Year in Review
Worst TV Shows 2016

2016 in Review: The 10 Worst Shows

When TV is good, it’s very good. But when it’s bad, it’s… yikes.

Having freshly celebrated the best dramas and comedies, TVLine’s Year in Review now takes stock of the shows that despite A) splashy casting, B) a solid pedigree, C) massive promotion, D) a well-received previous season or E) all of the above nonetheless managed to fall woefully short in 2016.

Which two Friends could be in better company? How unsatisfying was UnREAL’s second date? And which series “succeeded” Under the Dome in the unglorious No. 1 spot?

Check out the gallery to the right — or click here for direct access — then tell us which shows made your list.

Coming up soon, as TVLine’s Year in Review marches on: Sexiest Scenes, Grossest Moments, the Most OMG Plot Twists, Quotes of the Year and lots more!

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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  1. amalia says:

    10-9-8-6-6-7-4-3-2-1? Looks like the person who made this list doesn’t know how to count.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Just some last-minute recalculations, shufflings and omnirenumerations. All fixed. Sorry for those 3 minutes of tremendous confusion. —Mgmt.

  2. Eran says:

    Granted, I have not watched any of the ones unfortunate enough to have made it to this top 10 but I would nominate ‘The Great Indoors’ to join this list. That “comedy’ hurts like a school night hangover and is about as funny as a Permian extinction documentary.

  3. Candace says:

    Unreal and Scream Queens weren’t bad so much as they were disappointing.

  4. bakko says:

    Agree with most of these.

    Damien – I’m just so confused by the decision to have an entire season basically leading up to him “saying” that he’s the AntiChrist. Not doing anything. In fact, Damien didn’t do anything the entire series.

    Unreal – Should’ve went with the Bachelorette.

    Conviction – They couldn’t make Haley Atwell’s character “really” bad, so without a real character arc it became a bland procedural.

    Scream Queens – Stopped watching when Chad Radwell died.

  5. GuessWhat says:

    Yay — I haven’t watched a single episode of any of these. #Winning

  6. I am pretty much done with Scream Queens. They ruined the show by getting rid of the best part – Chad Radwell!

    • Couch Mom says:

      Me too. Really want to see what happens – but ah, well. Wanted to like Conviction and MacGyver – just but couldn’t. SVU is slowly going that way also. Haven’t watched a single ep, just read the recaps whenever the show aired. Find I’m reading recaps to see if I want to invest my time watching the show on demand. Most of the time, the recap suffices.

  7. V.J. says:

    Funny how different dramas can be perceived. I happened to like Houdini and Doyle a lot.
    But I agree with Conviction. I hoped it would be good… Well.

  8. Scream Queens really shot themselves in the foot by killing Chad Radwell and Denise Hempfield. Especially Chad! Its so boring now.

  9. Jimmy says:

    Of this list Man With a Plan is by far the worst of them all. I tried watching an episode this week and couldn’t get through the bad acting (Matt LeBlanc and Liz Snyder are truly terrible actors) and poor writing.

    • Mike says:

      Man with a Plan should get an Emmy in comparison to:
      Son of Zorn
      Pitch ( If you know baseball you know how bad this is)
      Scream Queens
      2 Broke Girls
      The Odd Couple
      The horrible J-LO police show, Blue Something
      The last season of Falling Skies

  10. flowerduh says:

    I guess I am the only one who thinks that Conviction is a great show! I think most of the people who have a problem with Conviction are still reeling from the loss of Agent Carter.

    • Patrick says:

      I feel it is one of those shows that suffers by comparison to the superior show the lead used to be in.

    • Jenna says:

      I didn’t watch Agent Carter but my problem with Conviction is that I find Hayes to be so completely irritating and unlike able. I’m kind of over this whole “she’s an edgy (insert profession here) who doesn’t play by the rules” schtick. It’s been done.

      And I thought maybe I just didn’t see the appeal of Atwell, but I just recently started watching Black Mirror and thought she was fantastic and dynamic In the episode she was in.

    • DS says:

      I think it is a great show too!!

    • PatriciaLee says:

      I love Conviction. It is excellent TV, just not to the taste of those that need to push “stuff” (generating future sales of somethingorother.)

  11. RedReddington says:

    I loved Wayward Pines. I’d rather watch that over yet ANOTHER police procedural. I wish it would get renewed for another season, that’s how much I enjoyed it. *shrugs*

  12. skrable2a says:

    What? No love for the final episodes of Castle?

