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The Criticwire Network Picks the Best 15 TV Shows of 2015 So Far

The Criticwire Network Picks the Best 15 TV Shows of 2015 So Far

When we asked critics for their favorite films of the year so far, we thought it might be interesting to take the pulse of the TV landscape as well. So, as members of the Criticwire Network sent in their top ten lists on the film side, we gathered an overall ranking of their favorite shows from the first half of 2015. 

As with our traditional film polls, we used a points system (ten for a first-place mention, nine for second place, eight for third place, etc.) to compile the overall rankings. To be eligible for inclusion, a show needed to have aired at least one new epsiode so far in this calendar year (even if a majority of its season premiered last fall). What emerged from the 25 ballots we received was a clear consensus #1 and an intriguing top-15 grouping of shows. 

Among the film critics in our network (with additional picks from Indiewire TV writers Liz Shannon Miller and Ben Travers), the top pick was the now-departed “Mad Men,” closing out its run appearing on 60% of the ballots. 

The Criticwire Network’s Favorite Shows of 2015 (So Far)

1. Mad Men (137 points, 15 ballots)
2. Better Call Saul (102 points, 13 ballots)
3. The Americans (95 points, 11 ballots)
4. Silicon Valley (65 points, 13 ballots)
5. Hannibal (53 points, 7 ballots)
6. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (48 points, 11 ballots)
7. Veep (47 points, 9 ballots)
8. Louie (44 points, 9 ballots)
(tie) Parks and Recreation (44 points, 7 ballots)
10. Inside Amy Schumer (41 points, 6 ballots)
11. Game of Thrones (39 points, 7 ballots)
12. Broad City (32 points, 5 ballots)
(tie) Last Week Tonight (32 points, 5 ballots)
(tie) Looking (32 points, 5 ballots)
15. The Last Man on Earth (30 points, 5 ballots)

Of the top 15 shows, all but three — “Mad Men” and “Parks and Recreation” came to natural ends; “Hannibal” was cut down in its prime — look to return again in future seasons. (The canceled “Looking” will get a wrap-up movie on HBO.) A pair of debut shows made the list, with “Better Caul Saul” and “The Last Man on Earth” serving as bookends. In addition to the four shows listed above, eight total HBO programs made critics’ ballots. Overall, critics picked 71 different shows all over the broadcast spectrum, from basic cable to web series. 

For a full list of individual ballots, see the next page.


Best TV Shows of 2015 (So Far) – Individual Ballots

Ethan Alter

1. Better Call Saul
2. Mr. Robot
3. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
4. Orange is the New Black
5. Parks and Recreation
6. Game of Thrones
7. Silicon Valley
8. Empire
9. Looking
10. Daredevil

Geoff Berkshire

1. The Americans
2. Mad Men
3. Silicon Valley
4. Better Call Saul
5. Orange Is the New Black
6. Parks and Recreation
7. Jane the Virgin
8. Fortitude
9. The Good Wife
10. Fresh Off the Boat

Matt Brennan

1. Mad Men
2. Looking
3. The Americans
4. Inside Amy Schumer
5. Hannibal 
6. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
7. Empire 
8. Jane the Virgin
9. Wolf Hall
10. Veep

Casey Cipriani

1. The Americans
2. Orange is the New Black
3. Game of Thrones
4. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
5. How To Get Away with Murder
6. Inside Amy Schumer
7. Sense8

Greg Cwik

1. Hannibal
2. Mad Men 
3. Louie
4. Better Call Saul
5. Fortitude
6. Girls
7. Silicon Valley
8. Bob’s Burgers
9. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
10. Bloodline

John DeCarli

1. The Last Man on Earth

A.A. Dowd

1. Better Call Saul
2. The Americans
3. Hannibal
4. Silicon Valley
5. Mad Men
6. Inside Amy Schumer
7. Game of Thrones
8. Orange is the New Black
9. The Walking Dead
10. iZombie

Diana Drumm

1. Mad Men
2. Orange is the New Black
3. Silicon Valley
4. Parks and Recreation
5. Veep
6. Outlander
7. Togetherness
8. Fresh Off the Boat
9. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
10. Community

Chris Evangelista

1. Hannibal
2. Mad Men
3. Broad City
4. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
5. Better Call Saul
6. Parks and Recreation
7. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
8. Louie
9. Broadchurch
10. House of Cards

Jim Fouratt

1. Broadchurch
2. Inside Amy Schumer
3. The Americans
4. Looking
5. Veep
6. Silicon Valley
7. Portlandia
8. Episodes

Steve Greene

1. Last Week Tonight
2, Parks and Recreation
3. Mad Men
4. Louie
5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
6. Looking
7. Better Call Saul
8. Hannibal
9. Game of Thrones
10. Veep

Joanna Langfield

1. Louie
2. The Americans
3. The Good Wife
4. Inside Amy Schumer
5. Grace and Frankie

Allison Loring

1. Empire
2. Better Call Saul
3. Grace and Frankie
4. Younger
5. Schitt’s Creek
6. The Last Man on Earth

Liz Shannon Miller

1. Mad Men
2. Better Call Saul
3. Inside Amy Schumer
4. Veep
5. Fresh Off the Boat
6. Sense8
7. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
8. Archer
9. Grace and Frankie
10. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Noel Murray

1. Jane The Virgin
2. Better Call Saul
3. The Americans
4. Justified
5. The Flash
6. Mom
7. Other Space
8. Game Of Thrones
9. The Middle
10. Silicon Valley

Zac Oldenburg

1. Mad Men
2. Looking
3. Game of Thrones
4. Broad City
5. Louie
6. Girls
7. Veep
8. Togetherness
9. Last Man on Earth
10. Mindy Project

Rania Richardson

1. Mad Men
2. Better Call Saul
3. The Americans
4. Good Wife
5. Frankie Cooks
6. Vice TV
7. Girls
8. Silicon Valley
9. Louis
10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Matt Rorabeck

1. Daredevil
2. Better Call Saul
3. The Last Man on Earth
4. Silicon Valley
5. Wayward Pines
6. House of Cards
7. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
8. The Comedians
9. WWE Monday Night RAW

Dan Schindel

1. The Americans
2. Adventure Time
3. Veep
4. Mad Men
5. Broad City
6. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
7. Fortitude
8. Silicon Valley
9. Girls
10. Steven Universe

Michael Sicinski

1. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
2. Mad Men
3. Hannibal
4. Silicon Valley
5. Louie
6. Orphan Black
7. Gravity Falls
8. Last Week Tonight
9. Scandal
10. Grace and Frankie

David Sterritt

1. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
2. Game of Thrones
3. P’tit Quinquin
4. House of Cards
5. Wolf Hall
6. Girls
7. Broad City

Brian Tallerico

1. Mad Men
2. Better Call Saul
3. Hannibal
4. The Americans
5. Halt and Catch Fire
6. Veep
7. Parks and Recreation
8. Silicon Valley
9. Justified
10. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Ben Travers

1. Mad Men
2. Veep
3. The Americans
4. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
5. The Comedians
6. Archer
7. Better Call Saul
8. Togetherness
9. Grace and Frankie
10. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Ben Umstead

1. Mad Men
2. Penny Dreadful
3. Parks and Recreation
4. Broad City
5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
6. Silicon Valley
7. China, IL
8. Daredevil
9. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
10. Louie

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