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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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 mortality rate for television characters has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Really, since cable shows like Game of Thrones — with its Stark family curse — chucked out the rule book governing the survival of beloved characters, no one is safe.


Spoiler alert! This article contains plot details for major character deaths in Game of ThronesThe Walking Dead, and 19 other TV shows.


The best surprise deaths can make viewers mourn for fictional characters. When it’s just a publicity stunt or a blatant contract termination, it doesn’t hurt quite as bad. Real-life losses like John Ritter (8 Simple Rules), Phil Hartman (NewsRadio), and Bill Paxton (Training Day), are a different sort of heartrending tragedy.

Rotten Tomatoes rounded up 21 of the most shocking and heartbreaking TV deaths of the last 21 years, which you can read below. Fictional characters only.

Want to argue for a more heartbreaking death? Tell us in the comments below.


21. Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), Arrow 86%

The CW

(Photo by The CW)

This most certainly was NOT in the comics! Laurel returned so that softened the blow a little bit, but Cassidy’s goodbye episode of Arrow was brutal. Sent to the hospital after fighting Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), the doctors made us think she was going to be OK before flatlining her.


20. Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino), The Walking Dead 80%

The Walking Dead, season 4 episode 14 "The Grove" Melissa Mcbride as Carol and Brighton Sharbino as Lizzie screencap (AMC)

Carol (Melissa McBride) had a crushing decision to make in season 4 episode “The Grove.” After Lizzie killed her own sister and indicated that she planned to kill more — and saw nothing wrong with that — and knowing that there is no way to manage a person having a dangerous psychotic break when you’re on the run with an infant during a zombie apocalypse, Carol made the call to shoot the girl. It was a shocking turn of events in the series and even became a meme (“look at the flowers”).


19. Lane Pryce (Jared Harris), Mad Men 94%

Lane takes his own life after Don discovers he’s embezzled money to cover debts and insists that the SCDP partner resign. The series plumbed the depths of Lane’s despair over his perceived failure, and yet his extreme response was still somehow thoroughly unexpected for the buttoned-up Brit.


18. Teri Bauer (Leslie Hope), 24 87%

Teri Bauer - 24

(Photo by Fox)

24 was a game-changing show for executing its real-time format an hour at a time for 24 hours, and showing the toll it takes on Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) — beginning with the loss of his wife Teri.


17. Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo), The Sopranos 92%

Adriana - The Sopranos

(Photo by HBO)

When a family member cooperates with the FBI, there’s really only one thing for a Soprano to do about it. That didn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to Adriana when Silvio (Steven Van Zandt) drove her out to the woods and chased her through the forest.


16. William (Ron Cephas Jones), This Is Us 93%


William’s death was inevitable from the beginning of This Is Us. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) found him already in the final stages of cancer. On a father-son road trip to Memphis to find out more about William’s childhood, William’s health declined before they could make it home. At least they got to reconnect with one final trip, and William got to leave this Earth with the love of his family.


15. Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton), Nashville 91%

Rayna - Nashville

(Photo by CMT)

After an automobile accident, country superstar Rayna James passed away in the hospital. It’s still sad to see an exit so permanent, but Britton’s heartfelt thank you note to all the fans and her colleagues jerked even more tears.


14. Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), The Walking Dead 80%


Carl was just a kid when The Walking Dead started. As he grew up, he grew into more and more of a central character, much to some fans’ discontent. Still, few wished him actual harm. Carl went out the way most supporting characters do on The Walking Dead: death by zombie. At least his bite gave him time to say goodbye and gave Rick a chance to wail “Caaaarrrruuuullll” once more with feeling.


13. Rita Bennett Morgan (Julie Benz), Dexter 71%

Rita Bnnett/Morgan - Dexter

(Photo by Showtime)

Why didn’t Dexter (Michael C. Hall) kill Trinity (John Lithgow) sooner? Once Trinity was onto Dexter, he knew how to hurt him. By the time Dexter finished him off, it was too late. Dexter came home to find his wife, Rita murdered in the bathtub. This was the ultimate reminder that killing serial killers doesn’t make anything right. The victims they took away are still gone.


