The Emmys do their best at honoring the best in television, but a few things fall through the cracks. Here is your chance to vote on the Best Breakout Performance from the 2012-2013 television season.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister ("Game of Thrones") — Through the first two seasons of "Game of Thrones," we knew little more than that the eldest Lannister son was good with a sword and a quip. In season 3, Coster-Waldau got some juicier material to work with — why did the Kingslayer kill the royal he had sworn to protect? — and took advantage of the opportunity.
Tatiana Maslany as, well, a lot of characters ("Orphan Black") — When you consider the sheer number of characters Maslany portrayed on the freshman BBC America series, her lack of an Emmy nomination becomes more and more jarring. How many actresses are capable of portraying a half dozen clones but then also nail those clones pretending to be other characters? If it's this confusing to explain, imagine how tough it was on Maslany.
Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman ("Orange Is the New Black") — Schilling has bounced around in a few roles (remember NBC's "Mercy"? Oh, no?) before finding her sweet spot as an incarcerated yuppie. Schilling has to play Chapman at different points in her life — in flashbacks to her days working in an international drug ring with her lesbian lover up through her acceptance and eventual fitting in to life as an inmate.
Valorie Curry as Emma Hill ("The Following") — Don't be fooled by the cute pixie haircut: Emma Hill is a stone-cold killer. Her dead-eyed devotion to cult leader Joe Carroll and fondness for stabbing made her the most terrifying character on "The Following." And Curry, a newcomer with only a few guest-star credits, impressed us … and scared the bejeezus out of us.
Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes ("House of Cards") — Kevin Spacey gets all the pub (and the Emmy nomination), but Mara's conflicted blogger Zoe Barnes was the moral compass of "Cards" (if it had one, that is). She started out willing to step on anyone's throat to land a story, but she grew a conscience when she learned exactly how evil Frank Underwood was.
Chris Messina as Danny Castellano ("The Mindy Project") — Dr. Danny Castellano brings a welcome swagger to Fox's freshman sitcom, and that's thanks to Messina, who's usually seen in dramas ("The Newsroom," "Damages"). But we're glad he gave comedy a shot: He complements Mindy perfectly.
Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice McKee ("American Horror Story: Asylum") — When we met Sister Mary Eunice, she was a meek, subservient nun at a creepy asylum. But then she got possessed by the Devil ... and became really fun. Rabe had a ball playing up Mary's sexy, Satanic side; we wish "AHS: Asylum" had received 18 Emmy nods so that Rabe could have gotten one.
** VOTING CLOSES AT 10 P.M. ET ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 **
[ More categories: Most Memorable Moment ~ Best Couple ~ Best New Show ~ Character You Love to Hate ~ Best Supporting Character ~ Group You’d Want to Hang Out With ~ Best Guilty Pleasure ~ Best Bromance ~ Departing Show You’ll Miss The Most ~ Best Show Overlooked by the Academy ]