December 29, 2003 12:00 PM

Raymond Still Reigns

An arresting new sitcom also rises above the crowd, along with the high drama of Angels and a show about a divinely inspired teen

Everybody Loves Raymond

This veteran CBS series won its first Emmy as best comedy, and the humor reached new heights as underappreciated Robert (Brad Garrett) found himself a wife and took a bigger share of the family spotlight from beloved brother Raymond (Ray Romano).

Nip/Tuck

The debut season of FX’s edgy series about Miami plastic surgeons (Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh) included some needlessly graphic operating-room scenes. But the drama of vanity and desire cut deep, especially when it involved Joely Richardson as Walsh’s wife. We look forward to the show’s return in summer 2004.

Angels in America

HBO scored the dramatic achievement of the year with its ambitious, challenging and enthralling miniseries version of Tony Kushner’s two-part Broadway play about AIDS and the human condition in the ’80s.

Karen Sisco

Sexy, tough and emotionally vulnerable, Carla Gugino had it all going on in this low-rated freshman drama about a U.S. marshal. Be alert for its return to ABC’s schedule in March.

The Daily Show

In a big news year, Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart offered the funniest—and sometimes smartest—coverage.

Arrested Development

The patriarch (Jeffrey Tambor) is in jail, the family business is in shambles, and the laughs keep on coming in FOX’s unfailingly clever new series. Jason Bateman is perfect—now who’d have thought it?—as Tambor’s responsible son.

Ice Bound

Susan Sarandon gave a masterful performance in this true-life CBS movie about a doctor dealing with her own breast cancer at an isolated South Pole research station.

Joan of Arcadia

God guides a small-town teenager (Amber Tamblyn) in a first-year CBS series that could have been much too preachy but turns out to be a pleasant, offbeat surprise.

Normal

Tom Wilkinson and Jessica Lange were flawless in this touching HBO movie about a middle-aged man who wants a sex change and the wife who decides to stand by him.

Silver and Paymer

No, that’s not a law firm. Ron Silver and David Paymer were both great as dirty businessmen—Silver as a pornography magnate in FOX’s canceled Skin and Paymer in ABC’s still-airing Line of Fire as a Mob boss who looks more like a bureaucrat.

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