Hannibal Picture One

The explosion of cable television has provided audiences with premium quality writing and raw experience. Network TV is now often seen as a tawdry, formulaic, low brow medium of writing.

If you ask anyone who is an avid television viewer they’d tell you that we’re in a golden age. And you know what? They’re right. Some argue, and rightfully so, that it’s mostly on cable networks.

Cable has provided us with some of the best storytelling around, and networks seem to be morphing into a full-blown three-hour advertisement spot. “Who can we put in this timeslot to make sure there are 13 million people watching this soda ad?”

It’s easy to be cynical about network television—just look at the fall schedule for new shows. And it’s safe to say the best days of network programming are behind us, with shows like; The West Wing, Friday Night Lights, The X-Files, Seinfeld, 30 Rock, and Lost all off the air. It’s hard to see some of those shows being made today.

Most viewers have a hard time weaving through the dozens of crime procedurals, washed-up comedians with 22-minute laugh track shows, and reality programming to find the most cable-like shows on network (or simply, the ones worth watching).

Let’s take a look.

Your favorite show isn’t here? Leave it in the comment section and tell us why it’s better than Network standards!

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This article was first posted on July 11, 2013