At this time of year, it's good to be reminded that contemporary TV offers such a cornucopia of riches. This past year, in particular, has offered plenty to give thanks for -- in terms of both what's on the air and what is not. Among the things I'm thankful for:

That "The Flash" is actually good.

That recent, pricelessly funny Billy Bob Thornton guest spot as a lovelorn urologist-to-the-stars on "The Big Bang Theory."

That I don't work at the "Today" show.

That David E. Kelley is writing a TV show for Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman to star in.

That this is the last season for "Two and a Half Men."

That "Seinfeld" reruns still hold up pretty well.

That Casper Kelly made '80s sitcom parody "Too Many Cooks." Whether or not you like the finished product -- and it's often pretty disgusting -- I'm glad someone had the impulse to make it.

That Norman Lear squelched a proposed reboot of "All in the Family." Let Lear's original classic show stand untarnished.

That no one is writing mean tweets about me for me to read aloud on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

That we still have a few more months of David Letterman, and one more month of "The Colbert Report."

That Jon Stewart hasn't quit his day job to become a film director for good yet.

That MTV2 still airs reruns of "The PJs." (And that "PJs" scribe Larry Wilmore is the one taking over Stephen Colbert's slot on Comedy Central.)

That the upcoming "Osbournes" reboot is just a limited series.

That Ioan Gruffudd finally got something interesting to do on TV, on "Forever."

That my remote has a working fast-forward button.

That AMC still shows the occasional "Breaking Bad" marathon.

That the daytime news and chat shows can turn on a dime from the Ferguson outrage to holiday pie recipes. There's something oddly comforting in the notion that, not only are the news shows no longer able to distinguish the serious from the trivial, but they no longer even try.

That Frances McDormand and RIchard Jenkins were so terrific in "Olive Kitteridge." (And that HBO made it in the first place.)

That Laurie Metcalf ("The McCarthys"), Scott Bakula ("NCIS: New Orleans"), and Judd Hirsch ("Forever") are back on primetime.

That "The Mindy Project" hasn't been canceled yet.

That the window between a movie's theatrical release and the time it appears on premium cable is down to about eight months.

That Steven Soderbergh came out of quasi-retirement long enough to shoot a whole season of "The Knick." (And that Clive Owen starred in it.)

That I got to enjoy five seasons of Steve Buscemi and Michael Kenneth Williams, as Nucky and Chalky, on "Boardwalk Empire."

That "South Park," now in its 127th season, has yet to jump the shark.

That Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, and Allison Tolman were so perfect on "Fargo." (And that the series wasn't even more gruesome than it was.)

That Benedict Cumberbatch still does TV.

That HBO Go lets me watch entire runs of defunct series like "The Wire." Someday, I'll actually take advantage of that opportunity, I promise.

That Netflix picked up the ball NBC dropped and will make Tina Fey's new series, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," starring Ellie Kemper.

That Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter are still on TV. Not that I always watch them; it's just a comfort to know that they're there, making mischief.

That there are still a few episodes of "Newsroom" left to air before Aaron Sorkin quits writing for TV.

That, in a world of crime and terrorism and chaos,Tom Selleck's mustache and Mandy Patinkin's beard remain islands of stability and reassurance.

That they keep bringing back that commercial with the Hershey Kisses as musical holiday bells, every year.

That we still have upcoming seasons of "Game of Thrones," "House of Cards," "Downton Abbey," and "Archer," among others, to look forward to.

categories Tv News