The 14 Best New Characters of the 2016 Midseason

If television is like speed dating and its characters are our potential hookups, then boy do we have options! Like two or three S.O.s for every day of the week! But while your attention may still be stuck on old flames, it's our job to remind you that there are plenty of fish in the sea, so we've compiled a list of our favorite characters from this year's crop of new and returning midseason shows.

Below you'll find characters based on real people, a master of hell, a man in a dress, and more. The only requirements for eligibility were that they had to be new characters since the beginning of 2016. If you know of one we missed, let us know in the comments.


Marcia Clark and Johnnie Cochran, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

O.J.'s name may be in the title, but American Crime Story is clearly the Marcia Clark and Johnnie Cochran show. As the lead lawyers (sorry, Bob Shapiro) on opposite sides of the case, the series has come down to a battle between these two brilliant legal minds. Clark has the case in the bag with all the unsurmountable evidence against O.J., and it's her faith in the legal system that highlights a trainwreck demise as she watches it all slip away. Cochran has the unwinnable case, but the winning charisma and snake-like methods to turn the tide. These dueling tales of tragedy and success, not the murder or Kardashians, are the real centerpieces of the series. Well, that and Sarah Paulson and Courtney B. Vance's performances, which will both win them Emmys later this year. 


Whitney Frost and Jason Wilkes, Marvel's Agent Carter

Marvel's Agent Carter took on systemic oppression in its second season with the introduction of two new characters: Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett), a brilliant scientist whose mind was undervalued because she was a woman in the 1940s and who was forced to rely on her beauty to get ahead in the world, and Dr. Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin), an equally brilliant scientist whose contributions were also undervalued because of the color of his skin. They were two sides of the same coin, two characters who faced an uphill battle in 1947 and were offered the same choice, but one chose darkness and the other light. They both were familiar and relatable, though, and the way in which the writers smoothly integrated their stories into larger themes of the era helped to make an already enjoyable series one of the best currently on TV.


Ms. Feldman, Teachers

TV Land's new comedy Teachers has six potential entrants for this list thanks to all six members of the comedy troupe the Katydids being high-larious, but Cate Freedman's Ms. Feldman gets the edge by an eyebrow. Dim-witted, probably stoned, and pretty terrible at her job, Ms. Feldman rides buffoonery all the way to the laugh bank for the pretty good show's funniest moments, like when she got her face waxed as an in-class demonstration of art. It didn't go well!


Taylor and Eric, American Crime


ABC's stellar second season of its series that demands you get feelings is a dandy, and at the center of the slaps to your emotional core are Taylor and Eric, the two gay teens whose actions kickstart a tsunami of politics and activism. American Crime creator John Ridley created a rift between the two by adding the question of whether their hookup was consensual which propelled the drama forward, but he also pulled back to humanize both of them on their journeys to understanding how the world would treat them after everything came to surface. And their characters wouldn't be as effective if it weren't for Connor Jessup and Joey Pollari, who have been incredible all season long.


Jamie, Vinyl

Less than halfway into its first season, Vinyl is not yet a good show. But amid the glut of machismo, yelling, and coke binges is a compelling character that's worth rooting for: Juno Temple's Jamie. She's a forward-thinking female in a land of power-hungry dudes, and one of the only characters that sees the winds of change a blowin'. Temple is a compelling performer who doesn't need that much screentime to make an impact—which is good, given the show's 42 other interests and storylines. 


Jesus, The Walking Dead

The newest survivor in The Walking Dead breaks a trend of repetitive newbies who show up just to be human sashimi for zombies while the originals look on in horror and we clap our hands in glee. Jesus is as mysterious as they come. His introduction came with a side of grand theft auto and his kung-fu skills gave Rick and Daryl a tough match, yet he still managed to convince the two that he was worth saving and bargaining with. It's been a while since someone in this show came along and instantly grabbed our attention, but our savior has come. And hey, Tom Payne's baby blues are killer! 


