Best TV Shows of the 2013-14 Season

  • Publish Date: July 22, 2014
  • Comments: ↓ 4 user comments

Best comedies

Awards

Below are the shows that have been nominated for (Nomination) or have won (Winner) awards for best overall comedy this season. The Emmy winners will be announced on August 25th. Note that the TCA Awards are handed out each year by the Television Critics Association (consisting of print/web TV critics and journalists), while the newer (and somewhat less prestigious) Critics Choice Television Awards are handed out by a separate group consisting of broadcast journalists.

Also, remember that the Golden Globes were given out in the middle of the season, so any shows debuting during the first half of this year won't be up for Globe consideration until next year. Orange Is the New Black, by the way, was submitted as a drama for the Globes but a comedy for Emmy consideration, so we are treating it as a comedy series.

  Best Comedy Series        
Show Emmy
Awards
TCA
Awards
Critics
Choice
Golden
Globes
  Streaming   DVD
The Big Bang Theory
CBS, Season 7
Nomination Nomination Nomination Nomination   iTunes Amazon   Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Broad City
Comedy Central, Season 1
    Nomination   iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Fox, Season 1
  Nomination   Winner iTunes Amazon Hulu+ Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Louie
FX, Season 4
Nomination Winner Nomination   iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue
The Mindy Project
Fox, Season 2
  Nomination     iTunes Amazon Hulu+ Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Modern Family
ABC, Season 5
Nomination     Nomination iTunes Amazon Hulu+ Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Orange Is the New Black
Netflix, Season 1
Nomination Nomination* Winner   Add to Netflix Queue Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Parks and Recreation
NBC, Season 6
      Nomination iTunes Amazon Hulu+ Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Silicon Valley
HBO, Season 1
Nomination   Nomination     Add to Netflix Queue
Veep
HBO, Season 3
Nomination Winner Nomination   iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue

* Nominated by the TCA in the Program of the Year category.

Best-reviewed comedies

Here are the season's best-reviewed NEW comedies, ranked in order by Metascore (based on reviews published at the time of each show's premiere). Because very few comedies are re-reviewed by critics in subsequent seasons, the list only includes first-year shows.

First-Year Comedies Ranked by Metascore, 2013-14 TV Season
  Comedy Series Network Streaming DVD Metascore
1 Rick & Morty Adult Swim   85
2 Silicon Valley HBO   Add to Netflix Queue 84
3 Orange is the New Black Netflix Add to Netflix Queue Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 79
4 The Wrong Mans Hulu Hulu   79
5 The Birthday Boys IFC Add to Netflix Queue iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 76
6 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver HBO     76
7 Broad City Comedy Central iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue 75
8 Looking HBO   Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 73
9 Getting On HBO   Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 72
10 Faking It MTV iTunes Amazon Hulu+ Add to Netflix Queue 71
11 Review Comedy Central iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue 71
12 Brooklyn Nine-Nine FOX iTunes Amazon Hulu+ Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 70
13 Betas Amazon Amazon   69
14 Alpha House Amazon Amazon   68
15 About A Boy NBC iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 67
... and the worst:
44 Dads Fox     15

A show must have at least 7 reviews from critics to be eligible for this list and all other rankings on this page. Includes shows that debuted between June 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014. Shows are ranked by Metascore prior to rounding.

Best dramas

Awards

Here are the dramas that have been nominated for (Nomination) or have won (Winner) awards for best overall drama this season.

