The bestselling video game franchise Resident Evil already has a major film franchise, but the story is now being mined for TV in a Netflix series. Also headed to the small screen: a charity special that reunites the cast of The West Wing for a reading of the famous “Hartsfield’s Landing” episode. HBO has added a slew of famous faces to new projects Between the World and Me and Equal. Learn about these and more casting, development and trailer news that happened in TV this week.


TOP STORY

Netflix Orders Resident Evil Series

Resident Evil 3 video game cover art

Step aside Walking Dead. One of the most popular, best-selling survival horror video games of all time, Resident Evil, is getting a scripted animated series adaptation at Netflix (and no, it won’t be related to Paul W. S. Anderson’s Milla Jovovich movies). The streaming service has teamed up with Capcom to bring the story, set in two different timelines, to your screen.

“In the first timeline, 14-year-old sisters Jade and Billie Wesker are moved to New Raccoon City. A manufactured, corporate town, forced on them right as adolescence is in full swing. But the more time they spend there, the more they come to realize that the town is more than it seems and their father may be concealing dark secrets. Secrets that could destroy the world,” reads the official description. “Cut to the second timeline, well over a decade into the future: there are less than 15 million people left on Earth. And more than six billion monsters — people and animals infected with the T-virus. Jade, now 30, struggles to survive in this New World, while the secrets from her past — about her sister, her father and herself — continue to haunt her.”

Former Supernatural showrunner Andrew Dabb will be at the helm of the new series, and fans need not worry because Resident Evil is his favorite game of all time.

“For every type of Resident Evil fan, including those joining us for the first time, the series will be complete with a lot of old friends, and some things (bloodthirsty, insane things) people have never seen before,” Dabb said in a statement.


The West Wing Cast Reuniting for New Special

The West Wing "In Excelsis Deo" (NBC)

(Photo by NBC)

Aaron Sorkin and his West Wing cast are reuniting for a very good cause: The creative team from the long-running political drama, which ended in 2006 after seven seasons, have teamed up with Michelle Obama for a fundraiser in support of When We All Vote. The non-profit, non-partisan organization, co-chaired by the former First Lady, was founded to increase participation in every election in America.

A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, directed by Thomas Schlamme, will see Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and Martin Sheen perform a staged reading of the episode “Hartsfield’s Landing” as well as a special message from Obama, plus additional cast members and special guests from the worlds of public service and the arts. It’ll film over multiple days in October at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. WarnerMedia will also make a donation to the organization.


New Trailers: Netflix Is Making The Witcher

The second season of The Witcher is currently filming in Europe, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until 2021 for new Witcher content. Netflix has released a trailer for its new behind-the-scenes documentary Making The Witcher, which provides 32 minutes of star Henry Cavill and the other people responsible for the visual effects, fight choreography, and more. It’s available to watch on Netflix now.

More trailers and teasers released this week:

  • Millie Bobby Brown plays Sherlock’s teenage little sister in Enola Holmes, the new Netflix movie that premieres Sept. 23.
  • A new trailer for Raised By Wolves, the HBO Max sci-fi series from Ridley Scott, features new footage and premieres Sept. 3 on the streaming service.
  • Peacock’s latest British import is the alternate history drama Noughts + Crosses, which premieres Sept. 4.
  • Tom Wolfe’s astronaut history The Right Stuff gets a TV series adaptation in the new drama from National Geographic, premiering October 9 on Disney+.
  • Netflix limited series The Queen’s Gambit, about a young chess prodigy, premieres Oct. 23.

For all the latest TV and streaming trailers, subscribe to the Rotten Tomatoes TV YouTube channel.


Casting: Big Mouth Finds Its New Missy

Comedian Ayo Edebiri will be the new voice of Missy on Netflix’s animated coming-of-age comedy Big Mouth. The biracial character has been voiced by Jenny Slate since season one, but Edebiri will take over in the penultimate episode of the upcoming fourth season as Missy “continues to evolve.” Edebiri has also joined the writer’s room for season five. Big Mouth‘s fourth season will premiere this fall, and the series has already been renewed by Netflix through season six.

HBO has added more than a half dozen new performers to the cast of its adaptation of Between the World and Me: Emmy winner Jharrel Jerome, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Janet Mock, Jason Moran, Wendell Pierce, Mj Rodriguez, Kendrick Sampson, Yara Shahidi, and Michelle Wilson are joining the previously announced cast of Angela Bassett, Alicia Garza, Joe Morton, Phylicia Rashad, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Courtney B. Vance, Pauletta Washington, Susan Kelechi Watson and Oprah Winfrey. The production is based on the critically acclaimed stage show that adapts Ta-Nehisi Coates’ No. 1 New York Times-bestseller of the same name.

Luke Cage has a new gig: Mike Colter, formerly known as the Marvel superhero and more recently seen starring in CBS’s Evil, appears in Jenji Kohan’s remotely produced pandemic anthology series Social Distance alongside Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black), Asante Blackk (When They See Us), Daphne Rubin-Vega (In the Heights), Okieriete Onaodowan (Hamilton), Peter Scanavino (Law & Order: SVU), Guillermo Diaz (Scandal), Becky Ann Baker (Girls) and Dylan Baker (The Good Wife), and Oscar Nunez (The Office). The cast members filmed themselves from home, and some of their real-life family members will star alongside them.

The HBO docuseries Equal has hired Cheyenne Jackson, Anthony Rapp, Shannon Purser, Heather Matarazzo, Jamie Clayton, Isis King, Samira Wiley, Gale Harold, and more to play trailblazing LGBTQ+ icons.

Mary McCormack is joining former Arrow star Stephen Amell in the Starz wrestling drama Heels. She’ll play Willie, the business partner of Jack Spade (Amell) and the brains behind the local wrestling organization that she helps run.

This Is Us star Justin Hartley will play both star and executive producer in The Noel Diary, a film adaptation of Richard Paul Evans’ 2017 novel. He’ll be joined in the Netflix drama by Bonnie Bedelia and Treat Williams.


Production & Development: NBC Scores Tiger King-Inspired Scripted Series Joe Exotic

Carole Baskin in Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

(Photo by Netflix)

A scripted series based on the unbelievable-but-true story documented in Tiger King is officially headed to NBC: Kate McKinnon will play wildlife enthusiast Carole Baskin in Joe Exotic, based not on the wildly popular Netflix docuseries (pictured), but the Wondery podcast of the same name.

