Ranking your Favorite Female Performances on Television for 2020

We had so many incredible female performances on television in 2020, as these strong, courageous, and slightly quirky women lit up the screen. Whether it was a moment of empowerment, the unexpected transformation of a character, or a breakout role, these women captured our undivided attention throughout the year.

Again, it was difficult for me to narrow down my favorite female performances for 2020 because there were honestly so many and I didn’t think it was possible for me to choose my absolute favorite one, which is where you came in!    

I ran a three round poll (randomized tournament style) on Twitter and asked for fans to cast their votes so that we can all decide who our favorite female performances are for the year.  Thank you so much for your participation and support, as the tournament was so much fun and actually really competitive!

Round One featured the following Female Performances on TV from 2020:

  • Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper from Riverdale
  • Kaley Cuoco as Cassie Bowden from The Flight Attendant
  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon from The Queen’s Gambit 
  • Cynthia Erivo as Holly Gibney from The Outsider
  • Nicole Kidman as Grace Fraser from The Undoing
  • Kerry Washington as Mia Warren from Little Fires Everywhere
  • Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison from Homeland
  • Jodie Comer as Villanelle from Killing Eve
  • Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia Blake from The 100
  • Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler from Better Call Saul
  • Danai Gurira as Michonne from The Walking Dead

After your votes, the following female actresses moved on to Round Two:

  • Danai Gurira
  • Jodie Comer
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Claire Danes
  • Anya Taylor-Joy
  • Kaley Cuoco

After your votes in Round Two, the following female actresses moved on to the FINALS:

  • Jodie Comer
  • Danai Gurira
  • Claire Danes
  • Kaley Cuoco

Honorable Mention: Anya Taylor-Joy came up short, but I think she should honestly get an Emmy for her performance!!!!! Perfection!

Image courtesy of Netflix

After your votes in Round Three, the FINAL results are:

4th place: Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison from Homeland

Image courtesy of Showtime

Claire has always been so intense and emotional in her portrayal of Carrie, but I thought that she also channeled a lot of maturity and strength in the final season. Well deserved!

3rd place: Kaley Cuoco as Cassie Bowden from The Flight Attendant

Image courtesy of HBO Max

Kaley Cuoco really showed off a completely different side of her by delighting us in one of my favorite shows of the year. Her quirky portrayal of Cassie was spot on and it really made the show that much more enjoyable. I can’t wait to see what she does next!

2nd place: Danai Gurira as Michonne from The Walking Dead

Image courtesy of AMC

It wasn’t easy knowing it would be Michonne’s final season, but wow did Danai deliver some incredible performances along the way. She brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion and really reminded us that she has been the heart and soul of this show for so long! Thank you Danai!

Drum roll please…

I am so beyond excited to announce your WINNER for Favorite Female Performance of 2020: Jodie Comer as Villanelle in Killing Eve!

Image courtesy of BBC America

Jodie has been such a joy to watch. Villanelle is a complex character and Jodie has really brought her to life. In the third season, we finally got to peel back some layers and witness what truly makes Villanelle tick. Her humanity has really been showing more and more, which makes her an even more remarkable character in my mind. Jodie will always be one of my favorite actresses and I am so pleased with the results! Congrats Jodie!

Thanks to all the fans who voted!  I wish you all the best for the New Year!

View Final Poll Results Here!

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite female performances on TV from 2020. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing for 2021!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

My performance of the week ending 3/7/20 on TV goes to…

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison on Showtime’s Homeland season 8.

As I continue to watch the final season of Homeland, it’s important to recognize and celebrate Claire Danes for her brilliant performances week after week. She has done so much more than merely becoming Carrie Mathison…she IS Carrie Mathison and she will forever be a legend because of it.

**Please note some spoilers are ahead if you are not caught up on the series.**

Homeland is always jam-packed with quite a lot each episode and you really have to be in the right frame of mind to watch the show, but it continues to captivate my undivided attention and if I start to drift off for even a moment, Carrie Mathison brings me right back. 

Homeland Showtime 2
Images courtesy of Showtime

While Carrie has displayed a million emotions over the seasons, I really prefer the Carrie who wants to get to the truth. Her board of theories and her drive to analyze every angle is beyond inspiring. She risks it all for her country, but she also has quite a few layers and blocks in her memory that make her even more of a dynamic character.

Sometimes Carrie is unsure if she can trust herself, but we know that her intentions are typically good. Does she get carried away sometimes? Absolutely, but I think it is a constant struggle for her to balance all of her intense emotions. She uses that intensity to be a major asset at her job, but it also takes a toll on her, as the rest of her emotions spiral out of control…especially when she is off her meds.

Each episode in season 8 has been absolutely fantastic so far. In season 8, episode 4, Carrie risks it all to help a woman in trouble. She doesn’t stress about following protocol or getting approval. She simply makes a decision based on her gut, understanding that doing the right thing doesn’t always follow the rule book.

What’s next for Carrie? Well, I imagine quite a lot after that major cliffhanger at the end of episode 4. It looks like she is going to have to put her theories to work to find out what is really happening and I’m assuming we will also start piecing together her missing memories to unlock those secrets.

Homeland Showtime 1
Images courtesy of Showtime

I’m intrigued to find out how it all ends. As much as I want a happy ending for Carrie so that she can be reunited with Franny, it’s somewhat unlikely that both she and Saul will make it out of this alive. A sacrifice will most likely be made and I’m not sure that I am prepared for it just yet, but I’m confident that Claire Danes will continue to deliver extraordinary performances for the remainder of the season.

I can’t wait to find out how it all ends!

What are some of YOUR theories?

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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