Emmy Circuit: Drama Supporting Actress


Welcome back to Emmy Circuit, our weekly breakdown of one Emmy category in the run-up to Emmy nominations in mid-July.  In case you missed last week, I discussed the revolving door of Best Actor in a Drama Series.  This week, I stick with drama series, but I switch gender and drop to supporting.  That’s right–it’s time for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Downton Abbey series 3 maggie smith michelle dockery

This category has had few new blood the last 5 years.  Dame Maggie Smith is rocking three consecutive nominations for Downton Abbey.  Christine Baranski has had five in a row for The Good Wife.  Christina Hendricks hasn’t left this category since she broke into it in Mad Men‘s third season, 5 nominations ago.  Joanne Froggatt has two non-consecutive nominations, Archie Panjabi had three consecutive for The Good Wife before she was kicked to the curb.  Heck, reigning two-time champ Anna Gunn has three consecutive for Breaking Bad as well.  This category has shared AT LEAST four of THE SAME nominees (Smith, Baranski, Gunn, and Hendricks) EACH of the LAST THREE YEARS.


With Breaking Bad off the air, there’s theoretically “an open slot” in this category.  Lena Headey is heading for a crazy-good arc this season on Game of Thrones, while Emilia Clarke always has dragon badassery to help her get back into Emmy graces.


But we’re really ignoring the big storyline here.  When the Emmys announced that Netflix’s masterful Orange is the New Black was no longer a comedy and is now a drama, many were up in arms.  Add to that Emmy’s new clarification of the Guest Actor rules, and Orange is the New Black is pretty much going to get a bunch of new nominations in a bunch of different categories.  The new Guest acting rules means that surefire guest actress nominees like Uzo Aduba (a winning episode in EITHER her POV ep or the Season Finale, especially now she’s in a drama race) and Lorraine Toussaint are now surefire locks for this category.  If someone other than these two ladies prevails in this category in September, I’ll be rightly shocked.  Co-stars Kate Mulgrew, Danielle Brooks, Yael Stone, Samira Wiley, and biggest-victim-of-the-new-guest-category-rules Barbara Rosenblat all are worthy nominees and winners, but much will depend on who and how many ladies Netflix chooses to actually submit in this race.  Laverne Cox would be worthy of a mention had she had more to do in this season than be sassy and throw one-liners once an episode.


Speaking of Netflix, the Emmys love there Oscar winners doing TV, so I expect Sissy Spacek will garner some votes for her work in Bloodline.  Beyond that, I’m a little lost.  Elisabeth Moss could still (hopefully) Lorraine Bracco herself into a nomination here for the final season of Mad Men.  Then there’s Mark Johnson’s former classmate and Gone Girl scene stealer, Carrie Coon, who received the lion’s share of praise from the mixed reviews on HBO’s The Leftovers.  Beyond that…help me out, guys.

Sam’s Current, Non-Final Predictions
1. Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
2. Lorraine Toussaint, Orange is the New Black
3. Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
4. Dame Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
5. Kate Mulgrew, Orange is the New Black
6. Sissy Spacek, Bloodline

Check out the OFFICIAL Emmy Predictions for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama!