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<p>Matthew McConnaughey in &quot;True Detective,&quot;&nbsp;Alison Brie in &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;and Greg Kinnear in &quot;Rake.&quot;</p>

Matthew McConnaughey in "True Detective," Alison Brie in "Community" and Greg Kinnear in "Rake."

Credit: HBO/NBC/FOX

Most anticipated TV premieres of 2014

Could next year have even more quality shows than this one?

So remember how Fienberg and I spent much of 2013 talking about the very high-class problem of Too Much Good TV? Remember how each of us wound up having to do top 25 lists (minehis), and at least one Best of the Rest list, in an attempt to recognize even a decent portion of all that quality?

Well, it looks like 2014 has the potential to be even stronger than this year was.

In a little over a week, the winter Television Critics Association press tour is starting, which means we've been deluged with screeners for many the notable network and cable shows debuting over the next month or two. It's an intimidating pile in terms of both quantity and quality. HBO's "True Detective" already feels like it has a very high position secured for next year's top 10 list, for instance. Had it debuted in the fall as planned, FOX's "Enlisted" would have put nearly all of the other first-year comedies to shame. "Community" is coming back with Dan Harmon at the helm again, and early returns are promising. "Justified" and "Shameless" and "Archer" are coming back in the next couple of months. Sundance is debuting another original series in "The Red Road." Netflix will give us new seasons of "Orange Is the New Black" and "House of Cards." "Sherlock" finally gives us its third season. "Hannibal" is back at the end of February, earlier than expected. The new seasons of "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men" will presumably be on in their usual spring windows.

So even without "Breaking Bad," "Enlightened," or a few other shows that made one or both of our best-of lists for 2013, 2014 does not appear to be lacking for impressive stuff.

Dan, Liane Bonin Starr and I picked out some of the premieres — for both new and returning shows — we're most excited about, along with other notable premiere dates that we know about. We're not even really getting into shows for summer, or for next fall ("Boardwalk Empire" should be back then, for instance), but just covering the winter and what little we know about early spring. But buckle up and start carving out some time and some DVR space, kiddies. Looks to be a fun ride.

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<p>The Chinese government threatened Disney's access to their market over the release of &quot;Kundun&quot;&nbsp;in 1997.</p>

The Chinese government threatened Disney's access to their market over the release of "Kundun" in 1997.

Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

'Wolf' dispute reminds us that Martin Scorsese is no stranger to controversy

From 'Taxi Driver' to 'Last Temptation' to 'Kundun,' it's always a threat

As we inch closer to the end of the year and one capped off by a trumped up "controversy" regarding Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," maybe we should all take a moment to appreciate the fact that a 71-year-old artist can still rile us so.

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<p>Chiwetel Ejiofor and Paul&nbsp;Dano in &quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;</p>

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Paul Dano in "12 Years a Slave"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'12 Years,' 'Her' lead Central Ohio critics nominations

Body of work honorees include Amy Adams and Benedict Cumberbatch

As the year ticks to a close, the Central Ohio Film Critics Association has collectively spoken up with its list of nominees, and "12 Years a Slave" led the way with nine mentions. "Her" was a few steps behind with seven. Actors recognized for superlative bodies of work in 2013 include Amy Adams, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jennifer Lawrence. Check out the full list of nominees below and remember to keep track of all the ups and downs of the season via The Circuit.

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'Saturday Night Live' - The 10 best sketches of Fall 2013
Credit: NBC

'Saturday Night Live' - The 10 best sketches of Fall 2013

Lady Gaga, Josh Hutcherson, and Bruce Willis episodes all make the cut

It’s been the usual up-and-down Fall for “Saturday Night Live,” with as many hits as misses and more than a fair share of controversy swirling the production. But through it all, there have been many highlights. Some were silly. Some were slightly somber. All were compelling.

Here are the ten best segments of the Fall:

 

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Miley Cyrus and the cat

 Miley Cyrus sings "Wrecking Ball" with a furry companion. 

Credit: MTV

10 dumbest TV moments of 2013: Lady Gaga, R. Kelly, Miley Cyrus, more

'American Horror Story' and 'Homeland' brought the stupid, too

Many times I've heard people sigh about "the idiot box," but often television rises so far above that dismissive label. But not always, and that's fun, too! Here, the HitFix staff has rounded up some of the most truly head-scratchingly stupid TV moments of 2013. There are so, so many more, but we had to stop before our heads exploded.

