While it may center on superheroes, don’t underestimate the popularity of this new show. And if anyone knows how to build an ensemble, it’s creator Joss Whedon, who’s been responsible for everything from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to “Firefly.”
Drama: Mob City
This new TNT show comes from Frank Darabont, who built a killer ensemble with “The Walking Dead.” This 1940s drama stars former “Dead” star Jon Bernthal, Emmy nominee Gregory Itzin (“24”), and Alexa Davalos, who appeared in Darabont’s “The Mist.”
Drama: Orange Is the New Black
Netflix’s biggest hit premiered with a few recognizable faces (Jason Biggs, Laura Prepon) but has made stars out of Taylor Schilling and the other actors who make up the world of a woman’s prison. While Uzo Aduba and Paolo Schreiber might not yet be household names, everyone knows “Crazy Eyes” and “Pornstache.”
Drama: Orphan Black
Playing multiple roles, Tatiana Maslany deserves an ensemble award all by herself. But she’s aided by an able cast like Jordan Gavaris and Dylan Bruce. Can a pack of relative unknowns in a BBC America show break through to voters?
Drama: House of Cards
Tough to top a cast that includes Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, but the supporting players also shine, from Kate Mara to Michael Kelly and particularly the great Corey Stoll, who deserved a supporting actor Emmy nod.
Drama: Masters of Sex
Some of the best acting to be seen anywhere is on Showtime’s acclaimed new series, starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as sex researchers Masters and Johnson. The whole cast is packed with scene-stealers, including MVP Allison Janney as a frustrated wife.
Allison Janney is MVP again in this new CBS comedy, playing a recovering addict who is also the mother of an alcoholic, played by the always hilarious Anna Faris.
Comedy: Brooklyn Nine-Nine
When you have Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher in your cast, you know it’s an eclectic group. This comedy set in a police precinct offers a wide range of great comic voices, including Joe Lo Truglio and Terry Crews.
Comedy: Trophy Wife
Bradley Whitford is his reliably great self as a thrice-married father in this new comedy, but it’s the wives who steal the show, from title character Malin Akerman to Michaela Watkins to Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden.
Comedy: The Crazy Ones
David E. Kelley shows always feature great ensemble work, and this new hit is no exception. Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar star as father and daughter (and co-workers) with able support from James Wolk, Amanda Setton and Hamish Linklater.
Comedy: Getting It On
A late entry to the race, this new HBO comedy set in a nursing home stars a dream trio of hilarious women: Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein and Niecy Nash.