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Archive for the ‘Year End Round Up’ Category

[Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images]

2020 may be behind us, but the pandemic that drove us all inside and has separated us from those we care about the most is still very much alive. 2021, unfortunately, could very well be much the same; but as I have said before, we have to look for the small things that make us happy, that put a smile on our faces and that lighten the heavy load for which we are dealing.

Despite all the bad that has happened this year, I hope that each of you have found some good things to keep you entertained, keep your mind off the world’s problems (even for a short time) and has allowed you to carry on in the face of all the odds stacked against us.

Here is to hoping that things will get back to whatever new “normal” awaits us; here is to hoping that 2021 can start to improve upon the year that was 2020; and here is to as prosperous a New Year as possible.

Thank you to everyone who has visited my site this year. I hope you’ll come back next year!

Happy New Year!

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Much like the Faces of 2020, there are always entertainers of note to be on the look-out for in the new year or those who made great waves throughout the current year who will, undoubtedly, be big stars in the new year.

The new faces of 2021 appear below in no particular order:

NOTE: Please keep in mind the following actors will be the faces of 2022 as well since so much production planned for 2020, movie releases that were to be made in 2020, etc. were put on hold and postponed until 2021 or 2022.

Morfydd Clark – Morfydd appeared in the box office films Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, the horror film Crawl and two episodes of the Benedict Cumberbatch-led drama Patrick Melrose. Last year she appeared in four episodes of His Dark Materials as Sister Clara; and she was part of the cast of Dracula, which aired on Netflix in January. Her next role as Galadriel in the upcoming small screen adaptation of The Lord of the Rings that is anticipated to air next year on Prime Video is what will get her a great deal of attention.

Lashana Lynch – Lashana is a British actress who appeared in the much maligned and short-lived drama Still Star-Crossed and British crime drama Bulletproof before landing the role of Maria Rambeau in the box office movie Captain Marvel. Her next role as Nomi in the long-awaited 007 film No Time to Die, which is anticipated to be released in April 2021, is what will catch the eye of viewers.

Rachel Zegler – The New Jersey raised singer and songwriter was selected out of 30,000 auditions to play the lead role of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming remake of the classic film West Side Story, starring alongside Ansel Elgort as Tony. Also her video singing “Shallow” from A Star is Born got 11 million views on Twitter in 2020.

Melissa Barrera – The talented Mexico-born actress appeared in a number of telenovelas over the course of 6 years before landing one of the lead roles in the critically acclaimed drama Vida, which aired for 3 seasons on Starz. During the pandemic she also appeared in a live Zoom reading of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, playing the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet. But it will be her upcoming film roles, set for next year, that will cement her fame. She will appear in the box office adaptation of the Broadway hit In the Heights, set for this summer; Scream 5, the new installment of the horror franchise that is anticipated for release in early 2022 as well as the lead role in a modern-day reimagining of one of the world’s most celebrated operas: Carmen.

Brittany O’Grady – The talented multi-hypenate actress, singer and dancer has been performing professionally since she was 4. She appeared in the short-lived series The Messengers before being cast in the acclaimed drama Star, which aired on FOX for 3 seasons. She then took on the lead role of Bess in Apple TV’s half-hour drama Little Voice, which was co-created by Waitress composer and award winning singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. Her next project is the satirical HBO limited series The White Lotus, set at an exclusive tropical resort, that will include among its cast Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Lacy and Steve Zahn.

Dominique Fishback – The talented New York City actress has appeared in episodes of The Knick, The Affair, The Americans, Blue Bloods and Royal Pains before landed a recurring role in The Deuce. Two years ago she appeared in the box office movie The Hate U Give and this year she appeared alongside Jamiee Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the Netflix film Project Power. She will be seen in next year’s Judas and the Black Messiah that will star Get Out and Black Panther actor Daniel Kaluuya.

Michael Cimino – The relative newcomer appeared in the horror film Annabelle Comes Home before taking on the lead role of Victor Salazar in the Hulu drama Love, Victor, which was inspired by and set in the same world as the 2018 film Love, Simon. Love, Victor was renewed for a second season; and Michael has three other projects in the works: the drama Centurion XII; the sci-fi podcast Black Box and the drama Heartlight.

Shira Haas – The twentysomething Israeli actress wowed audiences with her performance in the Netflix mini-series Unorthodox for which she not only completed piano and singing lessons but also studied Yiddish [which was primarily spoken in the series] as well as being required to shave her head as part of the storyline. She’s not a newcomer to film work, though, as she appeared in A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman’s directorial debut, and starred alongside Jessica Chastain in The Zookeeper’s Wife. Her latest project is the Israeli film Asia, which premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Paul Mescal – The Irish actor turned heads in his starring role in the Hulu series Normal People, based on the 2018 novel of the same name; and he will be seen in the box office movie The Lost Daughter, which is to star Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson and Peter Sarsgaard. He will also star alongside Melissa Barrera (she is listed above) in the reimaging of Carmen, replacing Jamie Dornan.

Robin Thede – The talent, multi-hypenate writer, comedian and actress has a long resume of acting and writing, but it was her turn in the HBO sketch comedy series A Black Lady Sketch Show – which was created, run, written and acted almost exclusively by black women – that has turned heads. She also appeared in the horror comedy Bad Hair and the latest season of HBO’s Insecure. Robin is currently writing the feature Fashionably Black and has signed a development deal with Warner Bros. She was also the creator, EP, showrunner, writer and star of the BET late-night talk show The Rundown with Robin Thede.

Geraldine Viswanathan – The Australian actress was referred to as the breakout star of the 2018 box office film Blockers; and then she went on to appear in HBO’s Bad Education and the TBS comedy anthology Miracle Workers. But it was her turn in the rom-com movie The Broken Hearts Gallery (which included singer Selena Gomez as one of its executive producers) that has turned heads. She will next be in the animated film Rumble, providing her voice to the character of Winnie.

Tilda Cobham-Hervey – Tilda has been acting since 2013, appearing in the box office movies Hotel Mumbai and Burn; but it was her recent turn as the late, great Helen Reddy in the box office movie I Am Woman (which can be seen on Netflix) that garnered her attention. She will next be seen in the Australian film Lone Wolf opposite Hugo Weaving and the Australian 6-part black comedy Alantown that is slated to star Jacqueline McKenzie and Guy Pearce.

Are there any actors or actresses who you think are the faces to watch in 2021? Please share.

TOMORROW: Closing Out 2020

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The following list highlights the actors and actresses on TV and on the big screen who really caught viewers’ attention throughout the year. There are also some outstanding people who garnered attention during the pandemic who deserve a nod as well.

They appear in no particular order:

1. Ana de Armas – The Cuban-Spanish actress starred in the 2006 romantic drama Una rosa de Francia and then starred in the Madrid teen drama El Internado for 6 seasons. She then appeared in the US films Knock Knock, War Dogs and Blade Runner 2049; but it was her turn in the mystery film Knives Out that turned heads. At some point, she will be seen in Deep Water alongside Ben Affleck (to whom she is now romantically linked) as well as the latest 007 film No Time to Die and the Netflix bio-pic Blonde, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates.

2. Izabela Rose – The young newcomer, who loves acting and singing, landed the lead role in the Disney movie Upside-Down Magic, based on the Scholastic book series about 8 kids in a world of people with magic. She was also personally selected by Steven Spielberg for her role of Olivia in the reimagining of the classic anthology series Amazing Stories on Apple TV+.

3. Alex Newell – Alex was first runner-up in the reality show The Glee Project back in 2011; and then he joined the cast of Glee over the next few seasons. He later toured with Adam Lambert and performed at numerous festivals, making his Broadway debut in 2017 in the revival of Once on This Island. It has been his role as Mo, the genderfluid next-door neighbor on the NBC drama Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, which will return for its second season on January 5, 2021, that has endeared him to viewers.

4. Hunter Schafer – In her first role EVER, Hunter starred in the HBO teen drama Euphoria, playing Rue, a 17-year-old trans-girl recovering from a drug addiction who befriends Jules Vaughn (lead actress and Emmy winner Zendaya). But, Hunter has been turning heads as one of the most popular models in the fashion industry; and made headlines as the plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit against the bathroom bill in North Carolina.

5. Joshua Caleb Johnson – This young actor appeared in a couple of episodes of Black-ish playing the boyfriend of Diane (series regular Marsai Martin), and in a few episodes of Animal Kingdom; but it’s been his role of Henry Shackleford – aka Onion – in the Showtime period piece The Good Lord Bird, starring alongside Ethan Hawke.

6. Sarah Cooper – The talented author and comedian got noticed this year thanks to her TikTok videos – that went viral everywhere – mocking Donald Trump’s stupidity-laced comments, which culminated in her October Netflix special Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine. She is currently producing a comedy show for CBS based on her book “How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings.”

7. Maitreyi Ramakrishnan – The Canadian newcomer starred this summer in the Netflix drama Never Have I Ever, from creator Mindy Kaling, playing lead character Devi Vishwakumar, an Indian American high school student dealing with the death of her father. The show has been renewed for a much-anticipated second season.

8. Michaela Coel – The talented multi-hyphenate screenwriter, producer, director, singer and actress really made it big this year in the provocative HBO/BBC drama I May Destroy You, but it was her work in Chewing Gum – based on her graduation project from theatre school – that won her a BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performance. Viewers will also recognize her from the thriller Black Earth Rising.

The next group of faces are people who made the most of the pandemic, creating entertaining videos that went viral, or making a difference to help other people:

9. The Holderness Family – Penn and Kim Holderness – as well as their kids Lola and Penn Charles – live in Raleigh, North Carolina, formerly New York residents, whose parody videos became “the thing” to watch on social media. They have been doing this for quite some time prior to the pandemic, but their videos became extremely popular during the lockdown, and have continued to entertain all year.

You can visit their YouTube channel here.

Parents Penn and Kim also have a separate podcast here, and they are also authors of the book “Everybody Fights: So Why Not Be Good at It.”

10. TwinsthenewTrend – This duo is comprised of 21 year old twin brothers Tim and Fred Williams, who live in Gary, Indiana. Their YouTube channel – where they listen to songs for the first time – garnered worldwide attention in 2020 especially when they listened to “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. That video of them listening to this song for the first time got 6 million views in three weeks. Some of the reviews of their channel has attracted the attention of the original singers.

You can see their reactions to songs at their YouTube page here.

11. Orion Jean – In September, the 9-year-old won the 2020 National Kindness Speech contest and was featured on Good Morning America. He won $500 in that contest, and he paid it forward by using that money to donate toys to Children’s Health in Dallas. That, of course, inspired others to get involved with the North Texas 5th grader starting the “Race to Kindness” campaign, which you can find at Race to Kindness.

