“My Girl” no more, Chlumsky shines as the ambitious chief of staff to the vice president, scheming her way to campaign manager this season.
Fred Armisen’s partner in quirk can literally play anything, from Toni, the owner of a feminist bookstore, to Nance, a goofy Bohemian.
Two-time Emmy winner Bowen’s portrayal of Claire Dunphy, a busy mother of three, showcases her ability to demonstrate how motherhood is anything but mundane.
“The Big Bang Theory”
Not many women could melt Sheldon Cooper’s dense persona, but Bialik’s Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler is a worthy sparring partner in a performance that has already earned her two noms.
As the whip-smart waitress-turned-microbiologist Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, Ph.D., the comically gifted Rauch more than holds her own with the “Big Bang” boys.
She won four Emmys on “The West Wing” as C.J. Cregg, but Janney’s still a revelation as the unapologetic recovering addict mother to Anna Faris.
A born scene stealer, Perkins somehow manages to make us love her brazen, amoral TV executive — a woman who will do anything and anyone for her job.
“Orange Is the New Black”
As Litchfield prison’s head chef, Mulgrew’s Russian accent, signature red hair and mother-like qualities make her an inmate not to mess with.
Williams’ love-to-hate character Marnie spent season 3 watching her until-now perfect life go through an upheaval, with no boyfriend and no job.
As the glamorous Gloria, Vergara plays up her fiery Latina persona to perfection and more than holds her own as she goes toe-to-toe with onscreen husband and TV vet Ed O’Neill.