Lucifer, Lucifer

Since we have Jesus on this list, we may as well have Lucifer. The best part of Fox's new series Lucifer is a charmer even when he isn't using his supernatural powers of persuasion, thanks largely to the natural charisma and camera presence of Brit Tom Ellis. But good drama is reliant on characters who aren't invincible, and recent developments in the series have shown that Lucifer might not be the unstoppable force we thought he was. The depth of character is there, the personality is there, now if only the police cases could be somewhat interesting. 


Bertie, Love

What is it about Bertie that's so lovable? As Mickey's new roommate who appeared to just walk off a Qantas airliner from Australia, Bertie juggles innocent naiveté and bizarre experience from back down under to make a character who is entirely unpredictable and endearing. Claudia O'Doherty has an energy all her own, and it puts her in sweet and awkward moments as Bertie talks about blowjobs or her Aussie drinking songs for scene-stealing moments. Mickey may be the show's big catch, but we've got eyes for Bertie!


Roan, The 100

We haven't seen Roan (Zach McGowan) since Lexa threw a spear through his mother's chest and he became the king of the Ice Nation, but in his brief time on screen, the new The 100 character became an instant favorite. Fearless and powerful, he's a badass fighter, but he also has integrity, and that makes him respectable. Much like Clarke, he'd been separated from his people, and although it wasn't by choice, it was clear they both understood one another on some level. Hopefully Roan isn't gone for good and he's just off doing pushups somewhere while trying to bring some order to the Ice Nation, because with everything Pike (who'd definitely earn a spot on a worst new characters list) is doing at Arkadia, Clarke could use a little support.


Christine Baskets, Baskets

It's weird that the giant man wearing the ladies' dress is one of the least strange things in FX's odd-and-endearing comedy Baskets, but Louie Anderson in drag is the presence that grounds the series in reality. Weird, right? Christine—mother to Zach Galifianakis' Chip—steals every scene she's in with her combo of genuine earnestness, only-with-strangers motherly pride, and deep-seated exasperation, which can all come out in the same line of dialogue. 


Anita Gibbs, Suits

Harvey and Mike have gone up against some tough competition on Suits, but none have been able to go toe-to-toe as well as Anita Gibbs (Leslie Hope). It helped that she's not slimy like her predecessor adversaries, she's just really, really good at her job (and even when she did go low, you have to admit that it's nothing Harvey and Mike haven't done before). The only reason to hate her was that she's not on our side and if Suits had any sense, it would find a way to change that before the fraud trial was over. Did Anita Gibbs go to Harvard? Because she deserves to have her name on the wall more than anyone this season. 

Who were your favorite new characters from this year's midseason?


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Mar 20, 2016
Never thought Louie Anderson on Baskets could be so funny. I started off enjoying Teachers and all of the characters but the writing got too sexual for my tastes.
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Mar 14, 2016
Lucifer, no doubt.
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Mar 14, 2016
Baskets is my favorite. Zach and Louis make an incredible team. I'm so glad this show is renewed for season 2. I can't wait each week to see what is going on in the lives of these characters.
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Mar 14, 2016
Lucifer is amazing!

I agree with Whitney Frost and Jason Wilkes, but I'd also like to add Anna Jarvis. They could've played her so many ways that would've been too cliché. Instead, she's a wonderfully refreshing breath of fresh air in an even fresher spy show that no one is watching.
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Mar 07, 2016
sheriff preachard in second chance
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Mar 07, 2016
What the f*ck?!?!?

Regards,
Black'ish
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Mar 06, 2016
I have to disagree on Zach McGowan. I know him first from Black Sails. He literally looks like he just stepped from the set of that show to The 100. The only difference is he clothed more, has some new facial makeup for the character, and dropped the English accent, but in all other respects such as hair and attitude, he is the same character from Black Sails. If you credited him for that instead of The 100 character, then I would agree, but he's not really doing anything different than he's already done to truly set him apart as an actor, let alone character..
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May 06, 2016
I was surprised and happy to see Zach McGowan on the 100 but he has had only about 15 minutes screen time and I would like to see his part expanded and see his character given a chance to develop. I will miss him and his 'mumblings' on BLACK SAILS. He does badass very well IMO. If you want to see a massive departure in his most recent acting gigs, then check out his Jody Silverman character on SHAMELESS 2012-2013. I still blush....but smile.
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May 06, 2016
Recently, Comcast cable had a Watch-a-Thon week where you could freely watch a lot of premium channel shows and I took the opportunity to watch the third season of Black Sails. Thankfully, I never heard what happened to his character to spoil it. I thought he would be saved at the last moment.

