With the amount of new streaming services coming into the room in the past 12 months, it was already a turning point for the TV industry. But then Covid-19 dealt a completely unexpected blow to Hollywood. With people stuck at home, television proved to be a major lifeline during the pandemic, especially the shows – like many of this year’s TV Hot List winners – which either provided a much-needed escape (like Disney + ‘s The Mandalorian, dated TV Creator of the Year) Jon Favreau) or shed light on many of the same hot button topics that preoccupied the country (like Watchmen, our Show of the Year, and Lovecraft Country from Game Changer of the Year Misha Green). Thanks to the likes of TLC President Howard Lee, Adweek’s TV Manager of the Year, linear television still remains tough despite increasing competition. From Watchmen to Schitt’s Creek to Stephen Colbert, this year’s TV Hot List honors the biggest and liveliest shows, networks and people of 2020.
TV manager of the year
Courtesy of TLC
When families across the country came to a halt due to Covid-19, which put them in quarantine, TLC President and General Manager Howard Lee knew there would be many stories to tell. So he started brainstorming. … Click here to view Lee’s full profile as TV Manager of the Year.
TV Creator of the Year
Before Disney + debuted last November, Disney executives needed a formidable original series to convince even more consumers – not just kids and families who likely already subscribed – that their new streamer was a must-have. With Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian, they got exactly what they wanted. … Click here to view Favreau’s full profile as TV Creator of the Year.
Game Changer of the Year
Misha Green finds new ways to scare viewers with each episode of Lovecraft Country – from haunted houses to demonic twins – but the creator herself isn’t so easily scared. “I’m very rarely scared,” says Green. Well, apart from one thing, “I think stasis scares me: the idea of not growing, not challenging yourself, not being surprised.” … Click here to view Green’s full Game Changer of the Year profile.
Show of the year
Courtesy of HBO
Damon Lindelof’s take on the iconic DC comic was a formidable highlight when it came out in late 2019, but this year’s events – from the pandemic to the racial justice protests this summer – showed that the series was shockingly forward-looking too. It was about systemic racism, police brutality and white supremacy – and the main characters even wear masks. Watchmen averaged more than 8 million viewers, making it the second most popular new series of premium cables in 2019. After topping all of the shows that year with a whopping 26 Emmy nominations, Watchmen also had the most wins: 11, too for outstanding limited series. – Jason Lynch
The Mandalorian (Disney +)
Disney’s secret weapon in the Streaming Wars was an unlikely couple: a lone warrior and a lost child (known to fans as “Baby Yoda”). The Mandalorian, by far the most anticipated original when Disney + launched last November, exceeded Disney’s high expectations and attracted 10 million signups for the service by day two. The series also received 15 Emmy nominations, including for Outstanding Drama Series, and won seven. Now the second season will come out on October 30th, just like many families are considering whether to extend their annual subscription. To quote the main character: “This is the way” – so Disney + can count on continued growth in its second year. – Kelsey Sutton