(HOLLYWOOD) — 2019 was a big year for TV, with award magnets like Game of Thrones and Veep riding off into the series sunset, and surprises like Amazon’s Fleabag becoming one of the Emmys’ biggest winners.
EmmysGame of Thrones ended its 10-year reign on HBO a winner, despite a final season that left many fans White Walker-cold. Its final trip to the Emmys saw the show nominated 32 times, and taking home 12 including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Peter Dinklage. Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge shocked by winning three trophies that night: Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Writing and Directing for a comedy series. She also surprised fans backstage by announcing she was pulling the plug on her two-season-old show about her “dirty, pervy, messed-up woman.”
Another shock on TV’s biggest night: Billy Porter beating out the likes of This Is Us stars Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown, Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk, Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington and Ozark’s Jason Bateman for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama series, for Pose. Porter, the first openly gay black man ever to win in that category, is an Oscar away from an EGOT.
Jodie Comer, of AMC’s show Killing Eve, was also surprised, taking the Outstanding Lead Actress category. “Still can’t quite believe it,” Comer told ABC Audio a few days after her win, “I think at Christmas is when I’ll sit down and go, ‘Right. Okay, let’s take it all in."”
Saying goodbyeAfter 12 seasons, the two-part series finale of The Big Bang Theory aired this year on CBS. The show, about a group of nerdy friends, remained a major hit for the network, and made its cast the highest paid on TV. The finale — far, far better received than that of GOT — saw Jim Parsons’ Sheldon and his onscreen wife, Amy Farrah Fowler, played by Miyam Bialik, sharing a Nobel Prize. Sheldon used his acceptance speech to uncharacteristically tell his friends that he loves them.
Veep ended its run empty-handed at the Emmys but had already won seventeen Primetime Emmy Awards in its day.
Other shows that went to that big rerun land in the sky this year included the Emmy winning Mr. Robot, which wrapped Dec. 22 after four seasons; Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which lasted four seasons; the beloved Broad City, which wrapped after five seasons; the six-season old Madam Secretary; Emmy winner Orange Is the New Black, which ended July 26 after seven seasons, and Fox’s Gotham, which made it through five seasons and 100 episodes.
Also ending were all of Marvel’s acclaimed Netflix shows — okay, nobody really liked Iron Fist. Luke Cage and The Punisher weren’t renewed after their second seasons, and Jessica Jones, was goodnighted after a third. The move, which also came with retiring superhero shows including The Gifted on Fox, Legion on FX, and Hulu’s Cloak and Dagger and Runaways, all have to do with a shakeup with Marvel Television, which will now be overseen by Marvel Studios honcho Kevin Feige. The blockbuster maker is folding Marvel small-screen properties onto Disney+.
Streaming getting deeperSpeaking of Disney+, the streaming service launched in November and in so doing, launched its Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian character Baby Yoda into a meme-generating phenomenon.
Apple TV Plus was also birthed in 2019,and came out swinging. The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, earned both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations right out of the gate.
Streaming services will continue to debut in 2020. HBO’s HBO Max, NBC/Universal’s Peacock, and short-form show destination Quibi will roll out new programming, and old favorites, in the new year.
Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.