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Scripted television had a big year, from Scandal‘s endless twists and Pretty Little Liars’ surprising reveals to Breaking Bad‘s swan song and Game of Thrones‘ bloody Red Wedding. The Hollywood Reporter runs down 13 of the biggest scripted moments from 2013.
Breaking Bad, “Felina”
The emotional series finale of AMC’s critically-lauded, Emmy-winning drama saw the end of Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) journey, with 10.3 million viewers — its biggest audience ever — as witnesses on Sept. 29. It also prompted Breaking Bad to become the No. 1 ranked show on Twitter of the fall, according to Nielsen company SocialGuide (which measures a show’s Twitter impact), reaching an average 6.02 million users and an astonishing 51.4 million impressions on Twitter.
Game of Thrones, “The Rains of Castamere”
For Game of Thrones fans, the Red Wedding wasn’t unexpected (it’s in the books) — but it still caused an uproar from viewers unfamiliar with the George R.R. Martin novels — and left an indelible mark when the gruesome deaths of beloved characters Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) and Robb Stark (Richard Madden) played out on the small screen.
Glee, “The Quarterback”
Following Cory Monteith‘s death in July, Ryan Murphy and the writers had the difficult task of figuring out how best to honor the 31-year-old and his character, the lovable jock Finn Hudson. What they came up with was “The Quarterback,” a touching tribute to Monteith and his legacy. It was Lea Michele‘s tearful rendition of “Make You Feel My Love,” however, that madee the episode. (And, according to SocialGuide, Glee ranked No. 7 on its Twitter rankings for the fall, averaging 2.05 million unique users.)
Girls, “One Man’s Trash”
Lena Dunham’s HBO comedy has seen its share of criticism, and in a February episode with Patrick Wilson, that was no different. Dunham’s Hannah found herself at the handsome Joshua’s (Wilson) home to confess that she had been the one dumping her trash in his bins. Instead, the two embark on a brief, but significant affair. Airing midway through the season, the episode was met with mixed reactions from critics.
The Good Wife, “Hitting the Fan”
Co-creators Robert King and Michelle King have been on a tear in the current fifth-season run of The Good Wife, most easily demonstrated in the chaos of the game-changing (in every sense of the word) episode, “Hitting the Fan,” that served as a reboot of sorts for the critically-hailed drama. After Lockhart/Gardner partners Will Gardner (Josh Charles) and (Christine Baranski) cut ties with Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) and Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry) after learning of their intentions of breaking off — and taking clients with them — they set off on a tear (led mostly by Will) to do everything in their power to cripple their new competition. The episode revitalized an already consistent series.
Homeland, “The Star”
The Showtime drama went through a few hiccups in its third season, wrapping up a rollercoaster season in early December with the hanging death of Brody (Damien Lewis) and jumping one year in time as season four awaits. The finale drew the series’ highest viewership to its original telecast, averaging 2.4 million. With Brody’s story done, showrunner Alex Gansa told THR that Homeland “is really going to have to undergo a serious reboot and reinvention” in season four.
How I Met Your Mother, “Something New”
The May finale introduced the titular Mother (Cristin Milioti), a pivotal character that had been referenced since the start of the series but whose identity was never divulged. It was an eight-year mystery that was finally solved, but brought up new questions for the ninth and final season for Ted Mosby’s (Josh Radnor) future wife.
Pretty Little Liars, “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t”
ABC Family’s noir mystery often dominated the conversation Tuesday nights on social media (its summer premiere generated 1.3 million tweets), but it was the summer finale’s unmasking of Ezra (Ian Harding) — one thought to be a friend of Aria (Lucy Hale), Hanna (Ashley Benson), Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Emily (Shay Mitchell) — as a major “A” player, Rosewood’s omnipresent bully, that brought the show to even darker territory.
Scandal, “Nobody Likes Babies” (Or any other episode, really)
The fast-paced Shonda Rhimes political fixer series took it up another notch, with the 13th episode of season two that aired in February. The episode served as a reminder of just how chaotic Olivia Pope’s world could get and what the people in it were capable of. Among the dramatic interconnected arcs of the episode, which nabbed actor Dan Bucatinsky an Emmy, were a presidential assassination attempt, a scandal (shocker) involving a fixed election and the president quietly committing murder. Scandal, in part due to the cast’s live-tweeting every Thursday, also ranked No. 4 on SocialGuide’s top Twitter rankings of the fall.
Switched at Birth, “Uprising”
Switched at Birth made history when it became the first scripted TV program to have the bulk of an episode told in American Sign Language. Creator Lizzy Weiss said in January, “I’ve been wanting to do an all-ASL episode since the series began, and the storyline we’ve been focusing on this season gave us the perfect opportunity.” The episode focused on Daphne (Katie Leclerc) protest the closing of her school.
What were your favorite scripted TV moments or episodes from 2013?
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Robert De Niro