I got very behind on the 100 and now need to either wait for repeats, or the DVD, or something like Netflix / Hulu to stream it. So, I don't know if he appears again after his mother was killed, which is about where I stopped. If he does come back in the future, and since he no longer needs to be as he was for Black Sails, it would be nice if he changed the look a bit to set him apart from that. Not sure though if his appearance on The 100 was after shooting Black Sails when he could have changed to begin with, or after when he had to maintain the look.
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Mar 06, 2016
I'll go with a returning set of characters Agent Carters Peggy and Mr Jarvis. The actors real life friendship shines throughout their scenes together!

I haven't heard of Love before but after reading the blurb I've got a small tv crush on Bertie!
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Feb 02, 2017
It's the best! Bertie is awesome!
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Mar 06, 2016
Out of all these shows the only one i'm watching is Lucifer, the show is so damned funny.
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Mar 04, 2016
Christine Baskets is easily my favorite new character this year. Hands down to Louie Anderson and his excellent performance as Mrs. Baskets.
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Mar 04, 2016
it is definitely Lucifer, my oh my:) he is adorable:)
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Mar 04, 2016
Lucifer is easily the best new character for me, the supporting characters on that show are growing nicely too.

The new additions to agent carter were welcome ones to possibly the best show on tv that nobody seems to watch.

I'm not sure why anyone would think that Anita Gibbs is a good character though, she has little depth to her motives and has regularly broken rules while trying to punish somebody else for breaking rules.
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Mar 05, 2016
I agree with your opinion on anita gibbs
but I also think she should be on this list
because you lucifer for being kind of a dick
you love anita because you love to dislike her
just my opinion
(on NCIS she is SEC NAV and in suits her name is gibbs)
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Mar 05, 2016
For me, Lucifer is so good because he is played with a kind of gleeful joy to his dickishness, whereas Gibbs just seems like more generic and bland deviousness.
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Mar 04, 2016
Bertie's character is so unpredictable and surprising in all the right ways! I had a lot of issues with that show, but Bertie wasn't one of them. She's ahmazing .

And yes Jesus is pretty frigging awesome,
He's a great addition to the Walking Dead family, looking forward to seeing more of him!
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Mar 04, 2016
Louie Anderson as Christine Baskets is absolutely hilarious. I find myself looking forward to the next scene with Louie Anderson every time.
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Mar 03, 2016
Definitely Lucifer! And with that reveal at the end, it's my new favorite show. Now all they need to make it perfect would be a season/midseason finally cameo of his Father, played - of course - by Morgan Freeman!
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Mar 07, 2016
or Jefry dean morgan
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Mar 07, 2016
Don't think he's ever been credited with playing God like Morgan has.
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Mar 03, 2016
Marcia Clark and Johnnie Cochran aren't new characters silly. I seen them on TV a decade ago. LOL.

Lucifer, Yes! Though and the Detective. They go together.

