The past year has undeniably gone into directions that no one was expecting, as the COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of daily life on a global scale. Many have developed a different kind of media diet amid the months of stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines -- and television most likely paid a huge part in that. Even in a year without the vast majority of blockbuster films, television rose to the occasion, providing a cinematic, inventive, and deeply engrossing experience. This year, good television genuinely felt like event programming -- an oasis in between rewatching a favorite sitcom or chipping away at a Netflix queue, and a communal viewing experience that many were craving this year.
Sure, production delays and logistics have delayed a lot of shows into at least the next year. And even some of the shows that did debut in 2020 didn't entirely hit the mark, or didn't resonate with viewers in the way they'd hoped (sorry, Quibi). But it's hard to deny that the past year's crop of television had some major standouts -- which makes the 2020 Golden Issue Awards, where the ComicBook.com's staff votes on the best content from the past 365 days, a fun challenge.
Below are all of our nominations for the Television categories, including Best TV Series, Best Animated TV Series, Best TV Actor, and Best TV Actress. Check back with ComicBook.com next week as we reveal the winners!
Best TV Series
This year's contenders for Best TV Series are an interesting crop of shows -- all but one of them debuted on a streaming service, and their stories run the gambit of different kinds of genre storytelling. They also cover a pretty wide swath of the past year, from a show that debuted at the very tail end of 2019 (which, in retrospect, feels like a century ago) to a show that just wrapped its Season 2 finale earlier this month.
- The Boys (Amazon Prime)
- The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)
- Lovecraft Country (HBO)
- The Mandalorian (Disney+)
- The Witcher (Netflix)
Best Animated TV Series
Even before the pandemic complicated production for a lot of live-action shows, animation on television was already having a pretty great track record in 2020. As the year went along, that only proved to be more of the case, with a mix of new seasons and new premieres that challenged viewers' expectations and brought quite a lot of laughs and emotion along the way.
- Harley Quinn (DC Universe/HBO Max)
- Rick and Morty (Adult Swim)
- She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix)
- Solar Opposites (Hulu)
- Star Trek: Lower Decks (CBS All Access)
Best TV Actor
A TV show can easily be made or broken by their lead -- and that especially proved to be the case in 2020. This year's crop of television showcased some awesome performances from some fan-favorite actors, who brought to life noble heroes, terrifying supervillains, and everything in between.
- Antony Starr (Homelander, The Boys)
- Daveed Diggs (Andre Layton, Snowpiercer)
- Henry Cavill (Geralt of Rivia, The Witcher)
- Jonathan Majors (Atticus Freeman, Lovecraft Country)
- Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: Picard)
Best TV Actress
The past year also brought some now-beloved female characters into the mainstream, with the help of some genuinely amazing actresses. These nominees played women who faced off against supernatural threats, costumed villains, and the horrors of history with ease, all while delivering performances that were genuinely captivating.
- Anya Chalotra (Yennefer of Vengerberg, The Witcher)
- Brec Bassinger (Courtney Whitmore/Stargirl, Stargirl)
- Erin Moriarty (Annie January/Starlight, The Boys)
- Jurnee Smollett (Leti Lewis, Lovecraft Country)
- Victoria Pedretti (Dani Clayton, The Haunting of Bly Manor)