Steve Eighinger

'Blue Bloods' pace 10th annual Stevie awards

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 2, 2020 12:01 am

Today I offer the 10th annual "Stevie" awards, my own personal picks for the top shows and performers on television.

Admittedly, while the Stevies may not carry the same weight as the Emmys or Golden Globes, I feel I am highly qualified to pass the following judgments. I watch a lot of TV. Just ask my wife.

Here are my picks for the top 10 programs of 2019, plus some individual honors:

Top programs

1. "Blue Bloods": Week in and week out, the down-to-earth performances of Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg and Will Estes continue to carry this oh-so-effective police/family drama that is now in its 10th season.

2. "The Walking Dead": Arguably, the most improved show on television, following back-to-back seasons in which it had lost its direction. The addition of the Whisperers and evil leader Alpha (Samantha Morton) have returned the zombie thriller to must-see TV status.

3. "NCIS": Week after week, season after season, the Mark Harmon-led whodunnit provides quality viewing. Harmon's portrayal of team leader Leroy Jethro Gibbs is classic, much like his (in)famous stare.

4. "Young Sheldon": A strong supporting cast, anchored by underrated newcomer Montana Jordan and veteran Annie Potts ("Designing Women"), provide a perfect complement to young star Iain Armitage.

5. "The Blacklist": The James Spader-led thriller may never approach its early days (No. 1 on this list in 2014), but Spader's Red Reddington character remains one of the most intriguing in modern viewing history.

6. "Fear the Walking Dead": Arguably, the second-most improved show on television this season. Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia Clark) is a major star in the making. She's also become series' premier zombie killer.

7. "Better Call Saul": Bob Odenkirk's portrayal of the quirky Jimmy McGill is deserving of some sort of major recognition.

8. "NCIS: New Orleans": Scott Bakula has grown into a legitimate star during his seven-year role as Dwayne "King" Pride.

9. "NCIS: Los Angeles": My only suggestion to improve this action- drama is for more air time for longtime actress Linda Hunt (Henrietta Lang).

10. "Madam Secretary": The series finale on Dec. 8 ended a six-year run for this magnificent show. It was time, however, since a changing cast -- and thinning storylines -- began to affect the fabric of this well-conceived political drama.

Individual honors

Top actor: Mark Harmon (Leroy Jethro Gibbs), "NCIS."

Top actress: Tea Leoni (Elizabeth McCord), "Madam Secretary."

Top supporting actor: Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), "The Walking Dead."

Top supporting actress: Danai Gunra (Michonne), "The Walking Dead."

Rising star: Iain Armitage (Sheldon Cooper), "Young Sheldon."

Past "Stevie" winners

2018: "Blue Bloods" (CBS)

2017: "House of Cards" (Netflix)

2016: "House of Cards" (Netflix)

2015: "The Walking Dead" (AMC)

2014: "The Blacklist" (NBC)

2013: "The Walking Dead" (AMC)

2012: "Suits" (USA)

2011: "American Idol" (Fox)

2010: "American Idol" (Fox)