Year in Review: Shows That Didn’t Quite Crack Our Top TV Shows of 2013

Prior to tomorrow’s posting of’s annual Top 10 TV Shows of the year, we wanted to share a handful of more shows that were thisclose to making the cut! See for yourself, after the jump.

(11) REIGN (CW)
It was impossible to not fall in love with this historical drama which is heavily influenced from modern romance and fantasy tales. It offers a lush, inviting, charming look at the pending marriage of the Queen of Scotland to the Prince of France, both 16 years old and on the cusp of young love. Then throw in a bold, bastard brother, a hunky seer, a handful of luscious maidens, a castle ghost and a dash of paganism and ritualistic killings and REIGN quickly seduces viewers into its outrageously addictive world. It became my No. 1 “must watch” show on my DVR this Fall and I have loved every minute of it. REIGN currently airs Thursday nights on the CW.

(12) ARROW (CW)
Right out of the gate, ARROW has been a fast-paced, no-holds-barred type of adventure show. Splitting its story between the hero-escapades of Oliver Queen in Starling City against the trials and tribulations he suffered during his five years trapped on a remote island, ARROW races through huge amounts of story each week. But Season 2 really took things up a notch as Oliver embraced working with a team and how that interpersonal dynamic stirred up sizzling chemistry. In addition, with the introduction of the CW’s new Marvel hero The Flash aka Barry Allen, wonderfully portrayed by Grant Gustin, ARROW became the hottest superhero show on television. Further credit goes to newcomers Emily Bett Rickards and Colton Haynes, who portray Felicity and Roy respectively, who keep Oliver on his toes. They both serve to remind Oliver that being a hero is not enough; he has to be a better man. With huge amounts of heart, laughter, and cheers, ARROW has become a fabulous show worthy of must-see TV status. It also has superb guest-casting, which adds to its addictive appeal. ARROW currently airs Wednesday nights on the CW.

(13) BANSHEE (Cinemax)
Returning January 10th, this Cinemax series is a pure adrenaline rush. From vicious beat-downs to rapid-fire gunplay and explosions that will put your teeth on edge, this show does not hesitate to embrace the sheer violence that goes hand-in-hand in criminal life. Plus, when the show’s hero is a recently released convict posing as a local sheriff, hunted by a ruthless Ukrainian mob lord, things tend to hit the high-octane level fast. Yet counterbalancing the violence is a beautiful love story of a thief who served 15 years in prison with the hope of reuniting with his soulmate and living out their lives with the $10 million in diamonds they stole. But a con’s dream rarely can become reality when so many past and present villains wanting your head on a platter. With equal measures of raw sex and violence, BANSHEE is not for the faint of heart. But it is sure fun to watch.

Fully unleashed, this series is like crack-candy: pure addiction. Once SCANDAL decided that literally nothing was off-limits and embraced its wild side, it became the most talked about show on television. A stolen presidency, a murdered Supreme Court Justice, an attempted presidential assassination, a torrid White House affair, blackmail – it’s all there; and they make it look like so much fun. SCANDAL currently airs Thursday nights on ABC.

(15) CONTINUUM (Syfy)
Dipping its toe into the hard-core sci-fi realm of time-travel with mind-bending exploration of time-loops, disruptions to the time continuum, and a bit of time manipulation, CONTINUUM is an uncommon sci-fi/police drama. But for those who like to play with time and its multiple variations, including “the butterfly effect,” this series is just awesome. CONTINUUM returns with its 3rd season on Syfy in 2014.

With its own take on the classic Holmes/Watson adventures, ELEMENTARY introduced us to a recovering drug addict and his sober companion and showed how they ultimately became consulting-detective partners in New York City. Willing to bend a few iconic rules to tell its tale, ELEMENTARY carved out a special place in viewer’s hearts, and a place on our must-see viewing schedule. It’s first season finale was particularly memorable and laud-worthy.

(17) HOMELAND (Showtime)
For all its complex meandering storytelling in Season 3, HOMELAND remained true to its audacious roots and told the intertwined tale of CIA analysis Carrie Mathison and suspected terrorist Nicholas Brody. Struggling with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and an undeniable physical attraction, their story hooked us since Day One. Their love story was always destined to be a tragedy in the end, but viewers were happy to follow along just to see how their tortured romance played out. While Brody is no longer a player on the board, Season 4 of HOMELAND promises to introduce yet another tortured journey for Carrie, and wherever she goes, we will follow. HOMELAND will return with its 4th season in Fall 2014 on Showtime.

With one of the biggest television debuts in recent history, THE BLACKLIST has one distinct secret to its success: James Spader. Casting alone has brought this crazy series to the forefront of the new television shows and quickly found a place on viewer’s must-see TV list. Add in some tricky storylines whispering as to the possible familial relationship between Elizabeth Keen and master criminal Red Reddington, not to mention a potentially deadly twist involving Elizabeth’s husband, and suddenly viewers could not get enough of it. THE BLACKLIST currently airs Monday nights on NBC.

Two seasons under its belt, this summer hit has established that the era of the modern cowboy is alive and well. Backdropped with gorgeous outdoor scenery and a stellar cast, LONGMIRE is a compelling tale of western justice in a modern world. With ratings rising steadily, it is great to see more viewers discovering this great show. Season 3 of LONGMIRE will air in Summer 2014 on A&E.

