AFI's 2012 Top 10 List Includes Girls, Homeland and Horror Story — Which Shows Got Snubbed?

blog_AHS_walking_dead_girlsThe American Film Institute has released its annual top 10 TV list, which includes one rookie (HBO’s Girls), one TV movie (HBO’s Game Change) and one horror anthology (American Horror Story: Asylum).

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Repeat honorees include Breaking Bad, Homeland and The Walking Dead  — which first appeared on the list in 2009 but was absent last year.

The shows were chosen by critics, film and television artists, critics, scholars and AFI Trustees. The organization will celebrate this year’s honorees at a Jan. 11 luncheon in Los Angeles.

The complete 2012 list is:

American Horror Story
Breaking Bad
Game Change
Game of Thrones
Girls
Homeland
Louie
Mad Men
Modern Family
The Walking Dead

What do you think about the AFI list? Which shows do you think got snubbed? Sound off in the comments?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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121 Comments
  1. xav says:

    SONS OF ANARCHY

  2. Robert Taylor says:

    “Scandal,” definitely. It went from being one of the worst pilots of last season into, for me, the most engaging, can’t-wait-until-next-week show of the year.

  3. Monica says:

    Really?! ‘Girls’, but no ‘Parks & Rec’?

  4. Dee says:

    The Good Wife is better than most of the shows listed here. This just looks like a cable tv promotion. Ridiculous.

  5. Chris says:

    Parenthood. You can’t have a Top 10 list in 2012 and not include Parenthood.

    • iMember says:

      This! Parenthood is easily one of the best and finest shows on television today. That and “Revenge” deserves to be included!

    • schu says:

      Double this! Best drama on television, especially for a basic family centric plot without having outrageous stories or crazy technical effects to help back it up.

  6. Bobby says:

    Parks & Rec and Parenthood for me.

  7. Guy says:

    Swap out Modern Family for Parks & Rec and I’ll be okay with it, I guess.

  8. Atoz15 says:

    Parks and Rec, obviously! They got it last year but snubbed this yr…also happy endings over modern family all day, everyday.

  9. Kate says:

    boo modern family is not even close to Parks and Rec!

  10. Fringe… but heaven forbid they have anything sci-fi….

  11. maryploppins says:

    I love Homeland, but man it’s been a little wacky lately. I’m not sure how I’ll rate season 2 as a whole until I see the finale.

    Also, Modern Family is a really good show, but there are at least a couple other comedies that I’d rather see in this list. MF is one of those shows that will make every top 10 list and awards nomination for the rest of its run, no matter what. That type of thing always gets annoying quick, because I’d like to see other comedies get a chance too. Good to see Girls and Louie on here though.

  12. Mary says:

    Once Upon a Time and Big Bang Theory.

    • Alan says:

      thanks for the laugh, i needed that

      • Mary says:

        It’s too easy to pick shows on HBO and Showtime that can get away with anything, so people seem to think that makes them far better than anything on regular broadcast TV.

        • Alan says:

          thats not my problem, my problem is that big bang has lazy writers who got complacent when they received a multi-year renewal and ruined the potentially great show, now i consider it down there with two and a half men.
          as to once upon a time there is just nothing of interest there in my opinion, it feels like there writers recently discovered the comic book series fables and decided they would try that and it just doesnt work in my opinion. not to mention jennifer morrison cant act

          • Luli says:

            have you watched the new season of BBT? because they writers didn’t get lazy… so far this is the best season also more funny than ever.

          • Alan says:

            what jokes about how nerds are weird and we should all laugh at them, anyone who identifies with the guys, myself included, just cant support its current brand of “comedy”

          • Tania says:

            Forget about lazy writers. I’m stunned that TBBT is still on the air. CBS has thee worst comedy line up. In fact, they can’t be called comedies.

        • Tania says:

          So basically people are not that bright. Mary, I’m a lot smarter than YOU think. Just sayin’.

