Vote for 2016’s Breakout TV Star

(Credit: TBS/NBC/Netflix/HBO/Fox)
Photo: TBS/NBC/Netflix/HBO/Fox

It’s time for the Yahooies, Yahoo TV’s second annual reader-voted awards honoring the best — and sometimes worst — of 2016. Each day through Dec. 16, we will announce the nominees for one category, with an accompanying poll. The winners will be crowned Monday, Dec. 19.

The nominees for Breakout Star of 2016 are…

(Credit: HBO)
Photo: HBO

Riz Ahmed (The Night Of)
As Nasir Khan, Golden Globe nominee Ahmed took viewers with him on a long, emotional journey, starting with the fateful night in question. He played Nasir’s shock and confusion, fear and vulnerability, determination and strength so beautifully. His eyes told the story of his transformation from a sheltered and naive young man trapped by the legal system to the flinty prison power player with a dark side. Thanks to Ahmed, The Night Of made Nasir’s nightmare a waking reality. —Kelly Woo

(Credit: TBS)
Photo: TBS

Samantha Bee (Full Frontal With Samantha Bee)
#ImWithBee should be our resolution for 2017. Bee was always hilarious on The Daily Show, but headlining her own outfit has let her truly shine. Her righteously angry, meticulously researched, very profane takedowns made this insane presidential election cycle much more tolerable. Bee won’t take any nonsense — and that should make the next four years a lot of fun. —KW

Related: ‘Full Frontal With Samantha Bee’: Behind the Scenes of 5 of the Show’s 2016 News Hits

(Credit: Netflix)
Photo: Netflix

Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things)
She may have been just 11 years old, but Brown seemed like a pro of many years playing Eleven. Her portrayal made you want to hug Elle while also being in total awe of her jaw-dropping abilities. Brown gave Eleven so many facets: She started out as timid and fearful, but soon became fiercely protective of her friends. Give the girl an Eggo! —KW

(Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Sterling K. Brown (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and This Is Us)
This year has sucked for a lot of reasons. Getting to see Sterling K. Brown prove his mettle on two fantastic shows was not one of them. Most people only knew Christopher Darden, a lawyer vilified by the black community for being part of the team that prosecuted O.J. Simpson, as the guy sitting next to Marcia Clark, but Brown infused him with depth, ambition, intelligence, a desire for justice, loyalty, and even rhythm. (Who can forget the dance break?) Then the Emmy winner (and now Golden Globe nominee) took on the role of This Is Us’s Randall, a loving, witty husband and father who we wish would adopt us. He cooks. He does hair. He is successful enough to buy a boat on a whim. Brown presents the strong face of a man who has survived and thrived in spite of, but can just as adroitly call forth, the wounded, abandoned boy that Randall once was. —Carrie Bell

Related: Sterling K. Brown Talks the Power of His 1-2 Punch: ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ and ‘This Is Us’

(Credit: Ray Mickshaw/Fox)
Photo: Ray Mickshaw/Fox

Kylie Bunbury (Pitch)
With This Is Us’s Dan Fogelman as a co-creator, this show deserved more viewers in its first season (you can binge the 10 episodes over the holidays!). But anyone who did tune in — and got hooked on the story of MLB’s first female player — knows that Bunbury will be fine even if Fox decides not to renew the drama. As pitcher Ginny Baker, she’s provedn she can be No. 1 on the call sheet, handle the demands of a physical role, and perform the drama (and comedy) of gender politics, dysfunctional family and friends, and forbidden romance. —Mandi Bierly

Vote now!

Vote for 2016’s Best New Ensemble Cast

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Vote for 2016’s Most Infuriating Plot Twist

Vote for 2016’s Best Scene-Stealer

Vote for 2016’s Best New Couple