Our picks for the best supporting actresses in a drama series from the 2009-2010 TV season.
#16 Cherry Jones, 24
By the end of the season, Cherry Jones reminded us why she won the Emmy last year because of her strong and complicated performance as a president torn between doing the right thing and securing peace in the Middle East.
#15 Kim Dickens, Treme and Friday Night Lights
Dickens is raw and realistic as a struggling chef in post-Katrina New Orleans, and it didn’t hurt that she pulled double duty with a strong performance as Matt Saracen’s mom on Friday Night Lights too.
#14 Lisa Edelstein, House
Cuddy’s complicated relationships with Lucas and House helped Edelstein do her best work of the series.
#13 Sissy Spacek, Big Love
Showing up throughout the entire season, Spacek was incredibly good and devious as a political lobbyist working with/against Bill.
#12 Sara Ramirez, Grey’s Anatomy
Callie’s reaction to George’s death and leaving Seattle Grace because the Chief didn’t respect her Godlike abilities was one of the few things that really worked at the start of the season.
#11 Khandi Alexander, Treme
Alexander is one of the highlights of HBO’s newest drama as a woman at her wit’s end trying to find her missing brother after Hurricane Katrina.
#10 Annie Wersching, 24
Her death was the impetus for the end of the season, but it was her twisted role as a loose cannon going undercover with the Russians that really impressed us.
#9 Rose Byrne, Damages
Working with and against Patty Hewes, Byrne had another great year as the young lawyer who’s coming into her own.
#8 Peri Gilpin, Make It or Break It
On ABC Family’s best show, this former Frasier star gave a heartbreaking performance as a mother trying to stay strong for her severely injured gymnast daughter.
#7 Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
The plucky young employee of Sterling-Cooper slept with the enemy, got high for the first time and continued her rather remarkable journey in the land of men.
#6 Michelle Forbes, True Blood
Forbes brilliantly over-acted in just the right way as the crazy maenad trying to take over Bon Temps.
#5 S. Epatha Merkerson, Law and Order
In the final season of the iconic procedural, Merkerson’s Lieutenant Van Buren was given cancer and suddenly there was a deep and amazingly subtle performance throughout the year.
#4 Lily Tomlin, Damages
The wife of the Madoff-esque character, Lily Tomlin was stripped of any comedy and delivered a seriously twisted performance of a mother willing to do whatever it takes for her family.
#3 Chloe Sevigny, Big Love
Dealing with her dad’s death, her daughter and her evil ex-husband, Sevigny’s character had another stellar season as the most interesting part of Big Love.
#2 Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy
The devious biker gang matriarch got even better in the second season due to Sagal’s blisteringly emotional performance following the brutal rape of Gemma.
#1 See More Best Drama Lists
The Best Dramas of the TV Season
Best Drama Lead Actors
Best Drama Lead Actresses
Best Drama Supporting Actors