TV.com's Network Power Rankings, Mid-February 2013: AMC Lurches Ahead

Welcome to the second edition of the most important power rankings on the internet! For those of you who missed the inaugural edition (and really, shame on you), here’s how they work: Using a tremendously complex and advanced methodology including ratings (Nielsen overnights, DVR numbers), business proceedings (pilot orders, scheduling moves, personnel decisions), buzz (social media, “viral” moments, various other bouts of goodwill), and quality (good shows, episodes), I evaluate the performance of the most noteworthy networks—for better or for worse—of the previous two weeks.


In the last go-round, CBS and Showtime took the top two spots. The rankings look a little different this time. Here we go.



1. AMC (previous: N/A)


Common logic is that one show can’t sustain a network. I still believe that’s true, but The Walking Dead is testing my belief. The show returned for the second half of its much-improved third season to even higher ratings than before: 12.3 million viewers. And that was against the Grammys, one of the more popular TV events of the year. Ratings for the show's second episode back did decline a bit, but not substantially. At this point, The Walking Dead is not just an unbelievably successful show on basic cable; it’s an unbelievably successful show period. The show’s influence spreads across Twitter and Facebook, where the mid-season premiere was the most social episode of the week in which it aired, and GetGlue, where it quadrupled the activity of the next-closest scripted cable show (Pretty Little Liars) and nearly doubled the activity of the top broadcast show (The Vampire Diaries). As a result, it’s tough to deny AMC the tough spot this time. Outside of zombies, the network has actually made some nice—or at least interesting—moves over the past few weeks as well, bringing Peter Sarsgaard and Elias Koteas aboard for the third season of The Killing and moving forward with pilots for both a period piece from Nikita creator Craig Silverstein and a drama based on the popular novel The Terror. And as far as I can tell, no showrunner was unceremoniously fired in the last two weeks; progress!

But I have to be honest: The announcement of Celebrity Bowling almost made me pull AMC all the way off this list. I'm not sure if Celebrity Bowling is better or worse than the network's new Thursday-night unscripted programming block—featuring Comic Book Men alongside the taxidermists and side-show performers of Immortalized and Freakshow—but with Walking Dead's successes, I guess AMC can order all the dumb shows they want.



2. CBS (previous rank: 1)


Just a small dip for the Eyeball network (which, in the name of full disclosure, is a parent company of TV.com that also owns Showtime and part of The CW; there you go, everyone). If it weren’t for everyone’s love for zombies, it’d be tough to push CBS down at all. Last time, the net had the Super Bowl bump on its side (as if they needed it); this time, it’s the Grammys, which earned the title of last week's highest-rated telecast and straight-up dominated in the social buzz figures as well. According to the Trendrr TV/Mashable social TV ratings, the Grammys had about seven times more social media posts than the closest broadcast telecast last week—over 19 million posts! That’s something. Quality-wise, the Grammys are whatevs. It’s not CBS’s fault that Chris Brown and Rihanna sat together, I guess.


Elsewhere at the network, it’s business as usual, and that business is domination. A staggering 17 of the top 20 shows in total viewers came from CBS last week. I’ll throw some love toward Person of Interest since its fans got on me last time in the comments; the show is doing very, very well this year. Ratings are good and viewers seem to dig it. Despite being flush with sizable hits all over the schedule, CBS isn’t playing around this pilot season; Deadline reports that the network has ordered 53 percent more scripts to pilot than it did last year, which is wild when you consider that the only shows really in danger of being canceled are CSI: NY, Vegas, and one show out the Good Wife/Mentalist pairing. However, two random signs of cracks: the low premiere ratings for the new season of Survivor and the quick cancellation of The Job. But it’s okay, you didn’t even know The Job existed. CBS likes it that way.



3. Fox (previous rank: 3)


Steady is as steady goes. American Idol continues to deliver solid ratings for Fox—though it at least feelslike people care less about the show these days. Despite a dip in ratings last week, The Following has steady ratings . The show isn’t totally my bag, but it gives Fox a hour-long drama to build around, considering it doesn't have much else. The net also has a number of shows in the top 25 DVR ratings, including New Girl (which has stablized in the ratings now), Bones, The Mindy Project, and the aforementioned The Following. Even better news is that Mindy is slowly but surely finding itself in 2013. The plot and characters have been parsed down and both the writing and Mindy Kaling’s performance are shining through with less clutter. I’ve always guessed that Fox would keep the freshman comedy around because they want to be in business with Kaling, but at least now it looks like that won’t be a totally worthless decision. And despite some waning hype, both Glee and Idol do gangbusters on social media (as do Family Guy and The Simpsons, somewhat surprisingly).