Keira Knightley is trying her hand at TV, starring in and executive producing the Apple TV+ series The Essex Serpent. The period drama is based on Sarah Perry’s bestselling novel of the same name. The series follows newly widowed Cora (Knightley) who, having being released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.

Iconic animated series The Powerpuff Girls is getting a live-action adaptation: Mega-producer Greg Berlanti has teamed up with Diablo Cody to develop a continuation of the story featuring the titular superheroes as jaded, disillusioned twentysomethings who resent that they essentially lost their child hood to fighting crime. But when the world needs them more than ever, will they push past their ill feelings and reunite?

Fox is doubling down on its musical reality series this fall: The network is pairing its hit The Masked Singer with a brand new series called I Can See Your Voice. Hosted by Ken Jeong, who will sit on a panel alongside actresses Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Bailon-Houghton, the judges will be joined by a rotating panel of celebrity detectives to help each contestant try to figure out whether someone is a good or a bad singer without ever hearing them sing a note. Using clues, interrogation, and lip sync challenges, the contestant will ultimately choose one person who will then duet with a musician to reveal their true skills. It will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 23 after the fourth season premiere of The Masked Singer.


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Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Netflix’s Resident Evil series would be live action; however, it is animated.

 

 

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) - Breaking Bad _Season 5 - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC

(Photo by Frank Ockenfels/AMC)

FALL 2019 TV SURVEY: TV Shows That Defined the 2000s

For Rotten Tomatoes’ annual Fall TV Survey, we asked thousands of our users what they’re most looking forward to in the coming TV season and to reflect on the best shows from seasons past.

Ah, the aughts. Will we one day look back on the decade as a simpler time, when a school teacher becoming a meth dealer was the height of entertainment?

Probably, yes, according to Rotten Tomatoes users, who voted Breaking Bad the show that defined the decade’s television entertainment with 61% of the vote. The Bryan Cranston–led series was followed by The Office with 47% of the vote, and The Sopranos with 45%.

Which TV star ruled in the decade? Fans bestowed that honor on the late, great James Gandolfini for his role as Tony in The Sopranos. Gandolfini received 18% of the vote. Steve Carell followed with 17% of the vote, and Tina Fey grabbed third position away from Jon Stewart 7.96 percent to 7.56 percent.

Disagree with the survey results? Tell us in the comments who you think should have made the list or have been ranked higher.

Family Guy (1999)

#20
Synopsis: Animated series "Family Guy" features the adventures of the Griffin family. Endearingly ignorant Peter and his stay-at-home wife, Lois, reside... [More]

#19
Synopsis: Live from New York for more than four decades, celebrity hosts join an award-winning ensemble cast to perform comedic sketches,... [More]
Directed By: Lorne Michaels

#18
Synopsis: Michael Bluth finds himself forced to stay in Orange County and run the family real estate business after his father,... [More]

House (2004)
90%

#17
Synopsis: At fictional Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey, prickly genius Dr. Gregory House tackles health mysteries as would a... [More]

#16
Synopsis: Behind the facade of a postcard-perfect subdivision live four women whose lives are anything but idyllic. Klutzy Susan is divorced... [More]

Synopsis: Accused by some of misinforming its core audience of young adults about international news, this series doesn't hide the fact... [More]

Synopsis: A dedicated group of forensic investigators at the Las Vegas Crime Lab works to solve often-grisly crimes in Sin City.... [More]

Dexter (2006)
71%

#13
Synopsis: Dexter Morgan is a Miami-based blood splatter expert who doesn't just solve murders; he commits them too. In fact, he's... [More]

Grey's Anatomy (2005)
83%

#12
Synopsis: The medical drama series focuses on a group of doctors at a hospital in Seattle, including several who began their... [More]

30 Rock (2006)
78%

#11
Synopsis: Based more-than-loosely on backstage shenanigans at "Saturday Night Live," "30 Rock" centers on young Liz Lemon, currently head writer for... [More]

The West Wing (1999)
75%

#10
Synopsis: Cutthroat presidential advisers get their personal lives hopelessly tangled up with professional duties as they try to conduct the business... [More]
Directed By: John Wells

#9
Synopsis: Ted has fallen in love. It all started when his best friend, Marshall, drops the bombshell that he plans to... [More]

Sex and the City (1998)
70%

#8
Synopsis: A sex columnist, Carrie Bradshaw, and her three friends -- Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda -- explore Manhattan's dating scene, chronicling... [More]

Mad Men (2007)
94%

#7
Synopsis: In 1960s New York, alpha male Don Draper struggles to stay on top of the heap in the high-pressure world... [More]

24 (2001)
87%

#6
Synopsis: Counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer fights the bad guys of the world, a day at a time. With each week's episode... [More]

American Idol (2003)
68%

#5
Synopsis: Singers with dreams of super stardom audition and compete in a series of challenging rounds in the hope of living... [More]

Lost (2004)
85%

#4
Synopsis: The survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 were 1,000 miles off course when they crashed on a lush, mysterious island. Each... [More]

The Sopranos (1999)
92%

#3
Synopsis: Tony Soprano juggles the problems of his fractious family with those of a "Family" of a different sort - the... [More]

The Office (2005)
81%

#2
Synopsis: This U.S. adaptation -- set at a paper company based in Scranton, Pa. -- has a similar documentary style to... [More]

Breaking Bad (2008)
96%

#1
Synopsis: Mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher Walter White thinks his life can't get much worse. His salary barely makes ends meet,... [More]


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LOST, (from left): Josh Holloway, Terry O'Quinn, Daniel Dae Kim, Yun Jin Kim, Naveen Andrews, Dominic Monoghan, Malcolm David Kelley, Harold Perrineau, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Jorge Garcia, Maggie Grace, Ian Somerhalder, (Season 1), 2004-2010. photo: Bob D'Amico / © ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

(Photo by Bob D'Amico / © ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

In 2019, Rotten Tomatoes turns 21, and to mark the occasion we’re celebrating with a series of features that look back at the brightest moments on screen of the past two decades – and one year – and the things that have us excited for the future. 

The first episode of a TV series is the most crucial episode of the entire show: It introduces the characters and the plot, sure, but most importantly, it helps viewers decide immediately whether they want to keep watching.

