The Best New TV Characters of 2009

2009 was a great year for meeting new friends—even if those friends were imaginary and beamed via coaxial cable wires or streamed through the internet. Several returning shows added new characters that charmed us (or tried to kill us), and a slew of new programs introduced us to entire casts of potential pen pals (including "cool" dads, bloodsuckers, and a female pimp). We singled out our 20 favorite new characters of the year.

Mitchell from Modern Family

Played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Yeah, yeah, I know you all want to see Phil Dunphy here as the rep for Modern Family, but for my money, Mitchell is the one that makes it all happen. As the Abbott to Cameron's Costello, Mitchell has the best comedic timing of the stellar cast, and no one can shift uncomfortably like Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Memorable Moment: Figure skating in the parking lot with Claire.

Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries

Played by Ian Somerhalder
If Vampire Diaries was just a simple vampire-boy-meets-girl storyline, it would suck. I mean, when has that ever worked? Come on! But adding an evil S.O.B. like Boone Damon spices things up quite nicely.
Memorable Moment: Damon disses Twilight.

Sue Sylvester from Glee

Played by Jane Lynch
I had a female gym teacher just like Sue in high school (didn't we all?). At the time, I didn't think she was funny, but seeing Sue on my television screen makes me realize how much I should have appreciated my teacher as a valuable source of entertainment. Sue is the type of person who will get you a kitten, let you fall in love with that kitten, then sneak into your house and punch you in the face.
Memorable Moment: You want us to pick just one!?!?

Arthur "Trinity" Mitchell from Dexter

Played by John Lithgow
Just when you thought serial killers couldn't get any creepier, along comes the guy from 3rd Rock From the Sun to redefine the word. Arthur—the scariest challenge our lovable anti-hero Dexter has faced—disarmed us with a sense of class, then literally disarmed us by cutting our arms off. Ah, who needed those anyway?
Memorable Moment: "Hello, Dexter Morgan."

Rev. Steve Newlin from True Blood

Played by Michael McMillian
He's a fast-talkin' preacher man and used-car salesman rolled into one, and who can resist that ear-to-ear grin? The Rev. Steve captured our attention with a brilliant caricature of the religious right, even though he wanted all vampires—even Jessica!—to be vaporized in God's shining glory.
Memorable Moment: Showing off the Church's armory to Jason.

Lucifer from Supernatural

Played by Mark Pellegrino (and others)

The Devil that Kripke and company have created is just so gosh-darn nice, we can't hate him. In fact, he's convinced us that he's simply misunderstood, and that God is the bad guy! What's that, Lucifer? You want us to burn down that puppy sanctuary? Okay! (Clicking the image goes to video.)
Memorable Moment: Convincing Nick to say "yes."

Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad

Played by Bob Odenkirk
Better call Saul! Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan told me that Season 2 would lighten up as soon as Saul came onto the scene, and boy was he right. The ambulance-chasing lawyer isn't afraid to take on shady cases, call a guy who knows a guy, and leave his morals at home... which makes him a perfect fit for Breaking Bad. The fact that one of my favorite comedians plays him doesn't hurt, either.
Memorable Moment: Saul saving his skin when Walt and Jesse make him dig his own grave.

Tanya from Hung

Played by Jane Adams
HBO has seen better shows than Hung, but thanks to Jane Adams' stellar performance, it hasn't seen many female leads better than Tanya. For my money, she bests Ray Drecker as the star of the show.
Memorable Moment: Her quick transition to P-I-M-P.

Abed from Community

Played by Danny Pudi
Our "Most Likely to Be From Another Planet" award goes to the socially inept—yet strangely aware—Abed. This unusual creature gets extra credit for his hilarious end-of-show bits with buddy Troy.
Memorable Moment: Abed is... Batman.

Richard Castle from Castle

Played by Nathan Fillion
At this point, Nathan Fillion could play a cadaver and he'd still be a joy to watch on screen. Cocky, wise-cracking horror novelist Richard Castle is Fillion's latest gem, and the role fits him perfectly.
Memorable Moment: The unveiling of his "WRITER" bulletproof vest.

The next best:
Kurt from Glee, played by Chris Colfer
Phil from Modern Family, played by Ty Burrell
Cal Lightman from Lie to Me, played by Tim Roth
Nicholas Rush from Stargate Universe, played by Robert Carlyle
Davis from Accidentally on Purpose, played by Nicolas Wright
Kenny Powers from Eastbound and Down, played by Danny McBride
Queen Anna from V, played by Morena Baccarin
Ethan Zobelle from Sons of Anarchy, played by Adam Arkin
Brick from The Middle, played by Atticus Shafer
Jackie Peyton from Nurse Jackie, played by Edie Falco

Which new characters were your favorites this year?

Comments (77)
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Drea de Matteo who plays her new role on Desperate Housewives like when she was on The Sopranos
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Cast of Community & Brick from The Middle are my favs. Also Erin from the Office & Manny from Modern Family
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Sue Sylvester is awesome:p

