'TV's Top 5': The Highs ('The Flight Attendant') and Lows (COVID) of 2020

the flight attendant

Welcome to the final episode of 2020 and the 100th overall of TV's Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter's TV podcast!

Every week, hosts Lesley Goldberg (West Coast TV editor) and Daniel Fienberg (chief TV critic) break down the latest TV news with context from the business and critical sides, welcome showrunners, executive and other guests and provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).

To celebrate the end of 2020 and our landmark 100th episode, strap in for a supersized episode featuring not one, not two but three very special guests as we take a look back at the highs and (many) lows that impacted the TV industry in the dumpster fire of a year that we can't wait to end.

Here's what's on the agenda for our Year in Review episode:

1. The Top 5 TV Narratives of 2020.
In a year unlike any other, the TV industry faced tremendous change, most of it expedited by the pandemic. So it's a given that the first narrative of the year is COVID-19, which impacted everything from shows that get made, how they look, the people in charge of making them and for which platform. Listen as we do our best to tie everything together. #ItsAllConnected

2. The Predicament of the Police Procedural.
Following a summer of protests following the murder of George Floyd, cop shows have come under fire for their portrayal of the hero cop narrative. We're joined in this episode by The Rookie creator and showrunner Alexi Hawley to discuss how his ABC cop drama is adapting and what other police procedurals can do to better reflect the actual world we're living in.

3. Farewell, 2020.
So many shows came and went in 2020, some of them by design (Schitt's Creek, The Good Place, Brockmire) and others as a result of the pandemic as "unrenewals" became part of our industry's vernacular. Meanwhile, Quibi became the biggest failure of the year (in the TV world, that is) after the shortform service lasted only six months.

4. Showrunner Spotlight.
As we did last year with Ramy Youssef, we're turning this segment into an interview with one of the breakout multihyphenates of the year. Kaley Cuoco joins the show for a wide-ranging interview about shedding her girl next door image from her time on The Big Bang Theory and fully step into a new role as an exec producer. With HBO Max breakout The Flight Attendant generating awards buzz, and raunchy animated comedy Harley Quinn, Cuoco's had a pretty terrific year. The actress/exec producer opens up about aspirations of a Berlanti-esque number of shows on the air, plans for a second season of thriller The Flight Attendant and why she no longer wants to do a Big Bang Theory spinoff.

5. Critic's Corner.
Surprise, it's a Firewall & Iceberg reunion! Rolling Stone chief TV critic Alan Sepinwall joins Dan to break down the best TV of 2020, the breakout performances and new showrunners to watch as well as the shows that got us through an otherwise forgettable year.

Hear it all now on TV's Top 5. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. (Reviews welcome!) You can also email us with any topics or questions you'd like to be addressed in future episodes at TVsTop5@THR.com.

Programming note: TV's Top 5 will be off next week for Christmas. Our next episode will be Jan. 1, when we'll be joined by the showrunning trio behind Netflix's Cobra Kai. Until then, thank you for your continued support of the podcast. Stay safe, have a wonderful holiday season and happy new year and be back in 2021.