In the Peak TV era, that’s more important than ever — especially since the internet means literally any TV series that ever existed is usually just a few clicks away from streaming directly into your brain (OK, not yet, but soon).

Rotten Tomatoes consulted the Tomatometer and more than a half-dozen reputable best-of lists to very scientifically rank the top 21 TV pilots of the past 21 years (no, seriously, there were spreadsheets involved). We also applied a touch of editorial discretion to make some big calls, leaning into which have stood the test of time. What resulted is a list that includes series dating from 1999 to 2017. They’re sci-fi classics, beloved sitcoms, teen dramas, and dystopian commentary. And they all have one thing in common: They’re brilliant, re-watchable television.


Pushing Daisies 96%


Rank: 21
Network: ABC
Premiere date: October 3, 2007
Stars: Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Kristin Chenoweth

Creator Bryan Fuller’s distinct, quirky style is on full display in the pilot of his canceled-too-soon Pushing Daisies. The pun-tastic episode name alone — “Pie-lette” — shows you exactly what tone to expect from the bright, fun series (which, since it’s actually about star-crossed lovers who can’t touch because one possesses a supernatural gift that would lead to the death of the other, is quite a feat).


Alias 86%


Rank: 20
Network: ABC
Premiere date: September 30, 2001
Stars: Jennifer Garner, Bradley Cooper, Michael Vartan, Merrin Dungey

Jennifer Garner may have at one time been married to Batman, but the true action star of that marriage was definitely the woman also known as Sydney Bristow. Garner was smart and funny and badass as the CIA double agent working to bring down an evil alliance — plus she had a collection of wigs that The Americans’ Elizabeth Jennings would envy. The pilot episode not only showed off Garner’s badassery, but also allowed the world to fall in love with the girl next door who happened to be one of the world’s most accomplished spies.


Orphan Black 93%


Rank: 19
Network: BBC America
Premiere date: March 30, 2013
Stars: Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany

The opening minutes of Orphan Black are intriguing enough, with British twentysomething Sarah Manning encountering a troubled woman on a subway platform moments before she commits suicide — but the shock when the woman turns around and looks identical to Sarah is just as surprising to the audience as it is to Sarah, who soon uncovers a global conspiracy and learns that the woman is one of many who look like her. They’re clones. It’s the first glimpse at the incredible work star Tatiana Maslany does as the seestras, and a fascinating start to an expansive, imaginative modern sci-fi series.


The West Wing 75%


Rank: 18
Network: NBC
Premiere date: September 22, 1999
Stars: Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney, Martin Sheen, Richard Schiff

This behind-the-scenes look at politics is not only smart and funny — Aaron Sorkin at his best — but it also managed to tackle current politics and world affairs in a way that few other shows had been able to before. And while Sorkin’s writing is a direct response to what was going on in the country at the time, it never feels dated. It was instantly thrilling to be transported into the Beltway in the pilot. Part of that can be attributed to the show’s famous walk-and-talk technique, which was established in the first episode.


Six Feet Under 81%


Rank: 17
Network: HBO
Premiere date: June 3, 2001
Stars: Peter Krause, Lauren Ambrose, Frances Conroy, Michael C. Hall

The finale of Alan Ball’s family drama has one of the best closing sequences of all time — just try to listen to Sia’s “Breathe Me” and not cry, we dare you — but what’s sometimes lost is how original and even magical the pilot is as well, setting up the story of the Fisher family and their journeys through life and death.


The O.C. 67%


Rank: 16
Network: Fox
Premiere date: August 5, 2003
Stars: Ben McKenzie, Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, Rachel Bilson

“Welcome to the O.C., bitch.” The pilot for The O.C. is, in some ways, incredibly, painfully 2003 — the fashion alone makes it very apparent when the series takes place — but it’s also a fascinating look at a very specific time in life (high school), with class commentary to boot.


Atlanta 97%


Rank: 15
Network: FX
Premiere date: September 6, 2016
Stars: Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield

Donald Glover’s love letter to his hometown is a slice-of-life look at a group of friends who are just trying to get by. And, despite the series’ humor, it doesn’t devolve into sitcom theatrics, but portrays its inhabitants, setting, and situations authentically. The visually stunning pilot, directed by Hiro Mirai, also showcases honest writing and superb music by Glover, who now has five Grammys as music artist Childish Gambino.


Homeland 85%


Rank: 14
Network: Showtime
Premiere date: October 2, 2011
Stars: Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Damian Lewis

The premiere of Showtime’s long-running CIA drama would’ve been a tense, compelling episode of television no matter what, but Claire Danes’ performance as troubled CIA field operative Carrie Matheson gave us a strong, complex character, and one of TV’s all-time greats.


The Shield 90%


Rank: 13
Network: FX
Premiere date: March 2, 2002
Stars: Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins

Chiklis won an Emmy for his performance in the pilot as Det. Vic Mackey, a dirty cop who will do anything to keep the streets of Los Angeles free from crime, including commit some himself. Creator Shawn Ryan seemingly wrote himself into a corner in the pilot, when Mackey shoots a fellow cop, but, in truth, Ryan set high expectations that the series would go on to live up to and more over the course of seven seasons.


Friday Night Lights 97%


Rank: 12
Network: NBC
Premiere date: October 3, 2006
Stars: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton

Words spoken to many a person about the Texas-set drama: “It’s not about football, though.” And while the first episode of the critically acclaimed series is, yes, about a high school football team and, yes, culminates at a high school football game, it’s also clear that this is a series about family, emotion, class, dedication, and other universal themes.


Mr. Robot 94%


Rank: 11
Network: USA
Premiere date: June 24, 2015
Stars: Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday

Mr. Robot is a show ostensibly about technology (and, you know, the pitfalls of capitalism), but, as made clear from its first episode, it’s not a show you can watch while scrolling on a smartphone. It’s a show that demands complete attention, something that’s hard to come by in an increasingly distracted world.


The Wire 94%


Rank: 10
Network: HBO
Premiere date: June 2, 2002
Stars: Dominic West, Idris Elba, Wendell Pierce, Michael K. Williams

Tired of friends asking you if you’ve seen The Wire? That’s probably because you haven’t. If you had, you’d join them in gushing about the five-season HBO series about the drug scene in Baltimore. David Simon’s series opens with an hour that perfectly sets a tone that the show admirably maintains throughout its run.