Fox is also killing it in the pilot casting department. Even though many of these projects won’t see the light of day, it’s impressive that the network has wrangled the likes of Andre Braugher, Emma Roberts, Billy Campbell, Felicity Huffman, Geoff Stults, Catherine O’Hara, and Michael Pena over the last two weeks. That’s a pretty amazing group of actors.



4. HBO (previous rank: 6)


While HBO doesn’t have enough shows on the air right now to focus on ratings (and like HBO totally cares about ratings anyway), it’s important to note that the Beyonce's Life Is But a Dream hit a “decade-high” rating for the first airing of a doc on the network. That’s pretty cool. Also cool: Girls and Game Change winning more awards at the WGAs not too long ago.

On the development side, HBO has signed an overall deal with Game of Thrones mastermind George R. R. Martin and ordered Damon Lindelof’s first post-Lost show to pilot.

But the real reason HBO gets this high slot has to do with the second seasons of Girls and Enlightened, both of which have been tremendous. Enlightened has probably been called underrated so much that it isn’t really so anymore, but you should absolutely watch it. What a marvelous little series that is.



5. FX (previous rank: 4)


FX is going to be a consistent fixture in the power rankings because its shows are so good. Justified, The Americans, and Archer are all enjoying rock-solid starts to their respective seasons. And despite a big dip in ratings for The Americans' second episode, the show saw a substantial 58 percent increase for that episode once DVR viewings were factored in. Finally, the network ordered the much-anticipated pilot The Bridge to series. That one is from Homeland scribe Meredith Stiehm and just seems destined to do big things for the network.



6. ABC (previous rank: 7)


There’s good and bad news here. Let’s do the bad first: Moving Happy Endings to Fridays is a killer. I was (probably naively) confident that network president Paul Lee would find a place for the show moving forward, but this is not a good sign for the comedy’s future. Is there a Twitter campaign I should know about? I’m still trying to figure out if the terrible ratings for Zero Hour are a good thing or a bad thing. The show IS terrible, but enjoyably so, and that timeslot is in the running for the most poisonous on all of television right now. Also bad: this season of Revenge. If you can explain to me what’s going on that show in less than 150 words, I’ll follow you on Twitter in an instant.

Oh right, the good news. It’s typical ABC good news: The few are carrying the many. Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Once Upon a Time, and The Middle are all helping the Alphabet network, in ratings, in DVR numbers, and in social media buzz. Scandal has moved into its second arc of the season and it’s unclear whether it can touch the first, but I’m pretty psyched to see the writers try to make it happen. Modern Family’s Valentine’s Day episode was one of the better efforts the show has produced in the last two years.



7. ABC Family (previous rank: N/A)


This next stretch of the power rankings features some love for networks that didn’t make into the dance last time. Many of the cable networks are going to be somewhat interchangeable without big premieres (like AMC and The Walking Dead). Still though, let’s not undercut ABC Family. At the moment, the network is running with three shows that lots of people (and different people) enjoy in Bunheads, Pretty Little Liars, and Switched at Birth. While I personally prefer the first and third in that series, Liars is doing very well ratings-wise and on various social networks. Despite The CW’s mini-resurgence in quality this season (well, can you be resurgent if you mostly only sucked before?), ABC Family is still out-WB’ing The CW.



8. History (previous rank: N/A)


Pawn Stars, y’all. Pawn Stars. The show’s ratings are still going very, very strong, and you know what? It’s still pretty entertaining, too. Go ahead and take away my critical credibility, but it’s more than fabricated pawning over at History. The network is also making bank on the immortal Swamp People and also doing well with something called Big Rig Bounty Hunters (which, no offense to any BRBH fans out there, sounds made up). It’s sometimes hard for me to remember which of these blue-collar/lower class exploitation shows is on which network, but at the moment, History seems to be doing the best with their offerings in that apparently never-exhausted genre.