You can see his well-spoken and smile-filled GMA interview below:

12. Anika Chebrolu – This 14-year-old Texan won the 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her discovery that could provide therapy to COVID-19. In Anika’s own words, she “developed a potential antiviral for covid-19 infection. I found the molecule from a database of millions of compounds that can bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and change its shape. And by changing the shape of the spike protein by attaching the molecule to it, it can stop the virus from infecting human cells, and basically stop the infectivity of the virus in human cells. [Source]

Who are some of the faces from this year who caught your attention either on television, in music or in film? Please share.

TOMORROW: Faces of 2021

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As I have said for years, TV ratings are the life’s blood of every series on the major and cable networks. One of the primary sources of success or failure for every show is their ratings.

As I have also said countless times before, the networks put far too much value on the viewing habits of 18-39 year olds, basically ignoring anyone over the age of 40 – and especially overlooking senior viewers, who are the driving force of the buying market.

Sadly, those older viewers are consistently overlooked for the younger viewers who – more and more – avoid watching TV in the “traditional” way, sitting in front of their TV sets watching shows in real time. But 2020 created a unique circumstance – despite the harsh reality of the global pandemic – people were stuck at home, watching streaming services and “traditional” TV.

The very long list below features all of the dramas – and only the dramas (as I’m only interested in dramas) – that have aired throughout this year, broken down into sections for the 2019-2020, summer and 2020-2021 TV seasons. The averaged ratings shown is for overall viewership – the millions of viewers who watched each show, listed from highest to lowest for each time frame.

Let’s get started…

The first list is the major network dramas that aired from January through May, covering the last half of the 2019-2020 TV season:

NCIS (CBS) – 11.7 million viewers
FBI (CBS) – 9.4 million viewers
Chicago Med (NBC) – 8.6 million viewers
Chicago Fire (NBC) – 8.5 million viewers
Blue Bloods (CBS) – 7.9 million viewers
Chicago P.D. (NBC) – 7.4 million viewers
Hawaii Five-0 (CBS) – 7.3 million viewers *
FBI: Most Wanted (CBS) – 7.1 million viewers
Magnum P.I. (CBS) – 7 million viewers
9-1-1 (FOX) – 6.9 million viewers
Bull (CBS) – 6.6 million viewers
This Is Us (NBC) – 6.6 million viewers
Station 19 (ABC) – 6.5 million viewers
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) – 6.4 million viewers
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – 6.3 million viewers
9-1-1: Lone Star (FOX) – 6.2 million viewers
MacGyver (CBS) – 6.1 million viewers
God Friended Me (CBS) – 6 million viewers *
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) – 6 million viewers
The Good Doctor (ABC) – 5.8 million viewers
All Rise (CBS) – 5.6 million viewers
New Amsterdam (NBC) – 5 million viewers
SEAL Team (CBS) – 5 million viewers
The Rookie (ABC) – 5 million viewers
Tommy (CBS) – 4.9 million viewers *
Criminal Minds (CBS) – 4.7 million viewers *
The Blacklist (NBC) – 4.7 million viewers
The Resident (FOX) – 4.2 million viewers
S.W.A.T. (CBS) – 4.1 million viewers
Manifest (NBC) – 4 million viewers
A Million Little Things (ABC) – 3.9 million viewers
Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector (NBC) – 3.7 million viewers *
Deputy (FOX) – 3.6 million viewers *
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC) – 3.6 million viewers
Prodigal Son (FOX) – 3.4 million viewers
Evil (CBS) – 3.2 million viewers
How to Get Away With Murder (ABC) – 3 million viewers *
Empire (FOX) – 2.6 million viewers *
For Life (ABC) – 2.5 million viewers
Stumptown (ABC) – 2.5 million viewers *
The Baker and the Beauty (ABC) – 2.5 million viewers *
Emergence (ABC) – 2.1 million viewers *
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC) – 2 million viewers
Good Girls (NBC) – 1.8 million viewers
The Flash (The CW) – 1.2 million viewers
Supernatural (The CW) – 1.1 million viewers
Almost Family (FOX) – 968,000 viewers *
Arrow (The CW) – 822,000 viewers *
Batwoman (The CW) – 771,000 viewers
All American (The CW) – 753,000 viewers
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (The CW) – 734,000 viewers
Roswell, New Mexico (The CW) – 699,000 viewers
Supergirl (The CW) – 695,000 viewers
Riverdale (The CW) – 689,000 viewers
Legacies (The CW) – 665,000 viewers
Charmed (The CW) – 643,000 viewers
Black Lightning (The CW) – 631,000 viewers
Nancy Drew (The CW) – 604,000 viewers
Katy Keene (The CW) – 526,000 viewers *
Dynasty (The CW) – 345,000 viewers

* denotes all those shows that have since been cancelled or came to a planned ending

The second list covers all of the cable network dramas from that same time period: January through May:

The Walking Dead (AMC) – 3.4 million viewers
When Calls the Heart (Hallmark Channel) – 2.3 million viewers
When Hope Calls (Hallmark Channel) – 1.6 million viewers ^
The Haves and the Have Nots (OWN) – 1.5 million viewers
Better Call Saul (AMC) – 1.4 million viewers
Project Blue Book (History Channel) – 1.3 million viewers *
Power (Starz) – 1.1 million viewers *
If Loving You Is Wrong (OWN) – 1 million viewers *
Ray Donovan (Showtime) – 1 million viewers *
Vikings (History Channel) – 956,000 viewers
The Outsider (HBO) – 878,000 viewers *
Homeland (Showtime) – 838,000 viewers *
Westworld (HBO) – 812,000 viewers
Outlander (Starz) – 808,000 viewers
Barkskins (National Geographic) – 713,000 viewers *
The Sinner (USA Network) – 651,000 viewers
Cherish the Day (OWN) – 622,000 viewers
Billions (Showtime) – 609,000 viewers
Doctor Who (BBC America) – 528,000 viewers
68 Whiskey (Paramount Network) – 499,000 viewers *
Briarpatch (USA Network) – 487,000 viewers *
Killing Eve (AMC) – 486,000 viewers
Siren (Freeform) – 408,000 viewers *
The Plot Against America (HBO) – 401,000 viewers *
Dare Me (USA Network) – 380,000 viewers *
Killing Eve (BBC America) – 376,000 viewers
I Know This Much Is True (HBO) – 362,000 viewers *
The Magicians (Syfy) – 353,000 viewers *
Dispatches From Elsewhere (AMC) – 322,000 viewers ^
Motherland: Fort Salem (Freeform) – 312,000 viewers
Quiz (AMC) – 286,000 viewers *
Party of Five (Freeform) – 252,000 viewers *
The New Pope (HBO) – 235,000 viewers ^
Almost Paradise (WGN America) – 225,000 viewers ^
Vagrant Queen (Syfy) – 224,000 viewers *
Good Trouble (Freeform) – 171,000 viewers
Frankie Drake Mysteries (Ovation) – 163,000 viewers (approximately) ^
The Bold Type (Freeform) – 150,000 viewers
Carter (WGN America) – 79,000 viewers (approximately) ^
Strike Back (Cinemax) – 75,000 viewers *

* denotes all those shows that have since been cancelled or came to a planned ending
^ denotes those shows that have yet to be renewed

NOTE: The ratings for the following shows could not be tracked down: Sanditon (PBS), Vienna Blood (PBS), War of the Worlds (EPIX), Call the Midwife (PBS), Baptiste (PBS), Belgravia (EPIX) and World on Fire (PBS).

The third list covers the dramas that aired on the major networks over the summer from April through August:

Council of Dads (NBC) – 2.9 million viewers *
Blindspot (NBC) – 1.9 million viewers *
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) – 1.5 million viewers *
Stargirl (The CW) – 955,000 viewers
The 100 (The CW) – 655,000 viewers *
Burden of Truth (The CW) – 544,000 viewers
In the Dark (The CW) – 421,000 viewers
Bulletproof (The CW) – 360,000 viewers
Tell Me A Story [Season 1] (The CW) – 359.000 viewers

* denotes all those shows that have since been cancelled or came to a planned ending

The fourth list covers all of the cable dramas that aired over the summer from the end of April through September:

Yellowstone (Paramount Network) – 3.9 million viewers
Good Witch (Hallmark Channel) – 1.9 million viewers
Greenleaf (OWN) – 1.3 million viewers *
Snowpiercer (TNT) – 1.3 million viewers
The Alienist: Angel of Darkness (TNT) – 1 million viewers ^
Perry Mason (HBO) – 911,000 viewers
Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story (USA Network) – 844,000 viewers ^
The Chi (Showtime) – 399,000 viewers
NOS4A2 (AMC) – 378,000 viewers *
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (Showtime) – 348,000 viewers *
Wynonna Earp (Syfy) – 319,000 viewers
Hightown (Starz) – 236,000 viewers
The Bold Type (Freeform) – 182,000 viewers ^
We Hunt Together (Showtime) – 127,000 viewers ^
Agatha Christie’s Partners In Crime (Ovation) – 125,000 viewers (approximately) *
NOS4A2 (BBC America) – 99,000 viewers *
The Secret State (Ovation) – 76,000 viewers (approximately) *
The Code (Ovation) – 50,000 viewers (approximately) *

* denotes all those shows that have since been cancelled or came to a planned ending
^ denotes those shows that have yet to be renewed

NOTE: Ratings for the following show could not be tracked down: 800 Words [Season 1] (UPtv), Britannia (EPIX), Endeavour (PBS), Grantchester (PBS), Beecham House (PBS) and Trackers (Cinemax).

