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Best & Worst of 2012: 10 great and 5 not-so-great episodes

EW takes you through the 10 best and 5 worst television episodes of 2012. See them all below!

The Best

1. Game of Thrones, ”Blackwater” — May 27, HBO
Season 2’s climactic Battle of the Blackwater wins because HBO allowed producers 
the time and cash to stage a ­massive land-and-sea con­frontation. Thus, this was an episode of rousing heroism, chilling cowardice, gory action, and one giant green explosion that went ”FOOOOOM!” The most ingenious part? It made us care about the warriors on both sides. Staging that battle in viewers’ hearts was the episode’s most successful wartime victory of all. –James Hibberd


Best of 2012: The EW TV awards

It’s time for the year end accolades. Check out EW’s awards for the best in TV below!

Best Accessory
Olivia Pope’s trench coat on Scandal


Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Music Supervisor Alexandra Patsavas scores with 'Scandal'

As the music supervisor for shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas has long been TV’s musical rainmaker. Pinpointing emergent, primetime-ready tunes for those shows is one challenge, but for her work on Scandal, another drama from Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes, Patsavas faced another one — breathing new life into old-school R&B classics. Below, Patsavas discusses how she takes a well-worn track like Kool & the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie” and gives it new meaning, plus her one major exception in Scandal‘s soulful set list.

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage.

Best & Worst of 2012: Your favorite television show -- VOTE

Happy Endings or Parks and Rec? Homeland or Sons of Anarchy?

Now is your chance to make your voice heard. We’ve told you some of our choices for the best shows of the year. Now we want to hear what you think. Vote below in our poll and tell us which show is your pick for best this year, and then check out the results — as well as more television picks from the EW staff — in Entertainment Weekly‘s Best & Worst 2012 issue, on newsstands Dec. 21.


The best commercials of 2012: From the classiest, to sappiest, and more

With DVR revolutionizing the way we consume television, commercials have to work harder than ever to reach its target audience — much less make any lasting impact. It’s been a steep learning curve, and not everyone is thinking outside the box just yet (see: Pepsi’s celebrity-driven Super Bowl ad that didn’t exactly scream “New Generation!”) But these other five companies stood out for daring to be different. Don Draper might even be impressed. Watch below. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Yes, NBC's Olympic diving producer knew you'd love those Tom Daley shower shots


The Summer Olympics wasn’t just about Phelps vs. Lochte, or smiling with Gabby Douglas while crying with Jordyn Wieber. It was also about those shower shots of British diver Tom Daley, bronze medalist in the men’s tense 10m platform competition. While NBC Olympic diving producer David Gibson insists he didn’t intentionally place graphics over the divers’ trunks to make them appear nude (“That was a coincidence,” he says, with a laugh), he does confirm that those Daley shower shots were, in fact, something he knew would be a hit with viewers. “I think we pretty much knew instantly, like yourself,” he says. “You could just tell. You could feel it in the truck. In the arena, when they put him up on the Jumbotron, people reacted to it.” For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage.  READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Sam Palladio on Gunnar & Scarlett's greatest 'Nashville' hits

Today, The Music of ‘Nashville‘ original soundtrack is released, but there’s a good chance you already own the two songs it features performed by British actor Sam Palladio (Gunnar) and Aussie actress Clare Bowen (Scarlett) — their duets in the season premiere (“If I Didn’t Know Better”) and midseason finale (“When the Right One Comes Along”). Below, Palladio takes us behind the music of the five Gunnar/Scarlett songs heard in the first half of season 1. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage.  READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012: 5 great cliffhangers

The purpose of a cliffhanger is to keep the fans talking — for a week or for months. Here are five that got our readers buzzing.


Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): 'Revenge' writer on the creation of the White Haired Man

Nothing kept us on the edge of our seats this year quite like the soapy, campy Revenge. While many revelations — the mysterious body identity, Victoria boarding a doomed plane — had us freaking out to our friends and hitting Twitter to float theories, one of the most buzzy and exciting twists was the introduction of the mysterious White Haired Man. We knew very little about him, and every morsel of intel we got just raised more questions. The pacing and set up were extraordinary, particularly in the penultimate episode of last season, “Grief.” Joe Fazzio co-wrote the episode, and below, he takes us inside the intrigue of creating the character — and tells us how one of the most famous lines of the season came to pass. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage.

By: Joe Fazzio

Initially, the White Haired Man appeared on the dry-erase-paint-covered walls of the Revenge writers’ room as “the Bearded Man” as sort of an homage to such nameless TV character greats as The X-Files’ “The Cigarette Smoking Man” or Twin Peaks’ “The Log Lady,” who were so mysteriously connected that they couldn’t be bothered with something as frivolous as a name. And once James Morrison was expertly cast in the role, we shifted focus from the facial to the faded follicle, and the White Haired Man was born.  READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Making the divisive hit 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo'

One of 2012’s most polarizing-yet-popular shows was TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, a pleasure even guiltier than Toddlers & Tiaras, from which it spun off. Below, TLC’s SVP of Production and Development, Howard Lee, who serves as the internal exec producer for the show, takes us inside the making of the reality hit.

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): 'Smash' choreographer talks infamous Bollywood number

Forget Glee’s covers. In 2012, it was all about the original musical numbers on Smash. Whether the performances were fully-staged show-within-a-show hits for the fake Marilyn Monroe musical, or fantasy numbers that brought out the emotions of the characters, we couldn’t stop humming along — or hitting replay. Here, Joshua Bergasse, who won an Emmy this year for his choreography on the show, takes us inside one of the most talked-about musical moments of the drama’s freshman season: A Bollywood-style fantasy sequence that featured the whole cast. “One funny story about the Bollywood number was with the marigolds, right before they fall down before the final chorus,” he begins. “When we did it the first time, nobody took the cue to throw the marigolds. So like two came down. They just floated down, then a couple more, then a couple more, it was really very sad,” he says, laughing. “The whole crew cracked up. It was funny because we had thousands of marigolds. People had handfuls, and there was, like, 10 on the ground.”

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverageREAD FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): 'Daily Show' EP explains birth of Bulls#%t Mountain

Want to sum up the 2012 presidential election with a single handy turn of phrase? Try one that The Daily Show dreamed up in September, shortly after Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” video hit the Internet: “Chaos on Bulls#%t Mountain.” The term itself and the segment it introduced perfectly encapsulated the frustration many voters felt while watching cable news – while also making them laugh hard enough to forget all about the election’s pettiest moments. Here, Daily Show executive producer Rory Albanese — who’s “gotten a lot of gray hairs” while skewering the past four presidential elections — explains how Bulls#%t Mountain came to be, and gives a few hints about what we can expect from Jon Stewart and Co. in 2013. (Just don’t hold your breath for official Bulls#%t Mountain T-shirts… although Albanese admits they might be a “pretty hot item.”)

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage.

As told by: Rory Albanese

During the election season, so much stuff’s flying in — everyone’s working at this crazy pace, and when something like [the 47 percent video] happens, you go, “Oh yeah, there’s going to be a lot of jokes about this.” You kind of know when you strike gold. Like when Clint Eastwood was yelling at a chair — I went home that night laughing. Sometimes, you’re just handed a gift. So that piece of footage garnered that same reaction, which was, “This is going to be a thing.” READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012: TV Feuds

Letterman vs. Leno! The Barnes family vs. the Ewings! Bugs Bunny vs. Daffy Duck! Much of pop culture is built on feuds — both on-camera and behind the scenes. Here’s a list of 2012’s most memorable ongoing conflicts from scripted and reality TV. READ FULL STORY


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