9. SyFy (previous rank: N/A)


I’m way behind on both Being Human and Continuum (and in the latter show’s case, “way behind” means that I've never seen an episode), but the ratings aren’t bad on a crowded Monday night. Being Human does really well on GetGlue, which means a little somethin’ somethin’. Like USA Network with WWE Monday Night Raw, Syfy gets a lot of ratings and social media buzz out of WWE Friday Night Smackdown, and the show has also been pretty good in recent weeks as well. Although I’ll admit that SyFy's inclusion in the power rankings is mostly so I can talk about how much I enjoy Face Off, a show that does solid ratings for the network on Tuesdays, and Total Blackout. I’m a sucker for reality competition programs where people actually display real skills, and Face Off is one of the best of those. I’m also sucker for Urkel and people terrifyingly grabbing turtles in the dark, so there's that. Also: expect Syfy to sky-rocket up the rankings once Robot Combat League debuts next week. Robots! Combatting! It’s going to be like Battlebots, only much better.



10. Showtime (previous rank: 2)


Did Showtime (which, like TV.com, is part of the CBS conglomerate) stay in the rankings solely because they finally convinced Kyle Chandler to return to television in the upcoming and random and suddenly timely Pope-centric pilot Vatican? Yes, yes they did. COACH POPE (I know he’s not playing the Pope; I don’t care).



11. Netflix (previous rank: N/A)


Okay, so this one is a bit of a cheat. Netflix isn’t a television network. However, you’ve heard enough about how much NBC sucks or how much I love The CW. So why not take a moment to discuss this whole House of Cards thing nearly three weeks after its debut? I’ve seen the first three episodes of the show (I'm trying to watch one per week) and generally enjoyed them. Kevin Spacey is pretty great and I’m happy to rekindle my infatuation with Kate Mara. The big question is whether or not the series is actually a success for Netflix. The jury is still out on that one (and it will continue to be, I presume, for a long time). Netflix claims that House of Cards is currently the most popular show on the service but won’t release any specific numbers. Meanwhile, although the show did well socially in the first few weeks, there are indications that social media users aren’t too interested in it at this point, only 20 days after release. So the experiment continues on.


Previously ranked networks currently absent from our top 11: USA, TBS, NBC, The CW


What do you think? What network would you currently put at the top of your own power rankings?


Comments (102)
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I really advise you to catch up with Continuum :)
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Oh, I want to! Just don't have the time.
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I like both AMC and The Walking Dead, but I really don't think one show can make a network #1 (especially considering it previously couldn't crack the top 11 without it). From the little that I know, I'd still rank CBS one. I kinda feel like maybe you dropped it and gave AMC the top spot just so the people who complained about CBS owning this site can quiet down a bit, hehe. Also, again, I'd rank FX a little higher. Good list though.
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It's hard to deny the impact of The Walking Dead. It's other-worldly.
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Hey, I know the CW has problems, I mean look at the ratings for the first episode of Cult, but I have to give them props and would put them in my power rankings because Mark made a very smart choice in giving early renewals to Supernatural, Arrow and The Vampire Diaries. Very, very smart move indeed.
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I agree with that. If it were up to me, Cult would run 100 episodes and The CW would be at the top of every single list of everything.
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is anyone surprised how badly NBC is doing? i just read elsewhere that univision has better ratings. i am not in america, but my understanding is that univision is mainly a spanish language channel.
i would like to see the comparisons, ratings wise, between NBC, USA and FX
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A number of USA shows have topped NBC shows in the ratings in the past. I'm not surprised at all. NBC's fall success was a mirage inflated by football and The Voice.
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CBS might cancel The Mentalist??? Ugh, this network needs to be stopped. It pisses me off the only way they can put on new shows is to get rid of the long-running ones that are still creatively thriving.

I hope this doesn't have something to do with CBS ordering a new Bruno Heller pilot...
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I've read that a few different places. It would surprise me, but I'm guessing that if it comes down to The Mentalist and The Good Wife, they might keep TGW for the awards recognition.
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Ridiculous. Even on its new night, The Mentalist is still pulling in strong ratings. CSI is in season 13; when will they put that tired animal to sleep?

