Notable TV roles: John Cooper, Southland (NBC, TNT); Bull Randleman, Band of Brothers (HBO); Mark Rawls, Life (NBC)

Southland pulled a very rare phoenix maneuver when it died on NBC, only to be reborn on TNT, and to even greater acclaim. The gritty cop series boasted an ensemble of great performances, but the standout was undoubtedly Michael Cudlitz, as closeted field training officer John Cooper. Beset by a constant back pain, Cooper was ostensibly the show’s punching bag, but his misfortune gave Cudlitz ample opportunity to shine.

Southland ran out of luck this year. Now that it’s going off we hope Cudlitz doesn’t fall into unemployed limbo.