I'd add Eretria from The Shannara Chronicles. Just really love the character. She's not Kenzi (No one is ever Kenzi), but just love her.
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Mar 03, 2016
In order of favourite
1. Lucifer (lucifer) I love the show love his character love love love he's charming, confident, sexy, and vaunrable when needed.
2. Roan (the 100) as said I haven't seen much of him much what I have seen I very much love. He's a kick ass fighter with integrity and honor he respects Clarke as a leader and a woman and he's going to come in handy later to throw pike in that volcano I've been wishing for.
3. Whitney frost (agent carter) this show just kept getting better and better and better it never faulted not once and the addition of Whitney as a complex villian with understandable motives and desires that justify her actions was a smart move for the show to make.
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Mar 03, 2016
There are two show currently airing, one called American Crime Story and another called American Crime. What idiot let this happen?
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Mar 04, 2016
Ryan Murphy... He already had a show named American Horror Story and then he wanted to do a series about crime so he just traded out the word horror for crime. I think he plans on using "American... Story" like a brand for any number of series he could create down the line. Unfortunately for him he didn't execute the crime series until after ABC came out with their own series called American Crime. So now American Crime Story is mostly known as "The People v O.J."
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Mar 03, 2016
At least they're not similar styles so it doesn't get too confusing and they're both pretty great at the moment.
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Mar 03, 2016
It's easy, just ignore them both...
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Mar 04, 2016
Will continue to do.
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Mar 03, 2016
YESSSSS CHRISTINE!!! Louie Anderson absolutely kills it, amazing really. And of course, Johnny Cochran, superb.
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Mar 03, 2016
I can see Lucifer, the man just plays the role well and the character is hilarious.

Jesus, is magic like Rick, just more magic. I wouldn't say he is good or bad. He just is a maguffin. Can do anything the writers need him to do, doesn't adhere to the world of logic, rationality or physics. As I said, like Rick, just newer and at least at this point not a complete moron.

Jaime? Are you serious? She is a one dimensional character just like the rest of cast of Vinyl. Which is probably the best descriptor of Vinyl, ONE DIMENSIONAL. Temple consistently plays the same type of role, so much so that she is typecast at this point. It isn't a bad thing, this role and character just isn't anything new. We have see it before over and over and over again.

I would put Dottie in there as well for Carter. Mostly because the character was more fleshed out this season and was fantastic in her role. Transitioned to badass super assassin to vulnerable prisoner under Whitney and it was a well done and thought out bad guy.
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Mar 03, 2016
Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance and Juno Temple are mesmerizing. Amazing performances... Can't get enough of them.
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Mar 03, 2016
[nitpick]It's not clear that Lucifer in Lucifer is vulnerable per se. What we saw is Chloe shooting him, which can just as easily mean he got wounded because she shot him, implying she is special in some way[/nitpick]
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Mar 07, 2016
i agree but i think that is yet to be explored.
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Mar 03, 2016
I'm on the same wave as you don't know if you watched last episode but when he punched the wall no damage was made to his hand at all if he was vulnerable than he would have at least had a cut
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Mar 03, 2016
Indeed. Plus Chloe is invulnerable to his charm/powers so it does look like she is somehting special
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Mar 03, 2016
I agree with:
- Jesus from The Walking Dead
- Lucifer from Lucifer
- Roan from The 100
I don´t know the other shows.
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Mar 03, 2016
Pretty good list...no real complaints here. I don't watch a good portion of the shows (I quit watching Vinyl after the abysmal pilot; I don't like American Crime Story and OJ type shows that seem hellbent on trying to exploit/manipulate the current landscape for their own success), but I can't argue with the selections or the reasoning. Juno Temple was literally the only thing I liked about Vinyl, and it was almost enough to keep me watching. The new Agent Carter characters were great because for once the "diversity" angle is based in reality (AKA a timeperiod where those issues TRULY existed). Anita Gibbs has come in and changed the tone of Suits in a way that no other guest stars have been able to (very impressive Leslie Hope). Roan on the 100 is a very intriguing character, but I love that actor in everything (remember when he was just a good looking dumbass on Shameless?). Baskets is hilarious all around. Lucifer I guess is one I might not have on my list, but I can't deny the actor plays the role perfectly and is very charming.
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Mar 03, 2016
Since Agent Carter and Lucifer are the only two in your list that I watch, I gotta go with Lucifer.
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Mar 03, 2016
Coyote from Bordertown needs to be on this list.
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Mar 03, 2016
The criminal & mentally ill disgusting characters, Taylor & Eric, on American Crime are definitely not favorites. They are somewhat entertaining in a pathetic informative way. Comparatively, those who reject societal norms/rules/standards will display much higher percentages of sociopath & criminal behavior.

