TV critic David Bianculli says that 2016 wasn't a great year for broadcast TV — but that's OK, because audiences had a lot of streaming, cable and Web options to make up for it.
"The things we're getting out of Amazon and out of Netflix and out of Hulu, it's increasing our options and they're trying some pretty good stuff," Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
Bianculli notes that mini-series and anthology shows are expanding the types of stories that can be told on the small screen. "U.S. television is ... adopting the British model more aggressively and doing shorter things that are self-contained, and the benefits to this are huge," he says.
Looking ahead, Bianculli is optimistic about the future of TV. "There's always a lot going on," he says. As for this year, here are Bianculli's picks for the best TV of 2016. You can click each list item below to learn more about the show.
1. Better Call Saul (AMC)
2. Black Mirror (Netflix)
3. The Night Of (HBO)
6. The Night Manager (AMC)
7. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
8. Shameless (Showtime)
9. Game of Thrones (HBO)
10. Horace and Pete (Louis C.K. website)
11. Veep (HBO)
Click the audio link above to hear Bianculli talk about his 2016 TV picks — as well as the the parallels between this year's presidential election and the first season of Survivor.