2012 Emmys Pre-Nominations Top Contenders (Supporting Actress in a Drama Series)
Interestingly enough, there was a time when, before the actual nominations came out, voters would narrow down all the contenders to the “top 10″. They obviously don’t do that anymore. But…we can still assume which contenders are at the top of the voter’s minds. Before I release my official nomination predictions around early July, I am going to run down which 10 or so contenders are the biggest threats…and maybe some personal long shots that I believe voters should consider. Here we go!
I am basing the category placements, based on the official ballots which were just released. Here they are.
For more Emmy discussion, visit my Emmy page.
In alphabetical order, here are the top contenders for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series…
1. MORENA BACCARIN [Homeland] - Pros: As the wife of an American soldier who’s been held in captive, her character became more and more prominent and central as the season possessed. And Baccarin has gotten her fair share of acclaim for her performance. The show is picking up a lot of buzz. Some of the buzz could affect Baccarin’s chances. Cons: She admittedly still over shadowed by her other cast members. Even though she’s in a category separate from her co-stars, voters could still push aside in favor of them…even if they are, again, in separate categories.
2. CHRISTINE BARANSKI [The Good Wife] - Pros: She won her first Emmy in 1995, and since then, she has been nominated for 8 Emmys, including 2 for The Good Wife. This was a particularly strong season for Baranski, I would say even stronger than her first 2 seasons. If voters truly liked Baranski, then her nomination should be obvious. Cons: If the show loses its Emmy “power” this year (and that is a possibility), and if voters only want to vote for one supporting actress from the show, then voters will most likely vote for Emmy winner Archie Panjabi in favor of Baranski.
3. ROSE BYRNE [Damages] - Pros: She’s been nominated for 2 Emmys and 2 Golden Globes. Last year her show wasn’t eligible which explains why she wasn’t nominated. Naturally, she should be able to slide back in where she left off…especially if voters still remember her performance from Bridesmaids. I don’t watch the show so I don’t know how her actual performance stacks up. Cons: After a year off, voters may forget her and may have moved on, especially if she’s competing against the ladies of Mad Men, The Good Wife, or even Game of Thrones.
4. MICHELLE FORBES [The Killing] - Pros: She received a nomination last year for her stand out performance. So…yeah, she’s technically a contender. Cons: This is another show I haven’t watched at all this season, so I have no idea how much her performance stacks up this year. Actually, I haven’t heard any buzz for her performance this year from anyone…or for the show itself. With all the negative press The Killing has gotten (and is still getting), it pretty much significantly decreases her chances of scoring a second nomination.
5. ANNA GUNN [Breaking Bad] - Pros: This was a big season for Gunn, with her character arguably positioned more in the center of the show’s main arc. With a bigger role should come a better chance at getting a nomination. Ironically, this is the first year she competed in supporting, as opposed to lead, which could also maybe increase her chances. The show is already an Emmy favorite, and this season is expected to do very well. Maybe someone outside of Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston will finally get a nomination. Cons: There are still some people who dislike her character for one reason or other. If voters focus on the character as opposed to Gunn’s performance, then, yeah, she’ll be snubbed again.
6. CHRISTINA HENDRICKS [Mad Men] - Pros: She was nominated for the last two years. With Mad Men having their best season ever, Hendricks is virtually a lock for a nomination, probably moreso than all the other contenders. And she’s sexy…rowr. Cons: Hm…if voters are turned off about some of the things Joan did during this season, then they might take it personally and not vote for her. That would speak worse of the voter than the actress IMO…
7. ANJELICA HUSTON [Smash] - Pros: Six time Emmy nominee, Oscar winner Anjelica Huston was receiving a ridiculous amount of buzz months before the pilot aired. And while the show has received some less than stellar reviews, some are still very laudatory towards Huston and her performance. This is Smash’s best chance at getting a major nomination. Cons: Again, the reviews for the show have not been great. When a show itself gets bad reviews, voters tend to ignore the individual elements of the show, including the otherwise fine performances.
