To make this list, a show had to premiere between 1 June, 2012 and 31 May, 2013.
Top 10 Shows
1. "Game of Thrones" - HBO
2. "Orphan Black" – BBC America
3. "The Americans" - FX
4. "Justified" - FX
5. "Mad Men" – AMC
6. "House of Cards" – Netflix
7. "Veep" - HBO
8. "New Girl" - FOX
9. "Parks and Recreation" - NBC
10. "30 Rock" - NBC
I thought about making this a top 20 list because I could have easily picked another 10 shows I loved this season, but I cut myself off at 10 (originally, this was supposed to be a top 5 list). Also, the top 6 are all hour-long dramas while the rest are all half-hour comedies. Coincidence? Or am I saying that dramas are more meaningful?
Top 10 Performances
1. Tatiana Maslany: Sarah, Alison, Cosima, et al. – "Orphan Black"
2. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: Jaime Lannister - "Game of Thrones"
3. Jennifer Carpenter: Debra Morgan - "Dexter"
4. Matthew Rhys: Philip Jennings - "The Americans"
5. Maisie Williams: Arya Stark – "Game of Thrones"
6. Peter Dinklage: Tyrion Lannister – "Game of Thrones"
7. Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Selina Meyer – "Veep"
8. Clarke Peters: Albert Lambreaux - "Treme"
9. Charles Dance: Tywin Lannister – "Game of Thrones"
10. Bryan Cranston: Walter White – "Breaking Bad"
Diana Rigg: Olenna Tyrell – "Game of Thrones"
Keri Russell: Elizabeth Jennings – "The Americans"
I realize there are a lot of GAME OF THRONES actors on this list. What can I say? The show has terrific performances that I consider better than most shows. I did try to not include that many from one show but I couldn't in good conscience do it and keep the list genuine.
Also, before someone asks why I didn't break the list up between men and women, it's because they are all actors. Why separate acting categories by sexes? That's ridiculous. This isn't athletics.
Top 5 New Shows
1. "Orphan Black" – BBC America
2. "The Americans" - FX
3. "House of Cards" - Netflix
4. "Elementary" - CBS
5. "Copper" – BBC America
There weren't that many new shows I thought should be on this list that I actually watched. The CW's ARROW could have made this list but I'm not finished watching it. Consider it an honorable mention.
And the Top Talent Award of the 2012-2013 Season goes to:
Tatiana Maslany – "Orphan Black"
This young Canadian actor bested highly respected veterans in a TV season with many excellent performances. If you aren’t watching her on ORPHAN BLACK, then I cannot emphasize enough that it would benefit your life to do so as soon as possible.
The From Best-to-Worst Award goes to:
"Community" - NBC
Created by Dan Harmon and killed by Dan Harmon’s firing. The new show runners tried very hard to deliver on the fruitful Harmon garden but only managed to peel back some skin without squeezing out an ounce of juice (minus one episode by Oscar winning writer Jim Rash). Thankfully Harmon has been hired back for next season.
*The choices are personal and not meant to be definitive. Make your own and post it in the comments section.