  Best Drama Series        
Show Emmy
Awards
TCA
Awards
Critics
Choice
Golden
Globes
  Streaming   DVD
The Americans
FX, Season 2
  Nomination Nomination     iTunes Amazon   Add to Netflix Queue
Breaking Bad
AMC, Season 5.5
Nomination WinnerNomination*** Winner Winner Add to Netflix Queue iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Broadchurch *
BBC America, Season 1
  Nomination**     iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Downton Abbey
PBS, Season 4
Nomination       iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Game of Thrones
HBO, Season 4
Nomination Nomination Nomination Nomination     Add to Netflix Queue
The Good Wife
CBS, Season 5
  Winner Nomination Nomination Nomination iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
House of Cards
Netflix, Season 2
Nomination Nomination     Add to Netflix Queue Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Mad Men
AMC, Season 7 (Part 1)
Nomination       iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue
Masters of Sex
Showtime, Season 1
    Nomination Nomination iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
The Returned *
Sundance, Season 1
  Nomination**     Add to Netflix Queue iTunes Amazon Netflix Amazon
True Detective
HBO, Season 1
Nomination WinnerNomination†† Nomination   iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon

* Foreign-produced show not eligible for Emmy consideration.
** Nominated by the TCA in the Movie/Miniseries category.
*** Breaking Bad won the TCA's Program of the Year award, and was nominated and didn't win in the best drama category.
Also nominated by the TCA in the Program of the Year category.
True Detective was nominated by the TCA for Program of the Year and best miniseries, winning the latter.

Best-reviewed dramas

Below are the season's best-reviewed NEW dramas, ranked in order by Metascore (based on reviews published at the time of each show's premiere). Following that is a list of the best-reviewed RETURNING drama series, though note that only a handful of notable series will be re-reviewed by critics after their debut seasons.

For consistency, if a network has submitted a drama as a "miniseries" for awards consideration (even if it seems like it will be an ongoing series—yes, we're looking at you, Fargo), we have included it in the miniseries section below, rather than here among the dramas.

First-Year Dramas Ranked by Metascore, 2013-14 TV Season
  Drama Series Network Streaming DVD Metascore
1 The Returned Sundance Add to Netflix Queue iTunes Amazon Netflix Amazon 92
2 Broadchurch BBC America iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 91
3 True Detective HBO iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 87
4 Masters of Sex Showtime iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 85
5 Last Tango in Halifax PBS Add to Netflix Queue iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 78
6 The Bridge FX iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 77
7 Ray Donovan Showtime iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 75
8 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D ABC iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 74
9 The Blacklist NBC iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 74
10 Under the Dome CBS Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 72
11 Penny Dreadful Showtime   Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 71
12 The Paradise PBS Add to Netflix Queue iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 71
13 The Fosters ABC Family Add to Netflix Queue iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue 70
14 Helix Syfy iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 68
15 Being Mary Jane BET iTunes Amazon   67
... and the worst:
59 Betrayal ABC     38
Best Returning Dramas*, 2013-14 TV Season
  Drama Series Network Stream DVD Metascore
1 Game of Thrones Season 4 HBO   Add to Netflix Queue 94
2 The Americans Season 2 FX iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue 88
3 Hannibal Season 2 NBC iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue 88
4 Mad Men Season 7 AMC iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue 85
5 Justified Season 5 FX iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue 84
6 Treme Season 4 HBO iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 80
7 House of Cards Season 2 Netflix Add to Netflix Queue Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 80
8 Orphan Black Season 2 BBC America iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 79
9 Vikings Season 2 History iTunes Amazon   77
10 Homeland Season 3 Showtime iTunes Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 77

* Among shows with at least 7 reviews for their most recent season, a number that most returning series do not reach. Only a small number of extra noteworthy shows generate enough interest for critics to write new reviews in subsequent seasons. Includes seasons that began between June 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014. Breaking Bad is not included because it was reviewed at the start of the first half of its final season, which premiered during the 2012-13 TV season.

Best TV movies, miniseries, and specials

Awards

Below are the miniseries that have been nominated for (Nomination) or have won (Winner) awards for best miniseries this season.

