A review of the television landscape in 2016 presents many questions — and, thankfully, often times answers.
Some interesting decisions were made behind-the-scenes of some of our favorite shows while unexpected twists and turns took place on screen.
Instead of retreading the familiar ground of fan theories, story twists, show cancellations and casting rumors (you know, the usual fodder), Screener shines one final light at 15 of the year’s most intriguing TV questions — and the answers we dug up — in 2016.
Here we are, on the verge of a new year, a new president and a new season of "Celebrity Apprentice." With Donald Trump poised to take office, his Executive Producer credit on the reality show (a show which he helped create -- and hosted until parting ways with NBC in 2015) raised some eyebrows, and spawned some boisterous concerns of potential conflicts of interest.
It's a bit unheard of to think a sitting president will also hold an EP credit on a current TV show, but, here we are. Of course, the show has a new host in Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it seems what Trump's EP credit really means is... a paycheck. And that's about it.
"The New Celebrity Apprentice" premieres Monday, Jan. 2, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
When you think of HBO's "Game of Thrones," it's hard not to recognize the major impact the series has had on television entertainment, the programming slate for the premium cable network and the effect the show has had on the main cast members' careers. Before "GoT," many of these actors were regularly employed but nowhere near the celebrity stature they've acquired since the series premiere.
That being said, with great popularity comes greater paychecks. Earlier in the year, we reported on the renegotiations taking place for those involved with the series. Settling themselves in comfortably for Season 7 and 8, the main cast -- Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau -- will be bringing in well over $500,000 an episode. Not too shabby.
In short: A lot.
Before Season 3 of "The Flash" premiered, our very own Chris Hayner took it upon himself to dig into the speedster craze that The CW series has held onto. On a show about Barry Allen -- and his meta-human alter-ego -- it's kind of crazy to think about just how many other meta-humans have the same ability. And in case you're still wondering how many speedsters are on "The Flash" -- it's 11.
CBS sure knows a good thing when they see it, and "The Big Bang Theory" has proven to be a sitcom with serious staying power. But, after a decade, fans have begun wondering just when Chuck Lorre will decide to bring the series to an end.
While that is still up in the air, the network has begun developing a prequel series that will focus on Sheldon's (Jim Parsons) backstory. Lorre is on board and Parsons is also attached, at least behind the scenes. If it gets picked up, keep an eye out -- the spinoff may be hitting CBS (or CBS All Access) in the fall.
By now, "Criminal Minds" fans are very aware of the shakeup within the BAU. Going into Season 12, both Shemar Moore and Thomas Gibson left their long-time roles on the series. And while the news hit that Gibson was fired following an on-set altercation, many went into the new episodes wondering -- if Gibson was gone from the show, why he was still showing up?
Simply put, production of the episodes, up until his firing, happened a substantial amount of time before the content made it to air. It's all about timing.
Pop stars performing at the Country Music Association's award ceremony is nothing new. But with its 50th anniversary, the program pulled out all the stops and brought Queen Bey to the stage. Here, she joined the Dixie Chicks on stage to perform her "Lemonade" track "Daddy Lessons."
Further bridging the gap between musical genres, Beyonce left her mark on the ceremony with the memorable number -- which also brought the Dixie Chicks back into the public eye.
Why yes, that was Michelle Dockery showcasing her singing skills on the TNT series. For "Downton Abbey" fans in the know, Dockery has quite a set of pipes, and showcased them in Season 2 of the popular BBC series.
The actress graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 2004. She has exhibited her singing skills at places like Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London and even joined her on-screen mom, Elizabeth McGovern, on stage to provide vocal backup for her band Sadie & the Hotheads.
Kiefer Sutherland made his triumphant return to TV with the new ABC series "Designated Survivor." The series follows U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Tom Kirkman as he is thrust into the highest seat in the land after a devastating attack on the nation's capitol. And while the concept of a random cabinet member being put in hiding -- with the intention of taking over the leadership responsibility of the president -- sounds a bit far-fetched, the practice is 100% real.
Notable names who have previously been tapped to be real-life designated survivors include 1999's U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo, Vice President Dick Cheney (19 days after Sept. 11, 2001) and Attorney General Eric Holder in 2009.
Lucifer Morningstar is one skillful devil. We've seen Lucifer showcase some mad skills on the black and white keys of the piano at Club Lux. Unfortunately, reality presents us with actor Tom Ellis -- and his lack of musical skills. While he's got a stellar singing voice, Tom Ellis cannot, in fact, play the piano. We're very sorry for bursting that bubble.
Fans of HBO's "The Night Of" may have been scratching their heads when the series aired over the summer -- why was James Gandolfini's name appearing in the opening credits? It turns out, the series was a passion project of Gandolfini's. He was not only attached as producer here, he was also set to play attorney John Stone in the limited series.
He shot the pilot for the program back in 2012 and, unfortunately, passed away a month later. John Turturro later filled the role and made it his own.
Fans of "Once Upon a Time" got a new perspective of Rumplestiltskin this past season as he presented a newly coiffed version of himself to Belle (Emilie de Ravin), with the intention of becoming a better man for her. While that's surely touching, the real reason Rumple showed up without his luxurious locks was due to actor Robert Carlyle reprising his role as Begbie in the highly-anticipated "Trainspotting" sequel set to hit theaters in March of 2017.
Be patient, "OUAT" fans -- that hair will eventually grow back.
Lifetime has a habit of bringing true stories to life on the small screen and did so, yet again, with the movie "Girl in the Box." As horrifying as it sounds, the story here is based on real events that happened to a 20-year-0ld girl named Carrie Stan. Kidnapped in 1977 while attempting to hitchhike, she was held hostage for seven years -- subsequently tortured and imprisoned --and spent most of her day kept inside a box.
Stan finally escaped captivity in 1984 and her captor, Cameron Hooker, is currently serving a 104-year sentence.
In "The Night Of," John Stone (John Turturro) is struggling with a very bad case of eczema on his legs and feet. While many have speculated the underlying meaning of his condition -- and how it pertains to America's crumbling judicial system -- his issue here is one that rings true for many people.
Eventually, he visits a Chinese doctor and is given a mysterious mix of herbs to drink on a daily basis. While the details of what is contained in the concoction are never divulged, it has been proven that similar homeopathic treatments work wonders in treating -- and sometimes even curing -- severe skin ailments such as the one Stone suffered from on the show.
The Season 11 finale of "Bones" finally unveiled the identity of the evil marionette killer the gang had been tracking all year. And, wouldn't you know it, it was none other than Zack Addy (Eric Millegan). But if you're still scratching your heads, it may be best to revisit the first three seasons of the FOX series.
Zack was a brilliant kid who worked with Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) in these early episodes. After Zack teamed up with The Gormogon (Laurence Todd Rosenthal) -- quite the serial killer name, at that! -- to help commit heinous acts of murder, he pled insanity to the murder charges, and was put away. In 2016, he resurfaced to kidnap Brennan, leaving us with one of the best "Bones" cliffhangers ever.
To save the firm from going belly up, Harvey Specter (Gabriel Nacht) ended up hawking a piece of artwork hanging on his office wall. It turns out, Harvey's emotional attachment to the painting ran deep as it was the only happy memory he had of his mother.
But while the episode in question, titled "Accounts Payable," had us focused on the odd piece of art, we began wondering: Has that painting has always been there? And upon some digging, we found that the whimsical painting of the girl and alligator has been there since Season 1. Egg on our face for not paying close enough attention!