Also, The Mentalist has been working on the Red John storyline since the very beginning. CBS better not cancel it without giving us a proper conclusion.
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I think CSI: NY is a goner for sure. It's unclear to me why they'd nix The Mentalist over CSI: proper, but it might be a money thing.
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Yeah, you're probably right. The Mentalist should be safe for now. Thanks for comforting me, Cory. lol
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Woo, goofball pestering pays off! What other channels does CBS own? Let's disclose them all! Any crappy digital broadcast subchannels the way NBC and ABC have?

Celebrity Bowling sounds awesome, but I didn't realize it was AMC, I thought it was network, that's too bad then as it's going to flounder on AMC's measly non-Walking Dead or -Mad Men ratings. Bowling is already a stupid, goofy game, so there's room for entertainment there, and then the game moves along and requires skill so it actually could be fun. All that said, AMC top network because of 1 show?

ABC has no good news so long as they're ruining Happy Endings. Bah humfuck to them.

ABC Family makes some sense, they seem to stay on-message well and bring up shows to nurture at every pilot season.

Oh, but then there's History, the channel that has soiled itself horribly and now staggers around, yelling in people's faces over nothing.

Siffy on this list? Really? They've got no science fiction programming at all now, almost no original programming worth watching, and an embarrassing array of reruns to pad its daily miserable life.
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CBS actually owns me, too.
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If we take a look at original series and the amount of series I think USA and Syfy would be pretty high on my list. Even though there are many more series on CBS i watch.
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FX should probably be at least a bit higher on the list. The Americans has been great so far and everyone loves Justified (except me) and Archer.
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I have a feeling this is just the beginning for Netflix...
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Perhaps AMC's taxidermists should go ahead and stuff NBC. AMC, we're number one in taxidermy!
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It's not wanting to let me vote for some reason... perhaps it can tell how torn I am between FX and the CW. Like many on here, I watch a ton of TV from all of these networks (except ABC Family) and for me, there is no contest past these two. On one hand, the CW is showing some desire to move away from 90210/Gossip Girl tv and towards the Supernatural/VD/Arrow arena. I've always favored them a little for having my favorite show (SPN). But FX... they whomp the CW for overall quality (except the Anger Management toilet party) and they have my favorite show to start in years that I think will actually stay around - The Americans. That pilot was the best episode of television I've seen all this year and last. And I didn't think I'd like it that much.

So yeah, the CW or FX for me. As for AMC, I watch the Walking Dead but I never really started caring about it. I acknowledge it's quality, but if it can't make me care, it can't make me care.
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I guess, it is worth the ratings --->"The Walking Dead" . They did a great job in this awesome season !
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I had no interest in House of Cards... until I found out that Kate Mara was in it.

AMC should be top of the list every time there is an episode of The Walking Dead on.
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Also, I thoroughly believe House of Cards is a great success if not the future of television. I benched the entire series in a week and it's clearly designed that way. There's so much respect for details that I'd advise you NOT to watch it one episode a week. It's just not made that way. Netflix paid a hefty $100 mil for that show and considering its topping the Netflix charts I'd say that's a whole lot of members who are choosing original content over the rest. I know I started my free trial solely for HoC and will most likely continue my membership.
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It pains me to say this but The Walking Dead is in a league of its own. I don't watch AMC or the show but they have outperformed so many of my faves that it's hard to ignore. Same goes for CBS. The only show on that network worth watching is The Good Wife and its creeping closer to cancellation. Point? America loves everything I don't. I'm sorry but the CW 4 ever u guys.
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Per your reasoning, Fox should take the top spot with American Idol alone...but Fox shouldn't even be mentioned overall! And CBS should be 1 not 2 then aswell...
At least NBC isn't on the list, I'll give you that much!
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What reasoning? There are multiple things in-play.
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Pretty sure he's referring to AMC using Walking Dead to pad itself here.
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pretty much!
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FYI, Comic Book Men is a great show and breath of fresh air,from all those other stupid shows. Much under-rated show,same as Happily Divorced. Give these shows some spotlight here,not those idiotic American Idol and such shows....
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I am a big fan of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes. And I have been wondering since I first read about Comic Book Men, if its worth to watch this series. Your comment was actually the first positive thing I read about it, so maybe i'll give it a chance now..
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I'm also a big fan of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes. However, I've watched some CBM, and it booooores me.
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Where is Cinemax? There needs to be more discussion about awesome Banshee is...
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took the words right out...Banshee alone should have Cinemax up there...
Especially if The Walking Dead alone put AMC on top, no?
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Banshee might be a great show, but it's a very low-rated show on a still-figuring-out network. That's not the same as TWD and AMC.
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BANSHEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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'about *how awesome...'
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i said the same thing on last week on the first thread. Banshee is amazing.
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Definitely AMC. They might just have one show worth watching, but as long as TWD runs strong, and provides great entertainment value, I'd say they're the best.
And with some of my favorite shows off the TV for good (Fringe) or between seasons (Haven), AMC and its TWD are the only things keeping me hyped
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No matter what AMC has on its schedule, I can never rank it too high, because my cable company still does not offer it in HD. It is practically unwatchable in standard definition, so all programming I do watch on this network I watch only when it becomes available a few days later "on demand". Still in standard def. but much better quality than when it's shown at original date and time.
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That's on your cable company, not AMC.
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Oh, I know it's my cable companies fault, not AMC's, but I have no alternative option. And all other standard def. channels are just fine. However, I can still watch AMC just fine if I wait a few days for the show to be available "on demand". Just can't watch any AMC show at it's regular time.
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'Practically unwatchable in standard definition'? Ugh, you're the worst...
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Yep, only AMC on Rogers Cable in Toronto. All other standard definition channels are decent, but for some reason, not AMC. Don't know why. Rogers just offers a poor feed.
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Maybe he/she means there's bad reception and the standard def doesn't even look like standard def? Otherwise this is a flawless comment that should be framed.
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I've seen 4 episodes of House of Cards so far. It's pretty good, I think. The show needs more nudity though. (Kate Mara, not Kevin Spacey, LOL). I hope it's a success that will inspire many new original series from Netflix.