The fifth list covers the cable network dramas that aired from approximately August to mid-December:

The Walking Dead (Delayed Season 10 Season Finale Episode] (AMC) – 2.7 million viewers
Fear the Walking Dead (AMC) – 1.4 million viewers
The Haves and the Have Nots (OWN) [Season 7] – 1.2 million viewers
The Undoing (HBO) – 1.1 million viewers *
The Haves and the Have Nots (OWN) [Season 8] – 1 million viewers **
The Walking Dead: World Beyond (AMC) – 810,000 viewers
Fargo (FX) – 795,000 viewers
Lovecraft Country (HBO) – 742,000 viewers ^
Power Book II: Ghost (Starz) – 572,000 viewers **
Your Honor (Showtime) – 548,000 viewers **
The Astronauts (Nickelodeon) – 467,000 viewers
The Comey Rule (Showtime) – 398,000 viewers *
Black Narcissus (FX) – 363,000 viewers *
The Spanish Princess (Starz) – 237,000 viewers
Euphoria [Special Episode] (HBO) – 236,000 viewers
The Good Lord Bird (Showtime) – 233,000 viewers *
His Dark Materials (HBO) – 229,000 viewers **
Soulmates (AMC) – 198,000 viewers
The Third Day (HBO) – 164,000 viewers *
Industry (HBO) – 109,000 viewers
800 Words [Season 2] (UPtv) – 108,000 viewers (approximately)
We Are Who We Are (HBO) – 72,000 viewers ^
Warrior (Cinemax) – 70,000 viewers
The A Word (Sundance TV) – 50,000 (approximately)

* denotes all those shows that have since been cancelled or came to a planned ending
^ denotes the shows that have yet to be renewed
** denotes those shows that aired episodes after Christmas Day that could not be included in this post as numbers were not available in time

NOTE: Ratings for the following show could not be tracked down: Britannia (EPIX), Cobra (PBS), Deutschland 89 (Sundance TV), Flesh and Blood (PBS), Pennyworth (EPIX), Roadkill (PBS), The Fall (Ovation), The Trouble with Maggie Cole (PBS), and Van der Valk (PBS).

The sixth and final list covers all of the major network dramas that aired during the first half of the 2020-2021 TV season, covering September to approximately mid-December [and in most cases a truncated amount of episodes for many of the dramas]:

NCIS (CBS) – 9.4 million viewers
FBI (CBS) – 7.6 million viewers
Chicago Med (NBC) – 7.6 million viewers
Chicago Fire (NBC) – 7.3 million viewers
This Is Us (NBC) – 6.8 million viewers
Chicago P.D. (NBC) – 6.3 million viewers
Blue Bloods (CBS) – 6.3 million viewers
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) – 6.1 million viewers
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – 5.7 million viewers
Station 19 (ABC) – 5.6 million viewers
Magnum, P.I. (CBS) – 5.4 million viewers
FBI: Most Wanted (CBS) – 5.2 million viewers
Bull (CBS) – 4.9 million viewers
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) – 4.9 million viewers
MacGyver (CBS) – 4.7 million viewers
The Good Doctor (ABC) – 4.6 million viewers
All Rise (CBS) – 4.2 million viewers
SEAL Team (CBS) – 4.2 million viewers
Big Sky (ABC) – 4 million viewers
A Million Little Things (ABC) – 3.7 million viewers
Nurses (NBC) – 3.7 million viewers
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC) – 3.5 million viewers
The Blacklist (NBC) – 3.5 million viewers
Transplant (NBC) – 3.5 million viewers
S.W.A.T. (CBS) – 3.1 million viewers
For Life (ABC) – 2 million viewers
L.A.’s Finest (FOX) [Season 1] – 1.9 million viewers * ^
Star Trek: Discovery (CBS) – 1.7 million viewers
Filthy Rich (FOX) – 1.6 million viewers *
Manhunt: Deadly Games (CBS) – 1.6 million viewers *
NEXT (FOX) – 1.1 million viewers *
Supernatural (The CW) – 1.1 million viewers *
Swamp Thing (The CW) – 740,000 viewers * ^
Coroner [Season 1] (The CW) – 700,000 viewers
Coroner [Season 2] (The CW) – 683,000 viewers
Devils (The CW) – 481,000 viewers *
The Outpost (The CW) – 415,000 viewers ^
Tell Me A Story [Season 2] (The CW) – 398,000 viewers * ^
Pandora (The CW) – 338,000 viewers **

* denotes all those shows that have since been cancelled or came to a planned ending
^ denotes those shows that aired episodes after Christmas Day that could not be included in this post as numbers were not available in time
** denotes those shows that have not been renewed nor cancelled yet

The final analyses of all these ratings for both the major and cable networks for the entire year are as follows:

1. NCIS continued its dominance as not only the number one drama on CBS but also the overall number one drama out of all of the major networks. CBS still also stands as the top network with the most dramas in the top 10. The network also has the highest rated new drama in FBI: Most Wanted. As for the lowest rated dramas, that goes to the acquired shows Manhunt: Deadly Games and Star Trek: Discovery.

NOTE: It should be noted that the network cancelled God Friended Me despite it averaging 6 million viewers each week; while keeping the drama Evil, which only averages 3.2 million viewers each week.

2. For ABC, Station 19 has taken over as the number drama for the network with Grey’s Anatomy a very close second. The lowest rated dramas were Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [which came to an end after five seasons as of May] and the renewed drama For Life.

NOTE: The new dramas Stumptown, The Baker and the Beauty and Emergence were all cancelled despite earning slightly higher ratings than For Life.

3. For the third year in a row 9-1-1 is the highest rated drama for FOX with 9-1-1: Lone Star a close second. The lowest rated shows were the short-lived dramas NEXT and Filthy Rich that debuted this fall and were cancelled after only a few episodes aired, but were given the opportunity to burn off their one season worth of episodes.

4. Just like last year Chicago Med was the highest rated drama on NBC with Chicago Fire an extremely close second. Also just like last year Good Girls is one of the two lowest rated dramas with the other being the new drama Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.

5. As for The CW, The Flash was the number one drama with Supernatural, which came to a conclusion after 15 seasons in November, was a close second. The lowest rated dramas on the network was Dynasty – which, for some reason, was renewed for a fourth [yes, 4th!] season – and Pandora, which came back for a second season in October.

NOTE: The new drama Katy Keene actually performed slightly better than both of those lowest rated dramas (Dynasty and Pandora), but got cancelled after only one season.

6. Yellowstone on the Paramount Network and The Walking Dead on AMC rank as the highest rated cable dramas on TV while the new drama We Are Who We Are from HBO and the final
season of Strike Back on Cinemax were the lowest rated cable dramas.

The final list – which is extremely long – covers all of the made-for-TV movies, mini-series, event series and specials that aired during 2020 on both the major and cable networks for which ratings could be tracked down.

Here is that extremely long list:

Christmas Waltz (Hallmark Channel) – 3.9 million viewers
If I Only Had Christmas (Hallmark Channel) – 3.9 million viewers
A Timeless Christmas (Hallmark Channel) – 3.4 million viewers
Five Star Christmas (Hallmark Channel) – 3.4 million viewers
Cross Country Christmas (Hallmark Channel) – 3.3 million viewers
A Nashville Christmas Carol (Hallmark Channel) – 3.2 million viewers
A Christmas Carousel (Hallmark Channel) – 3.1 million viewers
Christmas by Starlight (Hallmark Channel) – 3.1 million viewers
One Royal Holiday (Hallmark Channel) – 3.1 million viewers
Christmas She Wrote (Hallmark Channel) – 3 million viewers
Love, Lights, Hanukkah! (Hallmark Channel) – 3 million viewers

Christmas in Vienna (Hallmark Channel) – 2.9 million viewers
Good Morning Christmas (Hallmark Channel) – 2.9 million viewers
Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater (Lifetime) – 2.9 million viewers
Christmas with the Darlings (Hallmark Channel – 2.8 million viewers
On the 12th Date of Christmas (Hallmark Channel) – 2.8 million viewers
Chateau Christmas (Hallmark Channel) – 2.7 million viewers
Jingle Bell Bride (Hallmark Channel) – 2.7 million viewers
The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel (Lifetime) – 2.7 million viewers
Just My Type (Hallmark Channel) – 2.6 million viewers
You’re Bacon Me Crazy (Hallmark Channel) – 2.6 million viewers
A Valentine’s Match (Hallmark Channel) – 2.5 million viewers
Christmas Comes Twice (Hallmark Channel) – 2.5 million viewers
Christmas in Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing (Hallmark Channel) – 2.5 million viewers
Matching Hearts (Hallmark Channel) – 2.5 million viewers
Winter in Vail (Hallmark Channel) – 2.5 million viewers
Zombies 2 (Disney) – 2.5 million viewers
Hearts of Winter (Hallmark Channel) – 2.3 million viewers
Love in Winterland (Hallmark Channel) – 2.3 million viewers
The Christmas House (Hallmark Channel) – 2.3 million viewers
Love on Iceland (Hallmark Channel) – 2.2 million viewers
Nature of Love (Hallmark Channel) – 2.3 million viewers
The Secret Ingredient (Hallmark Channel) – 2.3 million viewers
Country at Heart (Hallmark Channel) – 2.2 million viewers
Follow Me to Daisy Hills (Hallmark Channel) – 2.2 million viewers
Love on Harbor Island (Hallmark Channel) – 2.2 million viewers
Sweet Autumn (Hallmark Channel) – 2.2 million viewers
Wedding Every Weekend (Hallmark Channel) – 2.2 million viewers
Falling for Look Lodge (Hallmark Channel) – 2.1 million viewers
Love in the Forecast (Hallmark Channel) – 2.1 million viewers
Love in Store (Hallmark Channel) – 2 million viewers
My Best Friend’s Bouquet (Hallmark Channel) – 2 million viewers
Romance in the Air (Hallmark Channel) – 2 million viewers

Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.9 million viewers
A Glenbrooke Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.8 million viewers
Fashionably Yours (Hallmark Channel) – 1.8 million viewers
Heart of the Holidays (Hallmark Channel) – 1.8 million viewers
How to Train Your Husband (Hallmark Channel) – 1.8 million viewers
A Christmas Tree Grows in Colorado (Hallmark Channel) – 1.7 million viewers
Love Under the Olive Tree (Hallmark Channel) – 1.7 million viewers
Matchmaker Mysteries: A Fatal Romance (Hallmark Channel) – 1.7 million viewers
USS Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.7 million viewers
Aurora Teagarden Mystery: Heist and Seek (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.6 million viewers
Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Reunited and It Feels So Deadly (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.6 million viewers
Bad Date Chronicles (Hallmark Channel) – 1.6 million viewers
A Godwink Christmas: Second Chance, First Love (Hallmark Channel) – 1.4 million viewers
A Little Christmas Charm (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.4 million viewers
Crossword Mysteries: Abra-Cadaver (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.4 million viewers
Dear Christmas (Lifetime) – 1.2 million viewers
Follow Your Heart (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.4 million viewers
Project Christmas Wish (Lifetime) – 1.4 million viewers
Roux the Day: A Gourmet Detective Mystery (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.4 million viewers
The Angel Tree (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.4 million viewers
Unlocking Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.4 million viewers
A Beautiful Place to Die: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.3 million viewers
Amazing Winter Romance (Hallmark Channel) – 1.3 million viewers
Christmas on the Menu (Lifetime) – 1.3 million viewers
Feliz NaviDAD (Lifetime) – 1.3 million viewers
Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding (Lifetime) – 1.3 million viewers
Meet Me at Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.3 million viewers
Mystery 101: An Education in Murder (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.3 million viewers
Riddled With Deceit: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.3 million viewers
Ruby Herring Mysteries: Prediction Murder (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.3 million viewers
Swept Up by Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.3 million viewers
Too Close for Christmas (Lifetime) – 1.3 million viewers
A Taste of Christmas (Lifetime) – 1.2 million viewers
Christmas on the Vine (Lifetime) – 1.2 million viewers
Cranberry Christmas (Hallmark Channel) – 1.2 million viewers
The Christmas Doctor (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.2 million viewers
The Christmas Ring (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.2 million viewers
The Santa Squad (Lifetime) – 1.2 million viewers
Deliver by Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.1 million viewers
Inn Love by Christmas (Lifetime) – 1.1 million viewers
J.L. Ranch: The Wedding Gift (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.1 million viewers
Lonestar Christmas – 1.1 million viewers
Matchmaker Mysteries: A Fatal Romance (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.1 million viewers
Picture Perfect Mysteries: Dead Over Diamonds (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.1 million viewers
Picture Perfect Mysteries: Exit, Stage Death (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1.1 million viewers
Spotlight on Christmas (Lifetime) – 1.1 million viewers
Christmas Tree Lane (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 1 million viewers
Christmas on Wheels (Lifetime) – 1 million viewers

