Never mind Nielsen ratings. Streampix offers a glimpse at its own top choices, with instant access to the Xfinitytv.com site’s most watched programming. From showings of first-run episodes of TV series like “The Good Wife,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Parenthood” and “Saturday Night Live” to enduring cult movies “Friday,” “Training Day,” “The Big Lebowski” and “The Breakfast Club,” the public has spoken, and here are their picks, compiled from which shows and films have been viewed the most on their TV sets, computers, tablets and smart phones:
“The Good Wife”: In its fifth season, as we’ve been telling you, this show has hit its nasty stride, with star Julianna Margulies leading a palace revolt at the law firm of Lockhart & Gardner, drawing the ire of her former colleagues Josh Charles and Christine Baranski by ankling with her fellow fourth-year associates to set up shop in her apartment. With a sterling cast of characters, much of them looking to stab the others in the back, it hasbeen a juicy year so far, with betrayals and allegiances around every corner, and Emmy-winning and nominated guest stars like Carrie Preston and Nathan Lane adding to the duplicitous fun.
“Grey’s Anatomy”: Going into its tenth season, Shonda Rhimes’ hospital drama ratchets up the tension with Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital overrun with patients after the storm, as Kevin McKidd’s chief of surgery Owen Hunt urges the Emergency Room should be shut down. At the start of the season, Ellen Pompeo’s Dr. Meredith Grey and Patrick Dempsey’s Dr. Derek Shepherd aka McDreamy, are new parents; Jessica Capshaw’s Arizona Robbins has just revealed her affair to Sar Ramirez’s Callie Torres, Sara Drew’s engaged April Kepner confronts Jackson Avery’s injured Jesse Williams about the status of their relationship; while Justin Chambers’ Alex Karev and Camilla Luddington’s intern Jo Wilson look for a new place to get intimate. Chandra Wilson’s Miranda Bailey looks for James Pickens Jr.’s Richard Webber, not realizing he’s been electrocuted in the generator room, where Sandra Oh’s Cristina Yang tries to revive him with a balloon pump And that’s just the first episode!
“Parenthood”: The fifth season of this family comedy based on the Ron Howard movie of the same name finds Peter Krause’s Adam Braverman and his sister, Lauren Graham’s Sarah, doting over the new baby of Dax Shepard’s Crosby and Joy Bryant’s Jasmine, who have their hands full, as Adam’s wife, Monica Potter’s Kristina, looks to seize the moment by running for Mayor of Berkley after being declared cancer-free. Sam Jaeger’s Joel and Erika Christensen’s Julia deal with the challenges of their relationship, Ray Romano’s Hank, an old flame of Sarah’s, moves back to town and Mae Whitman’s Amber welcomes home her soldier boyfriend. It’s all one big, sometimes happy, family.
“Saturday Night Live”: Creator Lorne Michaels had his work cut out for him in the long-running comedy series’ 39th season, having to integrate six new cast members, with returnees like Cecily Strong, Vanessa Bayer, Kate McKinnon, Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah being groomed to take over for the likes of the departing Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis. With guest hosts like Tina Fey, Miley Cyrus and Kerry Washington, alongside musical guests Eminem, Arcade Fire and Katy Perry, the show’s first five episodes of the season have been strong, the highlights including Cyrus’ hilarious post-apocalyptic MTV Video Music Awards cold open.
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”: This season marks the 15th year of this long-running procedural starring Mariska Hargitay, Danny Pino, Killi Giddish, Ice T, and for the first five episodes, Richard Belzer, who recently announced the retirement of his character Sergeant John Munch. The very first spin-off of the “Law & Order” series follows New York City detectives working in a specialized division within N.Y.P.D. Among the highlights: Cybill Shepherd guest-stars in the third episode, “American Tragedy,” as a celebrity chef who accidentally shoots a hooded teenager in self-defense, reminiscent of the Trayvon Martin case. In “Wonderland Stories,” Belzer’s Munch gets a send-off retirement party from Carol Kane as his “ex-wife” Gwen Munch and David Steinberg as his brother Kane, with Clark Johnson’s Meldrick Lewis and his other “ex-wife,” Ellen McElduff’s Billie Lou Hatfield, also reprising their roles from “Homicide: Life on the Street.”
“Friday”: Rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube co-wrote and starred in this 1995 stoner “day-in-the-hood” comedy, directed by F. Gary Gray and set in South Central L.A. which also starred Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Tiny Lister, Anna Maria Horsford and Regina King. This marked Gray’s feature directorial debut. He went on to direct such movies as “Set It Off,” “The Negotiator,” “The Italian Job,” and “Law Abiding Citizen.” The film spawned a franchise which also included 2000’s “Next Friday” and 2002’s “Friday After Next,” with a fourth supposedly in the planning stages.
“Training Day”: Denzel Washington earned his second Oscar, and first for Best Actor, as the corrupt narcotics cop tutoring his naïve rookie sidekick, the equally riveting Ethan Hawke, in corrosive study of what it takes to survive the mean streets of Los Angeles directed by Antoine Fuqua.
“The Big Lebowski”: This enduring 1998 cult classic in which Jeff Bridges insists “the dude will abide,” has inspired countless fan gatherings and bowling parties, and deserves another look as the Coen brothers prepare to release their latest, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” about the early ‘60s folk music scene in Greenwich Village.
“The Breakfast Club”: John Hughes’ 1985 classic about high school teens exchanging confidences in a detention hall spawned the so-called “Brat Pack” and the careers of Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall. Several recent directors of coming-of-age movies acknowledge their debt, including Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s “The Way, Way Back,” James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now” and Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ “The Kings of Summer.”
“Three Kings”: With a screenplay by “12 Years a Slave”’s John Ridley, this prescient 1999 feature, directed by Oscar-nominated David O. Russell stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze as four GIs caught in the Iraqi uprising against Saddam Hussein at the end of the Persian Gulf War who heist a cache of gold.