Top TV Characters

As the final television season of the decade has begun, SheKnows looks at the Top 10 TV characters of the entire decade. From the rich ensembles of Desperate Housewives to the great Grey's, who will make the list of the Top 10 TV characters of the decade?

Sydney Bristow from AliasSydney Bristow on Alias

Sydney Bristow kicks old-fashioned television butt. There is no other way to put it. Jennifer Garner instantly became a sensation in 2001 when her Bristow burst on the television screen

As an CIA-type agent working alongside her father, Garner achieved a marvel.

Her Sydney was equal parts pinup for the guys with an overwhelming amount of super spy abilities to impress a female audience to make her a model for the powerful woman.

Garner's Sydney and the Alias show never quite hit the groove it needed to become a long-standing hit. It only ran from 2001 to 2006, but in that time Garner proved a powerful actress capable of carrying a complex, romantic and adventurous story with equal parts power and panache.

Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy

Beyond anchoring the show from a titular nature, Ellen Pompeo's Meredith Grey is simply a study in the world from the point of a view of one woman, in one city, with one set of circumstances. Yet, where Grey's Anatomy goes from primetime soap to passionately followed primetime top 10 smash of the 2000s. 

TThe Sopranosony Soprano on The Sopranos

The mere mention of Tony Soprano's moniker conjures up images of hundreds of millions, even if they have never witness a single episode of The Sopranos.

In 1999, HBO launched the mob drama that was unlike anything ever produced about the Mafiosos and the women who love them and the children who look to them.

James Gandolfini was the Godfather of television from 1999 until the show's bow in 2007. What makes Gandolfini's Tony so gripping is his multilayered complexity that had been until then, previously unseen on a fictional mobster.

First, there is the family in the suburbs. The wife, the two kids – one boy, one girl – the two cars and the garage. Tony Soprano has the American Dream works.

Quickly, audiences realize this is no Brady Bunch. But, with the power of Gandolfini's Emmy-winning performance as Tony, Boss Soprano has crippling vulnerabilities that makes him more human than any other crime character in television history.

Ugly BettySure, Tony visits a therapist, but that is only one spoke in the wheel that is the complexity of a man trying to make a living, support his wife and family, deal with his mother issues, fend off threats from work that seek to unhinge his family's security, teenage children failing at resisting their raging hormones and independence urges, that is exactly why the layered performance by Gandolfini as Tony is a titan of television history.

Tie: Willimena Slater & Betty Suares on Ugly Betty

Ugly Betty is another terrific ensemble television staple of the decade. Yet, there is a yin and yang of awesomeness that is both Wilhelmina Slater as portrayed by Vanessa Williams and America Ferrera's Betty Suarez.

Willimeena is so inherently band while Betty is beautifully good. Willimeena's boardroom bodacious behavior is such a compliment to Betty's Bronx-based beautiful world.

SheKnows wishes they could give two Emmys to Williams and Ferrera. Without these two working together through the myriad of Mode, Ugly Betty would barely stand.

Because audiences have both characters anchoring the cast, Willimeena and Betty are one of SheKnows best TV characters of the decade.

Ugly Betty premieres on ABC October 9 at 8 pm!

Kate gets LostKate Austen on Lost

Kate does what she has to do to survive. Yes, we're chatting Lost, so that could mean a plane crash. Kate survives one of those, actually two!

Kate Austen is special for the decade of television that is the first decade of the 2000s because of the way her story has unraveled over five years as she murderously stuck up for her ungrateful mother to the radical change of Kate from fugitive to fawning mother with Evangeline Lilly at the wheel of character development is pure bliss.

So much of Kate's cauldron comes from her reaction to an emotional situation. Back in the United States in flashbacks or flashforwards, Kate navigates a road that keeps her storyline pumping in another ensemble piece where it would have been easy to be Lost.

Up next...the final four!

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Comments on "Top 10 TV characters of the decade"

Ryan June 02, 2013 | 12:10 PM

No House, Walter White, No Dean Winchester, No Dexter, No Tenth Doctor? Sucky list.

Cat November 11, 2010 | 6:18 PM

Where's Sue Sylvester? Where's Dean Winchester? And like others said where are House, Dexter and Monk?

Paul September 24, 2010 | 4:20 PM

You guys should change this website from she knows to she doesn't know. This is probably one of the worst List I ever seen I mean it looks like ABC paid you guys to put most of ABC shows characters on there I mean No Dexter Morgan or Omar Little and they been named on ever list I seen in till now. This list is a joke.

Christine September 13, 2010 | 5:28 PM

This is one of the worst lists I've ever seen! Jack Bauer and Sidney Bristow I agree with but the other ones I wouldn't even consider putting on a top 25 list. Did this guy only watch 10 shows in his career?

cameron July 15, 2010 | 4:18 PM

House. Dexter. Where?

Sternocleidomastoideus June 11, 2010 | 4:59 AM

I'm not sure Meredith Grey would have made my top 100 list. As for Barney, I sure think he is hilarious, but so are lots of other supporting actors/actresses in other shows as well. Therefore, I find his high ranking a little odd. It is miscarriage of justice not to include Gregory House in the top 10. In my opinion he is far superior and much more complex than any other character.

Janet May 22, 2010 | 4:44 PM

I have two characters to add to this list. One, "Desmond" from "Lost". This character's reappearance in the last season boosted the show's ratings sky high. He (along with Jacob), embody the good of the island. Also, what about "Logan" from "Veronica Mars"? This character epitomizes the spoiled, entitled, L.A. teen, however, at the end of the day, you still root for this guy.

Chelsea January 11, 2010 | 10:46 AM

Nice list! (although "Hill" seems to disagree! haha) Your top three are the same as mine! Great TV these past few years, huh? I do have to agree that Gregory House should have made the list somewhere. - I love that show!!

Hill November 14, 2009 | 3:54 PM

What about Monk? Or Ian McShane's Al Swearengen in Deadwood. This list you gave us is lame.

Rosie October 15, 2009 | 11:42 AM

One, many of these characters are from ABC shows. And of all the characters on LOST, you chose Kate Austen? Kate Austen? Good grief! She is a pathetic character. Are you kidding me?

Pemel October 14, 2009 | 2:36 AM

It's nice to see Marcia Cross getting the recognition that she deserves! Her interpretation of Bree is indeed like a character no other.

Andi October 13, 2009 | 5:38 PM

Where the hell is Gregory House? And Meredith Grey couldn't be a more annoying and forgettable character. This list is all kinds of wrong.

Rosa October 12, 2009 | 11:15 AM

Meredith Grey would not be on my top 10 list either. Abby Lockhart should be on that list instead of Meredith Grey.

Nora October 10, 2009 | 12:58 AM

LOL Matt. What you said is SO wrong. She may be the best character there has been in the last 10 years. I say, stop whining, and see what's right in front of you. There hasn't been a character quite so vunerable, still loving, and as strong as Meredith Grey in a LONG while.

Matt October 09, 2009 | 1:23 PM

Meredith Grey one of the Top TV Characters. You've got to be kidding lol. One of the most annoying, simpering idiots on a primeime soap perhaps !

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