  13. Marco Piazzo says:

    I have to say I enjoyed Conviction and H&D as fun fluff (but why can’t someone use the ‘review old cases’ plot for a GOOD show? Apart from Cold Case, that is. I remember another ABC show called InJustice), though I feel that with the former they tried to make it a cop show version of Scandal, and it kinda shows. Should’ve gone the NCIS route! But yeah, Wayward Pines round 2 was mind-numbingly bad.

    I’ll try my top 10 worst:

    10. Guilt. A title, a verdict.
    9. Quantico. It had started sucking near the end of S1A, with the whole mess with Elias Harper (awful writing, just awful), but from the first episode of 1B, it’s been the Stupid Parade.
    8. Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. All of the warts in the original show came to light. Sure, the acting was great, and the adults have good plots, but the way the show contorts itself to fit its terrible ‘circle of life’ ending with regards to Rory, and just the character of Rory in general, presented to us as if we’re supposed to side with her, like a complete and utter Mary Sue, despite her being the single WORST in these four episodes (a Character Assassination if I ever saw one), sink it like the Titanic, not to mention make ASP come off as petty, arrogant and mean. Quite a feat!
    7. Notorious. Just glossy meanness.
    6. Wayward Pines season 2. Not as bad as Under The Dome’s final season but close.
    5. Kevin Can Wait. As John Oliver said, ‘Yes, he CAN wait. LET HIM wait.’ For good, I add.
    4. Bull. It’s the same episode over and over again.
    3. Scream Queens. It was never good at all, but WOW.
    2. Castle: The Final Season. A few good episodes do not a terrible season save.
    1. Rosewood. Why is this still on the air?

    • Eran says:

      Personally speaking, I found the deeply-flawed Rory to be very real. It happens often in life that the “wunderkind” primed for greatness their whole life and without a single wrong turn to their name suddenly just stalls if not taking an altogether sharp turn off track. Young Rory’s stars were almost always aligned but check in with 32 y/o Rory to find out that she’s hit a career dead end and is suddenly doubting everything she’s ever wanted for herself while making some less-than-kind choices in her love life? That’s so human and spot on to me! And the very fact that this was so NOT the plan for Rory’s younger self made it and her all the more real and relatable…for me at least.

    • GuessWhat says:

      when Michael sees your Gilmore Girls inclusion, he may ban you from the site! ha

    • Rita says:

      I totally agree with you on Kevin Can Wait and Bull. We must be of the minority, since these shows are getting a lot of praise on these entertainment sites. Although, I can’t figure out why. Kevin Can Wait is boring and the woman who plays his wife is unbearable. Bull is completely unbelievable – all that technology for jury psychology? How much is he charging his clients? Also totally agree with ASP coming off as petty, arrogant, and mean. I can’t agree with it being on the list of worst shows. There were just to many good things about it.

    • Cassie says:

      I loved InJustice!

      I agree with most of your top 10, but I actually really like Notorious…what do you think is mean about it? (Not trying to argue, I just really can’t think of anything about it that’s all that mean.) Of course, there are some not-so-nice characters, but I wouldn’t really consider it worse than any other show in that regard.

    • jp says:

      I soooo agree with a lot of these. I don’t watch 8 or never watched 2. but I have watched and concur on the rest We must watch the same stuff or way too much stuff!

    • mary says:

      I agree Gilmore Girls should be on this list, but this site would never do that you’d think it was The Wire, Breaking Bad, Seinfeld or I Love Lucy the way they go on about it when it truth it was the worst show of the year.

    • Anna says:

      I actually thought Rory was always kind of crappy lmao. In the original show, she slept with a married man (Dean) and then tried to pull the whole “he was my bf first!” to justify her actions. She was insanely entitled, especially in the later seasons (with her grandparents paying for *everything*) but still felt like she had the right to bash Logan and his friends for being rich kids with yachts (do y’all remember how extravagant her 21st bday was?). And when said grandparents (who were letting her live in their guest house rent free and use their money freely when she dropped out of school) asked her not to bang her bf on their property, she pitched a b**** fit and acted like an ungrateful brat. Rory was the worst before the revival, too.

  14. Jennifer says:

    I don’t understand to vitriol for Houdini & Doyle and Heartbeat. I loved these shows. Were they nonsensical? Yeah, but H&D was FUN. it was different. And i don’t necessarily want to see reality on TV. It’s supposed to be escapism.

  15. Mary says:

    I didn’t watch the rest, but Conviction is awesome! maybe it could use a little tweaking, but I can work😎

  16. Merkel says:

    Agree with most of these but I think Man with a Plan is better than Kevin can Wait.

    • Camille says:

      I agree, I seriously do not understand how Kevin Can Wait is so popular, I think Man With A Plan is a much better show, I mean it’s still a bit silly and formulaic, but I couldn’t even get through 5 mins of Kevin Can Wait before saying a big NOPE!