Arrested Development 74%


Rank: 9
Network: Fox
Premiere date: November 2, 2003
Stars: Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera

Plenty of TV shows take a bit of time to find the perfect rhythm and tone, but not Arrested Development. From Ron Howard’s narrator to the eccentric Bluths, every character is fully formed in this practically perfect half hour of television.


Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (2009) 83%


Rank: 8
Network: Syfy
Premiere date: December 8, 2003
Stars: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell Katee Sackhoff, Tricia Helfer, Jamie Bamber

While plenty hail the official first episode of the Battlestar Galactica reboot, “33,” as one of TV’s all-time best episodes, that hour owes much of its success to the miniseries that essentially served as a four-hour pilot for the show. The miniseries built a world and introduced characters in much greater detail and depth than any 42-minute broadcast ever can. Is that cheating? Maybe, but it also was directly responsible for the renewed interest in the classic sci-fi property that allowed it to become one of TV’s most critically acclaimed series.


Game of Thrones 89%


Rank: 7
Network: HBO
Premiere date: April 17, 2011
Stars: Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Sean Bean

“Winter Is Coming” is both the title of the sprawling HBO drama’s premiere and, as the motto of House Stark, also the promise (or threat?) the series has offered since it began: that dark days are headed to the medieval-esque fictional kingdom of Westeros. Upon its premiere, it was hailed as a strong, faithful adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s book and was successful enough to earn a second season renewal just two days after its debut. (Everything could have been different, however; series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss famously scrapped the first pilot.)


The Walking Dead 80%


Rank: 6
Network: AMC
Premiere date: October 31, 2010
Stars: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Jon Bernthal

The opening episode of AMC’s zombie apocalypse series was the network’s highest-rated premiere ever, and the tense installment that opened the show was both stunningly gorgeous and incredibly terrifying, locking in an audience that would stick around to make it one of the biggest shows on television — a true feat in an era of increasingly fractured viewership.


The Sopranos 92%


Rank: 5
Network: HBO
Premiere date: January 10, 1999
Stars: James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco

David Chase’s series about mob boss Tony Soprano, the original cable antihero, and his extended family is largely credited with ushering in a second golden age of television. The most acclaimed scene from the pilot, where Tony is feeding ducks in his pool and has a panic attack when they leave, encapsulates Tony’s existential dread, which the series would go on to portray so well.


The Handmaid's Tale 83%


Rank: 4
Network: Hulu
Premiere date: April 26, 2017
Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Yvonne Strahovski, Ann Dowd

When Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel was released in 1985, it seemed like a far-off fiction. But the story, about an authoritarian theocratic dictatorship that has taken over the United States and subjugated women to less-than-human roles in society, felt much closer to reality for certain audiences when it premiered in politically turbulent 2017. That timeliness, combined with the stunning direction of experienced cinematographer Reed Morano (for which she won an Emmy) and star Elisabeth Moss’ chilling performance turned the series into a hallmark program of the post-Obama era.


Breaking Bad 96%


Rank: 3
Network: AMC
Premiere date: January 20, 2008
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Betsy Brandt, Anna Gunn

The Breaking Bad pilot introduces one of the defining antiheroes of Peak TV: Walter White, a suburban chemistry teacher making ends meet by moonlighting at the car wash until the day he’s diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and told he has two years to live. The pilot shows the exact moment Walt begins his descent from hero to villain: when he recruits his former student Jesse Pinkman to help him make crystal meth (and the money he’ll need for his family when he’s gone).


Mad Men 94%


Rank: 2
Network: AMC
Premiere date: July 19, 2007
Stars: John Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery

Matthew Weiner spent years researching the 1950s and ’60s for his iconic series, and the pilot — which he first wrote in 2000 and shelved until after he finished working on The Sopranos — bears the fruit of that meticulous work. It introduces the world of ’60s ad agency Sterling Cooper and its hard-drinking, strikingly handsome, womanizing ad exec Don Draper along with the distinct visual style and tone that would define the series.


Lost 85%


Rank: 1
Network: ABC
Premiere date: September 22, 2004
Stars: Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lily, Josh Holloway, Jorge Garcia

The pilot of Lost is two hours long, which might seem a little like cheating, but it’s actually the perfect distillation of what the series would turn out to be: scary, mesmerizing, and sometimes very, very confusing. Our hero Jack wakes up after his plane crash-lands — then immediately snaps into action and tries to use his skills as a doctor to save as many of his fellow passengers as possible. They’re all trapped on a tropical island, and — oh yeah, there’s a polar bear. Wait, what? That’s something we would continue saying well into the series’ six-season run.


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Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan stars Wendell Pierce and John Krasinski (James Minchin III/Amazon)

In our recent Fall TV survey, we asked TV fans, “Which current and announced remakes and spin-offs of classic shows and movies are you most excited about?” Find out which series our survey respondents chose below. (Respondents were allowed multiple choices.)

Disagree with the survey results? Tell us in the comments who you think should have made the list or have been ranked higher.

Also Check Out: Firefly Lands Atop the List of TV Reboots, Revivals & Spin-Offs Fans Really Want to See


Veronica Mars 91%

#10Star Kristen Bell recently confirmed on social media that Hulu will stream every episode of the original series and has picked up a new series based on the character.


Star Trek (2009) 94%

#9CBS TV Studios earlier this year signed a five-year pact with Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Alex Kurtzman — who also wrote and produced the 2009 Star Trek film reboot and its 2013 follow up Star Trek: Into Darkness — to continue expanding the franchise, according to Variety. One of the series reportedly in development, and that you voted into the top 10, takes place at Starfleet Academy, the setting, you might remember, of some of the opening scenes in the $257.7 million–grossing film franchise reboot that starred Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.


Murphy Brown

#8Emmy-winning star, Candice Bergen, and series creator, Diane English, reunite for a comedy revival that takes on a world of 24-hour cable, social media, and “fake news” in a vastly different political climate. Murphy recruits lifestyle reporter Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford), investigative journalist Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto), and former news producer Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud) for her return to TV. Pat Patel (Nik Dodani) joins the team as social media director, and Murphy’s son Avery (Jake McDorman) looks to follow in her footsteps.


