Terry Morrow: AMC's 'Walking Dead' ran to the top of best programs of 2012

This undated publicity photo released by AMC shows David Morrissey as The Governor in a scene from AMC's TV show, 'The Walking Dead, ' Season 3, Episode 1. The show airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on AMC. (AP Photo/AMC, Gene Page)

AP photo

This undated publicity photo released by AMC shows David Morrissey as The Governor in a scene from AMC's TV show, "The Walking Dead, " Season 3, Episode 1. The show airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on AMC. (AP Photo/AMC, Gene Page)

It turns out 2012 wasn't a total wash.

The year had a little bit of everything — zombies, spies and fighting tycoons.

With that, here's a list of the top 10 best series of the past year:

1. The Walking Dead (AMC) The third season was high octane and contained the most daring twists: two beloved regulars were killed off and a new villain (David Morrisey as the crafty despot The Governor) made this truly must-see TV.

2. ANGRY BOYS (HBO) Aussie writer/ actor Chris Lilley's mockumentary chronicled unrelated characters whose lives slowly intertwine. Dry, sad and clever, Lilley explores the darkness of life in ways never seen before on American television.

3. 30 ROCK (NBC) Tina Fey's sitcom about life on a primetime sketch show remained as sharp as ever in the seventh and final season. It's the type of comedy from which you quoted around the water cooler the day after.

4. SHAMELESS (Showtime) The plight of the low-rent Gallagher family — headed by con man Frank (William H. Macy) — never failed to cause jaws to drop each week with their outrageous and scandalous antics of just trying to get by day to day, playing the welfare system and manipulating the innocent.

5. DALLAS (TNT) This sequel to the 1980s soap opera returned without skipping a beat. The Ewing clan kept feuding — and always reminded us why this quarrelsome family kept us in its collective grip all those years ago. This is the year's greatest guilty pleasure.

6. BREAKING BAD (AMC) This dark drama about a meth dealer and his partner masterfully pulls out shocking turns. You just can't get comfortable into thinking the show is headed into a cozy, predictable place. It never does.

7. MAD MEN (AMC) Once it got cooking after its hiatus, this show was back on par. A suicide inside the office was enough to reveal this hour never plays it safe.

8. VEEP (HBO) Mix "The West Wing" with "The Office," and you have the right formula for a sitcom leaded by a stellar Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the top of her game as the second-in-command.

9. PARKS & RECREATION (NBC) Amy Poehler is the queen of primetime comedy in this sitcom that looks at the wacky staff running a small-town's parks department.

10. EPISODES (Showtime) Matt LeBlanc has now made a career out of laughing about his own image — as a high-maintenance, dried up sitcom star trying to rebuild his career with an intolerant Hollywood.

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