As we first teased last week, we are going to be kicking off a new series now that is really all about what are the best TV products of 2012 from all perspectives: whether it be us at Cartermatt.com or you as readers. Check back every day for a new category to vote on, and the full results of your voting will be revealed in grand fashion on Friday, December 21. (We’ll be sharing our picks in each category a week later.)
So today, we are presenting you with the nominees for our first category: Best Late-Night Escape. Everyone has that show after 11:00 p.m. (unless you are the king of early birds) that you tune into right before bed, whether it is something that makes you laugh or is perfectly in tune with your interests. Although this is a time of day dominated by late-night talk shows, we wanted to open it up to any program that airs regularly after the primetime window … and this year, one scripted series also managed to make the cut into our top 7.
“Childrens Hospital” (Adult Swim) – A weird, wacky, but surprisingly delightful web series adaptation brought to us courtesy of Rob Corddry. This is a fine example of how the internet is now shaping the future of TV development; but intrinsically more important than its own innovation, it is also funny.
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (Comedy Central) – It’s a predictable choice given its status as a perennial Emmy winner, but you cannot still deny the impact that Stewart has on mixing politics and humor into a delightful combination.
“The Colbert Report” (Comedy Central) – Honestly, we thought we would be tired of Stephen Colbert’s character by now. However, he has managed to not only survive a Democratic president, but found new ways to push the envelope and make his guests very, very uncomfortable.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” – When you considering that Kimmel’s hero is David Letterman, it only makes some sense that the series is the closet to Dave’s old days hosting “Late Night” on NBC. There are a ton of sketches, random comedy, and Kimmel’s show just feels completely professional and at ease.
“Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” – You get the sense at times that being a comedian does not come naturally to Jimmy, and he has to work a little bit harder for it. No show takes more risks than Fallon’s, and with that this year came great reward, shows around football and the election, and just an overall good time.
“Saturday Night Live” – It’s been an uneven season for “SNL,” but when the show is on, it is on. Some of Kristen Wiig’s final shows last spring were brilliant, and the clear standouts this fall have been the shows taken on by both Bruno Mars and Louis C.K. over the past month and a half. “Sad Mouse” alone makes the show worthy.
“Watch What Happens Live!” – There is no better talk show on TV right now that better represents it network’s brand than what Andy Cohen has here. It’s fun, it’s relevant, and most importantly it’s far more interactive than any other show on this list. Andy’s not a comedian at all, but he has created a machine here that is equally entertaining.
Be sure to vote for your pick below! If you want to check out some more of our Best of 2012 series, you can do so over here.