10. The Big Bang Theory (Season 8 - RENEWED) on CBS
2013-2014 Rank: 7 (-3)
It's safe to say that after eight seasons on network television, BBT has gotten a bit stale at times. I know it's generally considered to be well past it's prime, but still is one of the most watched shows on television. CBS is a powerful network that consistently brings in top numbers, though now that I think about it, I don't spend much time on the network. Person of Interest is the only other CBS show I'm still currently watching even though they have yet to air (or even announce when they are going to air) the new and probably final season. Regardless, I still enjoy an easy watch of BBT though I don't rush to watch new episodes like I used to.
9. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (Season 10 - RENEWED) on FXX
2013-2014 Rank: 11 (+2)
We then move onto the only show I watch that's been on longer than The Big Bang Theory, besides SNL. Sunny has been on for 10 years now, and still going strong. One advantage they have over a network sitcom like BBT is that their seasons are much shorter. So even though Sunny's been on two seasons longer, it trails BBT in episode count by 60 episodes! (183 to 114). Maybe Sunny's chaotic formula has also gotten a bit stale, but nothing compared to BBT. They still find ways to shock and be their destructive selves to the enjoyment of the viewers.
8. Saturday Night Live (Season 40 - RENEWED) on NBC
2013-2014 Review: Forgot to rank the last couple of years
I realized while writing about the two longest shows on television that I watch (listed above) that I forgot to rank SNL, and have done so the past couple of years. I guess because of its unusual nature of being a skit variety show I forget about it when thinking about scripted television. The explanation in itself is a bit weird since I do include Portlandia, but Portlandia compares only in the skit theme. It is nothing like the live variety show format of SNL. Anyway SNL has been on the air for 40 years, and I have been pretty consistently watching it for probably close to 20 of those years. I have gone through many waves of cast members, and with each change comes the inevitable "this cast isn't as good as the last" comments. I've never understood those comments since when new cast members join, they are relative unknowns who are yet to establish themselves. So of course at first a season with mostly new members seems "weak" by the sole definition of them being unknown. Because of that, casts of seasons past often look stronger because many of them went on to have good careers. Of course some people stand out, like Bill Murray, Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Adam Sandler, Tina Fey and so on. The past transition was a large one as over the course of a few years SNL lost the likes of Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Andy Samberg and Seth Meyers, but I've been quite pleased with the new blood. Kate McKinnon, Jay Pharoah, Taran Killam, Vanessa Bayer and Leslie Jones among others round out a funny cast anchored by two veterans in Bobby Moynihan (Since 2008) and Keenan Thompson (Since 2003).
7. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 1 - RENEWED) on Netflix
2013-2014 Rank: New Show
From the mind of a former writer/cast member of SNL came a new comedy to Netflix this past year. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was co-created by Tina Fey and stars Erin from The Office (Ellie Kemper). Kemper plays a girl who was kidnapped, along with a few other girls, and tricked into being kept in a bunker for several years because of the "apocalypse". When she finally gets out, she is now older and not too familiar with the modern world, but decides to move to New York City for a fresh start. Her innocence and childish ignorance brings many laughs to the show, but so does the fun supporting cast. The characters include her first friend who's a gay aspiring actor, her landlady and her employer who's a wealthy trophy wife/mom.
6. Silicon Valley (Season 2 - RENEWED) on HBO
2013-2014 Rank: 9 (+3)
The end of the first season saw the Pied Piper gang become the "it" startup that everyone wanted to get a hold of. But quickly into season 2 things change for the worst. They thought they had a sure thing deal with one company, and took advantage of their "it" status by taking meetings with other potential buyers and basically telling them to "f" off. Then when they didn't get the deal they were hoping for, they had to crawl back to all, failing to find a buyer. That is until an eccentric billionaire bought them. He became more involved than they wanted, but he mostly meant well...in that he wanted success to grow his investment. By the end of the season they were fighting with a rival company (who stole their algorithm) in a competition to get the business of an adult website. They were successful, purchased again, then their founder/CEO Richard was abruptly let go. Of course he'll awkwardly fight back as only Richard timidly knows how.
