It's been a lousy year for tube watching. The highs - The Fifth Estate's Ontario lottery probe, CBC's Intelligence, HBO's Deadwood and Rome, Showtime's Dexter - were easily outnumbered by lows like the Lost rip-offs, Lost itself, a drunk Danny DeVito sitting on Rosie O'Donnell's lap on The View. But somehow 10 moments still stood out from the rest.
1 MICHAEL RICHARDS APOLOGIZES ON LETTERMAN
If you're going to say you're sorry, then say you're sorry. Grow a spine, own up to your mistake and fuckin' apologize. Don't try to relate your racism to Hurricane Katrina or the war in Iraq. Hell, you've even got Mel Gibson feeling sorry for you.
2 HOLY FRAK!
Hard-nosed Col. Tighe kills his traitorous wife on Battlestar Galactica , the best show on TV. Period.
3 AWARDS LOSERS FREAK OUT
Country music diva Faith Hill appears visibly shocked (if you read her lips it looks like she's saying, "What the fuck?!") when she loses the CMA best female vocalist award to American Idol Carrie Underwood . Not to be outdone, rapper Kanye West crashes the stage at the MTV Europe Music Awards when he loses best video to Justice vs. Simian 's We Are Your Friends, delivering a fuck-filled tirade about how he should have won because his video has Pam Anderson.
4 PRIME SUSPECT SERIES FINALE Helen Mirren may pick up an Oscar for playing QE2, but let's not forget she also turned in one of the year's best small-screen performances on the British crime drama Prime Suspect. On the case of a murdered Bosnian refugee, Mirren's Inspector Tennison is brittle, brilliant and beautiful.
5 ZIDANE USES, ER, LOSES, HIS HEAD
2006's most replayed moment. French soccer star Zinédine Zidane head-butts Italian defender Marco Materazzi during the World Cup. Never were soccer's violent tendencies so forcefully, blatantly, beautifully executed. As head butts go, this was textbook.
6 HIRO NAKAMURA ON HEROES
The hottest new show of the year plays like the X-men meets the X Files. And Hiro ( Masi Oka ) is just one of the reasons why it's so damn cool. He's a pudgy, bespectacled comic book geek from Japan who can travel through time and space, and someday he'll be a ninja and maybe fight a T. Rex. A frickin' ninja! Against a T. Rex! Lost is lost by comparison.
7 MANDEL SINKS SLOWLY
I'm glad Howie Mandel 's not panhandling for change on Sunset Boulevard, but he used to be an actor (remember the very good St. Elsewhere?). Now he's hosting Deal Or No Deal , a game show that has something to do with supposedly hot women, shiny briefcases and favourite numbers you'll never use again - and dumb luck.
8 JEREMY PIVEN SLAMS BILLY BUSH
On the red carpet en route to picking up his much-deserved Emmy for Entourage, Piven is asked by celebutainment suckup Billy Bush about stars having babies. Piven gives an Emmy-worthy response: "You need another job. You have potential as a human being. Seriously - can you focus on other things?"
9 THE ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER
George Stroumboulopoulos lands a gig hosting an American Idol rip-off for ABC that prompts CBC brass to pre-empt Peter Mansbridge . Fortunately, one seems to be the number of viewers who tune in to the talentless show, and it's axed after two eps. Unfortunately, we still have to put up with the soul-patched CBC saviour on The Hour .
Jack is framed for President Palmer's murder; Michelle Dessler blows up; Bierko unleashes Sentox nerve gas; hostages are killed; Robocop is a bad guyo no, good guyo nope, bad guy; Edgar Stiles joins his mom; Chloe weeps (or at least looks more glum); the First Lady's nuts; President Logan's even nuttier, so Jack kidnaps him; soul-patch Tony is killed; innocent people are killed; Jack saves the day and is kidnapped by some pissed-off Chinese agents. Can't wait for season 6, cuz it's a whole new day for Kief and the gang.