The American Film Institute on Wednesday revealed its Top 10 TV shows of the year in handing out its annual AFI Awards, with HBO’s Emmy-winning Succession part of an eclectic list that includes fellow Emmy winner Ted Lasso from Apple TV+, as well as Disney+’s WandaVision, FX’s Reservation Dogs and Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad from Amazon.
Also making the cut on the Top 10 TV list, which represents series “deemed culturally and artistically representative of this year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image” include HBO’s Emmy-winning limited series Mare of Easttown, the premium network’s The White Lotus and HBO Max’s Hacks; Netflix’s Maid; and Apple TV+’s Schmigadoon!
Also on AFI’s juried honors list this year are Special Awards, handed out to works of excellence that fall outside AFI’s selection criteria focused on American film and TV. Small-screen honors there went to Netflix’s uber-popular Squid Game and Hulu’s documentary Summer of Soul, while Focus Features’ Belfast was recognized on the film side.
Honorees will be feted January 7 during a private in-person AFI Awards reception at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, with the institute’s Movie Club program to showcase the official selections throughout the season.
HBO/HBO Max had a leading four titles in this year’s top 10, which did include all three Primetime Emmy-winning series in the mix. Among the relative newcomers to the awards conversation are the Sterlin Harjo- and Taika Waititi-created Reservation Dogs, which is coming off a win at the Gotham Awards, and Schmigadoon!, the six-episode comedy musical toplined by Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong. No broadcast TV shows made the cut this year, and as usual the list is heavy with first-year shows.
“AFI is honored to shine a proper light upon the most outstanding screen stories of 2021 and those who worked collaboratively to bring them to screens large and small,” Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO, said today in unveiling both the TV and film lists. “From soaring in spirit to dark and dangerous – from heartbreaking to hilarious – these are the stories that have united us in uncertain times and continue to drive culture forward.”
Here’s the full list of winners:
AFI Television Programs of the Year
MARE OF EASTTOWN
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
THE WHITE LOTUS
AFI Special Award
SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED)
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