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Last year, the TV was a-changin

Courtney Cox | Friday, May 20, 2011

Michael Scott leaves a void that cannot be filled

“The Office” redefined American television, and seven years after NBC introduced the world to Michael Scott, he moved from the hallowed ground of Dunder Mifflin to the mountains of Colorado. He left behind a void that cannot be filled. Michael Scott was the boss viewers hated at first; he was insensitive and ignorant. As the seasons progressed, he became the man everyone rooted for. Watching Michael attempt to find love and happiness pulled at the heartstrings of even the toughest audience members. He found his soul mate in Holly Flax, the human resources representative who replaced Michael’s nemesis Toby Flenderson. When Michael finally proposed to Holly and announced his plan to leave for Colorado, he discovered how much he was truly loved by the Dunder Mifflin family.

TBS stands with Team Coco for new Conan show

Conan O’Brien spent the time following his unceremonious dismissal from “The Tonight Show” launching a Twitter account. He connected with fans who wanted to see the underdog emerge victorious. These fans propelled O’Brien’s successful “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Comedy Tour.” The tour was his way to stay in the public eye while in the midst of a nasty transition. His efforts worked, and this fall Conan triumphantly returned to television. Hosting Academy Award winners and teenage pop stars, O’Brien’s new TBS show “Conan” was the perfect venue for his off-brand style of comedy.

Thanks to “Glee,” Gwyneth Paltrow owns TV

This year television belonged to one woman and one woman only. That woman was Gwenyth Paltrow. She filled in during Matthew Morrison’s absence from “Glee” as substitute teacher Holly Holliday. Performing Cee-Lo Green’s “Forget You” and a mash up of “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Umbrella,” among other songs, Paltrow launched herself to the top of “Glee’s” celebrity guest star list. She was asked back for another episode in the same season and performed Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” and Prince’s “Kiss.” Her role on “Glee” landed her the opportunity to perform at both the Grammy Awards and the Academy Awards. She joined the Muppets and Cee-Lo himself during the Grammy’s and proved that she owned television this year.

New judges reinvigorate “American Idol”

2011 marks the beginning of a new era for perennial favorite, “American Idol.” After announcing the arrival of replacement judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, the show hung in a stage of limbo. Would the new additions draw the same amount of viewers as snarky Simon Cowell? This new season of “Idol” is hailed as one of the most entertaining, and fans everywhere are relieved that the new judges successfully brought a breath of fresh air to a show verging on becoming stale. Jennifer Lopez is a style icon for millions of viewers with her impeccable hair and clothing choices. Steven Tyler brings a true rock sensibility to the show, especially with his long, feather-laced locks. Randy Jackson is the stable judge who connects the show to its past, keeping it from becoming unrecognizable. “Idol” has transformed into something new and it’s exciting once again.

“The Voice” discovers new talent on reality TV

In direct competition with the new version of “American Idol” is NBC’s show “The Voice.” Judges Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton evaluate contestants based on how talented their voices are, then link up with them to prepare the competitors for the stage. Each coach forms their own team, then in sets of two, the teammates battle against each other in a sing-off. The new show features just as much talent as “American Idol” but it does so in a new format that keeps audiences glued to the screen.