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Best of 2016

11 TV Shows That Shouldn't Have Ended in 2016

It aches to imagine heading into 2017 without these 11 faves

1 / 11

'Melissa Harris-Perry'

List is not ranked.

Begin date: Feb. 17, 2012
Finale date: Feb. 7, 2016
Why’ll we miss it: MHP, also known as #nerdland, was a space for diverse discussion on a variety of issues affecting the American people. MHP welcomed guests from multiple disciplines and tackled many issues that other shows chose to ignore, especially those affecting the African-American community. Saturday and Sunday mornings will never be the same. –Malikah Shabazz

2 / 11

'The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore'

Finale date: Aug. 18, 2016
Seasons: 2
Episodes: 259
Why we'll miss it: The former Daily Show Senior Black Correspondent's program—in Colbert's former time slot, dead-serious about racism and calling America on its shit—getting canceled months before the election was and still is a legitimate injustice. Not only for Wilmore's perspective, and the panel discussions with vital guests, but for its staff. Robin Thede was the first black woman to be a head writer on late-night TV. The bench was stacked with voices whose work you've been encountering and/or will be reading for ages.

The Nightly Show getting canceled before the election was brutal; not having The Nightly Show during whatever comes next is triply so. –Zach Dionne

3 / 11

'American Idol'

Finale date: April 7, 2016
Seasons: 15
Episodes: 555
Why we’ll miss it: AI single-handedly changed the way we viewed singing competition shows and reality television as well. The original judge trifecta—Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson—helped fulfill the dreams of then-unknown singers who were just like you and me. The only difference is they were transformed into the Kelly Clarksons, Carrie Underwoods, Jennifer Hudsons and Daughtrys of the world. It also gave us unforgettable moments like William Hung's "She Bangs" audition in Season 3 and Prince making a surprise appearance in Season 5. We're sad to see AI go, but it will remain a landmark in pop culture history. –Bianca Gracie

4 / 11

'Penny Dreadful'

Finale date: June 19, 2016
Seasons: 3
Episodes: 27
Why we'll miss it: We didn't know it was over till it was over! We got the nasty "that was the season finale—oh, that was the series finale too, bye!" treatment. And we were in no way ready to lose this high-quality of a horror series. From (and for) the minds of classic horror character nerds, Penny Dreadful once drew a perfect comparison, from Electric Literature, to the way comic writer Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta) "created a kind of Victorian Avengers in The League of Extraordinary Gentleman." We finally had the TV version of something like that, and now, poof. –Zach Dionne

5 / 11


Finale date: April 10, 2016
Seasons: 2
Episodes: 16
Why we'll miss it: Well, because after it made our Best New Shows list last year for being "realer than almost any onscreen portrayal of marriage, midlife ambition and/or adult friendship," it only got more potent in Season 2. Fortunately the Duplass Bros. have tons of irons in the fire always, but losing these characters so fantastically portrayed by Melanie Lynskey and Amanda Peet is a crazy-bad loss. –Zach Dionne

6 / 11

'Downton Abbey'

Finale date: March 6, 2016 (U.S.)
Seasons: 6
Episodes: 52
Why we’ll miss it: One-liners from the Dowager Countess (“Principles are like prayers: noble of course, but awkward at a party.”) and Mrs. Patmore (“Sympathy butters no parsnips”), Mary’s feisty attitude and excellent hats, and gorgeous cinematography along with the utterly absorbing stories. The characters, the moments, the tears, plus the historical and social implications all combined to create TV perfection. The last season was the weakest, so perhaps it was time, but it’s still very much missed. Reunion special, please! –Laurie Ulster

7 / 11


Finale date: May 16
Seasons: 8
Episodes: 173
Why we’ll miss it: Sharp, witty, and charming—there will never be another duo like Castle and Beckett. –Tina Xu

8 / 11


Finale date: March 6, 2016
Seasons: 15
Episodes: 282
Why we'll miss it: WHO—WILL—BUST—THE—MYTHS?? –Zach Dionne

9 / 11


Finale date: July 13, 2016
Seasons: 4
Episodes: 49
Why we'll miss it: While it sometimes felt like WTF Podcast fanfic, ultimately the army of comedy celebs that appeared, and Maron's lovable-and-insufferable persona, made the IFC show a great way to spend a half-hour. Its ability to look at relationships, addiction and being an intellectual artist/joke-teller entering his 50s was getting more and more impressive until the very end. –Zach Dionne

10 / 11

'The Muppets'

Finale date: March 1, 2016
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 16
Why we'll miss it: It was fun to see the lovable characters we grew up with become even quirkier and slightly cynical as they tackled adulthood. And their tongue-in-cheek take on mockumentary comedies like The Office and Parks and Recreation made for endless laughs. –Bianca Gracie

11 / 11


Finale date: Sept. 7, 2016
Seasons: 3
Episodes: 32
Why we’ll miss it: Because we never got to find out what happened in the end, and the fictional country of Abuddin was left in political limbo. For those who didn’t watch, the show was about the son of a Middle Eastern dictator who’d built a life and family in America, but when he returned home for a family wedding, he suddenly got thrown back into the life he’d been trying to escape. Intriguing, right? By the end, he turned into the tyrant (Tyrant!) he never wanted to be. We want to know what happens next! –Laurie Ulster

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Photo of the day

Apr 2: Basket-Bros

Currently on his 'The Man of the Woods' tourJustin Timberlake brought out a special guest for his Cleveland show. LeBron James surprised concertgoers by showing up alongside Timberlake and taking a shot on stage. On Friday, the singer was also seen cheering on LeBron during the Pelicans and Cavaliers game. James gave a shout out on Instagram, "My brother @justintimberlake showed up and showed out last night at the Q! One of the greatest to ever do it in my lifetime and still going strong."