Now as to great new characters: JENNIFER LOPEZ on SHADES OF BLUE. Often unmentioned but also deserving credit is the show's best supporting actress, Drea de Matteo (as Detective Tess Nazario).
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Mar 03, 2016

I vote for Trixie played by Scarlett Estevez. I normally despise kids (on TV shows), something i have in common with Lucifer, but this one is a keeper. And Trixie seems to love Lucifer and that makes him somewhat uncomfortable. Needless to say that Trixie's interaction with the personification of evil are adorable.

And i absolutely agree on Bertie. She's is the best character on the show. Mickey and Gus are such terrible people it's impossible to root for them. I thought i wouldn't like the show but it turns out it's a kind of you're the worst light. You're the worst is still better though.

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Mar 07, 2016
i think the cutest is edie in grandfathered.
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Mar 03, 2016
Ahem, Beatrix, because, well, you know.
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Mar 03, 2016
Louie Anderson FTW
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Mar 03, 2016
Wow, so many shows on this list and i only watch ONE (some are one my list to watch at a later date however)

I agree about Jesus - i actually like him, so i guess he will die soon
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Mar 03, 2016
So many great characters on American Crime. If I can't say "all of them", then I'll say Coach Sullivan as the outsider everyman whose whole world keeps turning upside-down, and maybe (anti-favorite?) Leslie who defends the school.

Elsewhere, I'll agree with Whitney Frost, Jamie and Lucifer, though I'll also add the lead from Vinyl, Richie. So flawed. Very drama.
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Mar 03, 2016
The Dagda Mor from The Shannara Chronicles. He seems chill.
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Mar 03, 2016
Sarah Paulson is on my list of badly underrated actresses....so yeah.
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Mar 03, 2016
Good list! Lucifer is the reason we watch that show. I mean obviously, the show is called Lucifer. He is one charming and handsome devil and he almost makes that irritating Chloe Decker tolerable. The whole cast of The People Vs. O.J. is really knocking it out of the park, but Sarah Paulson is a beautiful tropical fish. She is so great. Christine Baskets... Oh, Mrs. Baskets!!! I love Mrs. Baskets so much I am going to put a framed picture of her on my mantle and tell people she is my grandma. THAT is how much I am loving Mrs. Baskets.
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Mar 03, 2016
Though I've never seen Shameless (and never will), I absolutely love Zach McGowan in everything I've seen him in (speaking of which, this year's Black Sails has been amazing). Besides being very good-looking, his voice is utterly epic. I'm looking forward to more Roan in The 100's future.

I've never really liked any of Ellis' previous shows, but he is killing it as Lucifer. It looks like he's having a blast playing the role too, and that's probably why I can't get enough of the character. Also, the writing for him is hilariously... devilish (sorry, had to).

Ms. Feldman is a solid choice for Teachers, but the whole ensemble is pretty damn hilarious. Each teacher has some serious laugh out loud moments. I was quite surprised by how funny the show is, and it's definitely a step up from TruTv's Those Who Can't.
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Mar 03, 2016
Good roster. Agree on Lucifer, Roan, Anita Gibbs, Frost & Wilkes. Don't know the rest but have been curious about Baskets and Teachers so thanks for that.
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Mar 03, 2016
As I noted in my recent Lucifer review, I'm liking Tom Ellis when they give him something to do. I think the most recent episode, "Favorite Son", was really the first where they gave him something besides "Quirky and kinda snidely evil, with occasional god/devil joke tossed in." He plays the piano and sings, he lies for the first time, he loses his temper, he rails about humanity blaming him for their problems, he gets a prolonged scene or two of menace which relies on the actor rather than the "Satan's real face" FX they toss in.
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Mar 03, 2016
Oh, and on the list of general Lucifer traits, "Hot seductive lady's man."
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