(20) LUTHER (BBC America)
Another fine drama series from BBC America, and helmed by the captivating Idris Elba, LUTHER is a dark tale of a police detective confronting the worst crimes in the modern world. But throw in the devilishly delightful Ruth Wilson as Alice, a serial killer with a crush on John Luther, and the series just crackles with chemistry and charisma. At this time a 4th season has not yet been ordered, but look for either another season or a feature film to be ordered given the mass popularity of the series, (hopefully) in 2015.

(21) DEXTER (Showtime)
The final season of DEXTER had its fair share of shocks and surprises, but the biggest was perhaps that everyone’s favorite serial killer lived to fight another day. It was always such a treat to secretly root for a man who stalks, kills and dismembers other serial killers. He was society’s ultimate trash-collector and it was fun to root for him to get away with it. DEXTER is a show that will be missed as its brand of shock-and-awe was always so fun to watch.

A brutal, harsh series showcasing the tale of a bunch of criminals trying to pursue a better life, SONS OF ANARCHY defies expectations. For all its relentless depictions of burning bodies, mass executions and back-stabbing betrayals, this Shakespearean tragedy still demands our attention. It’s the ultimate wish-fulfillment bait: we so desperately want to see them escape their dark destinies and earn a happy ending. Credit goes to Kurt Sutter for brilliant casting and deftly crafted characters that make us care so much that we are willing to forgive their multitude of sins. SONS OF ANARCHY returns for its 7th and final season in Fall 2014 on FX.

Another newcomer this Fall, SLEEPY HOLLOW was unlike anything we had ever seen before. It literally threw in as many supernatural elements it could come up with and stirred them up into a classic tale of American folklore. With three fascinating leads helming the series, they made the outrageous tales of apocalyptic horsemen, witches, demons and other things hiding in the dark seem believable. In a time when real world terrors remain unchecked, it is fascinating watching a fictional world where the average man and a police detective can combat anything the universe can throw at them. It is also unabashed fun and it invites viewers to join in. It’s just that infectious and irresistible. SLEEPY HOLLOW currently airs Monday nights on Fox through January, returning with its second season in Fall 2014.

Offering the surprising duo of a serial killer and a FBI profiler, HANNIBAL shows the seductive dance between them. It may have taken the entire first season for Will Graham to see the killer right in front of his nose, but now that he does, what is next for Will and Hannibal? Shall their cat-and-mouse game continue? Will they ever be friends again? Who can they now trust? Gripping, enticing and terrifying, HANNIBAL gets under your skin and you cannot turn away. Fortunately, it returns for its second season February 28, 2014 on NBC.

Serial killers are all the rage right now. Thus, it makes sense that one of the most notorious in film history from Hitchcock’s “Psycho” would one day be brought to television. What is most intriguing about it is that it portrays Norman Bates as a classic hero. Given his ultimate destination in life, it seems unfathomable that Norman was once a boy, who had high school crushes and a quasi-loving family. But with the superb casting of Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore and the rest of its fascinating cast, BATES MOTEL is a curious tale of how a hero slowly loses his humanity, one piece at a time. BATES MOTEL returns for its second season in Spring 2014 on A&E.

(26) DOCTOR WHO (BBC America)
Over the years, DOCTOR WHO has remained a steadfast favorite. Some years it rose higher with stellar storytelling and performances, and others it was content to coast as pure pleasing entertainment, but it never failed to delight. It is a series that exudes charm and goodwill, and one just loves spending time with it. After the recent change over of actors in its Christmas special, look for new episodes of DOCTOR WHO sometime in 2014.

(27) HEMLOCK GROVE (Netflix)
This dark tale of modern supernatural beings living amongst us posed an interesting question: can werewolves and vampires be friends? The first season of this series dared to explore whether it was possible, but with tragic results. Yet with compelling characters and a willingness to embrace the darker side of supernatural creatures with raw instincts, HEMLOCK GROVE drew us in and then sprang the horror upon us. In spite of this, it was addictive to watch and impossible not to root for. Seeing the show’s popularity rise, Netflix quickly ordered a second season, which should be released in Spring 2014.

While there are no vampires, there are certainly plenty of werewolves and other creatures crawling through the night in MTV’s TEEN WOLF. But with a ridiculously attractive and fun cast, TEEN WOLF’s tales of druids, shape-shifters and werewolves is classic must-see TV. You cannot help but watch it with equal measures of blissful glee and appreciation. TEEN WOLF returns with new episodes on January 6, 2014 on MTV.

Another series daring to embrace its darker roots, THE ORIGINALS took a bunch of villainous vampires and pitched them against a bunch of witches in voodoo-infested New Orleans. With a perfectly cast bunch of young actors, as well as some audacious storytelling, THE ORIGINALS proves that vampires absolutely have more fun. But as fun as they are, do not ever cross one, for their idea of justice is extremely bloody and unforgiving. THE ORIGINALS currently airs Tuesday nights on the CW.

(30) HAVEN (Syfy)
A long-time favorite, HAVEN is an addictive tale of supernaturally-afflicted folks living in a small town in Maine. Loosely-based on the Stephen King tale “The Colorado Kid,” HAVEN introduced the ongoing tales of the Troubles. Having just concluded its 4th season, HAVEN had the audacity to end on a nasty cliffhanger where its hero, Audrey Parker, reverted to a prior personality and turned into a very evil villain. Yet whatever the outrageous story, the secret ingredient to this series is its fantastic cast. Highly addictive and charming, HAVEN has provided must-see TV and fans are hopeful that Syfy will renew it for another season in 2014.

To see which TV shows made the Top 10 of 2013, here’s the list.

Tiffany Vogt is the Senior West Coast Editor, contributing as a columnist and entertainment reporter to She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).