The American Film Institute (AFI) named their top ten in both film and television today, for the year 2012. The AFI process have a "unique jury process in which scholars, film and television artists, critics and AFI Trustees determine the most outstanding achievements of the year, as well as provide a detailed rationale for each selection."
The film list does not always indicate the Best Picture nominees, last year's list included Bridesmaids, and there have been many films included on this list, which did not make the cut, come oscar time. the only major snub is The Master, but the inclusion of the Dark Knight Rises makes sense as it's the only blockbuster on the list.
Some may be wondering where films like Skyfall may be, but since Skyfall is seen as British film it is not in consideration, and my guess is the reason Les Mis made the list was because of Universal's production, otherwise the rest of these films are as American as apple pie.
Beasts of the Souther Wild
The Dark Knight Rises
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
On the television side, the only surprise for me is the exclusion of Veep and Parks and Recreation. Veep should have made the cut! Overall a solid list.
American Horror Story
Game of Thrones
The Walking Dead