FX and HBO have landed three shows apiece on the American Film Institute’s annual list of the year’s 10 best TV shows, which again is heavy with first-year programs. Netflix snagged a pair of slots, and 0nly one broadcast network program, NBC’s breakout drama This Is Us, made the cut — down from two Big 4 shows last year.
Five other first-year programs also made the 2016 AFI Awards list: Netflix freshmen The Crown and Stranger Things, HBO’s new The Night Of and FX’s Emmy-laden The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and rookie Atlanta — which is one of only two comedies on the list, alongside HBO’s two-time-defending Comedy Series Emmy winner Veep. And speaking of the Juice, AFI gave its 2016 Special Award to O.J.: Made in America, the much-lauded seven-hour documentary that aired on ESPN.
No reality fare made the grade as only three shows from the AFI’s 2015 list repeated this year: FX’s The Americans, AMC’s Better Call Saul and HBO’s Game of Thrones — all of which which were nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the Emmys in September. GoT won for a second consecutive year and broke the record for career wins.
“Year after year, we are reminded of the power of artists to bring us together as one,” AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale said. “AFI Awards is proud to recognize the achievements of the storytelling teams who have enlightened and informed us, guided and inspired us and ultimately invited us to empathize with others in a reminder of our common humanity.”
Gone from last year’s AFI list are Black-ish, Empire, Homeland, Mr. Robot, UnReal, Fargo and Master of None, the latter two of which did not produce new episodes in 2016.
Here is the full list of AFI Awards for Television:
The Americans, FX
Better Call Saul, AMC
The Crown, Netflix
Game of Thrones, HBO
The Night Of, HBO
The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, FX
Stranger Things, Netflix
This Is Us, NBC
AFI Special Award:
O.J.: Made in America, ESPN