Best of 2014: ‘Halt and Catch Fire,’ ‘Outlander,’ ‘Gotham,’ ‘The Quest’ vie for Best New Show

While 2014 may not have been a great year for some genres of TV (there may be only one or two comedies that debuted within the past 12 months we enjoy), it was an incredible one for drama. Not only that, but even one reality show pushed the envelope and tried something a little different.

This brings us to our third CarterMatt Awards category in our Best of 2014 series: Best New Show. (You can see the other categories for voting at the bottom of this article.) The only real criteria that we used in picking these categories was that the show had to air its series premiere at some point in 2014. Nothing else really matters.

You can cast one vote per device at the bottom of this article; but first, the nominees!

Gotham (Fox) – A series that may not have been necessarily perfect this fall, but delivered the style and flair of the Batman universe (pre-Batman) than we thought that it would. Add to that excellent performances, in particular by Donal Logue and Robin Lord Taylor, and you have a series that has momentum and could be a force moving into the winter.

Halt and Catch Fire (AMC) – A show that was so excellent, AMC basically had no choice but to renew it despite its low ratings. Lee Pace shined as a man enthralled with the early days of computers, and his exploits ranged from the surprising to the magnificent. The show may not be a literal successor to “Mad Men,” but it feels like one in spirit (even if Don Draper and company are still on the air).

Outlander (Starz) – The second time that we have “Outlander” nominated this year, but it is deserving in both. This show had a near-impossible challenge in two different ways: Convincing book readers to give this show a shot, and also to convince people to watch Starz. It has paid of both, and created a stellar landscape with gripping performances in just eight episodes.

The Quest (ABC) – Even if we have seen the latest of the network’s short-lived competition show, it was one of the coolest experiments we’ve seen in the drama. Real people were thrown into a fantasy world, and forced to complete challenges on the road to becoming the One True Hero. The show was pure joy as a fan of all things fantasy, and it brought us back to the early days of reality TV where networks were willing to give new ideas a real try.

True Detective (HBO) – It is probably the show that anyone would assume would be a part of this list, but we’re not just nominating it as lip-service to all who adore what Nic Pizzolatto did here. This is one of the strongest achievements from HBO in the past several years; not only was it enthralling to watch, but the story was the sort of thing you would discuss with your friends and family throughout the week.

The results for each category are going to be revealed two weeks after their nominations were posted; therefore, expect to learn the winner here on Wednesday, December 17.

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