Sunday, December 27, 2020

The top TV shows of 2020 according to IGN, WatchMojo, and IMDB

I'm continuing my retrospectives of 2020 with a theme that is more original than recycled, the top TV shows of 2020.* It's the last Sunday of the year, so I decided to write a real Sunday entertainment feature to celebrate.

The first video I'm sharing is the one with the best preview image, IGN's Best TV Series of the Year 2020 - Nominees.

So many people were stuck at home this past year, but fortunately, we all had the refuge of lots of good television to fall back on when we couldn't go out. From the return of The Boys (and The Seven) to the arrival of Margaret Thatcher and Princess Di on The Crown, our favorite TV shows in 2020 ran the gamut from outer-space Westerns to tales of omnibenevolent football coaches... and beyond.

Which brings us to our best TV series of 2020 nominations.
To recap, the shows IGN nominated as Best TV Series of the Year 2020 were "The Boys," "The Crown," "Devs," "The Good Place," "I May Destroy You," "Lovecraft Country," "The Mandalorian," "The Queen's Gambit," "Schitt's Creek," and "Ted Lasso." Most of those show up in the next two videos, beginning with WatchMojo's Top 10 Best TV Shows of 2020.

The best TV shows of 2020 got us through a crazy year. Our countdown includes "Ted Lasso," "The Last Dance," "The Mandalorian," and more! What's YOUR favorite show of 2020? Let us know in the comments!
While IGN stuck to live-action scripted series, both dramas and comedies, WatchMojo included two animated shows, "Rick and Morty" and "BoJack Horseman," and two documentary series, "The Last Dance" and "Tiger King," in their year-end best of 2020. They cast a much wider net when it came to best television of the year about to end than either IGN or IMDB, which took a different approach to Best Shows We Watched in 2020, going month-by-month instead of creating a top 10 list.

Join us on a journey through the TV series that caught our attention in 2020 and deserve to be binged for years to come. These are the shows we watched each month this year.
As the video pointed out, "The Witcher" actually debuted in 2019, so it isn't really from this year, even if a lot of people were watching it in 2020. Also, there are some shows that aren't in anyone else's top ten list, although this list had twelve, not ten, so two of them wouldn't be anyway.

For IMDB's actual top 10 lists of 2020's most popular TV shows, follow over the jump.

Here's the press release: IMDb Announces Top 10 TV Series of 2020.
IMDb (, the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content, today unveiled the Top 10 TV Shows of 2020 and, for the first time ever, the Top 10 Docuseries and Top 10 Reality and Competition TV Series. Rather than base its annual rankings on small statistical samplings or reviews from professional critics, IMDb determines its list of most popular shows from the IMDbPro proprietary rankings of shows based on the actual page views of the more than 200 million monthly visitors to IMDb.

IMDb Top 10 TV Shows of 2020*
  1. The Boys
  2. Money Heist (La Casa de Papel)
  3. Dark
  4. Ozark
  5. The Mandalorian
  6. The Queen’s Gambit
  7. The Umbrella Academy
  8. Westworld
  9. The Witcher
  10. The Crown
* The 10 TV shows which consistently charted highest on the proprietary weekly TV rankings on IMDbPro throughout 2020.
While I'm glad to see my personal favorites "Westworld" and "Ozark" make the list, the shows that keep showing up are "The Boys," "The Mandalorian," "The Queen's Gambit," and "The Crown." I watched the first season of "The Boys" and my wife and I have watched both seasons of "The Mandalorian," so I can see why they are on everyone's lists. Even though I haven't actually watched it, I also have a good feeling for "The Crown." It's way down my to-watch list, as my wife is luke warm about the subject (The Queen is not a subject :-) so the one I'm curious about is "The Queen's Gambit." I might suggest that to my wife to watch next after we finish watching "His Dark Materials" and "Wonder Woman 1984."
IMDb Top 10 Docuseries of 2020*
  1. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
  2. The Last Dance
  3. Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
  4. The Vow
  5. Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
  6. I'll Be Gone in the Dark
  7. Down to Earth with Zac Efron
  8. McMillions
  9. Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak
  10. The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez
*The 10 docuseries which consistently charted highest on the proprietary weekly TV rankings on IMDbPro throughout 2020. IMDbPro rankings are based on the actual page views of the more than 200 million monthly visitors to IMDb worldwide. IMDb users can add these and other titles to their IMDb Watchlist at
I've written about the first three on the list plus "McMillions" in this year's Emmy coverage, so I exapect some of the rest will be nominated for Emmy Awards next year.
IMDb Top 10 Reality and Competition Series of 2020
  1. Too Hot to Handle
  2. Selling Sunset
  3. Love Is Blind
  4. The Great British Bake Off (The Great British Baking Show)
  5. Keeping Up with the Kardashians
  6. The Masked Singer
  7. Top Gear
  8. Survivor
  9. RuPaul's Drag Race
  10. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
*The 10 reality and competition series which consistently charted highest on the proprietary weekly TV rankings on IMDbPro throughout 2020.
This list shows the most divergence from the reality program nominees at the Emmy Awards, but I'm not surprised. Some debuted after the end of the eligibility period, while others may be popular because they're train wrecks, not because they are actually well-done. A few may end up being both, but my readers and I won't find that out until August of next year, when the next Emmy Award nominations come out and they're not nominated.

That's it for the last Sunday entertainment feature of 2020. Stay tuned for more retrospectives of the year about to end.

*Although my posts about Politics and government on television at the 2020 WGA Awards for National Screenwriters Day and drama series about politics and government at the Critics' Choice Awards come close, they're not presented as year-end looks back about entertainment. Besides, I'll write entries about those awards next year.

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