Summer TV 2015 Winners Losers

Summer TV Winners & Losers: UnREAL, True Detective, Mr. Robot and More

Here’s some good news that should brighten your Monday: The summer TV season is nearly over!

Yes, all those hours of reruns and bad reality TV are about to make way for a barrage of new and returning fall shows. But before we say goodbye to summer for good, we’d like to look back at the series that either succeeded or stumbled in the last 12 weeks.

For every small-screen triumph (nicely done, UnREAL and Mr. Robot!), there was an inevitable flop (we’re looking at you, True Detective), and we’ve boiled down the past three months into 19 winners and losers that defined the summer TV season.

Scroll through our gallery below — or click here for direct access — to see the programs we’ve chosen as champs and chumps of Summer 2015, then hit the comments with your own picks!

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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43 Comments
  1. Ellinas1978 says:

    Mr. Robot has been average at best, and has not lived up to the hype. The only buzz it has going for it now is the rescheduling of the finale because of the terrible events last Wednesday.

  2. Mr. Tran K says:

    James Corden is definitely a WINNER in my opinion and he’s continuing to do a great job as the host of The Late Late Show since March when he took over for Craig Ferguson. BTW, Carpool Karaoke is one of the my faves as does Nuzzle Waaaaa!!

  3. Mike C. says:

    Where is Starz’s addictive drama “Power”? Both its second-season premiere and finale set ratings records for the network, and it was gripping, must-see TV. It would have also added some much-needed diversity to your list…

  4. Brian says:

    Glad to see i’m not the only one not feeling Masters Of Sex this season.

    • Tahoe Mike says:

      I’ve been a big fan since day one, but this season has been tough to watch. Was there a behind the scenes change in the creative team?
      I was really put off by all the attention paid to Virginia’s kids, only to see the disclaimer at the end of the show that they are fictional and never existed!
      There just seems to be a major change of focus and personality this season. Have we even seen a boob this season? The show has veered deeply into soap opera territory. It seems like this season is being made so that it can be shown on broadcast TV someday.

    • Jules says:

      I have not watched the last 3 episodes; I just can’t take anymore of Virginia’s kids & parents and all her other domestics that are getting in the way of the premise of the show. I’m just so disappointed with where this show has gone, it’s the summer show I was looking forward to most. There’s just too much fluffing around & domestic mess going on and very little in the area of Sex. It’s going downhill fast.

  5. LC says:

    I discovered yesterday that The Whispers is a much better binge-watch show. We had the last six episodes stored on our DVR and watched them all yesterday. I couldn’t wait to see what was next! Maybe this is one that Netflix or Amazon could pick up for a Season 2.

  6. Lisa says:

    No mention of the TNT dramas, The Last Ship, Murder In the First, and Rizzoli & Isles? I thought they were all great this summer. My absolute favorite is The Last Ship, which is an awesome show.

  7. graze says:

    I still miss Psych and wish they would have more of those type of lighter shows, liked the Brand USA promoted then much more. I couldn’t watch more than a few minutes of this show. Just wish one channel still had new great comic dramas to enjoy. Our reality is dark enough already, it’s nice to escape. USA used to keep me from my books…there’s that…

  8. iHeart says:

    now I don’t think CW has had it that bad Whose Line has been getting better ratings this summer

  9. Sarah_ says:

    Love Unreal and it was surprising because I thought I would dislike it but it turn me wrong..just wish it had better ratings.
    Fear the walking dead was a great surprise and the slow pace doesn’t bother me much..for know.
    Donald Trump what a horrible person that gets a lot of attention..don’t know how people keep supporting him.

    • tvjunkie says:

      Because for the most part, unlike pathological liar Hillary, Trump usually tells the truth. It’s just liberals often have an aversion to the truth.

  10. HAP says:

    Catastrophe was such a pleasant surprise. Too bad they only did 6 episodes. Good news is that it has been renewed.

  11. Maryann says:

    Best Non-SyFy Show of the Summer: The Whispers. Mesmerizing, intriguing, edge of your seat plotting, pacing, and performances, and characters the audience can really root for. What killed this show in the ratings were those absolutely horrible trailers and ads that didn’t really convey the tone of the show. If I didn’t check out every sci-fi series that comes on, I would have missed it too — the PR for the show definitely did not make me want to check it out
    .
    Tied With: Aquarius. I wonder how much of the low ratings was due to people like me who were just glued to the screen and watched the entire series streaming in just a few days after its premiere.
    .
    Best Series Ending of the Summer: Falling Skies. Hopeful, uplifting ending that grabs the viewer and totally propels them into a brighter future. Couldn’t ask for better. It made sticking it out to the end totally worth it.
    .
    Worst Series Ending of the Summer: Wayward Pines. I loved every episode and couldn’t wait for each new episode. The only bad thing about it was that horrible, brainwashed “First Generation” and the nails-on-the-blackboard “teacher” indoctrinating them. This show pretended to be sci-fi and then switched over to pure horror. Not what I bargained for to have those monstrous, Nazi-like children resetting the status-quo when it no longer even had the Founder’s logic behind it. (Why would people who already knew the truth want to run anyway?) At any rate, the last five minutes of the series made me want to throw up, and I was nauseated with having wasted my time watching the series; it completely negated my earlier enjoyment.
    .
    Network with the best summer lineup: Syfy for their wonderful Friday night triple play of Defiance, Dark Matter, and Killjoys. Old fashioned sci-fi at its finest!

