"The Big Bang Theory"
A version of this story first appeared in the June 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The rather lackluster 2012-13 television season is finally at an end, leaving all of the Big Four in worse shape than last year. (Notching a landmark demo win, CBS was still down 3 percent, while Fox tumbled by 22 percent.)
But amid the mostly bad news, there are a few winners and losers that stand out from the rest -- so in honor of those accomplishments, THR is handing out a few superlatives to the deserving series.
Best in Class: The Big Bang Theory
Rising 11 percent in its sixth season, the CBS comedy hit a series high midseason with an impressive 6.4 rating in live-plus-same-day.
Worst Couple: Touch and Smash
The crippling 58 percent (NBC’s Smash) and 64 percent (Fox’s Touch) drops leave these axed dramas in the same sunken boat.
Most Likely to Succeed: The Following
With formidable DVR growth (65 percent), Fox’s Kevin Bacon thriller finishes the season with a 4.3 rating — making it TV’s strongest freshman.
Least Likely to Succeed: Celebrity Apprentice
A 28 percent ratings drop and continued bad PR from Donald Trump make NBC’s 11th-hour renewal seem more like a stay of execution.
Prom Queen: Scandal
The ABC drama managed 8 percent growth this season and an unexpected series high (3.2 adults rating) with its season finale.
Best Legs: Shark Tank
In its fourth season, the ABC reality series grew 17 percent to an average 2.1 rating in the key demo on Friday night.
Most Talented: The Voice
NBC's new flagship may have seen a 14 percent decline with back-to-back cycles — but its ability to outpace American Idol's deep 26 percent drop pushed it ahead of all but Sunday Night Football and Big Bang in the demo.
Biggest Pest: Community
Dropping just 10 percent, year over year, the (currently) Dan Harmon-less series proved it to be one TV's most consistent comedies and scored one of the most surprising renewals.
Cutest Couple: Arrow and Supernatural
The CW freshman averaged a strong 1.2 rating in the key demo, helping push its neighbor, the aging WB holdout, up 22 percent from last season.
Most Trustworthy: Person of Interest
While sophomores 2 Broke Girls and New Girl saw steep double digit drops, last season's best drama debut actually managed wrap its second run up a tick to a 3.4 rating in the demo.