CarterMatt Awards 2018: Magnum PI, Absentia, Yellowstone, Siren among Best New Show nominees

Welcome to the 2018 CarterMatt Awards! This is our seventh annual year-end series where we as a site celebrate some of the best that TV has to offer! Our staff collectively hand-picks nominees across a wide array of different fields, and then leaves it up to you to declare the winner. We’ve had a fun time over the years with these awards and creating some fun debate throughout the month of December. Hopefully, this time around is no exception!

Today we’re discussing Best New Show, a category that is more or less, self-explanatory. This recognizes a new show that premiered and delivered a great story with exceptional performances over the course of the past twelve months. The only criteria is that it has to be either a new concept or a separate spin-off that premiered in the United States at some point after January 1.

Voting rules – Vote however often you’d like! If you are having issues with voting, a handy guide can be found later on in this article.

When does voting close? – On Monday, December 31 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time. The results for this category will be announced shortly after.

The nominees

Absentia (Amazon) – American viewers got their first taste of the Stana Katic thriller earlier this year and we feel like what they got was nothing sort of spectacular. It was dark, it was atmospheric, and it was action-packed in a way that carried you directly from one episode to the next. This show is easy to become immersed in and the mystery of it all gripped us from the first few moments of the first episode.

All American (The CW) – The football drama stands out as a rarity on The CW — it’s not an established franchise, it doesn’t have comic-book characters, and there’s nothing supernatural about it. Instead, it’s just a wonderful human story about making it in a new place and the role that football can play on the lives of young people. It’s wonderfully-layered in terms of its story and its characters; we just hope more viewers discover it in 2019.

Homecoming (Amazon) – Knowing the work of executive producer Sam Esmail, it was a foregone conclusion that Homecoming would be visually stunning. What we did not expect was such a gripping, jam-packed narrative that had us binge watch this show in an entire day because we just couldn’t stop. Esmail and the team made the most of the shortened run time per episode to deliver a continuously-stunning vision. Julia Roberts delivers one of her greatest performances, but don’t sleep on Stephan James or anyone else in the cast.

Legacies (The CW) – Of course, following up on The Vampire Diaries or The Originals is no easy task. Yet, somehow Legacies found a way to do that with a twisted, fun narrative and characters who do harken back to the early days of The Vampire Diaries. It’s found its way to work as its own beast in a rather crowded supernatural world, and it’s a fun show to watch just from the vantage point of seeing what the writers have cooked up next.

Lodge 49 (AMC) – It was certainly one of the more unique shows of 2019 — a trippy, imaginative character study of a man named Dud who went on a journey to find himself at a small lodge in Long Beach. It’s a show about the journey more so than the ending, and one that does constantly find ways to endear itself to you throughout with a great cast and a breezy style that you don’t see on many other shows these days.

Magnum PI (CBS) – Putting a fresh coat of paint on an iconic series is no easy task, but CBS’ new take on the classic here was absolutely delightful in between the action sequences, the sense of humor, and the performances from the energetic cast — especially Jay Hernandez and Perdita Weeks as Magnum and Higgins. It’s carried on the Peter Lenkov tradition well of updating a classic while also having fun and paying homage to the original.

Siren (Freeform) – We’re entering the era of mermaids as a pop-culture institution and there’s no better example of all the unexplored territory here than Siren. This show took a dark vantage point to mermaid mythology and it succeeded exceptionally — what we’ve had a chance to watch here is a fun, gripping story about mermaid coming to land to help find her captured sister after sirens were forced to come to the surface because of the over fishing of the oceans that depleted their food source. There’s a great mystery here and beyond that, a deeper message about the environment and preserving the oceans.

Yellowstone (Paramount Network) – Finally, let’s turn to one of the summer’s biggest hits — a gripping story set in a beautiful part of the country about family dynamics, land ownership, politics, and ultimately the namesake region itself. It feels in some ways like a modern-day western meets Dallas, and with Kevin Costner at the lead, there was a fantastic entry point here for many long-time fans of his work to come on board and be very much impressed.

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