Giving thanks for British television brilliance

No matter where you are this Thanksgiving holiday, it’s a traditional time to take a moment and think about family and friends and the things you are thankful for. When it comes to the best that television has to offer, one can’t help but think of a few genuine gems from across the pond that have made telly viewing all the better.

Before we begin….please, everyone, as you prepare the Thanksgiving turkey this year, remember, this is a professional. Do not try this at home.


Winner of the Best New British TV Comedy at the British Comedy Awards in 2011, Miranda is definitely an “old-school” sitcom to be thankful for. Writer and star, Miranda Hart, also won Best Comedy Performance and the series was named Best Scripted Comedy at the Royal Television Society Awards. Currently commissioned for a third series on BBC One, U.S. viewers will be able to see what everyone in the comedy world is justifiably talking about on a number of public television stations beginning in January 2012.

Downton Abbey

2011 saw the premiere of ITV’s Downton Abbey as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series. The period drama, written by Julian Fellowes, burst on to the scene, much like Upstairs Downstairs in the early 70’s, and was immediately recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘most critically acclaimed television show’ of the year. Season 2 premieres on PBS Masterpiece, Sunday, January 8, 2012.


The brilliance of creating a contemporary version of the Arthur Conan Doyle detective lies at the feet of co-creator/writers, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman star as Sherlock and Dr. John Watson. While the move from Victorian England to the 21st century was a leap for Holmes purists, both Moffat and Gatiss were able to keep much of the traditional elements of the character while putting present day technology in the hands of the worlds greatest detective. This is genius, plain and simple. Genius that continues with series 2 in early January on the BBC and beginning May 6, 2012, again, as part of the PBS Masterpiece series.

These top my list from this past year. Also deserving thanks and not to be forgotten are the likes of Spooks (MI5), DCI Gene Hunt, Jack Dee in Lead Balloon, Alan Davies in Whites, David Attenborough in Frozen Planet and Doc Martin starring Martin Clunes.

Anyone else? Additions? Subtractions? Agree? Disagree?

In: Action/Drama,Actors/Actresses,Comedy,Drama