  17. Dominique says:

    it’s disappointing to see you placed conviction on this list. i think it’s a very powerful show that, yes has some flaws, but certainly has even more potential. i think it’s one of the better new shows this fall, and a good show in general. monday’s episode was its best on yet.

    • DS says:

      I really like Conviction. I wish it would stay on and not get cancelled. Of the 10 the only one I watch is Conviction. Maybe it will have better luck on the Sunday time slot.

  18. Peter Williams says:

    Well, Scream Queens has been unwatchable since season 1 debuted. Gave it 3 episodes and gave up. Awful…
    I DID like Houdini and Doyle however. Not enough to cry about its demise though. Haven’t watched the others, so can’t comment.

  19. xyz says:

    Does this mean that Kevin Can Wait isn’t bad? haha.

  20. Rita says:

    Man with a Plan isn’t that bad.

  21. Smith says:

    My wife and I enjoy “Man With a Plan”
    I would put “Kevin Can Wait” it’s place

  22. Ken says:

    While I found the first few weeks of Chelsea to be awkward and forced, I think it (and she) have been hilarious, poignant, and heartwarming. I thought Chelsea Lately was hilarious, but very vapid and offensive. Chelsea on Netflix has been really refreshing, and she has grown a lot just since this summer.

    • Ron says:

      Yes, this. Completely agree, and pretty much in the same boat. I enjoyed Chelsea Lately, so I definitely planned on following her to Netflix. I thought her 4-part Netflix docu-series, “Chelsea Does,” was really good and really well done. So I was definitely ready for the talk show, expecting it to be just as amazing as I thought the docu-series was. Then crash, burn, flames. The talk show was pretty bad. I remember watch the first week (i.e., first 3 episodes), and I thought it might be the worst talk show I had ever seen, and was pretty disappointed. I thought I’d keep giving it a try, and I had the same exact feeling about week 2. I was upset and stopped watching. A couple weeks later, I had nothing to watch. I decided to try watching again, having convinced myself this was a completely new format and would take time to figure out. When I went back to watch the week 3 episodes, I still wasn’t impressed but thought they were marginally better than the first two weeks. The marginal improvement allowed me to justify giving the week 4 episodes a shot. I thought those were significantly better, enough so that I decided to start watching regularly again. It has only gotten better since then. Obviously there are still kinks–it’s still a somewhat new format that will take some time to figure out. And I understand why people might’ve given up after a week or two; those were truly bad episodes. But to those who gave up early on, for what it’s worth, if you wanna go back and give it one more chance, her show definitely gets better! (Maybe you’ll wanna jump to week 4 or 5, or something like that…)

  23. Kevin says:

    Why they didn’t put Price is Right on the worst of list? Drew Carey is a poor man’s replacement for Bob Barker when he took over back in 2007 and since then Mr. Carey is always boring, annoying, greedy and talks too much and people are having mixed criticism on his game show hosting skills. Wish someone else should have been a great fit to replace Mr. Barker to have a brains and guts and not as funny as Drew is even though he gets no Daytime Emmy love (worst game show host ever – Drew Carey). The one person who’s blaming all of its disaster is Mike Richards the executive producer of the show. His creative staff comes up with the most boring and lamest ideas ever and Mr. Richards is becoming like the Michael Bay of TPIR. Really hope TV’s longest running game show needs to end in the near future if the execs at CBS Daytime better do something right…or wrong.

  24. jerrired says:

    Harsh! Lol. This was a good read but some of these I actually enjoyed but I definitely won’t argue they’re anywhere near great. Okay at best. But Unreal was the biggest disappointment for me. I was obsessed with season 1 and one of my friends and I even counted down to season 2.

  25. CountryQueen says:

    I want a 3rd season of Wayward Pines based around the Abbies, that could be good, otherwise, no thanks. Scream Queens has been disappointing this season. I have to be in the right mood for it, if I’m not it sucks, but when I watch it with the right attitude I laugh.

  26. gio88 says:

    I expected To See shadowhunters n.1 ,at least these shows have some decent or good acting. …. shadowhaters neither that.

  27. jp says:

    boy either I pick the ‘right ones’ or watch too much tv. I have watched most of these completely. I actually like heartbeat – it was quirky and fun. I also liked feed the beast – more dark and it unfolded in an interesting way. I also catch scream queens and man with a plan. I was watching conviction for a while and ended up cutting it when it seemed it was going to hit the skids. I think there might be some worse ones like speechless or kevin can wait. hate both of them

  28. shawn says:

    Fuller House. The original show was awful and this uninspired and bland sequel is even worse.

