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One of the handy elements baked into the rules of the Power Rankings! is that series are eligible for this list if their last episode aired within one year of publication. This was envisioned as a reflection of viewing habits in the Peak TV era — when everyone is behind on watching series, and there's no distinct pattern to the discovery of new shows, other than randomness — but it also allows for some muscle flexing on the part of certain series.
Translation: A really good series you've moved on from ages ago can still roost in the upper echelons of this list and kick a lot of ass. Greatness is always timely. (For example, the last Game of Thrones episode was Aug. 27, 2017, so it narrowly missed yet another opportunity to put a choke hold on some of these cocky newcomers.
A year window will also, naturally, allow for some fluctuations in mood. Think about it. There probably weren't many critics more enamored with The A Word than I was (it finished second, on a list of 46 series, on my Best of 2017 wrap-up for The Hollywood Reporter), but the higher-ranked series on the list below are just newer, more fresh in the mind. The mind is mutable, as it should be.
And yes, I could have included shows that are comedies with heavily dramatic elements, as I've done in the past, but we're coming up on the fall and a whole wave of new dramas, so I wanted to create a wall of full-on dramas that they'll have to knock down in order to make this list (or force its expansion).
OK, let's do it. As always, a reminder that it's impossible to watch every show every week, and there will also be some that I just haven't gotten around to watching (Sharp Objects, The Sinner, Humans, Orange Is the New Black, etc.). Peak TV, people! There are two sets of numbers below. The one on the left is the current rank, the one on the right is its previous ranking (the proliferation of the Power Rankings! and the crossing over of comedies can muddle the latter number). All hail the series that can hold the No. 1 ranking the longest.