on Gray's. Waste of time.

American Idol? Really? I'm shocked! As a music teacher and vocalist I spend far too much time cringing and watching potential walk out the door with terrible and insensitive comments by Simon. When you sing you bear your soul and it just hurts me to watch Simon belittle people. Yes, some of them need a reality check but not all of them need their dreams totally shattered. That's just my opinion.

Thank you for your very excellent blog! I am also totally addicted to NPR and enjoy listening to you!

(And thanks to you and your detailed, entertaining comments! Good to have you! -- David B.)

Comment posted on January 6, 2009 11:20 AM
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