‘Ugly Betty’
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2007 Best & Worst: TV moments

By Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Television started out strong in 2007. “Ugly Betty” and “30 Rock” still felt new. “Heroes” was kicking butt and showing people what the next level of serialized dramas looked like. “American Idol” continued its march toward world domination, and we all had those seven final episodes of “The Sopranos” to look forward to.

But then things started to turn. The new fall shows, some of which sounded promising, almost exclusively fell flat. The writers struck just as the presidential campaign was heating up, leaving us sans Letterman, Leno, Conan -- and more importantly, Colbert and Stewart -- just when we need them most.

Depending on how long this writers strike lasts, it could be a long, cold, dreary winter of reality shows in the start of 2008. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Here’s a look back at some of the best and worst TV moments of 2007. (ABC)
‘American Idol’ highlights

The highest-rated show of 2007 provided us with many of the year’s most memorable television moments. Among our favorites: young and awkward Ashley Ferl crying uncontrollably whenever Sanjaya hit the stage; the epic “Idol Gives Back” episode featuring Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest’s trip to Africa; and Sanjaya’s rendition of No Doubt’s “Bathwater” with that weird rubber-band mohawk. (Frank Micelotta / Fox / Getty Images)
Heather Mills falls on her arse

In a ratings-hungry producer’s perfect world, Heather Mills’ prosthetic leg would have flown off and hit someone in the face during one of her “Dancing With the Stars” routines, but instead all we got was a samba spill. Did it hurt her with the judges? Nope. It just reminded them of her extra struggle. (ABC)
Ellen’s ‘Iggygate’ meltdown

It was the clip played around the world: Ellen DeGeneres takes a break from her funny, self-deprecating shtick and sobs on her daytime talk show, all over a dog named Iggy. A media storm ensued as the battle played out in the press. (Reed Saxon / AP)
Lauren and Heidi showdown at Hyde

There’s only one reason to watch “The Hills”—drama, drama, drama. So the show’s producers (writers?) knew they needed to start the season off with a bang. And nothing says bang like Heidi and Lauren fighting at the exclusive Hollywood watering hole, Hyde, over whether Heidi leaked a Lauren sex tape. (WireImage)
Sally Field gets censored at Emmys

Was it the “goddamn” or the comment about the Iraq War that got Sally Field censored by Fox at the Emmys? “Let’s face it,” she said, “if the mothers ruled the world, there would be no goddamned wars in the first place.” But viewers at home didn’t hear or see a thing. Instead they saw a giant disco ball blocking out Field and her speech. (Vince Bucci / Getty Images)
‘High School Musical 2' breaks records

Throughout 2006 and even part of 2007, maybe you didn’t realize just what a BIG DEAL “High School Musical” had become to kids under the age of 12. But when “High School Musical 2” premiered on the Disney Channel this summer, it was hard for anybody not to notice. The made-for-TV movie drew an audience of 17.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched basic cable program ever, according to Nielsen Media Research. (Disney Channel)
The ‘Sopranos’ finale

First there was shock. (Is this thing BROKEN?) Then there was anger. (That’s IT?) And finally, acceptance. (That IS it.) Conspiracy theories feverishly emerged (remember the whole “everyone in the diner was someone from the past” line?). Others continued to be indignant. But for us, the lasting emotion was admiration. (WOW! That’s IT!) (AP)
The ‘Lost’ season finale: Houston, we have a plan

The best moment of what was a meandering, but improved, season of “Lost” was the last episode, when the writers -- finally having an official end date to their series (2009) -- switched the whole flashback element on its head and showed us flash forward. For the first time in a long time, viewers got psyched for what’s to come. (ABC)
Britney’s “comeback” performance at the MTV Video Music Awards

A low point for MTV, Spears, television, and the world, Britney’s performance at the VMAs was clearly a ratings ploy for an awards show that is losing its relevance. Spears, dressed in a sequined bikini, sleep-walked her way through a dull performance, allowing backup dancers to do all the work for her. Even a Kid Rock/Tommy Lee scuffle at the show didn’t put a damper on all the bad press Spears incurred. (AFP / Getty Images)
Hasselbeck and O’Donnell duke it out on “The View”

Things started changing on “The View” the second that Hurricane Rosie, and as ratings heated up, so did the on-air controversy. During the spat which became their final showdown, O’Donnell accused Elizabeth Hasselbeck of not defending her when some commentators insinuated that O’Donnell had called U.S. troops terrorists. “You are an adult, and I’m not going to be the person for you to explain your thoughts. ... Defend your own insinuations,” Hasselbeck replied. Producers perpetuated the drama by airing the argument in split screen. (AP)