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Year in Review

Performer of the Year: The 20 Finalists

Best TV Performances 2021

We tried to put it off, but we’ve unfortunately reached one of the more painful parts of our 2021 in Review: choosing a Performer of the Year… somehow.

All year long, Team TVLine has recognized the small screen’s most captivating work via our Performer of the Week column, honoring actors from broadcast, cable and streaming series as they’ve made us weep with sadness or laughter. (Sometimes both!) But now, we’re tasked with naming a Performer of the Year after another tremendous 12 months of television.

To start, we’ve narrowed down the extremely crowded field to 20 finalists, named alphabetically in the list below, which doubles as a “ballot” of sorts. (Note: As usual, any contenders comprised of multiple co-stars — in this case, The Other Two‘s Heléne Yorke and Drew Tarver — compete as and will be considered one finalist.)

On Friday, Dec. 17, we will crown one of the nominees (and only one!) our 2021 Performer of the Year, dethroning the 2020 victor, I May Destroy You‘s Michaela Coel. And while our esteemed panel of judges won’t necessarily be swayed by the Comments section, we’re itching to see if our 20 finalists line up with your favorite performances of the year.

Scroll through the list below to see who’s in the running from this year’s shows, then drop a comment with your thoughts on who might be named Performer of the Year 2021.

Still ahead in TVLine’s 2021 in Review: TV’s Biggest Controversies, Dumb Things TV Did, Coolest Scenes, The Year’s TV Weddings, Ranked and much more!