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 81%

#7Sabrina, the Teenage Witch gets a dark makeover by Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Another title in the Berlanti-verse — but on Netflix, not The CW — the series is based on the Archie Comics character Sabrina Spellmanm played here by Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka, not the originals’ Melissa Joan Hart. Lucy Davis, Miranda Otto, Ross Lynch, Michelle Gomez, Richard Coyle, Jaz Sinclair Chance Perdomo, Tati Gabrielle, and Bronson Pinchot also star.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer 83%

#6Female-led — and named — series from the 1990s and early 2000s are the It projects this fall. Let’s hear it for nostalgia, as some of our favorite characters come charging back. As with the Sabrina swap, however, original series star Sarah Michelle Geller is passing the torch — erm, wooden stake — to a new actress to be announced, but rumored to be a black actress. Deadline reported that Midnight, Texas creator Monica Owusu-Breen has been tapped as writer, executive producer and showrunner for the Fox 21 TV studios production with original series creator and showrunner Joss Whedon serving as executive producer.


Star Trek: Discovery 86%

#5Despite getting off to a rocky start with online trolls in season 1, Star Trek: Discovery showed its mettle as more and more reviewers weighed in, landing the series a Certified Fresh 82% Tomatometer score. Season 1 stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Shazad Latif, Mary Chieffo, Wilson Cruz, Michelle Yeoh, James Frain, Rainn Wilson, and Jason Isaacs won’t all return for season 2 — or maybe they will (you just never know with a Star Trek property) — but Anson Mount joins as famed Starfleet captain Christopher Pike of the U.S.S. Enterprise and Ethan Peck will appear as young Spock. The Star Trek universe also expands with Short Treks on Thursday, October 4 on CBS All Access. Each 10-15 minute short of the four-part series focuses on one character, including Saru (Jones), Tilly (Wiseman), and Harry Mudd (Wilson), as well as new character Craft (Aldis Hodge).


Lost in Space 84%

#4So you finally got around to binging the Lost in Space reboot on Netflix, eh? Boasting strong leads in Molly Parker (Deadwood) and Toby Stephens (Black Sails) as Maureen and John Robinson, Parker Posey (Best in Show) as Dr. Smith, and a “hot” robot, the series landed in mid-April and quickly found an audience with families and, apparently, robot fetishists.


Watchmen (2009) 65%

#3It’s not a reboot of the 2009 Zack Snyder–directed movie, but a return to the story’s roots in the graphic novel by Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins. The Leftovers’ Damon Lindelof shed some light on his TV adaption in a letter posted to Instagram in May. The pilot was ordered to series in August, and the cast includes Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Frances Fisher, Tim Blake Nelson, Tom Mison, Adelaide Clemens, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Louis Gossett Jr., Andrew Howard, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, Jacob Ming-Trent, Lily Rose Smith, and Adelynn Spoon.


Star Trek: The Next Generation 91%

#2Call it Star Trek: The Return of the Next Generation. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) himself thrilled fans when he announced in August that he was returning to the Star Trek universe to tell the next chapter in Picard’s life. The series will stream on CBS All Access.


Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan 71%

#1So confident was Amazon in its John Krasinski–led political thriller that it renewed the series for season 2 before season 1 premiered. It seems audiences agreed, voting the series the most anticipated new series in our Spring-Summer survey, but also voting it No. 1 here. Wendell Pierce (Selma) and Abbie Cornish (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) also star.

FIREFLY, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Ron Glass, Sean Maher, Morena Baccarin, Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, 2002-03, TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved, Courtesy: Everett Collection

(Photo by © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved, Courtesy: Everett Collection)

In our recent fall TV survey, we asked TV fans, “Which shows would you like to see return or get rebooted?” See which series our survey respondents chose below. (Respondents were allowed multiple choices.)

Disagree with the survey results? Tell us in the comments who you think should have made the list or have been ranked higher.

Also Check Out: Jack Ryan, Watchmen, Star Trek Voted Top Current and Announced Reboots, Revivals & Spin-Offs Fans Are Most Excited About


Parks and Recreation 93%


#10The write-in vote was overwhelmingly led by variations on “none,” including “no more f***ing reboots!” Otherwise, Parks and Recreation, Chuck, Almost Human, Timeless, Penny Dreadful, and Hannibal got mentions among many, many others. Keep the faith, Dark Passengers!

Friends 82%

#9After 10 seasons, these friends had enough — but apparently you haven’t. Will Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Monica (Courteney Cox), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler (Matthew Perry), and Ross (David Schwimmer) be there for you? Truth? Probably not.


True Blood 70%

#8By the end, star Anna Paquin seemed quite eager to hang up her Sookie Stackhouse accent, which probably was reflected in the Tomatometer scores for seasons 6 (40%) and 7 (44%). Without those scores, the series averaged nearly 80%.


Freaks and Geeks 100%

#7This Certified Fresh one-season wonder from Judd Apatow and Paul Feig starred a crew of actors who would go on to bigger — not always better — projects: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, Jason Segel, Martin Starr, and Samm Levine. Could the charm of the original series really be recaptured in a revival or a — gasp — reboot? We think not.


The West Wing 75%

#6You’ve been fantasizing about President Bartlet, too?


Fringe 90%

#5Initially suffering heavy comparisons to Fox’s The X-Files, the series, from creators J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci, would go on to take its place among the best sci-fi series of all time. No. 11, to be exact, on Rotten Tomatoes’ list.


Pushing Daisies 96%

#4Created by Bryan Fuller, the fantasy series starred Lee Pace as a pie maestro who could bring the dead back to life with a touch. If only we could do so with the series, which lasted only two short seasons, both of which are Certified Fresh. The series also starred Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Swoozie Kurtz, Ellen Greene, and Kristin Chenoweth.


The Office 81%

#3Yes, yes, everyone wants The Office back. Steve Carell is busy crafting Oscar-worthy performances, however.


Battlestar Galactica 95%

#2Fringe may have taken 11th position on our “100 Best Sci-Fi Shows of All Time” list, but Ronald D. Moore’s space opera took No. 1. We miss it too!


Firefly 77%

#1It is truly a marvel that Firefly lasted only one season — one Certified Fresh at 85% season! And it seems that 2005 film Serenity did little to sate your appetite for Nathan Fillion’s Mal and his oddball crew of space survivalists. Fillion can be seen in new ABC drama The Rookie, which popped up on our list of the new fall series you’re most looking forward to. Firefly also starred Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and Ron Glass.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 1 Key Art (Hulu)

(Photo by Hulu)

We asked nearly 50 questions in our 2018 Fall TV Survey to get a full picture of how viewers like you consume TV. Here are a few more interesting stats to confirm that you’re a complete oddball when it comes to your TV viewing habits.