12. Will Gardner (Josh Charles), The Good Wife 93%

Will Gardner - The Good Wife

(Photo by CBS)

When it came time for Charles to depart the series on which he’d starred for five seasons, his character, Will, didn’t just move to another city. He was shot to death by his own client in the courtroom in a legitimately shocking episode made all the more impactful by the fact that news of Charles’ imminent exit did not leak beforehand.


11. Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan), Lost 85%

(Photo by ABC)

It’s hard to single out one death from Lost since the show was so good at making us attached to every character. In the end, it had to be Charlie sacrificing himself to warn Desmond it was NOT PENNY’S BOAT radioing the Oceanic survivors.


10. Wallace (Michael B. Jordan), The Wire 94%

(Photo by HBO)

Jordan was only 15 when he played a teenage drug dealer on HBO’s landmark series The Wire, making the moment when druglord Stringer Bell (Idris Elba) orders his murder all the more tragic.


9. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Game of Thrones 89%

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

The Mother of Dragons and Breaker of Chains went power mad in the final moments of the series as she ascended to became ruler of Westeros. Ultimately, however, she wasn’t even able to sit on the Iron Throne she’d dreamed about as a kid; she was betrayed by her lover-nephew, Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen (Kit Harington), who professed his loyalty, then kissed her while stabbing her in the heart mere feet from her father’s throne.


8. Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), Downton Abbey on Masterpiece 86%

Matthew Crawley - Downton Abbey

(Photo by ITV)

Crawley estate heir Matthew was so happy to be a new father that he took his eyes off the road to appreciate nature, causing the fatal accident that shocked viewers. Fans later found out that Stevens wanted off the show to explore other opportunities.


7. Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies), Prison Break 61%

Sara Tancredi - Prison Break

(Photo by Fox)

Callies could have made our list as Lori Grimes in The Walking Dead for her death during pregnancy, but on Prison Break her head was in a box! Fans demanded her return, so she came back and even showed up in the Fox reboot for a fifth season. At the time during season 3, her demise sure felt permanent.


6. Joyce Summers (Kristine Sutherland), Buffy the Vampire Slayer 83%

(Photo by The WB)

Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) herself came back to life twice, but her mother Joyce did not have magic to resurrect her. For all the supernatural demons and monsters on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Buffy spent one very real hour dealing with a loved one’s death.


5. Denny Duquette (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Grey's Anatomy 83%

Denny Duquette - Grey's Anaomy

(Photo by ABC)

Denny’s death was a real gut punch, because throughout the entire second season of the long-running medical drama, it looked like Izzie (Katherine Heigl) had done everything to save her patient-boyfriend, including violating protocol to get him a heart transplant. The transplant itself took, but Denny still died of a blood clot and stroke. The silver lining is this role made Morgan a star.


4. Catelyn, Robb, and pregnant Talisa Stark + direwolf Grey Wind (Michelle Fairley, Richard Madden, Oona Chaplin), Game of Thrones 89%

While earlier deaths in the HBO hit fantasy series tipped fans off that anyone could go at any time, the episode nicknamed “The Red Wedding” (season 3, episode 9 “The Rains of Castamere”) took Game of Thrones death pools to another level. Half of the surviving Stark family died in the massacre carried out by Lord Walder Frey and his murderous brood: family matriarch Catelyn, King in the North Robb, his wife Talisa, and their unborn child. And while Roose Bolton was thrusting a dagger into Robb, his men outside killed Robb’s direwolf, Grey Wind, further stunning an audience that was perhaps hoping the animal might avenge its faithful human companion.


3. Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), The Walking Dead 80%

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

On another show where anyone could go at any time, The Walking Dead really psyched people out over the death of main character Glenn. First they made everyone think he died in a walker horde, but then he was somehow safe under a dumpster. Later, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) beat him beyond recognition as, with his last words, he called out to wife Maggie (Lauren Cohan).


2. Ned Stark (Sean Bean), Game of Thrones 89%


By the end, almost no Game of Thrones death was shocking, but this was the first — and it was the one that told viewers that if the star of the show could die, anyone could. It happened just when things were looking up for Bean, after famously dying in Goldeneye and Lord of the Rings too. For a while, the meme #DontKillSeanBean became a thing.


1. Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia), This Is Us 93%

After Jack escaped the Pearson family’s burning house — saving everyone and the dog — fans all breathed a collective sigh of relief. But he wasn’t safe yet. Viewers were gobsmacked when This Is Us delivered the cruelest twist, killing Jack with a massive heart attack related to smoke inhalation. Because of the NBC series’ unique format, however, this is one character that fans get to spend time with even after he’s dead.


The Flash, "Duet"; Fear the Walking Dead, "What's Your Story"; Scandal, "SCANDAL - "Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself"(Jack Rowand/The CW; AMC; ABC/Mitch Haaseth)

Post-apocalyptic worlds collided Sunday night when Lennie James’ character Morgan Jones left the world of The Walking Dead to enter the story of its sister series, Fear the Walking Dead, giving viewers of AMC’s zombie series the fan-satisfying crossover-episode experience.

So far, critics seem to approve: Fear the Walking Dead’s season 4 premiere, “What’s Your Story,” has a Tomatometer score of 100% on 12 reviews.

It’s hard to say how the concept of interweaving stories or characters from one project to another originated. The Paley Center for Media curator David Bushman argues that literature has used the trope for centuries, noting Mark Twain’s decision to make Tom Sawyer appear in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. More recently, Film Twitter lost its collective mind in March over the assertion that Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War may be the most ambitious crossover event in history and cited numerous other examples that are no doubt better because Film Twitter said so.


Marvel's The Defenders (Sarah Shatz/Netflix)

Whatever the origin, crossover plot tactics are extremely lucrative for the entertainment industry. So much so, in fact, that titles like Netflix’s Marvel superhero series — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist — used character crossovers as primary plot tactics to remind us that they operate in a larger story together even before The Defenders (pictured above) officially united them.

“Crossovers are a pain in the a–. Everybody hates doing them,” uber producer Dick Wolf told journalists at the winter 2017 Television Critics Association press tour, referring to the scheduling headaches that ensued to facilitate overlapping stories on his Law & Order and Chicago franchises. He added, however, that they’re “like ratings crack, and it’s a bad addiction because you don’t want to overuse it.”

That said, TV crossovers are unlikely to be going away any time soon. Paley Center’s Bushman says the consolidation of media companies that allows a larger studio to gobble up smaller ones and their media libraries makes it easier for events like Supernatural’s recent Scooby Doo episode on The CW. They’re also expected occurrences on the many series that fit into the CW’s CW’s Arrowverse programming and are signals to loyal fans of one ratings juggernaut that a new series in that orbit may be worth watching (see ABC’s introduction of Station 19 via Grey’s Anatomy).

But just because crossovers get good ratings doesn’t mean they get positive reviews. We consider some of the more noteworthy events in recent crossover history.


1. Supernatural–Scooby Doo


Supernatural Season 13, Episode 16: Scoobynatural

Zoinks! Supernatural brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) entered the world of Scooby Doo in this much-hyped animated episode in the long-running show’s 13th season. Titled “Scoobynatural,” the episode also starred Matthew Lillard, Kate Micucci, Frank Welker, and Grey Griffin as the voices of the Scooby Gang (Lillard featured in the Scooby Doo movies). It was a ratings win and pretty much every critic ate it up like a crime-solving Great Dane at snack time.


2. The Simpsons–24


The Simpsons, Season 18, Episode 21: 24 Minutes

In a feat of Fox synergy, the cast of 24 leant their voices to a Simpsons parody of their high-stakes world when the pressure’s on to stop a stink bomb from igniting at Springfield Elementary. It’s one of many, many crossover stunts the long-running animated show has pulled and is often listed as a favorite when critics consider the show’s knack for both parody and casting guest talent. It also won that year’s Annie Award for best writing in an animated television production.


3. The X-Files–COPS


The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 12: X-COPS

As weird as a crossover of the sci-fi The X-Files and crime-focused reality series COPS sounds, keep in mind that both versions are all about finding the truth that’s out there. Shot in real time and recorded on videotape, writer Vince Gilligan and director Michael Watkins’ homage to the popular police series follows Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), as they investigate a mysterious incident in Los Angeles with the hopes that a live TV crew might garner them more public support for their research into the paranormal. The episode is almost always on critics’ lists of best X-Files episodes ever.


