“The Long Road Home” -- The Top 25 Programs of 2017, No. 10

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The biographical drama Genius, featuring award-worthy performances by Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn, both portraying Albert Einstein at different ages, was the National Geographic scripted limited series that got all the attention this year.  But The Long Road Home, a harrowing and heartbreaking eight-episode drama about one of the many tragic events that have claimed so many lives during the endless Iraq War, deservers just as much acclaim.  It is an amazing production that places the viewer right in the center of the action (better described as the center of the horror).  Our own Jacqueline Cutler was right in the center of this mammoth production during filming (at Fort Hood in Texas) and filed this exclusive MediaVillage report.

Based on the best-selling book The Long Road Home – A Story of War and Family by ABC News’ Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz,The Long Road Home also explored the fear, frustration and fortitude of the families our military personnel leave behind.  We’ve seen variations on this subject matter before, in the Lifetime series Army Wives and CBS’ The Unit, but never with such devastating impact.  Anyone who isn't choked up during the final few minutes must have ice water in their veins.

It’s a stunning achievement overall – one that signals Nat Geo is a force to deal with on the scripted drama front.  The uniformly excellent cast includes Michael Kelly, Jason Ritter, Kate Bosworth, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto, Noel Fisher, E.J. Bonilla, Joey Luthman and Patrick Schwarzenegger.

Here’s a sobering reality:  The battle chronicled in this production (the Black Sunday ambush) began on April 4, 2004 -- when the Iraq War was still in its infancy -- and lasted more than a year.  The war itself continues more than 13 years later ... so long that stories about its early years feel almost dated.

Previously in the Top 25 Programs of 2017

Ozark -- No. 11

Dear White People -- No. 12

The Middle -- No. 13

Godless -- No. 14

Crosswalk the Musical -- No. 15

South Park -- No. 16

Days of Our Lives -- No. 17

Dancing with the Stars -- No. 18

Carrie Underwood's Performance at the CMA Awards -- No. 19

House Hunters and All Things HGTV -- No. 20 

Project Runway -- No. 21

Live with Kelly and Ryan -- No. 22

Tosh.0 --No. 23

The Graham Norton Show-- No. 24

The Mary Tyler Moore Show -- No. 25

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