Those who are in charge of deciding such things have proclaimed the 1950s and 60s the Golden Age of Television. I’ll gamely admit that in a 3-channel world ruled by the censor’s iron fists, those old timers managed to put together some truly amazing stuff. If you’re expecting story telling without a lot of special effects some of those shows still hold up. I’m happy to burn half an hour watching Andy Taylor patrol Mayberry or Marshal Dillon bring justice to the streets of Dodge City.
Since that golden age, though, we’ve seen the rise of hundreds of cable channels and shows like Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, The Wire, Downton Abbey, and Game of Thrones. They’re reset the bar for the kind of entertainment that people expect on their small screen. Of course we’ve also seen Jerry Springer and Teen Mom II, but I suppose not every bit of writing deserves an Emmy. Still, with everything in the balance, I’d be hard pressed to think those old timers could do anything better.