2014 in Review: TV's 21 Most Valuable Players

You win an Emmy or create a critical/ratings smash and you get to rest on your laurels, right?

Not if you’re one of TVLine’s Most Valuable Players of 2014.

As we brainstormed our end-of-year awards galleries (if you missed ’em, please check out Part 1 and Part 2), certain names kept popping up — and not necessarily in the places you expected to find ’em. Shonda Rhimes on The Mindy Project? Allison Janney slaying us again (and not for her Emmy-winning turns on Mom or Masters of Sex)? Michiel Huisman making us stop our ad-break fast-forwarding for The Seduction of Gisele Bündchen?

Below, check out the 21 folks who played pivotal roles in at least one major TV project in 2014 — but who also moonlighted in other interesting or out-of-left-field endeavors.

When you’re done, hit the comments with your thoughts on our MVPs of 2014 — then let us know if there’s anyone you feel should’ve been added to the list of honorees.


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Ally Oop says:

    I haven’t watched many of the shows mentioned on here. However, I’m glad you included Michael Huisman who I watched and liked in both Nashville and Orphan Black. I’d also like to mention I liked watching Daniel Gillies do double duty in starring roles in both The Originals and Saving Hope (for a total of 40 hour-long episodes in one year).

  2. abz says:

    Lots of great choices. I’m really glad to see Matt Bomer, Greg Berlanti, and Carrie Preston make the list. They’ve done great work this year. Hope to see Carrie back on The Good Wife soon (I can never get sick of Elsbeth) and TV in general and Matt definitely needs to win that Golden Globe.

  3. Annie says:

    Mindy Kaling’s absence from this list renders it invalid

    • Guest says:

      Besides TMP which other projects has Mindy been a part of this year?

      • Dude says:

        The list shouldn’t be based on quantity of things people did but quality and who dominated pop culture in 2014. Mindy definitely fits. She single-handledly started a new Christmas tradition (Wreath Witherspoon anyone?) and her show has never been hotter.

        • Lauren says:

          Yet it says right above what this is about (“folks who played pivotal roles in at least one major TV project in 2014 — but who also moonlighted in other interesting or out-of-left-field endeavors.”) And I think TVline gave lots of recognition to your Mindy and Gina in other end of year awards?

        • Guest says:

          If Mindy did not moonlight in other projects then she did not fit, simple as that. And about her sow being hotter, that’s subjective really

  4. George says:

    Steven Weber

  5. Sara says:

    Yay! To Tony Goldwyn making the list. He’s so underrated on Scandal.

  6. A says:

    Oliver, Diggle and Felicity from Arrow have been my TV MVPs this year. They don’t always get as much screen-time as they should, but when they do they kill it.

    • Guest says:

      The actor themselves, not the characters they play. Are these actors pulling double duty anywhere else smh!

      • jj says:

        Well you want to get technical, the actors have appeared on Arrow and on The Flash. Same characters but still pulling double duty

        • Netty says:

          Omg that hardly counts, a crossover is more like ‘work overtime’ rather than pulling double duty. Would you compare a one-off 42 min crossover episode with what Shonda or any of the other MVPs listed have achieved this year.

    • Dude says:

      Felicity and Oliver doesn’t always get as much screen time as they should? How much more do you want? They’re basically the entire show.

      • nikki says:

        And that’s why the show is sucking this year. More Diggle and more Lance. That’s what Arrow needs. Not more Oliver or Felicity.

  7. Jenna says:

    Which table will Matthew Goode sit at during the Golden Globes..The Good Wife, Downton Abbey or The Imitation Game…nice choices to have..someone had a very Goode year.

    • Tenney says:

      Matthew Goode was also pretty great as George Wickham on the British Miniseries “Death comes to Pemberley”. This was shown on PBS a couple months ago.

      • Jenna says:

        Yes, indeed – I forgot! I kinda wish he had been given the role of Darcy though and Rhys was Wickham. So, that makes 4 nice roles for Mr. Goode.

  8. LaPiquante says:

    As for Michael Huisman, I’ve seen balls of lint with more charisma. That’s okay, though. More Hot Paul for me.

    Which reminds me, it’s been bothering me for a while that you keep including Paul’s rape scene on Orphan Black in your lists of “best,” “hottest,” “sexiest” moments of 2014. It’s like you’ve completely forgotten the context. It wasn’t hot–it was icky. Can you please include it on your “Ickiest of 2014” list?

  9. Dude says:

    Gina Rodriguez and Tatiana Maslany…that is all. That said, this list seems more like “people who got a lot of work in 2014”

  10. @amykinz13 says:

    You forgot to mention Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien for season 3b

  11. HAP says:

    Keegan-Michael Key is is incredibly talented. I’ve been a huge fan since his days on Mad TV.

  12. Fran says:

    People get so touchy about these lists, geez… Anyway, glad to see Matthew Goode and Carrie Preston make the cut, as they’re both well-deserved.

  13. hud says:

    Jim Parsons really? His own words TBBT has changed his life. 1million an episode plus back end money has a way of doing that. That annoying character has worn thin real fast.

  14. kirads09 says:

    Sherlock – The Hobbit Franchise – Fargo. An excellent SNL hosting gig with a very talked about hit skit (the office/hobbit mash up). 2014 seemed to be Martin Freemans time in the spotlight to shine. I cannot think of a more deserving talent or be happier for him. Only more great performances from him to come It think.