Madison Lintz and Andrew Lincoln
From Oprah's surprisingly low-key farewell to the year's most soul-crushing break-up on The Good Wife (Kalicia, no!), the year was packed with fantastic hours of television — pretty much all of which we watched. There were teary goodbyes (Friday Night Lights' Texas forever! Smallville's tights and flights!), tense face-offs (why can't all CIA interrogations take place on the front porch of a cabin, like on Homeland?) and of course we made room for a little Glee (because certain underdogs deserved it). Which made the list. Tune in all week for our top 25.
Here's the second batch in our weeklong countdown of 2011's best episodes (Catch up first with Episodes 25-21, Episodes 20-16 and Episodes 15-11):
Fans eagerly awaiting Game of Thrones' return to HBO can catch a behind-the-scenes look at Season 2.
The video, online now, shows the cast and crew's triumphs and struggles when shooting the latest episodes in Belfast, Ireland. "You really need to believe that you're in a space that has been there for thousands of years and you get that in the...
Parks and Recreation
'Tis the season for holiday miracles, so why can't we hope the same for television? Santa, please give Cougar Town a premiere date. Hanukkah Harry, all we ask is that Steve Carell get awards recognition for his Office role. Harvest gods of Kwanzaa, let Castle and Beckett finally get together. And please, Winter Solstice Fairy, stop all the incest on TV!
Michelle Dockery and Dan Stevens
The best new series of the year is Showtime's twisty nail-biter of a psychological thriller, an emotionally intense cat-and-mouse game between two damaged souls: Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody, a Marine POW who may have been turned by terrorists during eight years in Iraqi captivity, and Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, the unstable CIA analyst who breaks all the rules to get under his skin — and at times under the sheets. (Bringing new meaning to undercover agent). The actors are as electrifying as the storytelling in this taut tale of homeland insecurity, which also features a marvelously restrained Mandy Patinkin as Carrie's melancholy mentor and a revelatory Morena Baccarin as Brody's understandably conflicted wife. Homeland comes from the veteran producers of 24, who have lost none of their knack for sustained suspense, but within this more realistic framework have been able to concoct a thoughtful and gripping meditation on the human toll of the war on terror.
Zooey Deschanel, Bryan Cranston
Oh, Golden Globes. You never fail to amuse and bemuse us with your quirky, awesome and weird nominations. After coming up empty with the Screen Actors Guild, Homeland landed three nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and was just one of the many new shows that reaped nods. And with so many shiny new toys to play with, the HFPA once again forgot about Breaking Bad. But those weren't the only things that caught our attention Thursday.
Claire Danes, Kelsey Grammer
New blood was the toast of the Golden Globe Awards nominations Thursday as Homeland, American Horror Story, Game of Thrones, The Killing, Boss, Revenge, Episodes, Enlightened and New Girl all scored nods.
A day after getting shut out of the Screen Actors Guild nominations, Homeland nabbed ...
Patrick J. Adams, Claire Danes
Is USA slowly becoming an awards magnet? A year after Covert Affairs' Piper Perabo scored a Golden Globe nomination, network-mate and Suits star Patrick J. Adams pulled off a Screen Actors Guild nod Wednesday, where he'll face off against such heavyweights as Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Michael C. Hall (Dexter). But his nomination wasn't the only SAG shocker.
Game of Thrones
The new teaser for Game of Thrones sets the theme of brotherly conflict in Season 2.
"My brother left no true born heir," new character Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) narrates. "The iron throne is mine by right."
Game of Thrones Season 2 Peek: Tyrion, Arya... and Joffrey with a crossbow?
Larry David, Julianna Margulies
Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Good Wife and Game of Thrones were among the honorees on the American Film Institute's lists of top 10 TV shows of 2011.
Besides The Good Wife and Game of Thrones, other first-time AFI selections included Homeland, Justified, Louie and...
Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski
Nerds and nudity. What more could a fan want from an episode of Chuck?
Star Zachary Levi directed Friday's episode, "Chuck vs. the Hack Off" (8/7c on NBC), in which Chuck (Levi) and his team are trying to track down a possibly devastating computer virus. "It's one of our nerdier episodes," co-executive producer Chris Fedak told reporters at a set visit this month. "There's not as many hack off jokes as you'd think [there would be]. We learn a little about Chuck's backstory, who he was before he met Sarah, a little bit about the hacker side of Chuck."