If you'd like to really elevate this photo gallery, we highly recommend turning it into a drinking game. If you've seen three of the moments, take a drink. Five? Drink the whole thing. All of them? Turn in your television to the nearest authorities and pick up a book. It's a good thing. 

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<p>&quot;Nikita&quot;</p>

"Nikita"

Credit: The CW

TV Ratings: 'Nikita' finale adds few viewers as 'Shark Tank,' Garth Brooks repeats lead Friday

'Dateline' ends up drawing Friday's biggest audience
Fast National ratings for Friday, December 27, 2013.
 
Against competition that featured mostly repeats and end-of-the-year programming, The CW's "Nikita" added only a few viewers for its series finale, as ABC and CBS topped a sparsely viewed Friday.
 
Let's just get straight to all of the underwhelming numbers.
 
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"My Strange Addiction"

 "My Strange Addiction"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive clip: Meet a living doll on 'My Strange Addiction'

Another woman is addicted to chewing dirty diapers

Yay! Want to celebrate 2014 the right way? The fifth season of "My Strange Addiction" debuts on Wed. Jan. 1 at 9:00 p.m. on TLC, and it will absolutely make you feel better about whatever bad, weird thing you might have done before you blacked out on New Year's Eve. Yes, it's possible!

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The best performances of 2013

The best performances of 2013

A great year in screen acting boils down to this

This has been an exceptional year for a certain breed of acting, I've found. There has been a wave of unaffected work, eschewing capital "A" acting for a certain lived-in thing that is rare enough as it is, let alone prevalent throughout a year's greatest performances.

I wanted to pay some tribute to that, and to a number of more outwardly vibrant portraits this year that also go toward making it an exemplary year. It has been said a few times that 2013 has been a great year for movies, but that quality is owed in no small part to the work we saw on the screen.

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<p>Beyonce performing earlier this year</p>

Beyonce performing earlier this year

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Top 10 Albums of 2013: From Beyonce to Bowie

Yes, even Tom Jones makes the list

Each year, my colleague, Katie Hasty, and I trade off on producing a video piece on our favorite singles and albums. This year, she came up with a great list of albums for her video piece, while I did my top songs.

But I also wanted to spend a little time before the end of the year sharing a list of 10 albums that kept me smiling- or crying- through much of the year. Here are my top 10 albums of the year.

1. “Southeastern,” Jason Isbell: What a beauty of an album. Stripped down and lonely in all the right places, “Southeastern” features the former Drive-by Truckers singer sober and reflective. Some of the lines will tear your heart out if you let them and that’s a good thing.

2. “Spirit In the Room,” Tom Jones: The second in his trilogy with producer Ethan Johns, “Spirit in the Room” is Jones’ masterwork, right up there with Rick Rubin and Johnny Cash’s series of albums. He sinks his teeth into Tom Waits’ “Bad As Me” and Blind Willie Johnson’s “Soul Of A Man” with a relish that can only come from someone who has really lived the words. A revelation.

3. “The Next Day,” David Bowie: Many of his fans had feared he had retired, but how wonderful to be wrong. In his first new studio album in 10 years, Bowie brought us right back into his arty, weird, magical world...on his terms. And it was beautiful, from the questioning “Where Are We Now” to the lovely “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” and the dance-y, yet lamentable “Love Is Lost.” Plus, the videos were some of the most provocative of the year. There’s Bowie...and then there’s everyone else.

4. “The 20/20 Experience,” Justin Timberlake: No, it’s not perfect by any stretch and too much of the album feels unfinished, but when it hits its mark, as it did with “Mirrors,” “Pusher Love Girl,” and Prince homage, “Strawberry Bubblegum,” it was exhilarating.

5. “Beyonce,” Beyonce: The beauty of doing my list so late is that I get to add in Beyonce’s album that she dropped with no warning on Dec. 13. Sexy, potent, and powerful, the album’s 14 tracks show her breadth and why she is the Queen. Bow down and get drunk on Beyonce.

