Friday, April 6, 2012

BECAUSE JESSICA LANGE OPTED OUT OF THE CATEGORY: With last night's premiere of Scandal (a mix of Leverage and West Wing?  I'll take it!) giving us another legit potential Emmy contender in Kerry Washington, it's time to look at Best Leading Actress in a Drama Emmy contenders--it's a pretty small field, sadly.
  •  Kathy Bates, Harry's Law, Mariska Hargitay, L&O: SVU--Both returning nominees, but both have had their loads lightened on their respective shows this year.  Bates seems the safer bet to return--remember that Spader and Shatner continously racked up nods for Boston Legal.
  • Lauren Graham, Parenthood--A fine performance, but the show may be too ensemble-y for her to be viewed as the lead, particularly this season.
  • Maria Bello, Prime Suspect--Would be a legit contender if the show hadn't tanked.  Given the weakness of the field, can't write her off completely, but NBC seems unlikely to put money behind it.
  • Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison, Once Upon A Time--The big commercial hit drama of the new season, but it seems to me that if they're going to honor the acting, they're far more likely to do so for showier supporting roles (Lana Parilla and Robert Carlyle) or guest spots (Richard Schiff).  Goodwin's spunky Snow has a better shot, if just because she gets to play a dual role.
  • Dana Delany, Body of Proof--She carries the show, but if she were going to break through in the category, wouldn't she have done so last year when the show had some success?
  • Emily van Camp and Madeline Stowe--Revenge--Dark horses, though Stowe may run in supporting.  I don't know how Emmy-friendly these performances are, but they're certainly BIG, which can't hurt.
  • Kate Walsh and Ellen Pompeo--Private Practice/Grey's Anatomy--Doubtful.  Both have had good material this season, but if they weren't being nominated before, I don't think there's anything showy enough now for them to get in.
  • Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife--No question she's back in the running.
  • Poppy Montgomery, Unforgettable--Other than Without A Trace, the CBS procedurals have never been big for acting nods despite robust ratings, but she carries this one and has to be on the list.
  • Marg Helgenberger/Elisabeth Shue, CSI: Original Recipe--Helgenberger apparently had a showy departure arc, and Shue is apparently working out fine, but CSI hasn't gotten an acting Emmy nod since Helgenberger did in Season 3.
  • Emily Deschanel, Bones--Dark horse, but since she's Fox's only real shot for a nomination in the category (Sarah Jones for Alcatraz and Anna Torv for Fringe are the only other options), they may push hard, and the "two sisters nominated for lead actress, one in comedy, one in drama" is a good story--Zooey's a lock for a nomination for New Girl.
  • Over on the CW, there's a bunch of folks who have no prayer, but will submit anyway--Leighton Meester (they don't give Emmys for doing what she does, even though she does it well), Blake Lively (laughter), Rachel Bilson (carries her show, but not an Emmy performance), Sarah Michelle Gellar (nominating her for this when she didn't get a nod for Buffy?)
  • Game of Thrones--I assume Headey and Fairley will submit as leads, as they (I believe) did last year, but it's even more an ensemble show now than it was in season one, and it's tough to sell anyone save Dinklage as a lead, I think.
  • Emily Mortimer, The Newsroom--We've only seen the trailer, but Allison Janney rode a similar Sorkin role to a bunch of Emmys.  Too early to say, but has to go on long list.
  • Claire Danes, Homeland--Lock for a nomination.
  • Mad Men--They shift categories from year to year, but either Moss or Jones will likely run here, with Moss a more likely nominee.
  • Mireille Enos, The Killing--Nominated last year, but seems easy for her to get squeezed out this year between new blood (Danes, Washington) and the backlash the show got from its conclusion (or lack thereof).
  • Various USA folks (Piper Perabo, Sarah Shahi, Callie Thorne, Mary McDonnell)--McDonnell's been really solid on In Plain Sight this final season, but that's not going to get her an Emmy nod, and the rest aren't terribly interesting, despite Thorne and Perabo getting Globe nominations.
So my guess at this point?  Marguiles, Danes, Moss, Bates, Washington, Deschanel, from likeliest to least likely to be in the mix.  Am I missing someone?


  1. I wanted to like Prime Suspect in large part because Bello made it fun and believable somehow.  I probably would have stuck with it if it hadn't been for (a) that stupid stupid stupid hat they put on her and (b) the supposedly sympathetic sex offender in episode two.

  2. Does Emmy Rossum submit as Supporting for "Shameless"?

    As far as Mad Men, Jessica Pare has had more of a presence in the 3 hours aired so far than either Jones or Moss.

  3. And bless her heart (and hair), won't Stana Katic submit for "Castle"?

  4. Bates, Hargitay, Margulies (breaking the primetime cunnilingus barrier), Danes, and Moss are probably locks. I don't know that there's even room for Washington to break in.

  5. 1.  I think Rossum/Shameless submitted as comedy last year, and the rule is that you can't switch categories once you've chosen.  (I've also assumed GCB will submit as a comedy, where Chenoweth might have a shot.)

    2.  Katic will submit, but not a prayer of a nomination.

    3.  There are six nominees, and yes, Hargitay has a bunch of nominations, but the show has apparently become much more ensemble-y this year due to Harigtay wanting to shoulder less load and Meloni's departure.

  6. It's a shame about Shameless - based on what I've seen of Season 1 at least, Rossum would have had a better submission reel for drama than comedy.

  7. And, yeah, no way Katic's getting nominated, but she's gotta submit.

  8. Devin McCullen12:46 PM

    What about a farewell nod for Kyra Sedgwick on The Closer?

  9. lisased2:04 PM

    What about Mrs. Coach for "American Horror Story"?

  10. American Horror Story has decreed (and will be allowed) to submit as a mini-series, since it told a complete story in its episodes and will not continue that story in Season 2.  In any event, hard as Britton tried, that was unwatchable.

  11. Can we talk about Scandal?  I really liked it EXCEPT for the Olivia/POTUS entanglement.  Seemed strangely out of character...but it also seems like they're building on it.  Anyone else bothered by it?

    Definitely liked Maria Bello.  Wish that show and Detroit 1-8-7 were still around.

  12. Alan Sepinwall3:26 PM

    Shameless submitted as a drama last year, and thus will continue to do so.

  13. Alan knows better than I--then, yes, Emmy Rossum apparently belongs on the list, but if she didn't get nominated last year, hard to break in.

  14. I think it would have worked better if it had come as more of a surprise--several of the reviews I'd read disclosed the twist.  I understand that not everyone wants to send out a Matt Weiner-style list of things they don't want revealed in reviews, but it woulda played better as an actual surprise. 

    Really dug the visual style.  McGuigan is the primary director on Sherlock, and has a nice fast sense of style that worked well for the show and differentiated it clearly from Grey's visually.

  15. Joan H.3:44 PM

    Wait, AHS wasn't a comedy? 

  16. Duvall3:51 PM

    <span>Isn't the Downton Abbey crowd now eligible in this category?  Michelle Dockery may belong on the long list.</span>

  17. Travis Nelson5:10 PM

    How about Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy), or Anna Torv (Fringe)?  None are particularly likely.  But probably more likely than, say, Elisabeth Shue on CSI.

    Even on the very-long-list of possibilites, though, it is probably wise to leave out whoever it is that plays Lori Grimes on Walking Dead.