  Best Miniseries        
Show Emmy
Awards
TCA
Awards
Critics
Choice
Golden
Globes
  Streaming   DVD
American Horror Story: Coven
FX
Nomination Nomination Nomination Nomination   iTunes Amazon   Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Bonnie & Clyde
A&E/History/Lifetime
Nomination   Nomination   Add to Netflix Queue iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Dancing on the Edge
Starz
    Nomination Nomination   Add to Netflix Queue
Fargo
FX
Nomination Nomination Winner   iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
The Hollow Crown
PBS
    Nomination     Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Luther
BBC America, Season 3
Nomination   Nomination   Add to Netflix Queue iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Treme
HBO, Season 4
Nomination       iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
The White Queen
Starz
Nomination     Nomination iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
And here are this season's made-for-television movies nominated for (Nomination) or winning (Winner) awards.
  Best TV Movie        
Show Emmy
Awards
TCA
Awards
Critics
Choice
Golden
Globes
  Streaming   DVD
An Adventure in Space and Time
BBC America
    Nomination     iTunes   Amazon
Burton and Taylor
BBC America
    Nomination     Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Killing Kennedy
National Geographic
Nomination   Nomination   Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight
HBO
Nomination       Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
The Normal Heart
HBO
Nomination   Winner     Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
Sherlock (episode "His Last Vow")
PBS
Nomination   Nomination   Add to Netflix Queue iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon
The Trip to Bountiful
Lifetime
Nomination   Nomination   iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon

Best-reviewed TV movies, miniseries, and specials

Finally, here are the critics' favorite one-off programs this season, based on reviews at the time of each show's premiere.

TV Movies, Miniseries and Specials Ranked by Metascore, 2013-14 TV Season
  Movie/Miniseries/Special Network Stream DVD Metascore
1 The Hollow Crown PBS   Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 90
2 Sherlock PBS Add to Netflix Queue iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 88
3 The Trip to Bountiful Lifetime iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 86
4 Fargo FX iTunes Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 85
5 The Normal Heart HBO   Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 85
6 Six by Sondheim HBO Amazon   85
7 Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley HBO Amazon Amazon 83
8 Time of Death Showtime     83
9 Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey FOX Amazon Hulu+ Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 82
10 Burton and Taylor BBC America   Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 81
11 Years of Living Dangerously Showtime     81
12 The Challenger Disaster Discovery Amazon   80
13 Toy Story of Terror ABC   Amazon 79
14 An Adventure in Space and Time BBC America iTunes Amazon 77
15 Bill Cosby: Far From Finished Comedy Central Amazon Add to Netflix Queue Amazon 75

What are your favorites?

What shows did you like this season? Let us know in the comments section below. You can also check out our full index of shows from the 2013-14 season.

Comments (4)

  • valendrena  

    Hannibal is another show that despite critical acclaim has yet to get a good fan base, Despite those that are currently watching being die hard super fans. And despite getting such acclaim, Has yet to get nominated for a major award. Proves how overrated these award shows really are when they don't even recognize great pieces of work and instead constantly vote for the same over rated crap.

  • lololee13  

    Sherlock was amazing, Fargo was great, Cosmos was great, Burton and Taylor, Broadchurch, last tango in helix? (PBS) Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, Ripper, Dominion, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, The Americans, Penny Dreadful, Masters of Sex, The Black list and so on. Too many to name in fact. What can I say television shows just keep getting better.

  • imthenoob  

    Hannibal is another show that despite critical acclaim has yet to get a good fan base, Despite those that are currently watching being die hard super fans. And despite getting such acclaim, Has yet to get nominated for a major award. Proves how overrated these award shows really are when they don't even recognize great pieces of work and instead constantly vote for the same over rated crap.

  • dunker  

    Orphan Black is truly an orphan when it comes to receiving the recognition it deserves. And that Tatiana Maslany is the regularly overlooked at awards time for her amazing work is a travesty.

    Most people seem to think Sons of Anarchy is just a "biker" show. But to its loyal fans, this "Hamlet on Motorcycles" is one of the most compelling shows on television. Its story lines are riveting and its characters are complex. That it is ignored by the television critics and award voters only goes to show how narrow minded they really are.

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