  29. kmw says:

    Wow you sure nailed the head on all of those shows. I agree with your choices

  30. ScottJ says:

    People seem to have strange expectations about Scream Queens. Its black comedy – possibly so black its impenetrable to the masses who are used to being spoon fed every show they watch.

  31. Emor says:

    I agree with others that while Conviction underwhelms, it does not deserve a ‘Worst’ mention. H&D was fun!! Not sure what people were expecting. And I also would like a third and Final Season of Wayward Pines. I Think there is still a lot of good Sci-fi stories in it.

  32. Larry says:

    I like Man With a Plan it is very funny glad got full season pickup if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I don’t get why people complain about shows don’t like don’t watch its simple

  33. kmayne says:

    The Great Outdoors and Kevin Can Wait were also pretty bad, I tried to like The Great Outdoors but would watch paint dry

  34. Cindy says:

    I don’t agree with conviction being on the list. It is one of my favorite new shows.

  35. Jared says:

    Scream Queens is horrible this season yet I’m totally addicted. Go figure! I blame the

  36. J.Norman says:

    Agree with “Man with a Plan” being terrible.

    Disagree (a bit) about Houdini and Doyle. It wasn’t that bad and was serviceable as a summer show.

  37. peterwdawson says:

    Surprised The Great Outdoors didn’t make the list, though granted I’ve only seen 2 episodes and it may have improved…

    • PatriciaLee says:

      I have seen every episode, and I keep hoping. So far, you haven’t missed anything. It may pick up. It has that vibe.

      • peterwdawson says:

        It really kind of reminds me of Outsourced in a general way, in that they have some great talent on board in terms of the actors and a solid enough premise, they just keep missing the nail and hitting fingers instead.

  38. sunshine says:

    Man With A Plan is adorable, one of the very few comedy shows I watch. Matt could maybe tone it down a bit but the overall experience is fun and light.

  39. Valerie Tower says:

    I’ve really gotten into conviction. Has potential. Hopefully ABC won’t cancel

  40. Penny says:

    I can only assume the “TVLine Team” is not watching Conviction, or they wouldn’t have put it in this list. i think there are far worse shows of 2016 than that one. The Great Indoors immediately comes to mind…

  41. Lerbert says:

    For me, Unreal was the biggest disappointment. What a crash.

    Hard to replace any of these with Scandal, but if there is a “worst” list last season was a real contender.

    Since I know there are some tvliners who enjoyed it, maybe there could be a “Top Ten Most Perplexing Plot Decisions 2016.” It could be a place for our favorite shows and the moments of kooky storylines, forgotten character development, and freaky couplings when we ask “why are they doing that?!!”

    • KLS says:

      They did put sonething like this last year (Fall 2015). I remember Castle winning for “Most Contrived Plot/Story Arc”. Another one for 2016 would be great!

  42. AngelWasHere says:

    Damien wasn’t that bad. You didn’t even give a chance before trashing it. 😒

    • PatriciaLee says:

      I know the pain, being a big fan of Houdini & Doyle, with my favorite TV site, here, trashing it big time in many articles. Oh, the pain of it all!

  43. Laura says:

    How is Pure Genius not on this list? I’ve tried watching 4 episodes so far, hoping against hope that it gets better, and it just gets progressively worse.

    • KLS says:

      Lasting 4 episodes was quite a feat! It didn’t get an order past it’s original 13, so chances are it won’t get better.

  44. Catherine says:

    I think “Man with a plan” isn’t too bad, and it does make me laugh. “Great Indoors” is far worse.

  45. PatriciaLee says:

    I’m surprised The Great Indoors is not on this list. I’ve seen every episode, hoping it will live up to it’s premise, but it is so bad it deserves a place in this gallery. However, Houdini & Doyle was charming, and the husband was a big fan, me too. We miss it. Conviction is decent, if not great, and fun for me to watch (the husband thinks it stinks).

  46. Kal says:

    Unreal doesn’t deserve that spot, there were far more worst shows to battle for that spot. containment is the first to come in mind.

  47. KLS says:

    Wayward Pines season 2 was a huge mess. I watched it because I loved season 1, it was on during the Summer, and each week it was a game to see what character from season 1 got knocked-off. I liked the Abbies though. Not sure I would be able to trust the creators to salvage what’s left to make a good season 3.
    Totally forgot about (& agree about) Heartbeat.

  48. Maryann says:

    Sorry, I beg to differ. Conviction was never boring and tied with Notorious as the most fun and entertaining new shows of the fall season. For me, these two were the fun romantic dramedies that Castle tried to be and didn’t quite make it.

  49. DJ Doena says:

    No Kevin Can Wait?

  50. tony says:

    luckily matt is back in ‘episodes’ next year