The Writers Guild strike hit the broadcast networks hard.
Early in 2008, the networks' scripted series began disappearing from the airwaves, to be replaced by an increasingly desperate-smelling parade of reality shows (Dance War, My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, Here Come the Newlyweds) and repurposed video content (the Showtime drama Dexter on CBS, the Web series quarterlife on NBC).
This fall, overall broadcast-network viewership was down 12 percent from last year, the Best Drama Series Emmy went to a basic-cable show for the first time ever (see our No. 1), and the Original Music and Lyrics Award went to a song more people saw on their computers than on air (see No. 5).
In addition to our Top 10, we also wanted to congratulate the following honorable mentions: Bryan Cranston on Breaking Bad (AMC); A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! (Comedy Central); campaign coverage on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (Comedy Central); Kristi Yamaguchi on Dancing With the Stars (ABC); Entourage (HBO); Gossip Girl (the CW); How I Met Your Mother (CBS); the Tim Russert tribute on Meet the Press (NBC); Christian Siriano on Project Runway (Bravo); The Real Housewives of . . . (Bravo); Katee and Joshua’s Bollywood dance on So You Think You Can Dance (Fox); Grant Show’s mustache on Swingtown (CBS); Top Chef (Bravo); and the political chatfights on The View (ABC).