  13. Rrrrrr says:

    Love the fact that AHS got selected. It really is one of the best shows on today. A little surprised with Girls- I think that show is more “popular” than “acclaimed,” but whatever. I agree with Robert, Scandal is perfect and definitely deserves to be on this list, but I disagree with Dee. The Good Wife WAS a great show, but the last string of episodes last year were horrible, and this year it feels like it’s all about the stunt casting and not about the stories. I’m rooting for it to get back on its feet, because I know it can, but as it stands now, I don’t even see TGW being placed in the top 20.

  14. Spencer says:

    I looove Modern Family, but Parks deserves a spot on here more then Modern does.

  15. Laura says:

    Parenthood.

  16. Well – Grey’s Anatomy, Community and Parenthood have been one of the best this year!

  17. Callen says:

    Justified

  18. caddyshack says:

    I would have agreed with this list if Parks and Rec was included.

  19. tez says:

    Scandal & Sons Of Anarchy have been the best tv shows this season

  20. IPF says:

    Sons, Justified, Archer, and Spartacus

  21. mattyc says:

    They snubbed The Good Wife? That sucks.

  22. Alia says:

    Modern Family is too overrated, I would choose Once Upon a Time.

  23. GarrettC says:

    Will Happy Endings ever get the love is deserves?!?!?!?!?!

  24. MoTVFanatic says:

    Dexter???

  25. Brigette says:

    Dexter came back this year with a bang. Parenthood is consistently amazing. Snubbed!

  26. Heelarryous says:

    Swap out The Good Wife for Game Change.

  27. j says:

    UGH. My hope is that, a few years from now, the entire country will formally issue an apology to the cast and crew of Community for not fully appreciating the show’s brilliance while it was on the air. Also, I think I’d swap Modern Family for Happy Endings, but that’s just me.

    • thatsloud says:

      ugh yes COMMUNITY is phenomenal and Happy Endings is genius

      • liddad says:

        Meh, I actually don’t care anymore if Community gets cancelled. I can see it gaining the same fame the arrested development has gained over the last few years. And it will. Easily.
        The three years we had were amazing, I’m sure the fourth will be too, and if it gets a fifth, I’ll be over the moon, but if it doesn’t, just wait two or three years and someone will want to pick it back up again. Maybe even Netflix again.

        • Terry says:

          Never going to happen. Maybe if Community were the least bit funny, much less being on the same level as the immortal AD, NBC wouldn’t be so eager to cancel that flopping mess of a show.

          • Alan says:

            wouldnt be going into its fourth season if it was “a flopping mess”, sorry if the comedy is too clever for you go back to two and a half men

  28. Britta Unfiltered says:

    These are all cable shows except for Modern Family. LOL, suck it broadcast networks with your crappy quality primetime soap operas and multi-cam comedies. I love the inclusion of all these picks, except I never did see Game Change. At least 5 of these titles I would definitely call my favorite shows. I would for sure swap out Modern Family with Justified. Justified needs to be on the list, it’s a shame it’s not. And perhaps Community, but it’s been off the air so long, would they even have considered it?

  29. Alan says:

    Modern Family, really? dont get me wrong i watch it and enjoy it but it is not at the level of the rest of this list

  30. Hdidi says:

    … I think there are many shows that were left out , the most important ones are : The big bang theory that keeps getting better and better, Grey’s anatomy is back with a new skin and the Vampire diaries that has shown that it’s not just about vampires but also the quality of the story

    Also if we talk about new shows I guess : chicago fire and go on are the best and they you should have a chance as well

    • liddad says:

      I think if you have just mentioned some of the trashiest non-reality shows on TV right now. The big bang theory has lost it’s genius – and it now repeating the same jokes over and over.
      Grey’s is just trashy drama, and it has been ever since the middle of the first season.
      TVD I’ve never seen, but looks trashy. I could be wrong but, so I’ll let that one slip.
      And Chicago Fire is basically Grey’s but with firemen.