I think I'm going to have to buy this season, because for years my excuse for downloading things illegally has been that those stupid networks don't provide any good legal options.

I wonder if their marketing of the show has been good enough. A week ago I didn't know that it existed.
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Really? The show would be better solely if Mara took her shirt off? I'm smitten with her, but come on.
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She should obviously keep the shirt on when she's at the office. But check out (for example) the scene at the end of episode 4. That scene would have been significantly better if her dress had been on the floor by the end of it. Not just because "yay boobs", but because it would have let us see and to some extent *experience* what the guy saw and experienced in that moment.

The companies that don't have to follow the rules that apply to the big networks have a huge advantage over them. The big networks are practically working with their hands tied behind their backs. They're forced to e.g. make their mass murdering psychopaths go out of their way to not say a "bad" word, and that sort of thing makes their shows look pretty silly.

Netflix has a lot of freedom. I'm glad that they're using some of it. (People at least say "fuck" when it's appropriate). I just think they should use it a little bit more. (There is however no need to add super ridiculous scenes just to show boobs whenever they can, like those two scenes on GoT. You know which ones I mean. If not, watch the SNL parody).
More +
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What do you mean "buy this season"? The whole model is that you buy a subscription to Netflix to watch the show.
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Oh. In that case, screw them.
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Actually, maybe not. It's cheaper than I thought. I'm thinking about it.
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I hope that was sarcasm about House of Cards needing more nudity...
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Nope. But see above for more details.
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*ahem* Lecture time. Yes, when you just look at the words "announcement of Celebrity Bowling", it SOUNDS like a massively stupid idea. However, it was actually kind of brilliant if you know the details. What you failed to mention is that Celebrity Bowling is an established show on the Nerdist channel on YouTube, showing that (a) they are smart enough to strengthen their relationship with Chris Hardwick and (b) they are smart enough to not be ignoring the platform that is actively engaged in trying to replace them. If they weren't already first on the list, they should be higher for this move. Seriously, go on YouTube right now and watch Team Nerdist vs Doctor Who (Karen Gillan!) or Mythbusters. That said, now that they are on TV they absolutely need to have Bill Murray and Jeff Bridges on during the first season or they lose all credibility.
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I knew that it was associated with Hardwick and Nerdist. It's still silly, especially for a network that wants to be HBO 2.0.
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Yes! Team Nerdist vs Doctor Who is one of the best things I've seen.
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i'd like to thank CoryBarker1 for actually responding to the comments on his article
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The Lying Game is also very good on ABCF,

The CW is pretty good with Nikita, Arrow, Supernatural, Hart of Dixie and yes Beauty and the Beast!
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CBS ABC ABCF SYFY TNT USA CW
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A&E might be a contender with "bates motel" coming
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Yeuch. Fox. Nuff said.

