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HitFix TV Critics' Poll Results Announced

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 17, 2012

The official word: HitFix ( announced today that “Breaking Bad” has been chosen as the top television series of 2012 in HitFix’s First Annual Television Critics’ Poll. The AMC network and Sony Pictures Television’s Emmy winning series was followed by “Homeland” (Showtime) and “Mad Men” (AMC).

The First Annual HitFix Television Critics Poll was compiled with the top 10 picks of more than 40 participating television critics and journalists from across the country. HitFix decided to host this poll after realizing there was a lack of prestige year-end honors for television programs.

“A number of respected film publications have provided unheralded and under-the-radar films their due for decades with annual year-end critics’ polls,” HitFix’s editor-in-chief and co-founder Gregory Ellwood said, “We hope the results of this new yearly poll will do the same for equally deserving television programs.”

Following “Breaking Bad,” “Homeland” and “Mad Men,” the rest of this year’s list includes (in the following order) “Louie,” “Game of Thrones,” “Girls,” “The Walking Dead,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Downton Abbey” and “Sherlock.” The vote totals for each critic including every show that received a vote are available at

Critics from outlets such as Slate, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, NPR, Buzzfeed, TVLine and USA Today participated in the HitFix poll.

“There's so much great TV and so much great writing right now. We wanted to gather together some of the brightest minds on the subject and find a consensus on the absolute best of the best," said Alan Sepinwall, HitFix’s Sr. Editor and TV Critic as well as the author of “The Revolution Was Televised.” “From 'New Girl' to 'Scandal' to 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' a wide range of shows were highlighted and in the end 'Breaking Bad' and 'Homeland' rose to the top.”

Each critic submitted their top 10 television programs of the year and the votes were determined on a ranked system (#1 pick receives 10 votes, #2 pick receives 9 votes, etc.) A complete list of all this year’s critics and programs can be found at

My word: I participated in the poll. My viewing habits tend more toward broadcast TV than this consensus does, and there are some shows, like "Louie," that I did not warm to in the early going and so have not sampled; I like "Parks and Recreation," but I don't love it -- and I think "Modern Family" and "Big Bang" are both funnier.

Hey, these lists are hard, especially when so much of TV is as good as it is right now. My tentative list also had "Last Resort," "Game of Thrones," "Boardwalk Empire," and several shows I think are under-watched and under-appreciated, including "Bones," "Suits" and "Warehouse 13." At the same time, there are shows like "Sons of Anarchy" and "The Hour" which I hate to miss, so they made the cut; I'd rather watch "The Hour," especially in its marvelous second season, than "Downton Abbey," admirable though it is.

I have looked at a lot of 10-best lists since compiling mine, and you can find plenty of personal, even eccentric, choices out there. And even looking at those lists, I found myself thinking, crap, I forgot about "Community," or something else.

That being said, the top 3 on the HifFix lst were all in my top 10. Here's my list:

1. Mad Men
2. Homeland
3. The Hour
4. Girls
5. Justified
6. Modern Family
7. Breaking Bad
8. Sons of Anarchy
9. The Good Wife
10. The Big Bang Theory

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