      Go On is good, I’ll give it that, but it’s not reached its full potential, which I’m sure it will over the next year or two. Right now its just sort of “there”, but it looks like, as soon as it decides what it’ll be, it’ll be good whatever way it goes.

  31. Gerald says:

    American Horror Story? Seriously?

  32. Midori004 says:

    Modern Family is HUGELY overrated. Sure it’s fine to watch, but no where near as awesome as everyone acts like it is.

  33. Tim says:

    Enlightend

  34. I couldn’t sit through more than 20 minutes of “Girls”. “Modern Family” is so overrated it isn’t funny. For me, you take them off, and put on “Sons of Anarchy” and even though it was cancelled, I would say “Boss”. Boss was such a great show, I don’t know why it got cancelled.

  35. KennethC says:

    Honestly can’t believe that American Horror Story made the list. After the excellent first season, AHS:Asylum has been a mess of barely coherent storytelling and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink plotting. Plus, since there’s not a single character that remotely resembles a real human being, I don’t find it the least bit scary. (Gross? Yes. Scary? No!)

    • Joe says:

      well sorry but you are severly in the minority. the plotting, yes, has been chaotic and sporadic but that’s done on purpose to further perpetuate the atmosphere of insanity. the acting it top notch and the 60’s vibe lends greatly to the paranoia of the show. the new season is receiving critical acclaim despite its loss of the first season’s humor and character development.

  36. YowzaPowza says:

    Parenthood, Enlightened, Parks and Rec, Portlandia.

  37. mawhi says:

    Yikes. Parks and Recreation, Veep.

  38. iMember says:

    REVENGE!

  39. It amazes me the lack of love Hollywood gives the two best (in my opinion) comedies. Parks and Recreation and Community deserve a little more acclaim than they recieve.

  40. JoyAnne says:

    I won’t comment as I watch none of the shows on that list. LOL

    • ed hamada says:

      Thank you for writing that! What a “JOY” to read. Except for “Homeland”, I too have never seen a single one of the others on the so-called “10 best”. And the only reason I watch “Homeland”, is I got stuck, after seeing the 1st episode. It surprises me because I can’t stand the person who plays the blonde female lead. What i admire and like most about the one series I really like that is not even mentioned but once above, is “FRINGE” and that’s because it does not fear going near the SYFY aspect it often hints at. It is the nearness of the fringe aspect which gives it the aspect of danger which accompanies SYFY material. It takes guts in this day & age to venture there…especially by the writers who are putting their futures on the line by entering the neighborhood.

  41. BTM says:

    No “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”? This is an OUTRA–oh, never mind. Even I can’t type this with a straight face.

  42. If Castle is not in the top 10 then somethingis insanely wrong with the list. The same applies to Scandal. when willl shows that express diversity stop being snubbed for top 10 list and pca nominations?

    • keja says:

      Look, I’m a HUGE Castle fan and I’ve watched a fair amount of Scandal and like it for what it is, but in no way should either of these be in the AFI top ten. Sorry. Modern Family shouldn’t be either, IMO. Much more deserving comedies out there.

  43. Fabian says:

    Parenthood, Parks and Recreation, Happy Endings, & Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 should be in there! They are all amazing, emmy worthy shows.

  44. Cindy says:

    Still no love for Community or Parks and Rec…:(
    And AHS? Really?

  45. Mark says:

    American Horror Story doesn’t deserve to be on this list this year. Sorry. It’s just not as good this year.

  46. vane says:

    Parks and rec forsure girls and moden family I dnt understand all the fuss over thoes show bt to each his own

  47. Sara says:

    SCANDAL & PARENTHOOD. I love Castle, but I can see how they would snub procedurals. Good Wife doesn’t deserve it this year.

  48. Karen says:

    Community! New Girl! The Good Wife! Fringe! Not sure if these shows ever have a chance of making it to that list (or if they have in the past). But at least my favourite show, Breaking Bad, is on there

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