The 18 Biggest TV Moments of 2018, From Roseanne to This Is Us and Beyond

Endings, beginnings, deaths, debuts and everything else in between—these are the standout moments of 2018 TV

By Chris Harnick Dec 24, 2018 11:00 AMTags
Jim Parsons, Milo Ventimiglia, Emmy Rossum, Indya Moore, Roseanne Barr

Life comes at you fast, especially in the world of television.

It's been a big year for the boob tube, with the return of some beloved comedies, the end of many fan-favorites, surprise announcements and...the Roseanne of it all. Yes, it's been a big year in TV. So big in fact we're pretty sure you forgot some of these things happened within the calendar year. Like...Queer Eye's debut on Netflix. Yep, 2018. Or how about the return, cancellation and spinoff of Roseanne? Yep, all took place between March-June 2018, The Conners debuted a few months later in October 2018.

There's more TV than ever these days, and we're looking back at the biggest moments of all. With 2019 on the horizon, it's time to look back on the year that was in TV.

The 18 Biggest TV Moments of 2018
It's Sandra's World

We can't just pick one moment from Killing Eve as the biggest, because Killing Eve was a moment itself. Sandra Oh was everything as Eve Polastri, an MI5 officer whose main source of action usually involved getting breakfast. Everything changed when she began tracking down an assassin (Jodie Comer), and the ride, well, it became wild. Oh closed out the year being named one of the 2019 Golden Globes hosts.

Back Standing

ABC's cancellation of Last Man Standing puzzled many, including star Tim Allen. But the show wasn't off for long, it was revived by Fox and returned to...great ratings. The sitcom has continued being a strong player for the network on Friday nights. However, its return put the kibosh on a Home Improvement revival.

The Winner Is...

Bobby Bones took home the top prize during season 27 of Dancing With the Stars...despite being the worst-scoring dancer left in the competition. Bones, a radio personality, got by week after week on his popularity, leading many to call for some changes in the long-running series.

The End

So many shows called it quits this year, including critical darling The Americans (but at least they're getting lots of awards!), fan-favorite Scandal (where Olivia Pope maybe became president?!) and seemingly the pop culture phenomenon that is The X-Files (Fox's is mum on that future, if there is any, but series star Gillian Anderson has turned in her badge and flashlight).

She's Back!

"I'm Constance Langdon, and this is my f--king house." Jessica Lange returned to American Horror Story for Apocalypse, where she reprised her role AHS: Murder House role for two episodes. This was Lange's first time back on AHS since season four, American Horror Story: Freak Show, and what a return it was. Lange turned in one heck of a performance, sure to grab the Emmys attention once again. From the f-bombs to the pill-popping and drink-swilling dance number, Lange was a force to be reckoned with.

They're Alive, Damn It!

The Good Place knocked us for a loop with its first season reveal and upped the ante at the end of the second season in February 2018 when it...(spoiler alert!) brought dead characters Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Jason (Manny Jacinto), Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Tahani (Jameela Jamil) back to life on Earth. And the twists didn't stop there in season three. At the risk of spoiling too much, we'll just say this: it's forking bananas.

Going Out With a Bang

The biggest (pun!) show on TV is calling it quits. Viewers knew The Big Bang Theory stars were only signed through season 12, but CBS made it clear they wanted to keep the show going, it is the biggest show on TV after all, but the network and producer Warner Bros. shocked everyone when they announced the current season would be the final one. Seems Jim Parsons wanted to move on to new projects and made the call not to continue with the series.

RIP Jack Pearson

We knew Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) was dead on This Is Us, but in 2018—yes, even though it felt like three years ago, we learned this in 2018—viewers finally learned what happened to the man, the myth, the legend. Jack survived the house fire, but later suffered a heart attack after too much smoke inhalation. He saved his family—and Kate's dog—and it cost him his life. The episode also featured some stellar acting work from Mandy Moore, and yes, we're still mad she didn't get nominated for an Emmy for it.

Death Becomes Modern Family

Modern Family producers made headlines when they announced a significant character would be meeting the grim reaper. It was DeDe Pritchett, Shelley Long's character, the mom to Claire (Julie Bowen) and Mitchel (Jesse Tyler Ferguson). Yes, the character is significant to the characters…but to the viewers? Not so much.

The Boat Trip From Hell

The Real Housewives of New York City is the gift that keeps on giving. Viewers learned about the boat trip from hell months before we actually saw it. Once we saw it? It delivered, the best it could given the limited footage due to the dangerous conditions, and the aftermath of the trip was even better. The ladies were open about their diarrhea issues, Luann de Lesseps even said she pooped her bed!

Teddy Perkins Lives

Oh, Teddy Perkins. First, there was the glorious episode of Atlanta that featured series creator and star Donald Glover playing the peculiar man. Then Teddy Perkins showed up at the Emmys and everyone seemed to love it, including us. Teddy Perkins, the character and the episode, forever.

Fiona's Farewell

Emmy Rossum made waves when she announced Shameless season nine would be her last. Rossum penned an emotional note to her fans about why she was ready to spread her wings and leave Fiona Gallagher behind. The door is still open for her to return to the Showtime series.

Andrew Lincoln's Walking Dead Exit & Return

The rumors swirled for some time about Andrew Lincoln's exit from The Walking Dead. It was confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con and viewers said goodbye to Rick Grimes in the fifth episode of season nine…and later that night learned he'd return in three TV movies set in The Walking Dead universe, continuing the story of the character.

The Female Doctor Is In

It took 55 years, but we finally got our first female Doctor. Jodie Whittaker became the first woman to play the title character in Doctor Who in 2018's season 11 (since the show restarted in 2005).

Pose Makes History

Ryan Murphy and FX made history when Pose debuted. The acclaimed show features the largest transgender series regular cast. Not only is the show historical, but it's actually good and one of the best show of 2018.

Queer Eye Debuts

The new Queer Eye only came out in early 2018. Can you believe? We've had a full year of the new Fab Five enriching our lives, posting thirst trap photos and making us cry in every episode we watched over and over on Netflix.

The Bachelor Breakup

The end of Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s season of The Bachelor will live on in infamy. After picking Becca Kufrin, Arie decided he actually wanted to be with Lauren Burnham, the runner-up, so he brought cameras and dumped Becca for all the world to see. It was 40 minutes of truly uncomfortable TV. He and Lauren are not expecting a baby and engaged and Becca became star of The Bachelorette got engaged too.

The Rise and Fall of Roseanne

Roseanne returned to ABC in a huge way—with record-breaking ratings. The revived beloved sitcom, starring Roseanne Barr, continued to be a strong ratings player and ABC quickly ordered a second season of the revival. The show weathered many dust-ups, but Barr shooting off a racist tweet about former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett was the straw that broke the camel's back and ABC canceled the show. However, the saga of Roseanne wasn't over yet. ABC reached a deal with the controversial comedian for a spinoff—that she would not have financial or creative ties to. The Conners, starring everyone but Barr, returned in Roseanne's timeslot in October 2018 to decent numbers

Which TV moment do you think was the biggest? Tell us on Twitter.

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