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TV Worth Watching Readers' Poll: "Mad Men" Best Show of 2008
January 1, 2009  | By David Bianculli

mad_men_peggy.jpgThe votes are in for the first TV Worth Watching Readers' Poll, and they're very impressive. Good for you guys.

AMC's Mad Men took top honors by an impressive margin, with Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as No. 2 and NBC's 30 Rock as No. 3 -- all claiming significant, fervent viewerships.


As for the rest of the Top 10, as voted by readers of this website?

Here's the full list:

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

The Wire, HBO (tie)

8. True Blood, HBO

9. Lost, ABC

10. The Office, NBC

The next five, for the record: The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Boston Legal (ABC), The Closer (TNT), Breaking Bad (AMC), and Dexter (Showtime), in that order.

More than 120 different shows were named in all, each as one of someone's 10 favorite shows. TV Worth Watching indeed...

And thanks, to each and every one of you, for taking the time to vote, and for voting with such taste and writing with such flair. One of you, in posting your vote, was similarly impressed, and noted, "A writer always gets the audience he deserves."

In this case, I take this as the highest possible compliment. Thanks to you all. Please stick with me in 2009. I'm trying not to go anywhere...




Davey said:

Interesting list -- not my choices for the most part, but radically different than you'd get from a USA Today or CNN poll, I'd bet. Ie, no American Idol, no Survivor, no Oprah, no CSI or Law and Order. The only top-rating show on the list would seem to be Lost (and maybe Daily Show?), and that barely made it. I guess people who bother to look for good TV come up with a whole nother list than those who follow the paid hype.

The other finding that provides fodder for much speculation on the direction of the TV industry is the fact that big-broadcast networks only got 4 of the top 10 and 6 of the top 15. The rest went to narrowcast cable stations. If the TVWW readership is any kind of avant garde, the big broadcasters are looking at a world of trouble ahead. Not that we're a statistically valid sample by any standard, but we probably are among those who pay the most intense attention to what's on TV. If nothing else, I hope these responses foreshadow an end to the "reality" show glut.

Anyway, interesting exercise. Here's hoping for much better TV in 09. (I agree with you completely -- and the breadth and depth of the list is just as noteworthy. More than 130 different shows nominated, with everything from Rachel Maddow to Craig Ferguson getting impressively strong shows of support. -- David B.)

Comment posted on January 2, 2009 1:41 PM

Sarah said:

I really like the list and a lot of my choices made it (although I tried to watch Damages but as soon as they killed a dog in the first episode they totally lost me). Also I am glad I found this website and can finally talk in the same place as those who seem to enjoy the same shows I do.

Like I said if it weren't for The Daily Show I would have never made it through 8 years of Bush and the election.

I too hope for good TV in '09(but so far it doesn't look like it's going to happen)and hope that the broadcast networks begin to learn from the cable networks, if not they are going to keep upping them and then who knows the kind of stuff we'll see! (Welcome, Sarah -- Glad to have you aboard. -- David B.)

Comment posted on January 3, 2009 2:51 PM

MattR said:

Just heard you on Fresh Air this weekend talking about Dr. Horrible. I just started using hulu.com and I am looking forward to watching the Sing Along Blog there.

And I'm upset about Pushing Daisies too. It was my favorite show.

Comment posted on January 3, 2009 5:40 PM

HarryK said:

A couple of questions. First, I mostly agree with the shows on the list. So an all-around good idea and exercise.

1. What show did better (i.e. more mentions than you expected) on the submissions?
2. What show (s) didn't get as much support as you thought they might?
3. Any other surprises on the in the comments?

(Good questions -- I'll make them the subject of tomorrow's column. -- David B.)


Comment posted on January 4, 2009 9:27 AM
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