The second of the new categories for 2016 in television is cable. The onslaught of cable TV has been only increasing each year as the number of cable TV networks have increased. Here are the top ten shows from 2016 on cable.
#10. Dead of Summer (Freeform). This show from creators of LOST started really strong, starring LOST alum Elizabeth Mitchell, but it got silly as the season progressed. I lost interest about episode 8, but I did wind up finishing up. The horror genre had a great year in 2016, and this was a television example of that.
#9. Orphan Black (BBC America). I will admit to not having finished season 4 of Orphan Black. It is something that I need to get done, but it is still worth inclusion on this list, if not only for Tatiana Maslany.
#8. OJ: Made in America (ESPN). From the 30 on 30 series, this five part documentary was remarkably engaging. It did not just focus on OJ Simpson, but the way the country was- with race relations and celebrating celebrity. One of the best pieces ESPN ever did.
#7. Preacher (AMC). Based on a comic book, Preacher is another one that took some time to gather itself. However, by the finale, Preacher was cooking with gas. The whole Heaven-Hell aspect of the show is something we have never seen before and Cassidy is the best vampire currently on TV.
#6. Mr. Robot (USA). This is easily the show that is too smart for me. Half the time I am not sure what is happening on Mr. Robot, but I am always entertained. The “sitcom” episode of Mr. Robot is one of the year’s best episodes and Rami Malek is a gem.
#5. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America). One of the most recent additions to the list, Dirk Gently was a book written by Douglas Adams and adapted for television by Max Landis. It was weird and funny and worth every second. Great chemistry with the show’s stars (Samuel Barnett and Elijah Wood), who might be the best buddies of the year. Plus, the moment when Gordon arrives and Dirk and Todd expect explanations only to discover that Gordon doesn’t know what is going on either is one of my favorite TV moments of the year. I laughed loudly at that.
#4. The Walking Dead (AMC). The show that normally had ruled this category has slipped a little bit. The big cliffhanger reveal could not mask the fact that the show has had some pretty poor episodes over the last couple of seasons. The Walking Dead is still appointment TV, though and with the best villain of the year, Negan, anything could happen.
#3. American Horror Story: Roanoke (FX). After AHS: Hotel, I felt that AHS might be finally slipping. I was not a fan of Hotel, so I approached the new, “mysterious” AHS with trepidation. And they just knocked it out of the park. I loved everything about Roanoke. The faux reality show set up with actors recreating the parts to the “real” people giving commentary were all fabulous. And then, the second part of the season was even better as they returned to the spot of the horror from “My Roanoke Nightmare” for even more frights. Awesome job from Ryan Murphy and crew.
#2. Bates Motel (A & E). Just a fabulous season as Norman Bates creeps closer to the persona of the Psycho killer that we knew was coming. We see how Norma Bates dies this season in one of the biggest surprises there was. Making it all the more tragic was the amazing relationship the show created with Norma and Sheriff Romano. Norma and Alex stole my heart in their all-too-few scenes together. Seeing Alex holding the dead body of Norma was heart wrenching, and makes me want him to get Norman. Of course, he probably won’t do that. Bates Motel will be entering its final season this year and it should be epic.
#1. American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ (FX). On a normal year, Bates Motel would have taken this place easily. However, we had one of the greatest 10-episode series ever in The People vs. OJ. I could not believe how engaging this show was, considering we all knew the outcome. The world watched this trial develop in real time during the 1990s, so you wouldn’t think a scripted show about that same trial would be successful at all. Yet, it was magnificent. Each role was perfectly cast and deserve the awards that have been heaped upon it. This might have been the overall number one show of the year for me.
Best Actor- Cable
#5. Dominic Cooper (Preacher)
#4. Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel)
#3. Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead)
#2. Rami Malek (Mr. Robot)
#1. Courtney B. Vance (American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ)
Best Actress- Cable
#5. Lily Rabe (American Horror Story: Roanoke)
#4. Melissa McBride (The Walking Dead)
#3. Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
#2. Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
#1. Sarah Paulson (American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ)
Best Supporting Actor- Cable
#5. Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead)
#4. Joseph Gilgan (Preacher)
#3. Christian Slater (Mr. Robot)
#2. Nester Carbonell (Bates Motel)
#1. Sterling K. Brown (American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ)
Best Supporting Actress- Cable
#5. Lauren Cohen (The Walking Dead)
#4. Ruth Negga (Preacher)
#3. Adina Porter (American Horror Story: Roanoke)
#2. Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Roanoke)
#1. Carly Chaikin (Mr. Robot)