    • ann says:

      As for the ending of Wayward Pines — the ending in the book was worse. It was about a paragraph long wrap-up that made me want to throw the book across the room. In my opinion, the ending of the mini-series was a heck of a lot better!

      • Maryann says:

        All Wayward Pines had to do to have a great ending was stop before the epilog three years later. Before the epilog, the ending was just fine. A thirty second bit showing the son waking up after a couple of days would have taken care of any dangling story lines.
        .
        But perhaps the worst thing about that ending was how hackneyed and formulaic it was in terms of bad horror movies: the “nothing ever changes” trope that totally trivializes everything that has gone before.

    • Malaspina says:

      I agree with most of your post but being a product of the 1960s I dropped Aquarius after two episodes.Bad acting,poor writing and all the 1960s music was not necessary.

  12. ScottJ says:

    I’ve been watching Significant Mother. Its a sweet, almost innocent, old fashioned comedy. Which is odd given the subject matter. Also had a wonderful cast and its actually funny with humor based on events rather than people being nasty to one another.

  13. Max says:

    I loved Killjoys this summer. Hopefully it will be renewed!

    • Simon Jester says:

      Killjoys was really a slow burn for me. I was kind of bored with the first three episodes and almost gave up on it… but then somehow it became must-watch TV! Well done, Syfy.

  14. I am thoroughly enjoying Home Free. I wish it was doing better.

    I only made it through 2 episodes of Mr Robot. I guess it wasn’t my kind of edgy.

    unREAL, Suits, Major Crimes and Rizzoli & Isles were my 4 must-watch programs for the summer.

  15. Nero tTVfiddler says:

    Rough summer schedule – Wayward Pines, and not much else offered by the broadcast networks. Under the Dome is probably on the backside of its arc – another season, and then closes?

    At least the cable networks try for something new and innovative/unique. I liked UnReal, but wish the storyline would give the two main characters something to smile and laugh about once in a while.

    Onward to Fall season now …

  16. Bob Backus says:

    “Yes, all those hours of reruns and bad reality TV are about to make way for a barrage of BAD new and returning fall shows.”

  17. Jules says:

    Thoroughly disappointed with Masters of Sex, season 3 is really sloppy.
    I was also rooting for I am Cait but stopped watching after epi 2, it’s a snooze fest.
    Loved UnReal

  18. Lerbert says:

    While I loved unREAL, Catastrophe was the big winner for me this summer. Everything is so well-conceived from the casting to the writing to the wardrobe…so far it’s the only show this year where I wanted to, and did re watch episodes.

  19. EM says:

    UNREAL was a sweet gift that got me through the summer especially after the trauma inflicted by Grey’s Anatomy when they killed off now McDead. Trump has been like a crazy reality show expect its for real. At least people seem to be interested in politics which is about damn time. For better or worse it is up to the people to be invested in how this country moves forward.

  20. Ron says:

    Catastrophe is PHENOMENAL!!! I beyond enjoyed it. It’s easily Amazon’s best series–yes, even better than Transparent. I am anxiously awaiting the return of many, many shows, and Catastrophe is hands down in my top 3 of most anticipated returns.

  21. bj says:

    Two of the winners for me this summer were definitely Killjoys and Dark Matter. Teamed with Defiance they made for a great sci fi Friday.

  22. Luli says:

    Also a win for me: Rizzoli and Isles.
    So sad the summer finale is tomorrow :(

  23. spurs06 says:

    Winner: Tatiana maslany & orphan black

    Tatiana for her nomination thanks to this season, and OB for the increased recognition that comes with having its lead actress recognized and loved across the board.

    Plus at 10 ep/season, it’ll always leave fans wanting more…

  24. Sharknado 4 needs Adam West, Henry Winkler, and Richard Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss can be the captain of a large boat which Winkler sails to jump over the sharks into the tornado so they can spray it with West’s repellant to disperse it for good.

  25. Holly says:

    Ray Donovan is the only “winner” I’ved watched of this list. I also watched True Detective 2 and never shared the hate of the TV critics. It had it’s flaws but was more interesting to me than most of your winners list. To each their own…