As we step into the New Year, we like to look back and think of all the good things 2016 gave us, even in the light of the crapstorm of a year it was. Thankfully, even in the midst of chaos there is good television, and the following are our best returning shows on 2016. 


Elementary continues to hit it out of the park week after week as it follows the journey of Sherlock Holmes, Joan Watson, and their associates into the world of crime. This year, Nelsan Ellis (True Blood) has joined the cast as the “person in repair” of the season. As it continues to focus on people’s stories, Elementary does well to remind us of our own potential for healing and restoration and continues to be a wonderful addition to this year’s TV lineup. 

The Librarians

One part fun, one part dark, The Librarians returned for their third season a few weeks ago. Taking a slightly darker turn, the team is forced to face the reality of the upcoming “ultimate battle” while also contending with new magic permeating the world around them. This year will certainly be a challenge for our heroes, but Dean Devlin and the team continue to bring the action.

American Horror Story: Roanoke

One of our founding editors reports that American Horror Story: Roanoke was “surprisingly good” as the anthology series returned to the small screen for its 6th season. The story followed a married couple who fled their Los Angeles home for a simpler life in the North Carolina countryside, only to be terrorized by new horrors waiting for them there. Needless to say AHS continues to be disturbingly creepy and that’s why we love it. 


Netflix released the second season of Daredevil this year, introducing Jon Bernthal’s Punisher, as well as a number of other fan favorite characters from the comics. Also included? Lots and lots of instances of Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock) getting the snot beaten out of him. Daredevil continued deeper into the darkness of Hell’s Kitchen and left everyone watching eager for The Defenders

Star Wars Rebels

Star Wars anything in 2016 probably does not need much of an introduction, and the Star Wars Rebels cartoon has stolen the hearts and minds of fans young and old. Even though exists in the fringes of the storyline, the writers and creators do their best to tie it into the bigger blockbuster arc and went out of their way to reference the newly released Rogue One once or twice. 

The Walking Dead

This season may have lost some people, but The Walking Dead soldiers onward regardless. With the introduction of Negan and the Saviors, things for our heroes have gotten interesting as the show has managed to take an even darker turn. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan has been surprisingly captivating and everyone is curious to see what is going to happen next. 

Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot roared back to the small screen and brought with it another award-winning season. With big-budget-movie quality storyline, acting, and cinematography, Mr. Robot spoils viewers for nearly every other show on television. This season picked up in the aftermath of the Five/Nine hack and found our main characters scattered and scrambling to figure out what was next, and the finale blew everyone’s minds.

The 100

The CW has done its part in proving that science fiction and fantasy can work well on television, and The 100 is proof of that. It, along with the rest of the CW’s nerdy lineup, continues to delight audiences with solid weekly story telling. Plus, Captain Kirk himself William Shatner approves and live tweets it when he watches, so if that is not an endorsement I am not sure what really is. 

Game of Thrones

Personally, I stopped watching after the Red Wedding because the following season was a bit too chaotic and dark. However, picking up after the point of the books, the last season of Game of Thrones returned to its dark-but-fascinating fantasy plot as we followed the fight for the Iron Throne. A lot of people died, but it wouldn’t be a good Game of Thrones season without an explosion or two, and it has left everyone hyped for what comes next, since we probably won’t be getting another book anytime soon. 

Person of Interest

It would not be a list of my making (with friendly input from the rest of our staff, of course) without mentioning the final season of Person of Interest. One delay after another pushed it to a mid season 2016 airing, where CBS doubled up the episodes and pushed through all 13 in record time. Even though the show had fallen away from its earlier format, the final showdown with Samaritan was captivating, and the final series ending fitting for a show that constantly pushed the limits of network television. 

Of course, there are more shows that stole the hearts of those who watched them that were not captured here. What were the best shows of 2016 for you? Anything we should pick up watching? Sound off in the comments below or tweet us @nerdophiles!

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