Almost 23 percent of you admitted you need a Hulu trial subscription stat to catch up with Emmy-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale.

What are some shows you’re dying to watch, but haven’t had the time yet?
The Handmaid’s Tale – 22.99%
Better Call Saul – 13.71%
The Americans – 12.87%
Fargo – 12.79%
Game of Thrones – 12.70%
Breaking Bad – 12.00%
Legion – 11.73%
Stranger Things – 11.70%
Marvel’s Jessica Jones – 10.02%
Preacher – 9.95%
Luke Cage – 9.82%
Other  – 9.52% (write-in votes were led by Westworld, then a tie between Orange Is the New Black, This Is Us, Lost In Space, and Castle Rock.)
American Horror Story – 9.31%
Veep – 9.15%
13 Reasons Why – 8.99%


Over 10 percent of you said you love your favorite returning fall series because of the music.

What are the main reasons you love the returning fall TV show you’re most looking forward to?
The story line – 76.18%
The actors – 65.60%
The script – 52.06%
The overall production quality – 44.34%
The soundtrack – 10.25%
Other – 7.20%
It’s mindless – 5.30%
It’s convenient – 3.43%


Nearly 60 percent of you take your viewing cues from friends and family.

What normally factors into your decision to watch a show?
Referrals from friends or family – 58.50%
Overall buzz about the show – 57.73%
Critics’ reviews and ratings – 41.08%
Ads I see on TV – 36.30%
Ads or videos I see online – 29.63%
Things I see on social media – 28.28%
News stories – 17.17%
Other – 7.64%
Billboards I see around town – 3.34%


We asked who your favorite talk-show host is, then …

How you usually watch talk shows?
Clips Online – 38.04%
DVR’d – 33.94%
Live – 29.96%
Other – 11.56% (Top write-in votes: “don’t watch” followed by “streaming”)


It’s the jokes!

Why do you watch your preferred talk-show host?
Like their comedy – 70.91%
Games/sketches/special segments – 29.59%
Align with their political views – 28.28%
Best guest line-up – 25.10%
Other – 9.86%


Broadcasters should be scared — or at least diversifying.

Do you think you watch more network TV, streaming/on demand TV, or an equal amount of both?
More streaming/on demand TV – 45.75%
Equal amount of both – 28.58%
More network TV – 25.68%


If you watch more than 5 hours of TV a day — 12 percent of you! — you probably need to get a pet.

In total, how many hours a day do you think you watch TV (network, DVR, subscription, etc.)?
Less than 1 hour per day – 7.07%
1-2 hours a day – 36.62%
3-5 hours a day – 44.43%
More than 5 hours a day – 11.87%


Over 9 percent of you claim you never binge-watch TV shows. The first step to recovery is admitting you binge.

Are there TV shows that you binge-watch?
Yes, that’s how I watch some shows – 83.30%
No, I never binge watch shows – 9.36% (nearly 18 percent of respondents aged 55+ chose this answer)
Yes, that’s how I watch all shows – 7.34% (over 12 percent of respondents 18-34 years old chose this answer)


True, binge-watching confessions…

What would you say you do most often?
Watch on a weekly basis – 43.71% (nearly 44 percent of both men and women)
Binge-watch – 32.91% (36 percent of women compared to 30 percent of men)
Watch one episode at a time even if binging is available – 23.39% (20 percent of women compared to 26 percent of men)


Almost 15 percent of you claim to be binge-masters — and another 16 percent of you are binge-virgins.

When was the last time you binged-watched an entire season of a show?
This week – 14.63%
This month – 31.18%
This year – 38.11%
I’ve never binged-watched an entire season of a show – 16.07%


The Game of Thrones effect.

Which premium cable channel do you subscribe to and for what specific show?
Of 3,254 respondents, 233 specifically mentioned Game of Thrones as a reason they subscribed to HBO. Some other popular titles: Showtime for Shameless and Homeland, Starz for Outlander and Power, and Hulu for The Handmaid’s Tale.


Streaming bait.

34 percent of you have tested the streaming waters with a trial, lured by a single series.
We asked if you’d done a trial of a streaming service for just one show, which show was it? The top series cited was Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access, followed by Game of Thrones on HBO Now.


Streaming habits.

Do you (or someone that you live with) subscribe to any streaming services? If so, which ones?
Netflix – 84.91%
Amazon Prime – 76.55%
Hulu – 48.34%
HBO Now – 21%
STARZ – 12.16%
Showtime – 11.90%
Other – 7.56% (CBS All Access was the top write-in vote)
YouTube Premium – 6.05%
I don’t subscribe to any streaming services – 5.75%


Meet the cord-cutters

Have you added extra streaming subscription services because you don’t have cable or satellite television?
Yes, multiple streaming services – 65.27%
Yes, one streaming service – 19.96%
No – 14.77%


The top series distributor among Millennials and Gen Xers is Netflix, while those 55+ watch CBS.

What channels or streaming services do you currently watch TV shows on?

Netflix – 82.02%
ABC – 63.58%
Amazon – 61.21%
NBC – 57.99%
CBS – 54.43%
FOX – 52.56%
HBO – 52.51%
Hulu – 45.78%
FX – 44.52%
AMC – 40.51%
The CW – 39.56%
USA – 34.97%
TBS – 30.49%
BBC America – 29.33%
TNT – 29.31%
Showtime – 25.07%
STARZ – 23.93%
Comedy Central – 23.48%
History – 19.81%
National Geographic – 15.83%


The majority watch Netflix most.

And which one do you watch the most?
Netflix – 40.09%
Hulu – 9.70%
CBS – 8.85%
ABC – 6.62%
NBC – 5.27%
The CW – 4.53%
HBO – 4.46%
Amazon – 4.02%
FOX – 2.91%
AMC – 2.80%


Women, men, and survey respondents of all ages believe that Netflix is the most diverse of all their network and streaming options.

Which network/streaming service do you feel is the most diverse?
Netflix – 43.87%
HBO – 8.02%
ABC – 7.12%
Amazon – 6.51%
Hulu – 5.9%
Other (specify) – 5.72%
The CW – 3.92%
FOX – 3.30%
BBC America – 2.53%
FX – 2.28%


More millennials (82.52%) feel that diversity on TV has improved on TV for the fall season.