Christmas at the Castle (Lifetime) – 991,000 viewers
Holly & Ivy (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 982,000 viewers
Once Upon a Main Street (Lifetime) – 969,000 viewers
A Christmas Exchange (Lifetime) – 914,000 viewers
The Christmas Bow (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) – 911,000 viewers
The Christmas High Note (Lifetime) – 908,000 viewers
The Christmas Yule Blog (Lifetime) – 895,000 viewers
A Very Charming Christmas Town (Lifetime) – 835,000 viewers
Let’s Meet Again on Christmas Eve (Lifetime) – 823,000 viewers
The Christmas Setup (Lifetime) – 814,000 viewers
A Sugar & Spice Holiday (Lifetime) – 811,000 viewers
Christmas Ever After (Lifetime) – 787,000 viewers
A Crafty Christmas Romance (Lifetime) 762,000 viewers
Christmas on Ice (Lifetime) – 758,000 viewers
The Christmas Listing (Lifetime) – 758,000 viewers
Cooking Up Christmas (OWN) – 746,000 viewers
Homemade Christmas (Lifetime) – 742,000 viewers
The Christmas Edition (Lifetime) – 731,000 viewers
A Welcome Home Christmas (Lifetime) – 721,000 viewers
A Christmas Break (Lifetime) – 705,000 viewers
Christmas Unwrapped (Lifetime) – 702,000 viewers
The Christmas Lottery (BET) – 645,000 viewers
The Christmas Aunt (Lifetime) – 613,000 viewers
The Warrant (INSP) – 613,000 viewers
First Christmas (OWN) – 585,000 viewers
Forever Christmas (Lifetime) – 554,000 viewers
A Christmas for Mary (OWN) – 527,000 viewers
A Very Country Christmas Homecoming (UPtv) – 262,000 viewers
Love In the Time of Corona [Part 3] (Freeform) – 217,000 viewers
Love In the Time of Corona [Part 1] (Freeform) – 201,000 viewers
Between the World and Me (HBO) – 183,000 viewers
Steppin’ Back to Love (TV One) – 181,000 viewers
The Thing About Harry (Freeform) – 181,000 viewers
Christmas Dilemma (TV One) – 164,000 viewers
Love In the Time of Corona [Part 2] (Freeform) – 137,000 viewers
Love In the Time of Corona [Part 4] (Freeform) – 134,000 viewers

NOTE: The following two movies: Call the Midwife Holiday Special on PBS and My Sweet Holiday on Lifetime aired on Christmas Day. The ratings for those two movies were not available in time for the posting of this year-end round-up.

Ratings for the following made-for-TV movies could not be tracked down or weren’t available in time for this post:

A Chance in the World (Bounce)
A Moving Romance (UPtv)
A Ring for Christmas (UPtv)
A Royal Christmas Engagement (ION)
Advance & Retreat (UPtv)
Beaus of Holly (ION)
Brimming With Love (UPtv)
Can’t Buy Me Love (UPtv)
Change of Heart (UPtv)
Christmas on the Range (UPtv)
Christmas Together (ION)
Coins for Love (TV One)
Cookie Mobster (UPtv)
Dashing Home for Christmas (UPtv)
Dashing in Christmas (Paramount Network
Diagnosis Delicious (UPtv)
Forever My Girl (UPtv)
Groomzilla (UPtv)
Happily Never After (UPtv)
Hopeless Romantic (UPtv)
How Not to Propose (UPtv)
In-Lawfully Yours (UPtv)
Late Bloomer (UPtv)
Love By Accident (UPtv)
Love In Harmony Valley (UPtv)
Love, Unplugged (UPtv)
Mechanics of Love (UPtv)
Midway to Love (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
Mistletoe Magic (UPtv)
Mr. Write (UPtv)
Once Upon a Date (UPtv)
Same Time, Next Week (UPtv)
Secret Millionaire (UPtv)
Sisters of the Groom (UPtv)
The Christmas Sitters (ION)
The Time Capsule (UPtv)
Timeless Love (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
Twist of Fate (UPtv)
Tomboy (UPtv)
Touched By Romance (UPtv)
Undercover Angel (UPtv)
Vision of Love (UPtv)
Wedding Do Over (UPtv)
Woman of the House (UPtv)

What TV dramas, made-for-TV movies, mini-series and/or specials have you enjoyed the most throughout the year? Please share.

TOMORROW: Faces of 2020

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The following industry personalities passed away in 2020 and heartfelt condolences are extended to their families, friends and fans.

But first let’s take a moment of silence for the over 280,000 Americans who have lost their lives due to the coronavirus as well as the more than 7,000 essential workers across the world who have lost their lives to the pandemic.

We also need to pay due respects to those who were lost in the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash that took the 42-year-old basketball legend’s life in addition to his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and the following other victims:

Payton Chester, 13, and Sarah Chester, 45
Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46 and John Altobelli, 56
Christina Mauser, 38
Ara Zobayan (the pilot), 50

The celebrities we have lost this year (in alphabetical order):

Raymond Allen (Actor, “Sanford and Son”)

Orson Bean (Veteran Actor, “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman)
David Bellisario (Producer, NCIS)
Royana Black (Actress, “Raising Miranda”)
Honor Blackman (Actress, Bond Girl Pussy Galore in “Goldfinger”)
Steve Bing (American Businessman, Philanthropist, Film Producer and Elizabeth Hurley’s Ex-Husband)
William Blinn (Screenwriter, “Brian’s Song” and “Roots”)
Mark Blum (Actor, “Desperately Seeking Susan”)
Chadwick Boseman (Actor, “Black Panther”)
Gregory Tyree Boyce (Actor, “Twilight” movie)
Wilford Brimley (Veteran Actor, “Our House” and “Cocoon”)
Lou Brock (Baseball Hall of Famer)
Timothy Brown (MASH Star and Former NFL Star)
Jeremy Bulloch (Original Boba Fett “Star Wars” Films)
Edd Byrnes (Actor, “77 Sunsent Strip”)

Herman Cain (Business Executive and Former Presidential Candidate)
John Callahan (Actor, “All My Children”)
Earl Cameron (One of the first major Black Actors in British Cinema)
Brent Carver (Broadway Star, “Kiss of the Spider Woman”)
Marge Champion (Golden Age TV Dancer, Model for Disney’s Snow White) [She was 101]
Lynn Cohen (Actress, “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”)
Daisy Coleman (Star, Netflix Documentary “Audrie & Daisy”)
Sean Connery (Veteran Actor, James Bond films, starting with “Dr. No” in 1962 through “Diamonds Are Forever” in 1971)
Robert Conrad (Actor, “The Wild Wild West” and “Black Sheep Squadron”)
Nick Cordero (Broadway Star)
Leanza Cornett (Miss America 1993)
Norm Crosby (Comedian known for his frequent malapropism)
Ben Cross (Actor, “Chariots of Fire”)

Abby Dalton (Actress, “Falcon Crest”)
Charlie Daniels (Violinist and Man Behind the Hit Song ‘Devil Went Down to Georgia’)
Mac Davis (Singer, Actor and TV Variety Show Host)
Spencer Davis (1960’s singer, ‘Gimme Some Lovin’)
Olivia de Havilland (Veteran Actress, “Gone With the Wind”)
Brian Dennehy (Veteran Actor, “First Blood” and “Cocoon”)
Chi Chi DeVayne (RuPaul’s Drag Race Alum)
Tommy DeVito (A Founding Member of The Four Seasons)
Dena Dietrich (Character Actress, Face of Mother Nature in Chiffon Margarine TV Commercial campaign)
Joe Diffie (Singer and Guitarist)
David Dinkins (Former Mayor of New York City)
Kevin Dobson (Actor, “Knots Landing”)
Kirk Douglas (Veteran Actor and Screen Legend)
Shirley Douglas (Mother of Actor Keifer Sutherland)
Hugh Downs (Legendary Broadcaster)
Ja’Net DuBois (Actress, “Good Times” and Singer/Co-Writer of The Jeffersons theme song)

Edward S. Feldman (Oscar-Nominated Producer, “Witness”)
Conchata Ferrell (Actress, “Two and a Half Men” and “Mystic Pizza”)
Caroline Flack (Former Love Island host)
Rhonda Fleming (Queen of Technicolor, “Spellbound” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court)
D.C. Fontana (Writer, “Star Trek”)
Wayne Fontana (Pop Singer from the band The Mindbenders)
Robert Forster (Actor, “Jackie Brown” and “Mulholland Drive”)

Phyllis George (American Businesswoman, Actress and Sportscaster)
Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Supreme Court Justice and Gender Equality Advocate)
Mary Pat Gleason (Character Actress and Writer, “Guiding Light”)
Leonard Goldberg (Producer, “Charlie’s Angels,” “T.J. Hooker,” “Fantasy Island “and “Blue Bloods”)
Terry Goodkind (Author, ‘The Sword of Truth’ – the book on which the series “Legend of the Seeker” was based)
Charles Gordon (Oscar-Nominated Producer, “Field of Dreams” and “Die Hard”)
Galyn Gorg (Actress, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”)
Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac founder and guitarist)
Winston Groom (Author, ‘Forrest Gump’)
Cady Groves (Country Singer) [She was only 30]

