Anna Gunn as Skylar White-Breaking Bad-One of the reasons this show has improved is that the show finally engaged the audience on all levels with not only Walter and Jesse but with Skylar too. Gunn's Skylar moved beyond being the judgmental wife to the woman behind the scenes. I have grown to love and fear her character in a brilliant way thanks to Gunn's performance.
Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris in Mad Men-Hendricks is a bombshell, but she also is one of the best actresses working on television. Watching Joan fight for her marriage even though her husband had raped her. Watching her confront her husband was brilliant. Watching Joan give her body for the firm the firm was painful, but brilliantly acted. I am always blown away by her.
Lena Heady as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones-You want to hate her yet you can't take your eyes off her. Cersei's sparring with Tyrion has moved to utter brilliance; she was no better than when she was meant to be the beacon of strength as Stannis Baretheon lays siege to her kingdom, and she talks about her duties, and love. This woman has grown by leaps and bounds.
Kelly McDonald as Margaret Schroeder in Boardwalk Empire-McDonald started the series on the road to a quiet life of unhappiness with a drunk husband. In season two her relationship Nucky as a strong more vocally active woman has shown that McDonald is a force to be reckoned with, and she commands the screen on this male dominated series.
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma in The Good Wife-Something great about this character is that even throughout three seasons we knew nothing complex about Kalinda, until the end. Kalinda has realized her husband knows where she was, and the terror in her eyes showed us a whole new side to this complex character.
Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey-This sharp tongued older woman was and is still the best character on this show. Smith is a great actress, and has made this woman more than a one dimensional character; she has developed so much, and her witty one liners make her one of the most developed characters on the show.