Despite a down year (or decade, depending on your point of view) 2009 has had some good moments too! Here is the best of the best – the Top 10 items of 2009, count them down from ten to one – remember, this list includes not only TV shows, but events as well…
The Excellent 10
10. Glee (Fox). A surprise success – mixing music and drama… okay, Fame did it first in the 1980’s… but it’s nice to see another show carrying on the tradition.
9. Family Guy (Fox) Seth McFarlane still has a pulse on what’s hilarious.
8. Dr. Oz (syndicated) Another surprise success here – Dr. Memhet Oz has a warm, friendly personality and does a very good job projecting it on screen – and the audience has responded. The guy is smart and he knows what he’s talking about. The biggest hit of the 2009-10 season in syndication.
7. Battlestar Galactica (SyFy) The series closes out its run on a high note. Thank you, Ronald Moore & Co. for the wonderful ride.
6. Mad Men (AMC). It may not be a show that earns great ratings, but it continues to generate plenty of buzz – even Sesame Street has parodied it!
5. The Chicago Blackhawks (Various channels) One of the year’s best TV shows came from one of the most exciting hockey teams to grace Chicago in a long time. Led by young stars Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Patrick Sharp, this group will be Stanley Cup contenders for years to come. Go Hawks!
4. Dexter (Showtime). Your protagonist is a serial killer? An original, interesting concept – and well written, too. Broadcast networks, are you listening?
3. Mark Buehrle’s Perfect Game (Comcast SportsNet, FSN Florida). On July 23 against the Tampa Bay Rays, Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox did something very few pitchers do – pitch a perfect game. But the most dramatic moment of this contest was win Dewayne Wise made a wall-climbing catch in left field in the ninth inning to save Buehrle’s perfection. One of the best baseball games ever.
2. The NHL Winter Classic – Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field (NBC, CBC). Wrigley Field looked great as the two Original Six rivals took it outdoors for a regular-season game on New Year’s Day that was a lot of fun! (Unfortunately, the Hawks fell to the Red Wings 6-4.)
1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS). Yours truly started watching this sitcom this year – and it is the funniest program on television. Cleverly well-written and well-acted, the nerdy antics of Sheldon and Leonard are certain to go down with other CBS comedy legends like Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Archie Bunker, and that Raymond guy. Take that, Parks and Recreation!
HONORABLE MENTIONS: South Park (Comedy Central), Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Adult Swim), The Office (NBC), Men of a Certain Age (TNT), Survivor: Tocantins (CBS).
Here are more goodies from 2009:
PPM? WHAT PPM? What’s all this talk about Arbitron’s Portable People Meter not accurately measuring African-American targeted stations? Don’t tell this to WVAZ-FM, or V103. The Urban Adult Contemporary station had a great year, finishing in the top five in several key demographics -and this despite the departure of The Tom Joyner Show from the Clear Channel-owned station when it replaced it with The Steve Harvey Show (which got a very nice ratings boost as a result.)
THE MIX IS IN THE MIX: Lead by morning personalities Eric & Kathy, Bonneville’s WTMX-FM continues to be Chicago’s few radio success stories.
STILL THE ONE: ABC-owned WLS-TV continues its ratings dominance over its competitors in news, and non-network time periods in a streak that has been alive for 23 years – and 2009 was no different.
YOU GOT SCOOPED: Both the New York Times (on Todd Stroger through the Chicago News Cooperative) and ESPNChicago.com (on Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro) scooped both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times on major stories, pretty much proving their irrelevance.
BACK TO THE GOOD ‘OL DAYS – FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY: On November 13, CBS-owned WBBM-TV reunited legendary anchors Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson to fill-in for Rob Johnson during the night’s 10 p.m. newscast. The end result was a ratings smash – and reminded us of how local news in Chicago used to be done.
THE TALK SHOW WITH MAYBE TOO MUCH EXCITEMENT: Wendy Williams’ new syndicated daytime talker – and boy, does she knows now to engage an audience.
THE MUPPET SHOW, ONLY DARKER: Believe it or not, those Nike Commercials featuring LeBron James and Kobe Bryant – as puppets – were whacked at first, but have grown on yours truly as of late.
BEST SHOW YOURS TRULY SAW LIVE: Seeing Aqua Teen’s Matt Mellariro and Dave Willis perform live at the Lakeside Theater.
OUR LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER: ABC finally cancels According to Jim after eight unfunny seasons.
AH….SATISFACTION. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ stunning Game 7 defeat of the hated Red Wings 2-1 on June 12, handing Sidney Crosby his first Stanley Cup and the organization’s third.
Coming up next: The top 12 things that made this decade… and the worst.