Ten Memorable Moments from the Biggest Television Hits of 2016

2016 Television 560x280As is our annual tradition, we will spend the next few days celebrating the best moments of the past year. And today, we are talking about television’s biggest scripted shows and the moments that captivated us all year-long, on cable, steaming or network television.

By the time season three of AMC’s hit show, The Walking Dead, aired, it had become a record-breaking cable television hit. As the show moved forward each year, the ratings continued to climb and by the end of 2015, the show was averaging 13 million viewers per episode and was the most watched show in cable television history.

On HBO, the same thing is happening with their latest hit, Game of Thrones. It has climbed from just over 2 million viewers per episode to an average of almost 8 million making it the most watched show in HBO history. On Fox, Empire is also breaking records for scripted television shows. It seems that the trend for most networks is going upward as more people continue to watch their favorite shows each season.

And let’s not forget about the newest television phenomena, brand-new streaming original series on services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Shows like Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things are turning television viewers into online streamers.

Let’s take a look at the most memorable moments from television’s biggest hits of 2016.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

The British Prime Minister and a Pig

  • Show: Black Mirror
  • Airs On: Netflix
  • Episode Details: The first episode of the hit Netflix series, Black Mirror, gave viewers a chance to witness one of the most vile human acts on television, ever. The episode featured the British Prime Minister being blackmailed by a mysterious person who had kidnapped a princess. They used that leverage to convince him to have sex with a pig on live television for everyone to see. Gross!

Riggs and Murtaugh Are Back!

  • Show: Lethal Weapon
  • Airs On: Fox
  • Episode Details: The rumor mills will continue to feature Lethal Weapon 5 as long as Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are alive, but we know it will never happen. In the mean time, we were treated with a new hit show on Fox this year when Lethal Weapon debuted in September. Damon Wayans has the ability to own an audience but his co-star, Clayne Crawford, is more charismatic than expected and it has created an instant hit on Fox.

David S. Pumpkins, Surprise Hit

  • Show: Saturday Night Live
  • Airs On: NBC
  • Episode Details: Eariler this year, Tom Hanks hosted Saturday Night Live for the ninth time moving him into fifth place on the all time guest hosts list. As one of the best hosts in SNL history, he once again delivered an epic performance and even left us with a brand new Halloween costume that went viral and took over social media shortly after the segment aired. All we can say is that David S. Pumpkins is all about the pumpkins. Any questions?

NBC’s Newest Hit Drops a Bomb in Premiere

  • Show: This Is Us
  • Airs On: NBC
  • Episode Details: Isn’t that Mandy Moore and the guy from Heroes? NBC’s newest hit television show sent us down an emotional highway during the shows first episode when Mandy Moore, pregnant with triplets, lost one of the children in child-birth. While we watched and recovered from the shocker, another bomb was dropped on us when it was revealed that they were the parents of the other three people on the show and that it was actually not on the same timeline, rather it was in the late 70’s. It was not expected at all.

Hope – Dre’s Obama Speech

  • Show: Blackish
  • Airs On: ABC
  • Episode Details: 2016 was a year filled with mounting racial tension and conflict over police brutality against black citizens. Blackish was uniquely positioned to tackle the topic and did so with a standout episode titled “Hope” where the entire Johnson family gathered in the living room to discuss current events. Dre Johnson’s Obama speech was particularly impactful.

Joyce Byers and The X-Mas Lights

  • Show: Stranger Things
  • Airs On: Netflix
  • Episode Details: Over the past few years, people have grown obsessed with everything retro and vintage. So when Netflix released its latest original new series, Stranger Things, it was amazingly old school and brilliantly written in honor of the best of the 80’s, the horror movie genre. During an episode in the first season, Joyce Byers, played by Winona Ryder, discovers that she can communicate with her missing son, who is stuck in a parallel dimension, by electrical impulses. So she uses Christmas lights to talk to him and it became one of the best moments in the hit shows premier season.

Hold the Door!

  • Show: Game of Thrones
  • Airs On: HBO
  • Episode Details: Thanks to some brilliant writing and a consultation with the author of the book series of Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, we were given a revelation about something that we have talked about since season 2, why does Hodor simply say, “Hodor.” It was both a shocking and emotional moment that caught us off guard while leaving us with a sense of relief for a tortured soul and dedicated friend of the Starks.

Poussey’s Final Moments

  • Show: Orange is the New Black
  • Airs On: Netflix
  • Episode Details: Normally, prison shows are violent, dark, and provide very little comedy. But Orange is the New Black has given us new look at prison life. Yes, it is a bad place to live but it can also be a funny idea for a television show and they nailed it. But as the show has grown in popularity, the writing has gotten darker and more amazing each year. It even left us in tears as one of the shows most beloved characters, Poussey, died in a freak accident following a prison protest in the cafeteria.

Burn, Baby! Burn!

  • Show: Game of Thrones
  • Airs On: HBO
  • Episode Details: The Queen of the Seven Kingdoms is now Cersei, who was formerly just the mother of the King, her son Tommen. But just as we were about to witness the trial of Cersei at the Sept of Baelor, we find out that she is not there and Queen Margaery discovers that something is about to happen and everyone needs to leave, now. But the doors are sealed and the next thing we see is Cersei, watching from far away, sipping wine and watching as the Sept of Baelor burns to the ground killing almost all of her enemies in one big explosion.

But Whose Brains Did Negan Smash In?

  • Show: The Walking Dead
  • Airs On: AMC
  • Episode Details: As the final moments of The Walking Dead’s sixth season approached, we were introduced to a brand new villain that just might be one of the best in cable television history, Negan. Negan is best known for carrying around a baseball bat wrapped in barbwire for smashing the skulls of those that disrespect him and his crew, The Saviors. When the final seconds of the finale approached, there was much anxiety as we sat in front of our televisions just waiting to see who Negan decided was going to get Lucille’s wrath and have their head smashed in. But the show left us angry by showing the final death from the perspective of the person getting the bat and left us wondering all summer long.