Do you feel diversity in TV has improved over last year for shows airing in the coming fall?
Yes – 77.52%
No – 22.48%

If someone asked you to name a TV composer, who would you guess? Maybe Danny Elfman, writer of the iconic Simpsons theme. But did you know Elfman also composed the theme for Desperate Housewives – and won an Emmy for it too?

We’ve put together a little quiz to test your knowledge of the people who keep your ears entertained while you watch your favorite shows.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — except maybe when it comes to dealing with family. If yours isn’t getting with the holiday spirit, adopt a TV family to spend your winter vacation days with. Below, we round up 13 series with a slew of Christmas episodes and specials for you to binge when ignoring the holiday ruckus is the best option.


 

30 Rock 78%
30 Rock "Ludachristmas" (NBC)

What it is: Depicting the behind-the-scenes dramas of fictional sketch comedy series The Girlie Show (and loosely inspired by creator Tina Fey’s time as head writer at Saturday Night Live), 30 Rock follows writer Liz Lemon (Fey) as she tries to please those around her — including network executive Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and on-camera talent Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) and Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan).

Why you should watch it: 30 Rock is a master class in comedy writing, boasting seven years’ worth of zeitgeist-grabbing one-liners you’ll still laugh silly at today. The series has dozens of trophies to its name, including three Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series. Holiday specials “Secret Santa,” “Christmas Attack Zone,” “Ludachristmas,” and “Christmas Special” are sure to bring you cheer.

Where to watch: Amazon Video, FandangoNow, Google Play, iTunes, Microsoft, Netflix, PlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 80 minutes


 

Bob's Burgers

Bob's Burgers "Nice-capades" (FOX)

What it is: This Fox animated series from creators Loren Bouchard and Jim Dauterive follows the Belcher family through their day-to-day of running a mom-and-pop burger joint.

Why you should watch it: Through its first seven seasons, the Belcher family and their eccentric burger-loving patrons has solidified Bob’s Burgers’ status as one of the best family sitcoms on TV. Each episode is ripe with absurd, sometimes crass humor and singalong original tunes, but viewers also walk away with a touching portrayal of a loving family and the ties that bind. “Christmas in the Car,” “Nice-Capedes,” “Father of the Bob,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins,” and this season’s “The Last Gingerbread House on the Left” will make you want to keep your family close this season, no matter their oddities.

Where to watch: Amazon Video, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Microsoft, Netflix, PlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 1.8 hours


 

Community 88%

Community "Comparative Religion" (NBC)

What it is: Joel McHale’s sleazy lawyer Jeff Winger is forced to enroll in Greendale Community College in Greendale, Colorado, when it’s learned that he didn’t, in fact, earn a law degree from Columbia University. Partially inspired by showrunner Dan Harmon’s own community college experience, Community is the story of Jeff and the makeshift family of classmates he creates at Greendale.

Why you should watch it:  Community earned its cult comedy stripes thanks to its off-the-wall humor; uninhibited performances from McHale, Donald Glover, Alison Brie, and others; and fearlessness in experimentation. Case and point: Season 2’s “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas,” which dabbled in stop-motion animation akin to animated Christmas classics of yesteryear. “Comparative Religion” and “Regional Holiday Music” round it out to make this a memorable Community Christmas trilogy, indeed. Merry happy!

Where to watch: AmazonFandangoNOWGoogle Play, HuluiTunes, Microsoft, PlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 60 minutes


 

Doctor Who 87%

Doctor Who "Last Christmas" (BBC America)

What it is: BBC’s long-running Doctor Who follows the titular globe- and time-trotting alien doctor as he and his comrades save various worlds from destruction.

Why you should watch it: Brimming with sci-fi action, romance, and deliciously British wit, Doctor Who has amassed a cult following over the years, even while hiring a rotating roster of Brit talents to play the Doctor. One thing we’ve come to count on since its 2005 revival is a rousing Christmas special that leans heavier on affable comic relief than high-stakes drama — but there are plenty of both! There have been 11 since 2005 and a twelfth, Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio, airs December 25.

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle PlayiTunes, Microsoft, PlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 11 hours


Downton Abbey on Masterpiece 86%

MASTERPIECE CLASSIC - Downton Abbey, Season 5 (Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited)

What it is: This acclaimed early 20th century–set period drama from ITV and PBS invites us into the Yorkshire estate belonging to the fictional Crawley family.

Why you should watch it: An immediate international success with critics and audiences alike, Downtown Abbey serves up TV drama at its finest, though it occasionally indulges in juicy upstairs-downstairs melodrama. The series’ annual Christmas Specials often act as cliffhanging season finales rather than an hour of heartwarming Christmastides (see: Matthew’s season 3 car accident and death), but they provide as good a reason as any to cozy up around a fireplace and lose yourself in the Crawleys’ daily dramas.

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle PlayiTunes, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: About 3.75hours


Friends 82%

Friends - s7e10 "Holiday Armadillo" (NBC)

What it is: We all know Friends — heck, you can probably even sing the whole theme song. This decade-spanning, New York City–set sitcom introduced us to friends, roommates, siblings, and on-again, off-again lovers Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Joey, and Chandler and made us fall in love with them in the process.

Why you should watch it: Featuring Christmas episodes in all but the 10th and final season, Friends lets you check in on its central gang at the same time each year to see Ross dressing as the Holiday Armadillo for his son (“The Holiday Armadillo”), Phoebe volunteering her time to collect money for those in need (“The One With the Inappropriate Sister”), Rachel quitting her job at Central Perk (“The One Where Rachel Quits”), and more. Also check out “The One With the Monkey,” “The One With Phoebe’s Dad,” “The One With the Girl From Poughkeepsie,” “The One With Ross’ Step Forward,” “The One With the Routine,” and “The One With Christmas in Tulsa.”

Where to watch: AmazonFandangoNOWGoogle PlayiTunes, Microsoft, NetflixPlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 4.5 hours


Gilmore Girls 85%

Gilmore Girls "Santa's Secret Stuff" (Netflix)

What it is: This charming, fan-favorite dramedy is all about a single, 30-something mother’s (Lauren Graham) bond with her bookish teenage daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) and the friends and family orbiting their daily life.