6. “Wake Up Ghost,” Elvis Costello and The Roots: On paper, this sounds like it shouldn’t work. In reality, the British singer/songwriter and the hip-hop collective created a work of funk, slightly sinister, groove-filled tunes that jump out of the stereo, from unrepentant “Refuse to Be Saved” to the beautifully gentle “Tripwire.”

7. “Same Trailer, Different Park,” Kacey Musgraves: One of country’s freshest new voices, Musgraves somehow managed to be both cynical on songs like “Blowin’ Smoke” and uplifting on “Follow Your Arrow” without ever sounding like she was contradicting herself. The perfect antidote to all the “bro country” out there right now.

8. “The Beast In Its Tracks,”
Josh Ritter:  Singer/songwriter Josh Ritter took the shards of his busted marriage and crafted them into songs of heartbreak and loss that were often breathtaking in their honesty. As he finds a new love, his despair gives way to forgiveness, but he hasn’t forgotten what it is like to feel shattered.

9. “The Electric Lady,” Janelle Monae:
  Yes, she’s a star, but why isn’t Monae a superstar? She has the talent, the vision, the ambition...and it was all displayed on this versatile set. You don’t have to buy into the concept—she’s playing android Cindi Mayweather— all you have to do is dance and groove and enjoy.

10. “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk:
If the album was only remixes of  “Get Lucky” and “Instant Crush,” it would have still made my list, but it’s so much more. The French duo fearlessly combines their electronica with pop, disco and rock for a shape-shifting, often mind-bending musical exploration.

 

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<p>I think this was the &quot;Big Bang Theory&quot; episode that aired on Thursday</p>

I think this was the "Big Bang Theory" episode that aired on Thursday

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Millers' repeats lead CBS on Thursday

ABC, NBC tie for second with 'Downton Abbey,' 'SNL' specials
Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 26, 2013.
 
On a slow post-Christmas Thursday dominated by repeats, CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" delivered the best numbers in all measures and helped the network cruise to victory. 
 
There were few other notables, but ABC's lackluster "20/20" special tied in to "Downton Abbey" and NBC's "The Women of SNL" helped those networks to a tie in for second among young viewers.
 
Meanwhile, FOX's repeats continued to fall lower and lower, barely keeping the lights on and barely edging out The CW's repeats at this point. 
 
On to the numbers...
 
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The Worst TV Shows of 2013 from The Fien Print

The Worst TV Shows of 2013 from The Fien Print

Did 'Dracula' and 'Dads' make the cut? Of course they did!
A lot of these shows were covered in the Firewall & Iceberg Worst of 2013 podcast, but hopefully some of it will be new. 
 
Those of you who regularly read my Worst Of... lists know that I have a very simple rule: I have to watch the shows I insult. Regularly. Or at least semi-regularly. I'll leave it to others to mock the "Billion Pound Scrotum" or Honey Boo-Boos of the world, either because they actually suffer through that crap or because they like to insult things sight-unseen. That's not the way I list things, which confuses people every single year. I'm not sure why it's confusing. I list shows I actually KNOW were bad and didn't mysteriously get better, rather than writing off a show based on an awful pilot and then hearing from fans that things got miraculously awesome. Whatever.
 
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<p>Eminem and Rihanna</p>

Eminem and Rihanna

Eminem and Rihanna's 'Monster' rules the singles chart

Duo spends its third week in the top spot, holding off Pitbull and Ke$ha

Eminem and Rihanna log a third week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “The Monster.” In doing so, the pair keeps another makeshift duo, Pitbull and Ke$ha, out of the top spot as “Timber” stays at No. 2.
In the slow holiday week, the top six spots stay static on the Billboard Hot 100: OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” is No. 3, A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something” is No. 4, Lorde’s “Royals” is No. 5 and Imagine Dragons’ “Demons” is at No. 6.

Songs already within the top 10 shift spots for the last four positions: Passenger’s “Let Here Go” rises 9-7, Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” falls 7-8, Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” slips 8-9 and One Direction’s “Story Of My Life” stays at No. 10.

The highest debut belongs to Beyonce, whose “Drunk in Love,” featuring her husband Jay Z, bows at No. 12.  It is her highest-reaching Billboard Hot 100 appearance in four years, according to Billboard.

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