I feel psychic, though. Thank you, Cory, for making me so very right about AMC. I guessed last time that it would be very high on the list thanks to Walking Dead's return, and I was so very, very right.

And I SO very much with you about SyFy. Not a huge fan of the network in general, but damn if I don't love Face Off. Anthony Kosar is a genius artist, and you aren't going to find him on any other show anywhere.
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I love FX - They have given life to the most absurd and wonderful things. However I may never be able to respect them enough to the number 1 spot because Anger Management is so awful.

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Ha! NBC isnt even listed...
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For so very many reasons. Too numerous to list.
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I get that this is an exercise in American self-congratulation but really, where is the BBC? The Hour, Black Mirror, Utopia, Merlin, Sherlock, Dr Who (and on, and on, and on). I thought this was about TV (does anybody actually watch on a 'TV' anymore?), not only Americana.
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Well, 1.) The Hour was just cancelled. 2.) Doctor Who and Sherlock aren't on right now and 3.) I don't think Black Mirror is a BBC show.
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Black Mirror is a Channel 4 show, as far as I am aware they are separate to the BBC.
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Yep, Eric is right. You also won't see Canadian, Australian, or Mongolese networks here. Don't come to an American site and piss on the users for talking about the networks they actually have access to. I love British shows, but you're off base here.
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Give me a break. This is an American owned site for American TV viewers. Don't try and turn it into something it isn't.
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USA should be on the list with their season finales this week and season premieres next week. Who isn't really looking forward to Psych season 7, starting next Wednesday at 10/ 9 Central?
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I definitely am!
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SyFy doesn't deserve to be anywhere on this list. That channel is dead in the water as far as I'm concerned. Ghost hunter "reality shows," quantum cooking, "scary" reality tv does not a good network make. Put something that actually produces quality if formulaic shows like TNT and USA.
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they have 1 sci-fi -ish show currently running which is warehouse 13. Other than that I can't think of anything else that's worth watching on that network.
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At least they have a new sci-fi show starting soon, so they haven't completely given up on sci-fi.
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I think there is 2 shows coming. One is Defiance and the other one is about a ''what if Nazi's won and took over the U.S.'' show. It's based off a book and I honestly can;t think of the name of it atm. It's like Red Dawn/Homefront/ other reference's to past media
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Seriously, how is Fox STILL at #3, guys? You guys saw the comments everybody made in the last thread, and you guys still drool over it. Fox has pretty much turned into another CW, with many of their shows going for teen/young adult girls (Glee, New Girl, Mindy Project, Ben and Kate). It also uses up many of its slots for American Idol, and The Following is not going to last more than two seasons, no matter how bad fans want it to (like Arrested Development, Firefly, Tru Calling, and the numerous other cancelled Fox shows.)
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Don't blame anyone else, it's me. Their shows are doing pretty well in this part of the season. If this was a full-season thing and not just RIGHT NOW, they'd be lower.

And New Girl and Mindy aren't really for just young girls. But if they were? That'd be good. TV is about appealing to youngins, yo.

AND this idea that Fox cancels shows too early is garbage. No other network would have aired 4 episodes of any of those shows you listen. None. Five season of Fringe!
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By a younger audience, I meant the 18-34 demographics in the female demographic, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I guess I just didn't really get into either of those shows, so I was just kind of guessing I wasn't in the right demographic, though I do know males who like those shows, and I have been known to like female-skewing shows, as well.

