The TV Character Of The Year – And Our Top Five Picks

This year has provided no shortage of memorable TV moments from some of our favorite characters.  Copious amounts of election coverage were balanced by TV moments that made us laugh, cry, and throw our slippers at the flat screen in anger.  One thing is certain: TV was a source for loads of entertainment this year.  Just as TIME Magazine has its Person of the Year, introduces our inaugural TV Character of the Year.

The Walking Dead Zombies character of 2012 number 5


Played by:  Lots of people that walk around dead

The lovable reanimated from this AMC series are among the most under-appreciated characters.  While it is unconventional to nominate a group for TV Character of the Year, the zombies from The Walking Dead are among our top five. What more could you want from the flesh-hungry dead, once living and now returned to tear at your limbs?

As the main antagonist1 of The Walking Dead, even while outnumbering humans 5,000 to 1, hardly anyone thinks to give the zombies the recognition that they deserve. Not only do they have to endure the harsh conditions of the world ever-hungry, angry, and slow-walking, but some of our most beloved characters have since turned.

Bethenny Frankel cable tv 2012


Played by: Bethenny Frankel

From the financially unstable cast member on The Real Housewives of New York to a breakout star on the cover of Forbes2, Bethenny Frankel is by far the biggest success story of any reality TV show.  Frankel leaves nothing to the imagination, unabashedly wearing her faults and anxieties on display in both of her Bravo spin-off series: Bethenny Getting Married? and Bethenny Ever After.  Fans have grown with Frankel as she balances marriage, a baby, multi-million dollar business deals, and the emotional adjustments that she confronts concerning her rapid rags to riches story.

Frankel encourages and inspires both fans and family to work hard and live a balanced, healthy lifestyle.  While reality TV may have garnered Frankel attention, it was the $100 million deal with Jim Beam that put her on the map.  With a $64 million dollar take from the Skinny Girl-Jim Beam deal, Frankel could have retired on an island, but true to her ethos, Frankel continues to forge ahead as the star of her own daytime talk show.

Cable TV character 2012


Played by: Claire Danes

In addition to having hunted down world terrorist leader Abu Nazir in 2012, distressed CIA agent Carrie Mathison set a Showtime ratings record with the season 2 finale of Homeland. What makes Carrie so likeable is that she is struggling with bipolar disorder while trying to save the country from a potential terrorist attack. Perhaps The A.V. Club’s Todd VanDerWerff3 puts it best when he wrote, “She throws herself into things with reckless abandon, and she pretty much expects that if she keeps hurling herself at a wall, it’s going to give way.” Actress Claire Danes portrayal of Carrie Mathison has earned her a slew of awards, including a Golden Globe and a Primetime Emmy.

hannah horvath cable tv character


Played by: Lena Dunham

Hannah Horvath is on-screen proof that beauty is not just skin deep,while portraying experiences many 20-something girls can relate to.   Hannah confronts realistic issues of post-undergraduates, including sex, friendships, relationships, and finding one’s self-worth in a quirky, comical manner.   Unafraid to showcase her flaws, she is a real women and undeniably alluring.  Hannah’s vulnerability is just as refreshing as it is relatable.

Hannah has become the role model for 20-somethings who are looking to understand their lives after college. Unlike her Sex In The City predecessors, Hannah depicts the Brooklynites of our generation, inspired by Carrie Bradshaw but still figuring out life in the big city.  Like many other women of our generation, she is more concerned with living life by her own rules, chasing experiences, and focusing on her creative dreams— even if that means working at a coffee shop and holding the title “unpublished writer”.

Be sure to check out what Hannah is up to when season 24 of Girls premieres on Jan. 13 on HBO.

Tyrion cable TV character of the year


Played by: Peter Dinklage

In 2012, Tyrion Lannister completely broke the mold of what a protagonist on TV should be. On top of being an emotionally vulnerable dwarf, the well-layered character is a member of the ghastly Lannister family. Season Two of HBO’s Game of Thrones left Tyrion stripped of his power despite a great military victory for his nephew, King Joffrey Baratheon. Among actor Peter Dinklage’s awards for playing Tyrion is the 2012 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. TV Fanatic’s Eric Hochberger5 put it best when he said, “That dude isn’t just a player in the game, he is Game of Thrones to me.”

1More on Zombies as the main antagonist from
2Bethenny Frankels latest Forbes Feature
3Complete article by Todd VanDerWerff for
4season 2 of Girls trailor via
5Read Eric Hochbergers article for

Emiah has always been intrigued by the cable TV industry. She is consistently questioning how certain shows become pop culture phenomenons while others unceremoniously fail. Emiah has a deep appreciation for Andy Cohen and The Real Housewives franchise.

Leave a comment