8. JANUARY JONES [Mad Men] - Pros: It took two years of fan complaints, but Jones finally received her first nomination for Leading Actress for the third season. During the fourth season, when her role was greatly reduced, she made the mistake of submitting herself for Lead again against Elizabeth Moss and failed to get a nomination. This season, with the fact she’s absent for like half the episodes, she did the smart thing and submitted in Supporting. With her character going through jealously and weight gain, she had a couple stand out moments this season, thus making her at least a top contender. Cons: I really like Jones and her character…but a lot of other people don’t. They don’t like her character, and they don’t like the two episodes where Jones had a main role. That, along with the fact she appeared so little this season (and her reportedly icy attitude in real life), makes her very very vulnerable.
9. KELLY MACDONALD [Boardwalk Empire] - Pros: She won an Emmy for her first nomination in 2006 for the TV movie The Girl in the Cafe. She received a nomination for the show’s first season last year has gotten two Golden Globe nominations. As the most prominent female on the show, she stands out to the Emmy voters who already clearly like her. Cons: Her performance is very subtle and isn’t as outwardly explosive as some of the others (at least that’s what I got from the first season…I have not watched the second season). So…if voters are impatient, they may decide to drop her.
10. MARY MCDONNELL [The Closer] - Pros: She was consistently snubbed for a nomination during her Battlestar Galactica days. She recently received a nomination for Guest Actress for her role on this show, signifying that maybe voters do like this role better. And there have many times when an actor was nominated for Guest in one year, then Supporting in the next (think Alan Cumming from The Good Wife). With a spin off to come after this last season of The Closer, her character is obviously popular and well received enough to get another nod. Cons: If she couldn’t get a nomination for Battlestar Galactica despite the cries and threats of fans, then maybe the regard for McDonnell is just naturally not that high.
11. SANDRA OH [Grey's Anatomy] - Pros: She was nominated from the show’s first season to the fifth. She’s won a Golden Globe and a SAG Award. She is constantly singled as the strongest asset of the show. This season, with her character separating from her husband, she had some really “baity”episodes that might get her some notice from the voters. Cons: She hasn’t been nominated for the last 2 years now. IMO, she didn’t deserve those snubs…but she got them anyway. It probably has to do with the voters’ overall fatigue for the show. It’s too bad Oh has to suffer for bad writing, something she can’t control. Oh well!
12. ARCHIE PANJABI [The Good Wife] - Pros: She won her first Emmy for the first season of the show. She got another nomination last year. Like Oh, she is constantly singled as the best thing about her show. Cons: She doesn’t have as much of a stand out episode as she did the last season. However, I’d argue she didn’t have much of a stand out episode when she won for the first season. So, yeah, that shouldn’t hurt her much.
13. MAGGIE SMITH [Downton Abbey] - I’m not going to discuss any outside achievement Smith has had. We all know who Maggie Smith is. Even the younger generation recognizes her for those movies starring that teenage wizard. The fact of the matter is she won an Emmy last year. And she’s pretty much the strongest/funnest thing about this very popular British drama. She’s safe. She’s totally safe. Cons: The only con is that her character doesn’t do anything dramatic or soapy. But, in all honesty, that just makes her stand out more.
FYI Other contenders include: Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Joanne Froggart (Downton Abbey), Sharon Gless (Burn Notice), and Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men)
Longshots Worth Mentioning: Lorraine Bracco (Rizzoli & Isles), Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Regina King (Southland), Connie Nielsen (Boss), Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy)
Other longshots I recommend: The two rivals from Smash (Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee), the sassy Loretta Devine from The Client List, the spunky Emma Kenney from Shameless, Kim Raver and Jessica Capshaw from Grey’s Anatomy, and Morgan Saylor (the daughter from Homeland).
Read the ballots (link posted above) to see who else was submitted. Thanks for reading! Comedy Series and Drama Series are the last two left for this section.