14. Fringe

Network: Fox
Stars: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Lance Reddick, Seth Gable

We’re guessing that everyone involved with Fringe has accepted the fact that Fox’s stellar sci-fi program won’t ever amass “hit” ratings. Especially since the network has relegated the J.J. Abrams-produced show to Friday nights, a positioning that guarantees little more than Nielsen stats garnered through DVR machines, not live viewings. They must also be aware that the chances of Fringe ever making it to a fifth season are looking more dire every Friday evening.

God bless Fringe’s writers and producers for never letting that get them down, then; in 2011, the best science fiction show currently on TV spent its time delving deeper into its complex, parallel universe, doppelganger-heavy mythology, basically shunning away newcomers and catering to those who’ve been down since Fringe’s 2008 premiere. Per usual, all involved, namely the show’s underrated leads Anna Torv, John Noble, and Joshua Jackson, maneuvered around Fringe’s many intricacies and loaded plotlines with the utmost skill.