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2 Tyler James Williams
Williams is terrific in Everybody Hates Chris, not only playing Chris Rock but playing him at age 13 in a Bed-Stuy junior high.

3 Bob Schieffer
Sitting in for Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, Schieffer looked like the only person in prime time old enough to tell us what’s wrong with the world tonight.

The Short List

Best One-Liners
Jeremy Piven as Ari Gold in Entourage (HBO), whose best lines are highly quotable, if highly unprintable. His jokes aren’t funny on paper anyway, yet Piven’s turned Gold into TV’s foulest zinger machine.

Best Impromptu One-Liner
America’s Next Top Model (UPN) contestant (and New Yorker) Kim Stolz, who, after making out with one of the other female contestants on the show’s premiere, announced, “One down, eleven to go.”

Best Couple (Comedy)
Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan), on How I Met Your Mother (CBS). Cool enough to be worth hanging out with, irritating enough to be believable.

Best Couple (Melodrama)
Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), on Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), which has evolved into an addictive, high-end cross between General Hospital and ER. Okay, so they didn’t end up a couple—Shepherd decided to stick it out with his straying wife—but they should have. There’s always next season.

Best Villain
The reptilian T-Bag on Prison Break (Fox), a slippery southern pedophile who slithers around like a cross between Hannibal Lecter and Truman Capote.

Best Incredibly Complicated Plot That Hasn’t Unraveled—Yet
Prison Break’s plot details are ludicrous: The lead has the entire prison’s blueprint tattooed over his torso (hidden in a gothic pattern only he and schizophrenics can discern), and he’s so resourceful with discarded toothpaste tubes he’s like some sort of cellblock MacGyver. But against the odds, the show’s remained internally consistent—and ridiculously addictive.

Best Drawn-Out Tease
The numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42—which will mean nothing to you, unless you’ve been watching Lost (ABC), in which case this mysterious string of figures has been driving you mad for months.

Best ‘Lost’ Rip-Off
Invasion (ABC), a creepy mash-up of hurricanes and aliens, and the real standout in this season’s crop of spooky one-word-title dramas (Threshold, Surface, Supernatural).

Best Show You Probably Never Watched
Starved (F/X), a show set among an eating-disorders support group. In a year of HBO-inflected, high-concept premises (suburban marijuana dealers!), this cringe-inducing setup yielded a surprisingly sharp—and funny—comedy.


My Name Is Earl's Jason Lee.  

Best Programming Decision
NBC is going to move My Name Is Earl and The Office to Thursday night—while putting the dismal Joey and the foundering The Apprentice in deep freeze—in an effort to recapture the network’s must-see-TV mojo.

Best Stunt Casting
Wink-wink celebrity cameos have gotten out of hand, but drafting Scott “Chachi” Baio to replace Henry “Fonzie” Winkler as the family lawyer on Arrested Development (Fox) was absolute genius.


Donald Trump and Kelly Perdew.  

Best Humiliation
The four-person firing on The Apprentice (NBC). Not that they all got fired but that the quartet then had to squeeze into one cab to the airport. That’s cold.

Best On-Air Evolution
The rapidly improving The Colbert Report (Comedy Central), in which Stephen Colbert is getting comfortable enough in his blowhard persona to occasionally, and hilariously, shrug it off.

Best Encore
In a year notable for great comebacks both inevitable (Neil Patrick Harris, after a few great film cameos, on How I Met Your Mother) and shocking (90210-er Brian Austin Green on Freddie), one actor returned as the same character we fell in love with way back when: Chris Noth as Detective Mike Logan, back on the beat on Law & Order (NBC).

Best Rapprochement
Oprah finally, finally, finally agrees to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS).

Best Use of Pinteresque Pauses in Television
The Office (NBC), which is starting to get the hang of the painful, prolonged silences that made the BBC original so achingly great.


Cast of Six Feet Under.  

Best Elegant Ending
The flash-forwards in the finale of Six Feet Under (HBO), in which we got to see how all the characters eventually expire. A perfect endnote to a vital, if at times maddening, show.










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