Andre Harrell (Uptown Records Founder)
Charlie Hauck (Writer and Producer, “Maude” and “Frasier”)
Richard Herd (Veteran Actor, “The China Syndrome”)
Frederick “Toots” Hibbert (Jamaican Singer and Songwriter)
Ian Holm (Veteran Actor, “The Lord of the Rings” franchise)
Roy Horn (Legendary Illusionist)
Silvio Horta (Creator of Ugly Betty)
Jan Howard (Country Icon)
Brian Howe (Lead Singer of Bad Company)

Grant Imahara (American Electrical Engineer, Roboticist, TV Host and Actor)

Katherine Johnson (Legendary Mathematician “Hidden Figures”) [She was 101]
Rafer Johnson (Olympian, American Decathlete and Film Actor)
Jay Johnstone (Baseball Player on the Los Angeles Dodgers and TV Sports Announcer)
Terry Jones (Creator and Actor, “Monty Python”)

Hugh Keays-Byrne (Actor, Villain Toecutter in Mad Max and Villain Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road)
Lynn Kellogg-Simpers (Original Sheila in the 1968 Broadway production of “Hair”)
Tom Kennedy (Game Show Host, “Name That Tune”)
Benjamin Keough (Grandson of Elvis Presley, Son of Lisa Marie Presley)
Hal Ketchum (Country Music Artist)
Irrfan Khan (Actor, “Jurassic World”)
Stan Kirsch (Actor, “Highlander”)
Shirley Knight (Actress, “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” and “Sweet Bird of Youth”)
Larry Kramer (Playwright and Activist)

David Lander (Actor, Squiggy from “Laverne & Shirley”)
Don Larsen (Former New York Yankees Baseball Player)
John le Carre (Renowned Spy Novelist)
James Charles Lehrer (Journalist, Novelist, Screenwriter and Playwright)
John Lewis (Congressman)
Lil Mario (Rapper)
James Lipton (TV Host, “Inside the Actors Studio”)
Tommy “Tiny” Lister (Former Professional Wrestler and actor, “Friday” and “The Fifth Element”)
Little Richard (Legendary Musician and Singer)
Sam Lloyd (Character Actor, “Scrubs”)
Michael Londsdale (French Actor, “Moonraker” and “The Day of the Jackal”)
Trini Lopez (Singer, Guitarist and Actor, “The Dirty Dozen”)
Rebecca Luker (Tony-nominated actress, “Mary Poppins,” “Show Boat” and “Music Man”)
Vera Lynn (British Singer, ‘We’ll Meet Again’)

Diego Maradona (Argentine Soccer Great-Manager and World Cup Winner)
Nikki McKibbin (Third Place, American Idol Season 1)
Terrence McNally (Theater Playwright)
Alan Merrill (Legendary Songwriter)
Clark Middleton (Actor, “The Blacklist” and “Twin Peaks”)
Ian Mitchell (Bay City Rollers, Bassist)
Ennio Morricone (Award-Winning Italian Composer)

Kellye Nakahara (Actress, “MASH)”
Johnny Nash (Singer, ‘I Can See Clearly Now’)
Fred “Curly” Neal (Former Harlem Globetrotter Member)
Claudette Nevins (Actress, “Sleeping With the Enemy” and “Melrose Place”)
Margaret Nolan (“Goldfinger” Model and Actress, “A Hard Day’s Night”)

David Olney (Folk singer)
K.T. Oslin (Grammy Award Winning Country Singer and Songwriter)
Ken Osmond (Actor, “Leave It to Beaver”)

Alan Parker (Director, “Fame” and “Midnight Express”)
Neil Peart (Rush, Drummer)
Regis Philbin (Legendary TV Talk Show Host)
Bonnie Pointer (From The Pointer Sisters)
Peggy Pope (Character Actress, “Bewitched” and “The Last Starfighter”)
John Prine (Folk Singer and Songwriter)
Mary Pratt (Trailblazing Baseball Player, Last Living Player on the First Roster for the Rockford Peaches)
Kelly Preston (Actress, “What A Girl Wants” and Wife of John Travolta)
Charley Pride (Country Music Superstar and First Black Member of the Country Music Hall of Fame)
David Prowse (Actor who played Darth Vader, “Star Wars”)

Sushant Singh Rajput (Bollywood star)
Elsa Raven (Veteran Character Actress, “Back to the Future” and “Titanic”)
Helen Reddy (Legendary Singer, Grammy Winner, Variety Show Lead and Emblem of Feminism)
Sumner Redstone (American Businessman)
Harold Reid (Bass Singer, Statler Brothers)
Carl Reiner (Legendary Comedian, Actor and Director)
Ann Reinking (Ton Winner and Star of Broadway’s “Chicago”)
Diana Rigg (Legendary Actress, “Avengers” and “Game of Thrones”)
Naya Rivera (Actress-Singer, “Glee”)
David Roback (Legendary Guitarist and Co-Founder of Band Mazzy Star)
Cliff Robinson (Former NBA Player)
Kenny Rogers (Famed Country Singer and Actor)
Larry Rosen (Producer, “The Partridge Family”)
Joe Ruby (Co-Creator, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You”)

Reni Santoni (Actor, “Dirty Harry” and “Seinfeld”)
John Saxon (Veteran Actor, “Enter the Dragon” and “The Appaloosa”)
Gale Sayers (Former Football Player, Chicago Bears)
Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne Member and Songwriter)
David Schramm (Actor, “Wings”)
Esther Scott (Veteran Actress, “Boyz in the Hood” and Voice Actor)
Joel Schumacher (Director, “Batman Forever”)
Ashina Sei (Asian Actress, “Silk”) [She was only 36]
John Sessions (Comedian and Actor, “Outlander”)
Lynn Shelton (Director, “Humpday” and “Your Sister’s Sister”)
Fred Silverman (Executive NBC and CBS)
Jean Kennedy Smith (Former U.S. Ambassador)
Herb Solow (Producer who sold “Star Trek” to NBC)
Phyllis Somerville (Veteran Actress, “Little Children” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”)
Ken Spears (Co-Creator, “Scooby-Doo”)
Caroll Edwin Spinney (Cartoonist, Author, Speaker and Puppeteer, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on “Sesame Street”)
Jerry Stiller (Legendary Comedian and Actor)

Yuko Takeuchi (Japanese Actress, “The Ring”) [She was 40]
Kurt Thomas (Olympic Gymnast)
Danny Tidwell (Dancer, “So You Think You Can Dance”)
Alex Trebek (Jeopardy Game Show Host)

Eddie Van Halen (Legendary Guitarist, Rock Group Van Halen)
Max von Sydow (Veteran Actor, “The Seventh Seal,” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”)

Lyle Waggoner (Actor, “Wonder Woman”)
Jerry Jeff Walker (Singer and Songwriter, ‘Mr. Bojangels’)
Nikita Pearl Waligwa (star of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe”) [She was only 15]
Dawn Wells (Actress, “Gilligan’s Island”)
Leslie West (Singer and Guitarist from rock group Mountain known for ‘Mississippi Queen’)
Stuart Whitman (Veteran Actor, “The Longest Day” and “The Day the Earth Stood Still”)
Fred Willard (Legendary Comedian and Actor)
Logan Williams (Canadian Actor) [He was only 16]
Bruce Williamson (Singer, The Temptations)
Mel Winkler (Actor, Voice Actor, Stage Performer and Dancer)
Bill Withers (Singer-Songwriter and Musician, ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’)
Betty Wright (Grammy-Winning Soul Singer)
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Author, ‘Prozac Nation’)

Chuck Yeager (First Pilot to Break the Sound Barrier)

NOTE: This list, in no way, covers all the industry talent who passed away this year. Again, condolences are extended to one and all.

Out of respect, please take a moment of silence.

TOMORROW: TV Ratings

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Every year there are lots of awards shows, some important, some just fun and numerous just plain silly or nonsensical, but the following list – despite the pandemic – is just some of the top winners over the course of this year:

GOLDEN GLOBES (January)

Best Motion Picture, Drama – 1917
Best Actress, Drama – Renee Zellweger in Judy
Best Actress, Musical/Comedy – Awkwafina in The Farewell
Best Actor, Musical/Comedy – Taron Egerton in Rocketman
Best Motion Picture, Animated – Missing Link
Best Actress, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for TV – Michelle Williams in Fosse/Verdon
Best Actress, Drama – Olivia Colman in The Crown
Best TV Series, Drama – Succession (HBO)

CRITIC’S CHOICE (January)

Best Director – Sam Mendes, 1917 and Bong Joon Ho, Parasite
Best Adapted Screenplay – Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Best Hair and Makeup – Bombshell
Best Action Movie – Avengers: Endgame
Best Actress, Drama – Regina King in Watchmen
Best Supporting Actor, Drama – Billy Crudup in The Morning Show
Best Comedy Series – Fleabag (Amazon)
Best Supporting Actress, Comedy – Alex Borstein in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Support Actress, Limited Series or Made for TV Movie – Toni Collette in Unbelievable

SAG AWARDS (January)

Outstanding Male Actor, Drama – Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones
Outstanding Male Actor, TV Movie or Mini-Series – Sam Rockwell in Fosse/Verdon
Outstanding Ensemble in Comedy – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Outstanding Female Actor, Drama – Jennifer Aniston in The Morning Show

GRAMMY AWARDS (January)

Best New Artist – Billie Eilish
Best Country Duo/Group – Dan & Shay
Best Pop Solo Performance – Lizzo
Best Rock Performance – Gary Clark Jr.
Best Rock Album – Cage the Elephant
Best Music Film – Homecoming

OSCARS (February)

Best Picture – Parasite
Best Original Song – “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from Rocketman
Best Makeup and Hair – Bombshell
Best Sound Editing – Ford v Ferrari
Best Costume Design – Jacqueline Durran for Little Women
Best Animated Feature – Toy Story 4

BANFF WORLD MEDIA FESTIVAL (June)

Grand Jury Prize Winner – Fleabag
Drama Series – Gentleman Jack (BBC)
Sci-Fi and Genre Based Series – His Dark Material (HBO)

VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS (August)

Video of the Year – “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd
Best New Artist – Doja Cat
Artist of the Year – Lady Gaga
Best Collaboration – “Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande
Best Rock Album – “Orphans” by Coldplay

TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION (September)

Individual Achievement, Drama – Regina King in Watchmen
Outstanding Achievement, Drama – Succession (HBO)
Career Achievement Honoree – Alex Trebek
Heritage Award – Star Trek (CBS)

GOLD DERBY TV AWARDS (September)