5. Other Space (Season 1 - CANCELLED) on Yahoo!
2013-2014 Rank: New Show
Yahoo! Screen came onto the scene last year to compete with the other online streaming services. Their goal was to compete by providing original content. This included the newly-acquired Community (recently cancelled by NBC) and a couple new series in Sin City Saints and Other Space. Other Space follows a space ship crew who on their maiden voyage, fresh out of the academy, accidently passed through a portal into a different dimension. An "other space" if you will. The cast includes a bunch of mostly unknowns, included the lead who was previously featured on an AT&T commercial ("My selfie just hit 100 likes...a hundred!") as well as ironically the female face of the AT&T in-store experience. The show also features, for all you Mystery Science 3o00 nerds (like myself) Joel Hodgson, the first host of MST3K, and Trace Beaulieu, who played Dr. Forrester and the voice of Crow. Anyway, I found the show to be quite funny for a low budget space comedy and sad that Yahoo! Screen did not last.
4. New Girl (Season 4 - RENEWED) on FOX
2013-2014 Rank: 8 (+4)
New Girl has really been an up and down show over the course of four seasons, but I still quite enjoy it. It all comes down to the main cast and their interactions with each other. They have great chemistry and can be put into any combination for various weekly adventures. Jess and Nick are no longer together, and that allowed for them to each explore their love life by bringing in new short-term characters. Coach was also around for his first and only full season, since he leaves at the end of the season to follow a girl to New York. By the end of the season, the big news was Schmidt becoming single again opening the door for him and CeCe to get back together.
3. Community (Season 6 - CANCELLED) on Yahoo!
2013-2014 Rank: 1 (-2)
It's official, Community has kept their chance alive of achieving the "Six seasons and a movie" prophecy. After being cancelled by NBC following their fifth season, Yahoo! picked them up for their new streaming service Yahoo! Screen. The sixth season featured the remaining core characters (Jeff, Abed, Britta, Annie, Chang and Dean Pelton) and added a couple new characters in Elroy and Frankie. The season felt like classic Community, without a few original characters, and they did a good job of mixing genre-themed episodes with character-centric episodes. The season ended with what could easily work as a series finally, and sadly it looks like that's where it will end as Yahoo! ended their streaming service after one money-losing year. Of course, now that they have ended their sixth season, don't rule out the second half of the prophecy...a movie.
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 2 - RENEWED) on FOX
2013-2014 Rank: 3 (+1)
Booklyn Nine-Nine continues to impress me. After two seasons, the show has maintained its quality and continued their character development. I like the direction the show has gone exploring Jake and Amy's relationship, as well as the decision to move Captain Holt and Gina to another office for half the season. The ensemble cast play off each other well. My only concern is being able to find new original ways to keep these characters brining laughs.
1. Parks And Recreation (Season 7 - COMPLETED) on NBC
2013-2014 Rank: 2 (+1)
If you would have told me seven years ago that I would fall in love with a show about a parks department in small-town Indiana I probably wouldn't have believed you. Especially when going into the show I only really knew Amy Poehler (SNL) and a bit of Rashida Jones (Unhitched) and Aziz Ansari (Human Giant). But this show gave us many things that are now legendary, including...Ron Swanson, Tom's ideas for everything, Cones of Dunshire, Lil Sebastian, Treat Yo Self, Jean Ralphio, April's sarcastic wide-eyed looks, Duke Silver, Burt Maclin, "literally" and of course, Chris Pratt. Well done Pawnee, well done.
11. The Goldbergs (Season 2 - RENEWED) on ABC
12. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp (Stand Alone Prequel Season) on Netflix
13. Portlandia (Season 5 - RENEWED) on IFC
14. Mozart In The Jungle (Season 1 - RENEWED) on Amazon
15. Last Man On Earth (Season 1 - RENEWED) on FOX
16. Mindy Project (Season 3 - CANCELLED by FOX, RENEWED by Hulu) on Hulu
17. Catastrophe (Season 1 - RENEWED) on Amazon
18. Sin City Saints (Season 1 - CANCELLED) on Yahoo!
19. About A Boy (Season 2 - CANCELLED) on NBC
20. Fresh Off The Boat (Season 1 - RENEWED) on ABC
21. Marry Me (Season 1 - CANCELLED) on NBC
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