Why you should watch it: The ladies of the fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut, may speak with a bit more discerning wit than we’re used to hearing in the real world, but they’re still just like us! No matter what’s happening in the greater scope of their respective seasons, Gilmore Girls’ seven Christmastime episodes balance family tension and love on the small screen with “Forgiveness and Stuff,” “Santa’s Secret Stuff,” “Just Like Gwen and Gavin,” “Women of Questionable Morals,” “That’ll Do, Pig,” “In the Clamor and Clangor,” and “The Bracebridge Dinner.”

Where to watch: Amazon (DVD only), Google Play, iTunes, Microsoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: About 5.25 hours


The Mindy Project 86%

Mindy Project "Josh and Mindy's Christmas Party" (Fox)

What it is: Despite having her professional life admirably put together as an OB-GYN doctor, Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) is a lovable walking mess on the personal front. This is her story.

Why you should watch it: While its ratings were low enough to get the boot from Fox, its devoted fanbase was loving and persistent enough to get it picked up by Hulu. It just goes to show that once quirky everywoman Mindy and her friends are in your life, they’re impossible to let go. “Josh and Mindy’s Christmas Party,” “Christmas Party Sex Trap,” and the simply named “Christmas” portray the perfect blend of big reflections on life and decision-making — and the scramble for love — many do around the holidays in hopes of ending the year on a high note.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, HuluiTunes, Microsoft, PlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 60 minutes


New Girl 95%

"Christmas Eve Eve" episode of NEW GIRL (Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

What it is: Zooey Deschanel stars as the central (and eccentric) “new girl,” Jess, who in the beginning of the series moves in with three single guys as she recovers from a nasty breakup. Let squad goals commence.

Why you should watch it: New Girl’s holiday episodes “The 23rd,” “Santa,” and “LAXmas” break down tropes of the season with its trademark quirk: office Christmas parties, traveling to visit family, and finding the perfect present for someone you care about. Catch up before this year’s holiday-themed outing, “Christmas Eve Eve” on Dec. 13.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, HuluiTunes, NetflixMicrosoft, PlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 60 minutes


The Office 81%

The Office "Secret Santa" (NBC)

What it is: The Office, a remake of the BBC original starring Ricky Gervais, stars a Steve Carell as the gratingly aloof Michael Scott, manager to a cast of memorable oddballs at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.

Why you should watch it: No series brought the discomfort of the holiday work party to the screen more hilariously than The Office. Seven of its nine seasons featured a Christmas-themed episode that saw everything from Michael playing Santa Claus (“Secret Santa”) to gift exchanges gone bad (“Christmas Party”) to coworkers going to Hooters (the two-part “Benihana Christmas”) to everyone trying to keep it classy (the two-part “Classy Christmas”). You’ll laugh all the way through this binge, which also includes “Moroccan Christmas,” “Dwight Christmas,” and “Christmas Wishes.”

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle PlayiTunes, Microsoft, NetflixPlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 3.3 hours


Robot Chicken

THE ROBOT CHICKEN CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (AdultSwim.com)

What it is: Unapologetically unhinged and totally un-PC, Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken is a stop-motion animated sketch comedy series that delights in the demented. It’s gotten four Emmys since its 2005 debut.

Why you should watch it: While a distinct departure from the usual Christmas fare, it may be just what the doctor ordered after the holiday season’s typical onslaught of jingle bells and reindeer. There are eight specials in all: “Robot Chicken’s Christmas Special,” “Robot Chicken’s Half-Assed Christmas Special,” “Dear Consumer (Robot Chicken’s Full-Assed Christmas Special),” “Robot Chicken’s DP Christmas Special,” “Robot Chicken’s ATM Christmas Special,” “Born Again Virgin Christmas Special,” “Robot Chicken Christmas Special: The X-Mas United,” and “Lots of Holidays but Don’t Worry Christmas Is Still in There Too so Pull the Stick Out of Your Ass Fox News Special.” Seven of them will be played back-to-back on Adult Swim Dec. 11–Dec. 12.

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle Play, HuluiTunes, Microsoft, PlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 89 minutes


The Simpsons 85%

The Simpsons (Fox)

What it is: The hapless Homer, his wife Marge, and their kids Lisa, Bart, and Maggie come to vivid animated life on the small screen as they live and grow in the cartoon world of Springfield.

Why you should watch it: Airing now for 28 seasons on Fox, The Simpsons is perhaps the most significant cultural contribution on this list. Season to season, viewers can find hysterical parody on the present day, and that goes for its 13 (soon to be 14) Christmas episodes. Did you know The Simpsons pilot, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire,” was technically the series’ first Christmas special? Others include “Holidays of Future Past,” “The Fight Before Christmas,” “Grift of Magi,” “Marge Be Not Proud,” “Miracle on Evergreen Terrace,” “Simpson Christmas Stories,” “Tis the Fifteenth Season,” “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas,” “White Christmas Blues,” “Skinner’s Sense of Snow,” “She of Little Faith,” “Kill Gil, Volumes One and Two,” and the upcoming “The Nightmare After Krustmas,” to air Dec. 11.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, HuluiTunes, Microsoft, PlayStation Video, SimpsonsWorld.comVudu

Commitment: About 5 hours


The West Wing 75%

The West Wing "In Excelsis Deo" (NBC)

What it is: Aaron Sorkin’s decorated political drama charts the two-term presidency of President Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his respectable (but drama-ridden) team of White House staffers.

Why you should watch it: Everyone could use a little inspiration going into the New Year, and no one pontificates quite like Sheen as President Bartlet. This series is worth a binge in and of itself — and it may be tough to jump in exclusively for the holiday episodes without getting lost — but for viewers looking to toast the holiday season with President Bartlet, tune into “In Excelsis Deo,” “Noel,” “Bartlet for America,” “Holy Night,” “Abu el Banat,” and “Impact Winter.”

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle PlayiTunes, Microsoft, NetflixPlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 4.5 hours

Has the 2016 presidential election left you feeling like you’re in some alternate-reality television show? From the rise of businessman–turned–reality TV star–turned–Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to dark horse Bernie Sanders giving eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton a real run for her money in the primaries and on, the political surprises of the past year have been relentless.

To commemorate this Election Day and provide a little escapism, Rotten Tomatoes has rounded up 17 fictional TV presidents since William Jefferson Clinton’s administration.

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