Top 10 New TV Shows Of 2020 Part I: Dominic Patten On Some Lockdown, Some Politics, Some Genre Bursting & Some Pretty Deft Moves

SPOILER ALERT: This video contains details of some very good TV series that aired in 2020.

There is no other way to say it: 2020 has been a horrible year full of great television.

As you can see in the video above, the first part of Deadline’s Top 10 New TV Shows of the year has a different tone from the past. Going through my picks for number 10 to 6 this year became much more an appreciation than a celebration.

Now, you have to watch the video to see who made the cut in this first round. However, I will tell you that if you are looking for Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, look elsewhere.

Yes, I know it was a touchstone for millions in the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, as  my review of April 7 made clear – I hated the Red State porn and exploitation of the blockbuster docuseries from directors Rebecca Chaikin and Eric Goode.

Joe Exotic and crew aside, on this second to last day of our mutual annus horribilis, the fact is it was the small screen that provided a lifeline to the world for many of us in 2020. Cut off from each other in trying to contain a virus that is now spreading faster and deadlier than ever before, TV in all its variants and platforms was both confessor and comfort in what seems like a terrible dystopian drama we are all still trapped in.

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With the economy crashing around us due to the fallout from the virus and a distinct lack of national leadership from the now outgoing Donald Trump, offerings from streamers new and old, broadcast and cable provided a reprieve from the bleak news that continues to pile up.

As well, this year of a bitterly fought election saw the rules of game literally change as political fact and fiction merged and went virtual towards a deep-fake future. The Olympics was postponed as live sport disappeared for a while internationally and at home under Covid-19 lockdowns. Production on films and TV came to a halt in mid-March too. One of many results was that suddenly hours of programming was left empty. The equally suddenly, outliners and newcomers flooded in to fill the void.

All of which, as today’s list reveals, led to some ambitious faceplants, some blasts from the past and some wonderful surprises.

Keeping with past Top 10 traditions, there’ll be more to come on January 1 with Part 2 of our best New TV Shows of 2020. Before that, send me some suggestions you have if you feel like it. As always, you can reach me at or via my Twitter feed at @DeadlineDominic.

Stay safe on NYE and if you have to go out, maintain social distance and please wear a mask.


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