Watchmen, Game of Thrones Among Those Named AFI Television Programs of the Year

The year is coming to a close and that means that awards season is gearing up and major "best of" lists are starting to hit looking back at and honoring the best of entertainment for 2019. On Wednesday, the American Film Institute announced the recipients of their AFI Awards for the year, awards that honor the top ten films and television shows that are "deemed culturally and artistically significant" this year. And when it comes to the honors for television, HBO had an excellent showing walking away with five of the ten -- including Watchmen, Game of Thrones, and Chernobyl.

According to AFI, the winners are chosen through a "unique jury process" that sees "scholars, film and television artists, critics and AFI Trustees" determine the "most outstanding achievements of the year." Honorees in the film and television categories are "selected based on works which: best advance the art of the moving image, enhance the rich cultural heritage of America's art form, inspire audiences and artists alike, and/or make a mark on American society."

And when it comes to Watchmen and Game of Thrones that last item is especially true. Game of Thrones remains a major cultural conversation point after its final season ended earlier this year. Audiences are still discussing the season's overall quality as well as expressing their displeasure with how the series ultimately ended.

As for Watchmen, the Damon Lindelof "remix" series set in a world based on the comic book series of the same name isn't just a popular program but it's a bona fide hit with an average of 7.1 million viewers each episode. Beyond that, the show has also been using its alternate history/timeline story to open up a dialogue about our culture and society. The debut episode opened with the real-world 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre -- an event that has long been under-discussed and reported in history books -- and hasn't let up yet in its examination of race, white supremacy, and the lasting impacts on our society.

You can check out the full list of honorees below.

The Crown
Game of Thrones
When They See Us

Special Award:


What do you think of AFI's top ten television shows of the year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Watchmen airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.