Maybe you're right that Fox might be creating buzz right now with their shows, but maybe I have just been looking at the network as a whole and have not been too impressed by their current state, but I could give a few of their shows a try or second look.
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This whole "Fox cancels stuff too early" is getting old.
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Agreed, I had that opinion in 2006 when it cancelled Reunion and later The OC. Now, after five seasons of Fringe there isn't a broadcast network out there that takes better care of its fans.
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And as Cory pointed out, it's also wrong.
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basically AMC is top because of 1 show and a lot of announcements? FX and CBS deserve to be in the top places because of actual shows
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One massively popular, pretty good show.
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i agree, i watch it.
one show should not make AMC no.1 though
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With the summer schedule coming soon, this list should change quite a bit. A&E, TNT, USA.
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Summer is not in the same ballpark. All the broadcast networks will be out of the game (except for ABC, they have some well rated summer shows).
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If AMC was smart, they'll debut that Bowling crap on a late night Friday slot in the summer..and just chalk up as the product of someone who used to work on primetime Leno shows for NBC (a few years ago but NBC is still recovering...).
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i hate syfy!!! Still gutted they cancelled Alphas. On a cliffhanger of all things. Such a douchey thing to do.
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Totally agree SYFY sucks ! Once a great channel for compelling viewing. Now a dead end place for mindless tv. Alphas was the only good show there and they cancelled it! It is owned by NBC though isn't it!!!!
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That's Siffy for you. Quality is tanked and they replace it with ghost hunter and reality crap or their nauseating Saturday movies. Think of all the shows they screwed over, they should be on the same level as... well reality crap.
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Even Talking Dead is doing great in the ratings, grabbing a 2.1 this week. That's more than just about anything on NBC right now...
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Edit: 2.2.
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And all it costs to make that is as much deli meat as Kevin Smith can eat.
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Which is a lot. MAYBE THAT'S WHY THE FIRED MAZZARA! THE DELI BUDGET!
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I know! AMC is only going to do talk shows now.
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I don't understand why, after 7 or 8 years, the original series of TNT and USA (and TBS, kind of) get so little acknowledgment. First, the classics of Monk and The Closer but also Leverage, Burn Notice, White Collar, Psych, Covert Affairs, Perception, Suits, Royal Pains, Rizzoli & Isles, Major Case, In Plain Sight (let's forget Dallas) would be a good edition to any broadcast network. Plus there are others (Memphis Blues, HawthoRNe, Monday Morning, Men of a Certain Age, Southland, The 4400, Fallen Skies, etc) that I know about but didn't watch.

That is a LOT of series produced and aside from a few sitcoms, sports and news, I only watch cable networks for hour-long drama programs. I know they have smaller budgets than the big networks but they casting is awesome (A-list actors), the writing is better than the alphabet networks and so is the character development. Plus they air 10-13 new shows in a row in a half season, without repeats, like the UK does, so the long story arcs can really take shape without interruption.

I'm not sure if it is because their ratings aren't through the roof. But I find it mystifying that HBO & Showtime get so much attention from critics and Emmy nominating committees and it's like there is this whole separate world of scripted programming that no one seems to know about but the fans.
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These are very genre/audience specific shows, they simply don't capture the ratings that are necessary to survive on broadcast television. Quality wise they are great but you've seen what Southland did on NBC, it just couldn't last. I think thanks to the internet shows like Rizzoli & Isles, White Collar and Suits get way, way more recognition than they ever would've 8 years ago, some of them are more buzzed about than anything on NBC.
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I love USA (wrote my MA thesis on it, which is now becoming a book)! They were on the list last week. Just nothing substantial to really keep them in when I'm trying to give everyone some dap early on.
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Liking the love for "Bunheads" on ABC Family; it's a fantastic show. If you like great dialogue (and a cascade of intelligent jokes), this is the show for you. People who would like this show include those who liked "Gilmore Girls" (well, duh), but also people who like "Psych" who don't necessarily need the police framework but love the jokes or I would also say "Scrubs" and "Cougar Town" run a very similar tone to this show.
With AMC on first, I think you forgot to mention "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" (among your other very valid reasons). Certainly they both have been on hiatus for a while now, and it shall be a while before they return, but those two shows are incredibly talked about and synonymous with AMC, even still (not to mention the awards they've won).
I might also consider putting PBS up there. Not the most talked about network, but "Downton Abbey" is doing some nice things. It's funny, of all the people I hear talking about that show at work (that's pretty much everyone), I don't think I heard one person mention that it airs on PBS. Maybe they should work on that? Either way, the noticing of PBS has at least very definitely gone up.
CBS would still probably be 1 or 2 for me though because, whatever else you want to say about it, it has more viewers than it knows what to do with. If you could hijack half of the viewers of NCIS for just 1 episode and put them in front of 1 episode of "Community", NBC would renew that show for another 2 seasons (and a movie) the next day. Insane, but there it is.
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Agreed! If you talk about one show carrying a network, Downton Abbey has definitely done that. PBS might not share much of the spotlight, but with so many viewers finding their way to the network, does it really need to?
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I ranked PBS last time because of Downton.
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