The show that has been NBC's savior the last few years was never an American Idol ripoff. With its own jubilant identity and mentor concept, The Voice keeps the judges invested in the contestants, rather than just reveling in tearing them down. Funnier, lighter, and happier than its (now stodgy) competitor on Fox, The Voice should be your only choice.
Now in its eighth season, this low-key reality show has always flown a little under the radar, partially because of its location (CMT) and its timeslot (Friday nights at 9pm). Despite those handicaps, the show is fascinating in its look at the business decisions that go into one of football's most beloved franchises. It's not a traditional reality competition per se, though women do occasionally get cut, but the goal isn't to be the only winner — just a member of the team.
Law & Order creator Dick Wolf brings this unscripted crime series in which two investigators dig through cold cases in order to bring the perps to justice. Instead of stuff ripped from the headlines, we get the actual headlines, and with that comes real consequences and real closure. It's real, and horrifying, and sad — but addicting, nonetheless.