Summer Winners & Losers


Summer is officially over. 

OK, sure, the season may not technically be over and it may still be boiling hot in many parts of the country, but with the first new offering of the fall TV season hitting the air this weekend (The Orville, Seth MacFarlane's Star Trek homage, debuts September 10), we can conclusively say that summer TV is officially over. And what a summer it was.

There was no breakout debut that had everyone talking like 2015's Mr. Robot or last year's Stranger Things phenomenon, but we did have Game of Thrones to steer the national TV conversation—and make us wonder if incest might actually be best after all. (We're kidding, we promise. But that sex scene between Jon and Dany was hot.) Netflix seemed determined to drop a new season of TV ever. single. Friday morning. And Bachelor in Paradise...well, you know what happened there.

But before we say goodbye to summer for good, let's take one final trip down memory lane. We present the winners and losers of 2017 summer TV!

Game of Thrones


The HBO hit's penultimate season was without a doubt the indisputable show of the summer. As the show set its endgame into motion, giving us character unions and reunions we'd long dreamt of (Stark siblings back at Winterfell! Jon and Dany!), we couldn't look away, leading to Game of Thrones' most-watched season yet. 

Twin Peaks


When we heard that Showtime was taking us back to Twin Peaks for 18 new episodes, all co-written by visionaries David Lynch and Mark Frost, we were thrilled. And then it premiered. What was an exciting prospect in theory proved to be a meandering, confusing slog in execution. Lynch and Frost purposely kept fans from reuniting with the beloved Agent Dale Cooper until the final three hours, instead forcing star Kyle MacLachlan into the dual roles of Evil Cooper and the nearly catatonic Dougie instead. Not even Laura Dern, revealed to be Cooper's previously unseen secretary Diane, could save this unnecessary puzzle. And that's saying something.

Ne-Yo, Jennifer Lopez, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Derek Hough, World of Dance

Trae Patton/NBC)

NBC did the unthinkable this summer and launched a new reality TV hit in the shape of this stunning dance competition from executive producer and judge Jennifer Lopez, which set out to find the best dancers in the world. Not only did the show spotlight some truly awe-inspiring talent, but it also emerged as the number one new series of the summer.

Boy Band contestants


ABC's latest attempt at launching a singing competition didn't exactly take off like they'd hoped. While the series, which set out to the next great five-piece boy band, was enjoyable enough, it never managed to crack even three million total viewers. Here's hoping they have better luck with their upcoming American Idol revival.



We were not expecting to care so deeply about a comedic fictional take on the inception of the '80s oddity Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, but gosh darn it if this Jenji Kohan-produced Netflix series didn't completely charm us. Alison Brie and Marc Maron both deliver phenomenal work as the equally flawed Ruth Wilder and Sam Sylvia, but it's Betty Gilpin, as Ruth's BFF-turned-betrayed enemy-turned-begrudging co-star Debbie Egan, who steals the show. One of the summer's standout performances, by far. The streaming service took their sweet time renewing the series, but they eventually did, nearly two months after it debuted. And for that, we're grateful.

Friends From College


What do you get when you pair a truly stacked cast of fan faves, including Cobie Smulders, Nat Faxon, Fred Savage, Keegan Michael Key and Billy Eichner, with the writer-director of some of our recent comedy faves (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppets, Neighbors), Nicholas Stoller? Apparently, this highly unfunny exercise in seeing how many terrible characters you can fit in one Netflix series. Friends From College, about a toxic group of, well, friends from college, somehow earned a second season, but mostly felt like a missed opportunity.

Jessica Biel, The Sinner


With Mr. Robot sitting the summer out, USA turned to Jessica Biel's TV comeback to fill the void. And boy did she deliver. The limited series, centered on Biel's Cora Tannetti, mother and unexpected murder, and Bill Pullman's Harry Ambrose, the detective determined to find out why she did what she did, has managed to increase its ratings week-to-week, earning the designation of cable's number one new series for 2017. We fully expect to see Pullman back next year investigating another murder with an A-list actor at the center.

Gypsy, Naomi Watts


What Naomi Watts saw in this morose slog of a drama that managed to lure her to a series regular role we'll never understand. Centered on Watts' Jean Holloway, a psychotherapist with an unhealthy habit of inserting herself into her patients lives, Gypsy managed to be both ludicrous and dreadfully dull and was rightfully canceled by Netflix shortly after it debuted.

Claws, Cast


TNT's darkly comedic drama about five Florida manicurists who find themselves in over their heads in the traditionally male world of organized crime was unlike anything else on TV this summer. The seedy and steamy world of Manatee County, filled to the brim with Dixie Mafia, Russian mobsters and truly spectacular nail art, felt like a breath of fresh air, the propulsive storytelling managed to help the show do the unheard of (grow its ratings week after week), and Niecy Nash turned in a performance in the lead role of Desna Simms that was equally hilarious and heartbreaking, fierce and ferocious. Emmy voters, take note for next year.

The Defenders


Netflix's quartet of Marvel heroes finally met up this summer, and while there was plenty to like here—the opportunity to have Krysten Ritter's Jessica Jones back on our TV screens and Sigourney Weaver's work as the villainous Alexandra, for starters—but we're still not over how the show managed to completely botch its ending by immediately undoing what appeared to be a massive cliffhanger. Did we really think they'd kill off one of the main four? Of course not, but it would've been fun to contemplate whether they'd actually had the guts to go through with it for more than, like, one minute.

Issa Rae, Insecure


Issa Rae's exceptional HBO comedy was already one of TV's best in season one. But it didn't exactly earn many viewers out of the gate. Kudos to HBO for getting season two on the air on the same night as ratings juggernaut Game of Thrones, where the show's ratings managed to literally more than double. When's the last time another series has been able to say that? Go ahead. We'll wait.

Megyn Kelly, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly


Megyn Kelly's decision to leave her perch at Fox News for a newsmagazine at NBC, as well as some of her choices for interview subjects, sparked plenty of online chatter. Unfortunately, all that talk didn't really translate to ratings, with viewership declining week after week. We're hopeful she'll have better success when she takes over for the time slot previously occupied by Today's third hour.

The Bold Type


Freeform's latest offering, centered around three friends who work at fictional woman's magazine Scarlet and inspired by former Cosmopolitan EIC Joanna Coles, was one of the summer's most delightful surprises. What read as a Devil Wears Prada knockoff at first glance proved to be a celebration of friendship, sisterhood and the millennial spirit. Ratings may not have been huge, but this one was worth championing. Will the network just renewed the thing already?!

Still Star-Crossed


The rare Shondaland misfire, this sequel to Romeo & Juliet was a ratings failure right out of the gate. They can't all be winners!

Bachelor in Paradise

Paul Hebert/ABC

What a weird summer Bachelor in Paradise had. First, an allegation of sexual misconduct during an interaction between Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson stopped production in its tracks, forcing the season to rush things to still make it to air once the investigation was complete and production finally did resume. But then the show returned to some of its highest ratings ever. So, let's call this one a wash, huh?

Which show do you think won the summer? Sound off in the comments below!

(E!, USA and NBC are all part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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