4. Supergirl–The Flash musical crossover


Supergirl Season 2, Episode 16: “Star-Crossed”
The Flash Season 3, Episode 17: “Duet”

Two TV tropes for the price of one: These two episodes of the fan-favorite series Supergirl and The Flash didn’t just have overlapping story lines, there were also song-and-dance numbers (a respected feat given that both Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin, who play the eponymous superheroes in question – as well as many others on their shows – are triple threats). The duo’s fellow Glee alum, Darren Criss, also guest stars as the Music Meister, a sort of Pied Piper-like villain who manipulates others through song. Empire magazine’s review gave it (almost) equal marks to another beloved musical episode, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s “Once More with Feeling.”


5. CSI universe 3-way crossover


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 9, Episode 5: “Leave Out All the Rest”
CSI: Miami Season 8, Episode 7: “Bone Voyage”
CSI: NY Season 6, Episode 7: “Hammer Down”

This crossover synergy from 2009 marked the first time in the franchise’s history that the trio of shows came together for one overarching story. Billed as “Three Cities, Three CSI Teams, One Big Mystery,” the events took place during a week of November sweeps. It followed Laurence Fishburne’s Raymond Langston as his hunt for a missing girl allows him to uncover a black market human trafficking operation. The Entertainment Weekly review argued that the final episode – which happened to be set at CSI numero uno – was probably the best, but that Fishburne himself was not necessarily that much fun to watch.


6. The Vampire Diaries–The Originals


The Vampire Diaries, Season 7, Episode 14: Moonlight on the Bayou
The Originals, Season 3, Episode 14: A Streetcar Named Desire

When you’re immortal, you’ve got plenty of time to travel – particularly when you’re hiding out from a vampire hunter, as The Vampire Diaries’ Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) did in this crossover episode with The Originals. While it wasn’t uncommon for characters on these shows to swap places – despite what its name suggests, The Originals was a spin-off of TVD – but fans liked that one of the Salvatore brothers made the trip to the Big Easy. Reviewers also liked that the story lines intersected in a natural way that didn’t feel like an obvious promotional ploy.


7. Scandal–How to Get Away With Murder


Scandal Season 7, Episode 12: Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

It was about time Scandal’s Olivia Pope and How to Get Away with Murder’s Annalise Keating got to share some screen time. During Scandal’s final season, actors Kerry Washington and Viola Davis appeared in the same episode for a one night Shondaland extravaganza. Audiences paid attention via a noticeable ratings boost and critics mostly embraced the stunt. The A.V. Club called it “fanbait,” but a “well-crafted” one.


8. The Flash–Supergirl–Legends of Tomorrow–Arrow 4-way crossover


The Flash, Season 3, Episode 8: Invasion!
Supergirl, Season 2, Episode 8: Medusa
Arrow, Season 5, Episode 8: Invasion!
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2, Episode 7: Invasion!

This ambitious four-way crossover event has the heroes of the Arrowverse banding together to stop an alien invasion, marking the first time characters from all four of that world’s live-action shows would join forces at the same time. The spectacle, for which all shows but Supergirl were coyly titled “Invasion!,” was such a commercial and critical success that they repeated their efforts the following season.


9. Law & Order crossovers


Law & Order, Season 10, Episode 14: Fools for Love
Law & Order: SVU, Season 1, Episode 15: Entitled

While Richard Belzer’s John Munch has popped up in several series (even in Arrested Development!), the Law & Order franchise has long made use of crossover episodes with intersecting story lines over various shows. The first time it happened with Law & Order: SVU was in 2000, which was that show’s freshman season. The gamble that audiences would double-down on gritty crime dramas paid off, with The Washington Post saying the stunt packed “twice the punch.”


10. Chicago crossovers

Chicago P.D., Season 4, Episode 16: Emotional Proximity (NBC)

Chicago Fire, Season 5, Episode 15: Deathtrap
Chicago P.D. Season 4, Episode 16: Emotional Proximity
Chicago Justice, Season 1, Episode 1: Fake

Another Dick Wolf franchise, the Chicago series shares Law & Order’s penchant for showy crossover episodes. There have been two instances of crossovers involving just Chicago shows, the most recent one happening in 2017 when the franchise welcomed Chicago Justice to the family (and was thus the reason why Wolf was grumbling earlier). Not only did the stories cross over among the Chicago Justice, Fire, and P.D. series, but some of the Chicago Med characters also came along for the ride.


