Schmidt, 'New Girl' – Among the characters who stood out this TV season, few caused as much discussion as "New Girl's" Schmidt, played by Max Greenfield. He's the man with the most money in the "douchebag jar," but viewers have watched Schmidt grow in his unconventional relationship with Cece.
Nolan Ross, 'Revenge' – As Emily's partner in crime on "Revenge," Nolan can match her scheme for scheme. We've loved watching him act as her conscience, the only one who knows her true identity.
Hannah Horvath, 'Girls' – There has never been a character quite like Hannah, played by "Girls" creator Lena Dunham. She's writing her memoirs, believing she is "a voice of her generation." She also can't hold down an internship, just got an STD and showed up to her parents' hotel room high.
Constance Langdon, 'American Horror Story' – There's a reason Jessica Lange won a Golden Globe for this role after one season on the FX series "American Horror Story." There's also a reason she was one of the few asked to return for a second season. Lange redefined "chewing the scenery." She had us at "Don't make me kill you again."
Dean Pelton, 'Community' – Come on, he's Dean (and his hands are so clean). Jim Rash didn't just steal the show at the Oscars when he posed like Angelina Jolie. He has also stolen many a scene this season on "Community." More Dean this season meant more puns, more inappropriate touching of Jeff Winger and lots and lots of elaborate cross-dressing.
Carrie Mathison, 'Homeland' – A big reason for the runaway success of Showtime's "Homeland" was Claire Danes' performance. Here we had a "hero" whose sanity couldn't even be trusted. Some of her best lines can't be printed here, but suffice it to say, when the Golden Globe winner was on camera, you could not look away.
Robert California, 'The Office' – It's been an uneven season for "The Office," no doubt, but the one-season stint of James Spader as Dunder Mifflin Sabre CEO Robert California was a highlight. The fact that he can read every employee in Scranton like an open book - not to mention that bizarro trip to his Florida home - made him one to remember, post-Michael Scott.
Rumpelstiltskin, 'Once Upon a Time' – Regina, the evil queen, is the main villain of "Once Upon a Time," but Robert Carlyle's deliciously evil performance as Mr. Gold, aka Rumpelstiltskin, has quickly made him a fan favorite on the ABC drama. Fairy tale adaptations may come and go, but anyone trying to adapt a "Rumplestiltskin" movie will have their work cut out for them after Carlyle.
Santana Lopez, 'Glee' – Like "The Office," "Glee" has had a more than uneven season, but there is no doubt it has belonged to Naya Rivera's Santana. At every turn, she has had some of the strongest musical performances (from "A Boy Like That" to "Smooth Criminal") and one of the biggest story arcs (her relationship with Brittany). If some characters exit the show, look for Santana to have an aven bigger role.
Lisa Shay, 'Suburgatory' – ABC's "Suburgatory" has one of the strongest casts of any of the new comedies this season, but Allie Grant's performance as Tessa's best friend, Lisa, is one of the most unique out there. She's pretended to be a boy, showed up to Thanksgiving dinner naked as a protest of her parents and has a PDA-heavy relationship with Malik. We can't wait to see what Lisa does next.
Daryl Dixon, 'The Walking Dead' – There were a couple of huge casualties this season on "The Walking Dead." If the producers had chosen to kill off Daryl, though, the outrage online would be enormous. This has been the season where Norman Reedus' character has emerged as the survivors' resident bada** with a crossbow, and legions of fans can't wait for October to see more of him.
Jean-Ralphio, 'Parks and Recreation' – His appearances on "Parks and Recreation" were fewer than we'd like (thanks to Ben Schwartz's role on Showtime's "House of Lies"), but whenever Tom's "fluuuush with caaaash" best friend/Entertainment 720 business partner Jean-Ralphio popped up on the NBC comedy, the episode was instantly that much better. All one has to do is look at the "Jean-Ralphio as Spider-Man" viral video or Tumblr to see his popularity.
Tom Levitt, 'Smash' – We're not going to lie. At least one of us wishes Tom would be our best friend. As the reason Ivy got involved with the musical bombshell on NBC's "Smash," Tom's (Christian Borle) scenes and story arcs have been some of the most joyous to watch.
Ellis Boyd, 'Smash' – Ellis, on the other hand, has broken out for a very different reason. Viewers of "Smash" love to hate the scheming, nosy assistant to first Tom and then Eileen. Jaime Cepero certainly has people buzzing, and that's an accomplishment all its own.