SO funny! :D
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Jules Cobb from Cougar Town...
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And where is Tara (magnificent Toni Collette) with her multiple personalities and Nurse Jackie (wonderful Edie Falco) and some other great characters from that show: hillarious Zoey, sweet Mo-mo, as well as Ellie and Coop.
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Veronica from Better Off Ted gets my vote, she is the only comparison out there for Sue Sylvester's great, never know what will come of of her mouth, character.
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The cast of Better off Ted
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I agree with a lot of these choices... the ones I don't agree with is only because I don't watch the shows so I have no say... but hehe I love Abed :)
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Let's not forget Hetty from NCIS:Los Angeles, the character is a gem made especially perfect by Linda Hunt. And even though I like Achbed from Community, how about Pierce? Davis reminds me of every male college student I have ever met, which is intersting since I work at a university.
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Loved John LIthgow in Dexter, great to see him make the list!
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Would have to agree with Richard Castle and Sue Sylvester. Would have to disagree with Tanya from "Hung"...
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i love abed and if nbc cancels community i will personally rip who ever is responsible for it, balls off. Because lately it seems like there are a bunch of idiots running that company, they cancels southland, which was obviously a good show since tnt picked it up, for the jay leno show. Really, that show sucks. how could they cancel trauma too, well it seems they are going after a few more episodes. They should make up their minds about heroes too, because lately that sucks so they should get to a freaking conclusion and get rid of it. Oh yea, Chuck is a good show but no one i know has ever heard of it, and thats looking pretty good. My main point, Abed is awesome and get rid of the effing jay leno show, it really really sucks and why would they want three talk shows. I fine with conan and jimmy, those guys are awesome.
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add a comment
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great great list
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Castle is a Mystery or at least Thriller writer, not Horror. Hence the helping the police solve mysteries.
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good choice with damon salvatore and lucifer :) but i also gotta go with neal caffery from white collar. he can con me any day.
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uh, except Richard Castle doesn't write horror but crime novels.
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lol crossed out boone
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Cal Lightman should def be in the top somewhere
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I'm obligated to throw in my 24 vote. President Taylor and Renee Walker are great characters. Larry Moss too, but he's dead now
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How about Samuel Sullivan from Heroes? Robert Knepper portays him perfecty. By the way, I'm from Denmark, and Knepper means something very naughty in my language;)!
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Davis from accidentally on purpose is great. like him a lot. he could be the next NPH as a scene stealer. love all of his scene
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add a comment
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olivia of gossip girl 3 played by hilary duff
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I think Sue's best speech was "I won't rest until every inch of our fair state is covered in garbage. That's why I pay taxes. It keeps garbage men earning a living so they can afford tacos. For their families."
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I'll go along with Castle, but also have to mention Dr. Harris from one of my favorite new shows, MERCY. The way the character has developed, the interplay of sympathy and aggravation he causes, the continuing depth in each episode -- which is true for every character on that much-underrated show -- all put him on the list. (And I might give a second pick to Kate Mulgrew's portrayal of Veronica's mother, totally real and totally believable -- and her "You know, we really ARE white trash" line in a recent episode, the way she's dealing and not dealing with her husband's Alzheimer's, all are surprising from someone who was not a favorite of mine as Janeway.)
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Puck from Glee. Lol. I love him. That cupcake thing made me laugh so hard I cried.
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Cameron from Modern Family & Jessica from True Blood!

asya155, Lucifer had to first convince Nick to say "yes" (by posing as his dead wife). Once he got Nick's meat suit (as pictured above), he moved on to try to convince Sam to say yes.
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Kurt from Glee! And Artie! They both deserved to be on the list, but I love Sue too. Brick, Mike, and Sue from The Middle are also extremely awesome :]
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Sue is hilariously evil. The only antagonist for whom you will cry if she breaks a leg. But then she'll make it funny, so you'll laugh.
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By the way Lucifer in supernatural was convincing Sam not Nick :$.
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Totally with ya about Damon in vampire diaries is a hot evil S.O .P (exactly my type ;) ) is the main reason that I even watch that show.And Lucifer in Supernatural WOW is the best Lucifer ever I have ever seen *the hottest to*.
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Lucifer, Cal Lightman and Charlie Crews
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John Lithgow and Edie Falco.
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Abed is the best written/acted character since Ari Gold. Thumbs up for Lithgow's serial killer!
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Anyone who'd seen Raising Cain would know Lithgow can turn the creepiness up to 11. He's an excellent, versatile actor.
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Best Dexter moment with Trinity is obviousley the Thanksgiving scene:

"Nobody said they were thankful for me..Shutup c**t!*
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Umm President Taylor from 24 I think
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Kenny Powers and Abed, Pure win. I think a lot of the Characters from Community are really good though.
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Detective Charlie Crews and the wanking guy from Sons of anarchy... especially after he lost his fingers, he became almost as Zen as Crews :P
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How in the hell is Sam Axe from Burn Notice is not on here yet???
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Finally!! A well rounded list about something!!!! My personally favs: Edie falco from Nurse Jackie. Jesse Ferguson from Modern Family. And of course John Lithgow from Dexter. Showtime always seems to crank out unique great tv shows for the past few years. And Modern family really surprised me. Funny show. And everyone from Glee. WTF is wrong with me.. I'm way late on the Glee crazy but thank goodness I'm finally caught up. Oh and how about Dollhouse having a REALLY REALLY good legit season 2 (towards the end that is) WHY FOX WHYYYYYYY!!!
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Stephan Salvatore very hot! and Dr. Spencer Reid
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Erin from the Office.. very cute
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Rush from SGU should be on the most annoying characters list not this one
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Very happy to see so many of my favs on here: Castle, Cal Lightman, Lucifer, all so amazing.
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I wholeheartedly agree with Sue and Lucifer. Sue is just cruel but amazing and Supernatural redefined Lucifed in an awesome and unexpected way. It's hard for him to be a bad guy when he never lies and he seems to be on a noble quest.
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Yay! Abed and Sue Sylvester! and nice tribute to Firefly on Castle. Nathan Fillion's the man.
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What aboot Danny from 30 Rock? I also like Hetty from NCIS: Los Angeles, and my personal favorite, Rallo in The Cleveland Show.
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You're wrong.TANYA isn't the female lead in HUNG.There isn't one.
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