Performer of the Year – Reese Witherspoon
Breakthrough Performer of the Year – Paul Mescal
Drama Actress – Laura Linney in Ozark
Drama Actor – Sam Heughan in Outlander
Supporting Actress, Drama – Helena Bonham Carter in The Crown
Comedy Guest Actress – Maya Rudolph in The Good Place
TV Movie – Bad Education
Supporting Actor, Limited Series/Movie – Jim Parsons in Hollywood

ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS (September)

Entertainer of the Year – Thomas Rhett and Carrie Underwood
Female Artist of the Year – Maren Morris
Male Artist of the Year – Luke Combs
Group of the Year – Old Dominion
Songwriter of the Year – Hillary Lindsey

EMMY AWARDS (September)

Supporting Actress, Drama – Julia Garner in Ozark
Lead Actress, Drama – Zendaya in Euphoria
Lead Actor, Drama – Jeremy Strong in Succession
Supporting Actress, Limited Series or Movie – Uzo Aduba in Mrs. America
Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie – Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Watchmen
Lead Actor, Limited Series or Movie – Mark Ruffalo in I Know This Much Is True

BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS (October)

Top Artist – Post Malone
Fan Voted Achievement Award – Harry Styles
Top New Artist – Billie Eilish
Top Duo/Group – Jonas Brothers
Top Touring Artist – Pink
Top Country Female Artist – Maren Morris
Top Rock Artist – Panic at the Disco
Top Christian Artist – Lauren Daigle
Top Soundtrack – Frozen II
Top Rock Song – “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” by Panic At The Disco

CMA AWARDS (November)

Entertainer of the Year – Eric Church
Vocal Group of the Year – Old Dominion
Music Video of the Year – “Bluebird” by Miranda Lambert
New Artist of the Year – Morgan Wallen

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS (November)

The Movie of 2020 – Bad Boys for Life
The Comedy Movie of 2020 – The Kissing Booth 2
The Action Movie of 2020 – Mulan
The Drama Movie of 2020 – Hamilton
The Family Movie of 2020 – Onward
The Drama Movie Star of 2020 – Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
The Comedy Movie Star of 2020 – Joey King, The Kissing Booth 2
The Action Movie Star of 2020 – Chris Hemsworth, Extraction
The Show of 2020 – Grey’s Anatomy
The Drama Show of 2020 – Riverdale
The Comedy Show of 2020 – Never Have I Ever
The Male TV Star of 2020 – Cole Sprouse, Riverdale
The Drama TV Star of 2020 – Mandy Moore, This Is Us
The Bingeworthy Show of 2020 – Outer Banks
The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2020 – Wynonna Earp
The New Artist of 2020 -Doja Cat

AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS (November)

Artist of the Year – Taylor Swift
New Artist of the Year – Doja Cat
Collaboration of the Year – Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber
Favorite Album – Harry Styles, “Fine Line
Favorite Song: Pop/Rock – Dua Lipa, “Don’t Start Now”
Favorite Male Artist – Kane Brown
Favorite Song: Country – Maren Morris, “The Bones” AND Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours”
Favorite Male Artist: Soul/R&B – The Weeknd
Favorite Artist: Alternative Rock – Twenty One Pilots
Favorite Artist: Adult Contemporary – Jonas Brothers
Favorite Artist: Contemporary Inspirational – Lauren Daigle
Favorite Artist: Electronic Dance Music – Lady Gaga
Favorite Soundtrack – Birds of Prey: The Album

Congratulations to all of the above winners (and the countless others who won awards) this year. Are any of the above your favorites? Do you think there was an actor or actress who was overlooked this year? Please share your thoughts.

TOMORROW: Condolences

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This year has been very difficult for the movie industry, to say the least, with nearly all Cineplexs being shut down for most of the year because of the pandemic – and despite drive-ins being open and some movies getting released to the miniscule movie theatres across the country that were allowed to be opened – the box office numbers have been far removed from their usual stellar numbers as in the years past.

The following are the top 30 movies (up through December 19):

1. Bad Boys for Life – 204 million
2. 1917 – 157 million
3. Sonic the Hedgehog -146 million
4. Jumanji: The Next Level – 124 million
5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – 124 million
6. Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn – 84 million
7. Dolittle – 77 million
8. Little Women – 71 million
9. The Invisible Man – 65 million
10. The Call of the Wild – 62.3 million
11. Onward – 61.5 million
12. Knives Out – 50 million
13. Frozen II – 47 million
14. Tenet – 46 million
15. Spies in Disguise – 37 million
16. The Gentlemen – 36 million
17. Just Mercy – 35.7 million
18. Parasite – 31 million
19. The Croods: A New Age – 27 million
20. Fantasy Island – 26 million
21. Uncut Gems – 25.7 million
22. The New Mutants – 24 million
23. Like a Boss – 22 million
24. The Grudge – 21 million
25. Unhinged – 20.8 million
26. The Photograph – 20.5 million
27. The War with Grandpa – 18 million
28. Underwater – 17 million
29. The Turning – 15.4 million
30. Gretel & Hansel – 15.3 million

Please note that so many tentpole movies and blockbusters (like Wonder Woman 1984, Black Widow and anything from the Marvel franchise) were expected to be released in 2020, but nearly all of them have been delayed until next year or beyond. Reminder: Wonder Woman 1984 will be out in theatres TODAY (Christmas Day) and on HBO Max.

There were also quite a number of box office movies (like Mulan, Enola Holmes, Artemis Fowl and the upcoming animated film Soul, just to name a few) that opted to air on streaming services (like Netflix and Disney+) rather than keep delaying their releases.

A few big news items that were announced in 2020 included Johnny Depp basically being forced to leave the Fantastic Beasts franchise because of the libel suit against The Sun (the UK newspaper). Meanwhile fans are demanding that Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard be fired from Aquaman 2. A more positive piece of news was that director Nia DaCosta (who directed the latest reboot of Candyman) will be the director of Captain Marvel 2. And, one of the most buzzed about performances of the year is from actor Riz Ahmed, the lead star in the 2019 film Sound of Metal where he plays a heavy metal drummer whose life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing. His performance in the film is so impressive that he is being touted as a possible Oscar nominee, which would make him the first Muslim lead nominee.

The following list consists of the 2020 movies that either performed very poorly at the box office, have been deemed some of the worst movies of the year by various critics (as well as movie goers) or just had horrible looking trailers. I’ll let you decide which is which.

They appear in alphabetical order:

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Brahms: The Boy II
Capone
Come Play
Doolittle
Downhill
Endings, Beginnings
Freaky
Gretel and Hansel
Impractical Jokers: The Movie
Irresistible
Like a Boss
Sonic the Hedgehog
The Hunt
The Lovebirds
The King of Staten Island
The New Mutants
The Rhythm Section
The TurningThe War with Grandpa
Underwater
Unhinged
Unpregnant

What movies did you actually get to see before the theatres closed down? What movies did you enjoy watching on any of the streaming services? What is the top movie delayed form this year that you cannot wait to see? Please share your thoughts and comments.

TOMORROW: Awards

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With all that has been happening this year because of the pandemic, music has certainly played an even more important role in people’s lives (or at least I want to believe it has) because EVERYONE has been spending a great deal more time at home.

I hope that you have found time to enjoy music throughout the year especially if it helped to alleviate tension, fear and stress.

You may not agree with my selections for this year, but these are just some of the standouts for 2020:

Top Female Singer of the Year – Maren Morris

Here is the video for her hit single “The Bones”:

Top Male Singer of the Year – The Weeknd

Here is the audio for his hit single “Blinding Light”:

Best Summer Song: “Watermelon Sugar” from Harry Styles

Here is the audio to that song:

Breaking that Glass Ceiling: Mickey Guyton performing at the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards [she became the first black woman ever to perform solo at the ceremony]

Here is her live performance of “What Are You Gonna Tell Her” [with Keith Urban on piano]

Favorite Song of the Pandemic: “Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa

Here is a video for that single:

Best Duet and Best ‘Get Up and Dance’ Single: “Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande

Here is the video for this single:

Welcome Back: The Chicks (nee The Dixie Chicks)

Here is the video for their latest single “Gaslighter”:

NOTE: According to Thrillist, this song is a “much-needed anthem of righteous catharsis,” and kudos go to Natalie Maines, Martie Erwin Maguire, and Emily Strayer for sticking to their guns. They were (unfairly) shamed by conservatives back in 2003 when they spoke out against George Bush and the Iraq War, but they were merely speaking their minds, not putting up with bulls*it, and given what’s happening in 2020, I have to commend and admire them for what they did.

The Only Justin Bieber Song That Can Be Tolerated: “10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber

Here is the audio for that single:

How Did He Get Bypassed for a Grammy Nomination for Best New Artist?: Lewis Capaldi

Here is the video for his single “Before You Go”:

Super Group of the Year: The Highwomen (comprising Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile and Amanda Shires)

Here is the video for their single “Crowded Table”:

The “Let It Go” of 2020: “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II sung by Idina Menzel and AURORA

Here is the video for that song:

What Is That Earworm? (Song That Sticks In Your Brain): “Moral of the Story” by Ashe

Here is the lyric video for that song:

The Jimi Hendrix-Alicia Keyes Combo (Best R&B Performer) – H.E.R.

H.E.R. (born Gabriella Wilson) is a talented singer-songwriter with mad piano and guitar skills, who was nominated for five Grammy Awards in 2019 – winning Best R&B Album of the Year – as well as being nominated for five Grammy Awards this year. She made an impression performing a cover version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” for the In Memoriam segment on the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards and was also featured in December’s televised “Time Person of the Year” presentation.

Here is the video of her performance on the Emmy Awards:

Terrific Cover Version of a Song Used in a Series Finale: “Carry On Wayward Son” by Neoni [the sister duo of Caitlin and Sidney]

Here is Neoni’s video:

What singer or band has been your “go-to” music during the pandemic? Which singles were the stand-outs for you this year? What song did you get sick of hearing on the radio? What was the top album in your opinion? Please share your thoughts on the music of 2020 below.

TOMORROW: The Big Screen

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When the 2019-2020 TV season came back from the holidays in January, the coronavirus wasn’t really on the radar here in the United States. It was a blip on the radar, a news item that barely got any attention. Unlike the man in the White House, we weren’t aware of the seriousness of the virus until the middle of March, as lockdowns began in earnest all across the country along with massive shutdowns of every single production on the planet.

It’s been a bleak year to say the least, but fortunately there have been some rays of hope throughout the year with new shows, returning favorites, some new movies and a slew of series finales.

