10 Unexpected Breakout TV Characters

The best TV characters are often the ones you just didn't becoming your favorite.

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On most TV series, there's inevitably a character that breaks out, one that grabs everyone's attention and more than their fair share of media coverage.

It could be someone like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, who's designed to stand out and bring something different to the dynamic of the show. For anyone watching a couple of episodes of the series, Sheldon being labelled a breakout character wouldn't really come as a surprise. He definitely caught the attention of viewers and critics alike.

But every once in a while, an unexpected character is the one to steal the headlines.

An audience latching onto someone organically makes a TV series that much better, and can even alter the direction of a show. Savvy creators and producers recognize this. They pick up on where fans are focusing, make changes to the series and put that character in the forefront. That's even easier to track in this day and age of instantaneous social media responses to pretty much everything and anything.

Regardless, an unexpectedly popular character is a rarity and something for fans to really savor. Then, they can break out the memes and really show their appreciation.

10. Michael (The Good Place)

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Throughout his career, Ted Danson has had a knack for choosing the right roles. Sam Malone on Cheers. D.B. Russell on C.S.I. Becker on... well, Becker. But his greatest character so far is his most recent.

Danson is currently one of the stars of Michael Schur's NBC comedy The Good Place. If you haven't watched the series, it's one of the biggest conceptual swings a network sitcom has taken in 20 years. The ensemble cast of new faces and familiar actors make it work brilliantly, and Danson is no small part of that.

He plays the part of Michael, the architect of the afterlife neighborhood Eleanor, played by Kristen Bell, finds herself sent to. For an immortal entity, Michael is surprisingly childlike, ridiculous and endearing. He is an unexpected treat and Ted Danson's best work.

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Ian Goodwillie is a freelance writer based out of Saskatoon, SK, Canada. He has a BA in English Literature from the University of Saskatchewan and completed the Writing Program at Vancouver Film School. More importantly, Ian is also a wrestling fan, comic book reader, video game player and photographer. He loves to write and writes about what he loves. Ian's also an unrepentant, unapologetic Cougar Town fan, a show he will defend until the day he dies.