11. Station 19 premiere–Grey’s Anatomy crossover


Station 19 season 1, episode 1: Stuck
Grey’s Anatomy Season 14, Episode 13: You Really Got a Hold on Me

This episode, which set up the story for Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19, reminded audiences that they now had the option to watch hot firefighters learn how to save a life. It also welcomed actress Jaina Lee Ortiz’s Andy Herrera into the family of powerhouse Shondaland women. According to an interview with creator Stacy McKee, there are still chances for more crossovers to come.


12. Parenthood–About a Boy

About a Boy episode "About a Poker Night" (NBC)

About a Boy, Season 1, Episode 7: About a Poker Night
Parenthood, Season 5, Episode 13: Jump Ball

Of course Parenthood’s Crosby (Dax Shepard) and About a Boy’s Will (David Walton) are poker buddies. Not only did they both have man-child tendencies and live in the same city, but they’re also fictional characters on two shows developed by Jason Katims. Crosby was a natural fit to introduce Will to Parenthood’s Kleenex-clutching audience. (Incidentally, this is not the only time Katims has made his series’ worlds intersect. Some cast members from Friday Night Lights also appeared in a Parenthood web series).


13. Brooklyn Nine-Nine–New Girl


New Girl Season 6, Episode 4: Homecoming
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 4, Episode 4: The Night Shift

Zooey Deschanel’s Los Angeles lady, Jess Day, got more than she bargained for on her New York vacation when Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) needed her help with a case. This attempt at comedy synergy, however, was not as open-shut. Slate ran a lengthy take-down on what was described as a “missed opportunities” for both shows and IndieWire called it an “ill-fated pairing.”


14. Bones–Sleepy Hollow


Bones Season 11, Episode 5: The Resurrection of the Remains
Sleepy Hollow Season 3, Episode 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Bones’ Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) help Sleepy Hollow’s Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) solve a case of historical significance in this Halloween-themed crossover. It drew decent ratings, but critics were mixed. TV Line argued that, for a scenario involving particularly eccentric circumstances and people, the event was “just not that weird.”


15. The Simpsons–Family Guy


Family Guy, Season 13, Episode 1: The Simpsons Guy
Family Guy, Season 13, Episode 2: The Simpsons Guy (Episode 2)

Fox animated series The Simpsons and Family Guy each have strong fan bases — so devoted are they that they sometimes turn on each other to argue similarities in the shows’ premises or episodes. So it seemed appropriate that the two would join forces for a two-part episode of the latter to prove that everything is derivative — with a special surprise guest making the final ruling. Vulture called it an “anti-classic” while The Telegraph argued that it suffered from too much forced humor.

Did you watch The Walking Dead–Fear the Walking Dead crossover? What did you think? Tell us in the comments.

No one is safe on The Walking Dead — except for maybe Rick (Andrew Lincoln). Other central characters can be killed off week to week, and the uncertainty has often been the most exciting part of watching the show. In the midseason premiere of season 8, AMC’s hit zombie series said goodbye to a character who has been on the show since the very beginning.


Spoiler alert! This article contains plot details for a major character death in The Walking Dead and 18 other TV shows.



The mortality rate for television characters has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Really, since cable shows like Game of Thrones — with its Stark family curse — chucked out the rule book governing the survival of beloved characters, no one is safe. The best surprise deaths can make viewers mourn for fictional characters. When it’s just a publicity stunt or a blatant contract termination, it doesn’t hurt quite as bad.

Real-life losses like John Ritter (8 Simple Rules), Phil Hartman (NewsRadio), and Bill Paxton, who was starring in CBS series Training Day when he died in 2017, are a different sort of heartrending tragedy.

Here are 19 of most heartbreaking TV deaths of the last 20 years. Fictional characters only.

Want to argue for a more heartbreaking death? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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.

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.

Rotten Tomatoes looks at 24 unresolved TV cliffhangers, ranging from poisoned presidents to adrift interstellar spaceships. We couldn’t possibly solve these mysteries. Can YOU?


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