The following are my top highlights for 2020 (in no particular order):

Highest Rated New Drama – FBI: Most Wanted (CBS)

Out of the dozen (or so) new dramas that debuted this TV season (2019-2020), the spin-off series FBI: Most Wanted ranked the highest with an average of 7.1 million viewers weekly.

Best Actress in a Drama – Yvonne Strahovki in Stateless (Netflix)

This gripping 6-part series, loosely based on the true story of Cornelia Rau, found Chuck and The Handmaid’s Tale alum Yvonne Strahovski starring as Sofie Werner, a flight attendant with an undiagnosed mental illness who joined, and escaped from, a cult-like group only to end up in a horrible Australian detention camp. This was a gritty role that left Strahovski almost unrecognizable for much of its run, and showed the depths of her acting skill beyond being just a pretty face.

Best Actor in a Drama [TIE] – Paul Mescal (Normal People on Hulu) and Jeremy Strong (Succession on HBO)

While I have not watched either drama, Paul Mescal has easily become one of the most talked about new actors on TV, who will be segwaying into films (make sure to check out my Faces of 2020 section, which will be posted in a few days for more details on him) while Jeremy Strong won an Emmy this year for Best Actor in a Drama.

Favorite New Drama – Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)

The series debuted on January 7, running 12 episodes through May 3, becoming one of the few stand-outs during the first lockdown. The finale was extremely moving especially with Zoey imagining dancing one last time with her father, whose health had been rapidly declining since the pilot episode. This was the one feel-good show (despite the passing of Zoey’s dad) of the year.

Here is the musical number, as Zoey says goodbye to her dad (make sure you have tissues nearby):

How Could You! (The Most Disappointing Cancellations) – Project Blue Book (History Channel) and the Party of Five reboot (Freeform)

The plug was pulled on Project Blue Book by the History Channel in May after only two seasons, leaving the fans with a pretty dramatic cliffhanger that will, sadly, never get resolved. As for the Party of Five reboot, the series suffered from very low ratings, but rave reviews for its timeliness in its main storyline while still honoring the original.

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye (Shows That Came to An End This Year):

* Arrow (The CW) – finale on February 28 after 8 seasons
* The 100 (The CW) – finale on May 20 after 7 seasons
* Blindspot (NBC) – finale on July 23 after 5 seasons

NOTE: As it neared its end, Blindspot tricked us into thinking that Patterson had died; and then gave us that crazy ending of everyone together for a holiday dinner, or was it all a dream as Jane was killed at Times Square? The debate still lingers on the meaning of that ending.

* The Magicians (Syfy) – finale on April 1 after 5 seasons
* Supernatural (The CW) – finale on November 19 after 15 seasons [how many tissues did you go through watching the last half of that emotional finale?!]
* Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) – two-part finale on August 12 after 7 seasons

Most Moving Loss (Saddest Death in a Series) – Enoch on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Chronicom Enoch (beloved actor Joel Stoffer) first appeared in an episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIElD back in May of 2017, but only in silhouette. It was in December of that year that he became a regular recurring part of the long-running series set in the Marvel TV world. He quickly became a fan favorite, who developed a close connection to human genius engineer and scientist Leo Fitz. A few weeks before the show came to its final conclusion, Enoch sacrificed his “life,” giving up his Electrochron Displacement Mechanism [aka his heart] to save the Zephyr and all his friends on board the SHIELD ship. Enoch may have lived for thousand of years, but his time with the current SHIELD team really made him “feel,” and his loss made all of the fans/viewers feel too.

Here is the video of Enoch’s final scene and goodbye:

You Have Failed the Streaming World – Quibi, the streaming service for cell phones

This short-form streaming platform with content to be viewing on our cell phones was founded in August 2018 by Jeffrey Katzenberg, the film producer and media proprietor and led by CEO Meg Whitman. It officially launched on April 6, but came to a crashing halt on October 21 when it was shut down.

Prettiest Newcomer – Adriyan Rae

The Delaware native graduated with degrees in physician assistant studies and medical laboratory science, but segwayed into acting, starring in the lead role in the short-lived 2019 Syfy series Vagrant Queen, which was, sadly, cancelled after only one season. She now plays paramedic Gianna Mackey, a new addition for this year, in the franchise drama Chicago Fire.

Hunky Newcomer [TIE] – Lucas Bravo (from Emily in Paris on Netflix) and Charlie Gillespie (from Julie and the Phantoms on Netflix)

The Netflix series Emily in Paris, which debuted on October 2, may focus on lead character Emily Cooper (Lily Collins), but it’s been newcomer Lucas Bravo [who plays Emily’s hunky next-door neighbor Gabriel] who has been turning heads.

Here is a video of Emily meeting her neighbor Gabriel for the first time (please excuse the synchronizing problem between the subtitles and the audio):

Also thanks to Netflix, the younger generation has been captivated by newcomer Charlie Gillespie, who plays guitarist-singer Luke in the Kenny Ortega-run musical series Julie and the Phantoms, which debuted on the streaming service on September 10. You can judge him for yourself by watching this scene from the series (Charlie, as Luke, is the last of the 3 “phantoms” that appear on the stage with the lead character Julie):

Julie and the Phantoms (Final Concert Scene):

Left: Jeremy Shada and Right: Drew Fuller

Left: Owen Joyner and Right: Logan Shroyer

NOTE: Eagle eye viewers of Julie and the Phantoms will (hopefully, like me) see a resemblance (eye color and freckles aside) between Reggie [actor Jeremy Shada] and actor Drew Fuller from the OG (Old Guard) Charmed. Drew played Chris Halliwell, son of Piper Halliwell and her whitelighter husband Leo. And that’s not all: Owen Joyner, who plays Alex in Julie and the Phantoms bears a striking resemblance to Logan Shroyer, who plays teenage Kevin in This Is Us. Compare the featured pictures to judge for yourself:

Most Anticipated New Show – Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (CBS All Access soon to be Paramount Plus)

The trio of Anson Mount (Captain Pike), Ethan Peck (as a young Spock) and Rebecca Romijn (as Number One) turned heads on the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery, and that quickly led to another spin-off series of the popular franchise Star Trek: Strange New Worlds [SNW]. Due to the pandemic, however, there is no release date for SNW (reportedly filming hasn’t even begun), but the show will eventually air on CBS All Access, which in early 2021 will become known as Paramount Plus.

It Was Done So Well – Virtual episode of All Rise on May 4 (CBS)

The final episode entitled “Dancing at Los Angeles” aired on May 4, about a month and a half into the beginning of the first lockdown caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic, and was one of the first looks at how a TV show would have to handle quarantining, et al. The episode was well done in terms of storyline and filming structure, but also performed fairly well in the ratings, earning 5.1 million viewers.

Most Hated Villain – Stormfront on The Boys (Amazon)

Actress Aya Cash was introduced in season two of The Boys, easily becoming the most reviled villain not only on the show – where superheroes are anything but super or heroes – but also the most reviled villain all year. She was a horrible human being with superhuman powers, whose not-so-veiled racism just made the viewers hate her more.

You Are So Adorable – Baby Yoda (aka Grogu) on The Mandalorian (Disney+)

Season 1 of The Mandalorian may have aired from November 12 to December 27 of 2019 with the second season of the series getting underway on October 30, but it has been Baby Yoda that has really captured the hearts of Star Wars fans all over the globe. The little one may only communicate in baby sounds and a few magical waves of its little hands, but those were more than enough.

This Was Unexpected But Actually Pretty Great (Most Unexpected Couple That We Loved) – Daisy and Sousa on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)

The out-of-his-time Agent Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) and genius-level hacker Inhuman Daisy Johnson started working together in the final season of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD; and while they pretended to be a couple in an early episode of season 7, it was slow burn for their becoming a REAL couple that captured fans’ hearts [especially given the heartbreaking relationship record for Daisy, finding out Ward was a turncoat and then losing Lincoln who sacrificed himself for the team, it was really sweet to see her end up with such a great, stand-up kind of man).

Best Sidekick – Ashley Park (Mindy Chen in Emily in Paris on Netflix)

The new Darren Star dramedy debuted on Netflix on October 2 and featured Ashley in the co-starring role of Mindy Chen, the daughter of an extremely wealthy Chinese businessman, who works as a nanny for a wealthy family in Paris. It was later revealed [SPOILER ALERT!] that she competed in an American Idol-like series where she shocked while singing a song live on TV before an audience of millions. The Tony nominated actress is a powerhouse singer, who has appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia, has appeared in The King and I and Mean Girls (based on the box office movie).

NOTE: Unfortunately, a video of Ashley singing as Mindy keeps getting pulled from YouTube so it cannot be provided here.

Can’t Wait to See the Reboot – Leverage (IMDbTV)

It is not clear when this reboot of the popular series will premiere on IMDbTV, but it is clear that cast members Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Gina Bellman are back for all of the episodes with occasional appearances by cast member Aldis Hodge and newcomer Aleyse Shannon as well as Noah Wyle, who is taking over for the disgraced Tim Hutton.

It Was a Rollercoaster Ride – Outlander Season 5 (Starz)

[SPOILER ALERT!!] The fifth season of the series started with the wedding of Brianna and Roger (series regular Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin), and later found the couple, and the people of Fraser’s Ridge, battling locust as well as current villain Stephen Bonnet. The season also included Roger nearly being hung to death and Jamie losing his beloved godfather Murtagh. The season ended with the kidnapping and horrific rape of Claire (series lead Caitriona Balfe) at the hands of Lionel Brown (and his minions) and being saved by Jamie (series lead Sam Heughan) and the men of the Ridge.

What the Hell Happened? (The Most Unexpected Season Finale) – Yellowstone (Paramount Network)

Viewers of the modern-day western series that stars film legend Kevin Costner know all too well to expect the unexpected when it comes to the Dutton family. This current season finale was a doozy with [SPOILER ALERT!] the explosion at Beth’s office; the shoot-out at Casey’s office and the not-so drive-by shooting aimed at patriarch John while he was on the side of the road helping a lady and her little son with a flat tire.

This Show Is Crazy and Its Diehard Fans Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way (Most Overrated Show/Most Dedicated Fans) – Wynonna Earp (Syfy)

Wynonna Earp returned for its much anticipated and almost didn’t happen season 4 premiere on Syfy on July 26. The show faced some major uphill financial battles last year, and its fanbase’s relentless efforts to keep the show alive were notable, especially their renting a series of billboards in Times Square, which helped the 4th season become a reality then the Coronavirus Pandemic happened. The first 6 episodes aired over the summer, and the remainder will air, hopefully, at some point in 2021 when it’s safe for the cast and crew to reconvene. Kudos to the fans for their never-ending support and to everyone involved on the show for creating such an apeshit crazy show that never disappoints.

