What's hot and What's not: Best of cable!
Best Shows: None. Sorry.
Why: With a lineup that includes Find Me My Man and Love Games: Bad Girls Need Love Too, there can be no winner here.
Best Shows: Reruns of Will & Grace.
Why: Because Bridezillas is not a “good” TV show, and neither is David Tutera Unveiled.
Best Shows: Behind The Music, I Love the ’90s.
Why: Remember I Love the ’90s? Good times.
Best Shows: Inside the Actor’s Studio, Top Chef.
Why: The network that first gave us Real Housewives of Orange County and its thousands of spin-offs. When are they going to feature a Real Housewives of Fargo? I’d be interested in that.
Best Shows: Wanda Sykes Presents “Herlarious”.
Why: Oprah’s channel doesn’t deliver in the way of “watchable” shows, but if there is anything to do with Wanda Sykes I’m a fan of it.
Best Shows: Say Yes to the Dress, Little Couple.
Why: The channel that was formerly known as “The Learning Channel” - I’ll pause for laughter - now provides quality entertainment such as My 600-lb Life and Alaskan Women Looking for Love. I’ll leave it at that.
Best Shows: Country Music Awards.
Why: I understand that CMT has “original” programming, with shows like Party Down South and My Big Redneck Family, but I choose to ignore this fact.
Best Shows: Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, CNN Documentaries.
Why: Scratch the news portions of CNN, ‘cause their best shows are about food and travel and documentaries about SeaWorld and the sixties.
Best Shows: Bar Rescue.
Why: Spike is a channel dominated by wrestling, MMA fighting, and reruns of Cops. But they also have Bar Rescue, which is actually pretty good.
Best Shows: House Hunters, House Hunters International, Property Brothers.
Why: HGTV’s House Hunters is a lie, as they’ve already picked the house they will buy before the show airs. However, the network’s selection of Christmas-themed shows is expansive and should be celebrated.
Best Shows: Fox & Friends, The Kelly File.
Why: Fox & Friends is everything a cable news show should be. It has crazy characters, no discernible plot, and makes for fantastic SNL skits. On another note, Megyn Kelly is a Fox treasure and should be treated as such.
Best Shows: Food Paradise, Best Sandwich, Hotel Impossible, Man vs. Food Nation
Why: Travel Channel devotes nearly 50% of its programming to food shows. I applaud this decision. They also showcase fun water parks, which is equally as great.
Best Shows: Rachel Maddow, Hardball, Morning Joe.
Why: MSNBC is the left-leaning rival to Fox News, and while not as outwardly entertaining, still manages to be pretty crazy. Although, in this age of 24-hour news, how do we even begin to define crazy? Answer: Anything Al Sharpton says.
Best Shows: Cougar Town, reruns of The Big Bang Theory.
Why: TBS gave second life to Cougar Town, and should be awarded for that. They also have original shows, but I can’t seem to find them in between episodes of Big Bang.
Best Shows: Hot in Cleveland, Golden Girls reruns.
Why: Basically, TV Land is a quality channel simply because it devotes many hours each day to the American institution that is Betty White.
Best Shows: Vikings, Hatfieds & McCoys, American Pickers.
Why: History Channel has always been the place where one could sit and watch WW2 documentaries for hours on end. Now they have revamped their miniseries offerings with the fantastic Hatfields & McCoys and Vikings. But they will always be best known for that aliens guy.
Best Shows: SportsCenter (first hour), Stephen A. Smith.
Why: ESPN is known for sports, hiring Tim Tebow, and airing LeBron’s Decision. Quite the muddled legacy for the cable giant.
Best Shows: Burning Love, The Soup, Chelsea Lately.
Why: E! is responsible for unleashing the force of nature that is Kim Kardashian onto western civilization, and now they have a show focused on rich children in Beverly Hills. For shame E!, for shame.
Best Shows: Drop Dead Diva, Project Runway, Flowers in the Attic.
Why: More people should be watching Drop Dead Diva, and while Project Runway is an American staple, I was really of fan of the campy Flowers in the Attic original movie. Thank god for Ellen Burstyn.
Best Shows: Adventure Time, Regular Show.
Why: Adventure Time is a legitimately great show, and it deserves more than its cult-status. Just because PowerPuff Girls is on the same channel, this doesn’t mean it’s just for children.
Best Shows: Dallas, Falling Skies.
Why: Although most of TNT’s programming revolves around the buddy system (Rizzoli & Isles, Franklin & Bash), Dallas is a real treat - mostly because of Josh Henderson. John Ross FTW.
A & E
Best Shows: Bates Motel, Duck Dynasty.
Why: Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore are revelations in the startlingly dark and creepy Bates Motel. Duck Dynasty is beloved by its devoted fan-base and recent controversies notwithstanding, Uncle Si is pretty funny.
Best Shows: Teen Wolf, Awkward, Catfish.
Why: Teen Wolf is truly a revelation for teen fantasy shows on cable. Additionally, Awkward is pretty funny, and Catfish is always watchable.
Best Shows: Chopped, Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, Cupcake Wars, Giada at Home.
Why: It's a channel DEVOTED to food. What more needs to be said?
Best Shows: Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, Switched At Birth, Harry Potter marathons.
Why: ABC Family is admirable for its variety of programming, with thrillers like Pretty Little Liars and LGBT-friendly fare like The Fosters. But, really, the best thing about the network is its commitment to Harry Potter move marathons.
Best Shows: Mythbusters, Deadliest Catch, Shark Week, StormChasers.
Why: Discovery Channel has it all: Bear Grylls drinking questionable substances, Savage and Hyneman blowing things up, and an entire week of sharks. What’s not to love?
Best Shows: Helix, Lost Girl, Being Human.
Why: Lost Girl is excellent, Helix is solid, and Being Human is quite enjoyable. SyFy lives to fight another day.
Best Shows: Suits, White Collar, Burn Notice, Psych, Covert Affairs.
Why: USA graced us with the beauty that is Neal Caffrey and the sass that is Donna Paulson. USA also created Monk, which was a fantastic show back in the day. Good job, USA.
Best Shows: The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Key and Peele, Workaholics, Inside Amy Schumer, Kroll Show.
Why: Comedy Central has blessed us with the combined talents of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for so long, it’s hard not to feel spoiled. But Workaholics is hilarious, Key and Peele is underrated, and Amy Schumer is poised to be a big star.
Best Shows: Archer, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Louie, Justified, American Horror Story, The Americans, The League.
Why: FX has truly made a name for itself as a multi-talented network, producing smart comedies, like Louie and Archer, while also nailing it in the drama department with American Horror Story and The Americans.
Best Shows: Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Mad Men
Why: Breaking Bad will go down as one of the smartest TV shows ever, and The Walking Dead constantly breaks viewership records. Mad Men was the beginning of AMC’s rise to power, and the network is showing no signs of slowing down.