Critics Poll

It came down to The Wire. HBO’s dark drama took top honors in the B&C Critics Poll, as 15% of the critics gave it their vote for Best Overall Program. “The Wire lives in a world that broadcast networks can’t even find on a map, much less afford to visit,” said Ellen Gray, of the Philadelphia Daily News.

All told, 67 TV critics offered their bests (and worsts) of 2006. They adore NBC’s The Office, which grabbed Best Comedy. And they still love Lost. While Wire also took Best Drama, ABC’s Lost was runner-up.

Among Reality, the critics tapped The Amazing Race, while Happy Hour claimed Worst Program. “Predictable, lame,” scoffed Marisa Guthrie, of the NY Daily News.

The most memorable TV moment was a tie between Katie Couric’s debut at CBS Evening News and Fox’s cancelling O.J. Simpson’s special. Couric’s anchor gig, said Andrew Wineke, of The Gazette (Colorado), is “what we’ll remember 10 years from now.”

Best Overall Program:

The Wire (15%)
Heroes (12%)
24 (9%)

Best Comedy:

The Office (32%)
Ugly Betty (18%)
My Name Is Earl (11%)

Best Drama:

The Wire (16%)
Lost (9%)
24, Heroes and Grey’s Anatomy (tie, 7%)

Best Reality:

The Amazing Race (27%)
Project Runway (16%)
American Idol (12%)

Worst Program:

Happy Hour (15%)
Twenty Good Years (10%)
Deal Or No Deal (6%)

Most Memorable TV Moment:

Couric’s debut as anchor of CBS Evening News and
Fox cancels O.J. Simpson’s If I Did It (tie, 7%)
Jim and Pam make out on The Office (4%)

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.