[Source: Vanity Fair]

Oh, Man That Was Disgusting! – The whale episode of The Boys (Amazon)

The Boys, consisting of Butcher, Huglie, Mother’s Milk, Frenchie, Kimko (and her brother Kenji) were [SPOILER ALERT!] racing away in a speedboat trying to get away from not only the law but also the superhero The Deep, who was holding on tight to a 50-foot long whale as he gave chase to the wanted team. The whale beached itself so The Deep could attempt to stop the Boys, but that backfired when Butcher laid on the gas and rammed the speedboat [and all of them] right into the side of the whale, causing a bloody mess on the shore. Obviously, most of the scene was CGI, using a fake whale, but it was bloody disgusting.

Here is that scene (Viewer Discretion Advised):

A Welcome Transfer – Cobra Kai going from YouTube to Netflix

The first two seasons of The Karate Kid continuation – in the form of small screen series Cobra Kai – aired on YouTube, but Netflix realized how overlooked this series was being available only at YouTube so they acquired the series, making it available to a much bigger audience in August. The first two seasons did so well on the streaming service that a third season will get started on Netflix on January 8, 2021.

Add These to Your Streaming List (If You Haven’t Watched Them Already) – Virgin River and Sweet Magnolias (both on Netflix)

If you are looking for some great rom-coms that aren’t really just rom-coms (and believe me these shows are SO much more than just rom-coms), you should check out Virgin River and Sweet Magnolias; both are available on Netflix. They are great chicks shows with layers and complicated relationships. In fact, the second season of Virgin River got underway on November 27 with the second season of Sweet Magnolias planned, but probably won’t be available until either 2021 or 2022. Then

It Was a Treat Watching – Enola Holmes (Netflix)

This was a box office film that ended up on the streaming service, starring Stranger Things alum Millie Bobby Brown in the title role and Superman himself Henry Cavill. The movie routinely broke the 4th wall when Enola (Brown) would address the audience throughout the movie, which was actually pretty darn entertaining.

Do Not Miss This Show (Streaming Series You Need to Watch) – The Wilds (Amazon)

The new streaming series The Wilds debuted on Amazon on December 11 and is about a group of teenage girls whose plane crashes, leaving them stranded on a deserted island. This show has been heralded as a combination of Lord of the Flies and Lost; and that is true to form (I got a chance to watch all 10 episodes before Thanksgiving and can vouch for the angst and survival aspect). Much of the cast are newcomers (but talented newcomers each and everyone) as well as Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters) and Sophia Ali (Grey’s Anatomy).

Best Documentaries – I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (HBO) and Seduced: Inside the Nxivm Cult (Starz)

The 6-part documentary, based on the extensive research conducted by the late true crime author Michelle McNamara (Patton Oswalt’s late wife), which was an exploration of the case of the Golden State Killer who terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s, committing 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders, was a much-buzzed about event over the summer.

That was followed closely by the 4-part documentary Seduced: Inside the Nxivm Cult, which aired this fall on Starz, focusing on 29-year old India Oxenberg, the daughter of actress Catherine Oxenburg, who – at the age of 20 – got involved in NXIVM, an “American multi-level marketing company” that was later exposed as a sex cult where she spent 7 years, finally being able to escape; and helping – along with other victims – to bring down the “ringleader” (or more to the point cult leader) Keith Raniere.

Oh ,What a Night!! – Saturday, November 7, 2020

It was 4 days after Election Night when the major networks announced that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris became President-Elect and Vice President-Elect respectively. Now let’s hope that our country can get back on track after four tumultuous years under the “rule” of a narcissistic, draft dodging, uncaring baboon who doesn’t give a damn about anyone else but himself. Most important of all is getting a handle on the virus and getting the vaccines out to as many people as possible as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Movies That Made Waves (in a Good Way) – The Old Guard (Netflix), Black Is King (Disney+); To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (Netflix) and Mulan on September 4 (Disney+)

With all of us spending a lot more time at home, it only made sense that a lot of us were watching WAY more TV than ever before, and especially a lot of movies on the plethora of streaming services.

Some of the top movies that people were raving about included To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, which debuted on Netflix on February 12; The Old Guard which hit Netflix on July 10; Black Is King, which landed on Disney+ on July 31 and Mulan which became available on Disney+ on September 4.

Stand-Out Character in an Ensemble Cast – Klaus in The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)

It’s not always that easy to stand-out when part of an ensemble cast in any production (TV or otherwise), but when you are part of the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, based on the popular comic book series, it’s doubly hard because all of the characters are complex and, yes, a bit twisted. Klaus Hargreeves (as portrayed by talented Irish actor Robert Sheehan) has been a stand-out since the show debuted back in February of 2019, but it was his turn in season two as a time-traveling channeler of the dead turned unintended cult leader with a heart of gold (but a mind drenched in drug use) that really turned the season on its head and charmed viewers.

The John Barrowman Award (Best Scene-Stealer) – Alex Newell as Mo on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)

Alex is an extremely talented singer and made a big impression from the very first scene in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, playing Zoey’s next door neighbor, pseudo friend and confidante. With powerhouse vocals, heartfelt vulnerability and a gorgeous smile, Mo wormed their way into our hearts, and we all cannot wait to see what comes next in season two.

Here is just one of Alex’s performances from Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist:

It’s Not Inconceivable (Reunion of the Year) – The Princess Bride virtual reunion, reading the script (all thanks to the Wisconsin Democrats)

Back on October 9, 1987, a little movie called The Princess Bride, adapted from the 1973 book of the same name by William Goldman, was released in the theatres. While the movie received critical acclaim, it was a moderate hit at the box office; but over the years it has become a timeless classic, evoking countless pop culture references [such as “Inconceivable!,” “Have fun stormin’ the castle!” and “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”]

So, when it was announced that the remaining cast (and a few additional players like Whoppi Goldberg and Josh Gad) would be gathering on a Zoom-like “call” – thanks to the Wisconsin Democrats – to read the script on September 13, well, to say the least none of the worldwide fans was shouting “inconceivable,” more like they were saying, “Sign me up!”

It was a fantastic virtual production, albeit with some glitches here and there, with great performances by the main cast – and even including some original props [thank you Mandy Patinkin for having Inigo’s sword]. It was a night to remember for everyone who tuned in and thanks to everyone who made that virtual event possible.

What have been the stand-out moments on the small screen (networks or streaming) for you? Who was your favorite actor for the year? What series, special or TV event disappointed you the most? Please share your thoughts on TV from this year below.

TOMORROW: Music

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This year, unlike any other – for 100 years anyway – has been extremely difficult because we – all of us, in every country on the planet – have faced a fierce and unfailing foe: COVID-19.

This horrible virus has caused the, quite honestly, needless deaths of over 315,000 Americans (with the number growing exponentially each day over the last couple weeks), unemployment levels are at an all-time high and all the other collected stats throughout the United States (and the world) are staggering to say the least.

In the middle of March everything came to a grinding halt in the US. Businesses closed down, the country went into lockdown and we all started on this “journey” into disinfecting, wearing masks, learning about social distancing, washing our hands and everything else that came with this worldwide pandemic; including the shut down of nearly all productions in the US, little to no movie theatres being open, restaurants (and every other business) struggling to stay open – when it has been safe to do so – and so much more.

Needless to say, it’s been an extremely stressful and excruciatingly cruel year for everyone. Beyond the virus, there have been some other horrible occurrences in the weather ranging from wildfires in Australia, tornadoes in the South, unprecedented tropical storms, intense heat waves on both coasts of the US and horrific fires throughout the Pacific West.

There were also public scandals like Harvey Weinstein FINALLY being found guilty of rape and sexual assault. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sex crimes, effectively putting the 67-year-old behind bars for the rest of his life. There was also the conviction of NVIXM cult leader Keith Raniere who was sentenced to 120 years in prison. Now we just have to wait to learn what will happen to Raniere’s right-hand woman – disgraced Smallville actress Allison Mack. But, thank you, God, these two despicable men have been put behind bars!!

Also upsetting was the fact that near the end of November, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who shoot and killed non-violent protesters in Wisconsin [crossing state lines with an AR-15 assault rifle, keep in mind] was able to post a $2 million bail; and some of that money reportedly came from right-wing supporters Mike Lindell, the founder of MyPillow, Inc., and former Silver Spoons actor Ricky Schroder. This basically makes Ricky Schroder the Kirk Cameron of Scott Baios (as has become the joke on social media). For shame you men, for shame!!

Then there was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family, basically losing, or more to the point, giving up their titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex in an effort to be financially independent, and moving to Los Angeles to live.

There was also that devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon where 2 ½ thousand pounds of chemicals went off, rocking that city; as well as the downing of a Ukranian jet by Iran (they took credit for it too – damn bastards!); and the continued (and needless) murders of people of color all over the country that led to countless protests all over the globe.

[Photo Credit: Paul Zeaiter, Artist for the Biden United Campaign]

And then there is the state of politics in the United States. Americans have that orange-faced baboon in the White House, who has decimated our country, making us a laughing stock all over the globe and clearly proving that he is a racist, egotistical megalomaniac with the ego the size of Texas. He was defeated – DEFEATED!!! – in the 2020 Presidential election by Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris. It’s even worse that the soon to be “dethroned dictator” still hasn’t conceded that he lost; he has hosted Christmas parties where most of the attendees DO NOT have masks on; he isn’t really addressing the critical state of the entire country with the rapidly increasing pandemic numbers; and he seems more interesting in playing golf than doing his damn job! It’s deplorable!!!

The result of the election is one of the few shining moments out of the entire year. Please allow the fantastic artwork included in this post to brighten your day and provide a complete “laugh your ass off” moment.

Photo Credit: “The Slingshot” by Portuguese Cartoonist Vasco Gargalo

Needless to say, it’s been a grim year, and while two vaccines are now being sent out – mainly to front-line workers and those in senior living facilities – the new year is still going to be a bit bleak, as it’s going to take time to get vaccines out to every single person in the country (let alone to all those suffering all over the globe).

All that being said, we all have to look for the little glimmers of hope, the little things that make us smile, laugh and feel good.

So with all of that in mind, over the course of the next 9 days, starting tomorrow, I will focus on the best and the worst of 2020 in the worlds of TV and movies, TV ratings and so much more.

NOTE: I apologize in advance for any omissions, spelling errors or oversights I might have made, but I definitely don’t apologize for any choices I have made.

TOMORROW: TV Highlights

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