Tough competition

Newcomers won't have an easy time breaking through

Emmy regulars, each of whom have a strong chance of being nominated again this year, won’t give newcomers an easy time to break through.

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA

FRANCES CONROY, “SIX FEET UNDER”
Emmy noms: 2002, ’03, ’05
Season’s shining moment: Ruth finds the strength to realize she must cut her ties with husband James Cromwell.

EDIE FALCO, “THE SOPRANOS”
Emmy noms: 1999*, 2000, ’01*, ’03*, ’04
Season’s shining moment: Caring for Tony while he was in the hospital, Carmela balances both her blood family while keeping this in line with the mob family.

MARISKA HARGITAY, “LAW & ORDER: SVU”
Emmy noms: 2004, ’05
Season’s shining moment: Benson speaks to and comforts a little girl who sounds like she’s in serious peril.

MARG HELGENBERGER, “CSI”
Emmy noms: 2001, ’03
Season’s shining moment: Catherine finds out her father is a suspect in a murder and must wrestle with which comes first: family or the law.

ALLISON JANNEY, “THE WEST WING”
Emmy noms: 2000*, ’01*, ’02*, ’03, ’04*
Season’s shining moment: Her complex relationship with Danny, and how she must decide whether she wants to eventually settle down with him.

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY

MARCIA CROSS, “DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES”
Emmy noms: 2005
Season’s shining moment: When Bree discovers that George (Roger Bart) poisoned her husband, she responds to his distress call, only to sit by and watch him die from a lethal overdose.

TERI HATCHER, “DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES”
Emmy noms: 2005
Season’s shining moment: Mixing comedy with a major emotional payoff, Susan allows the doctor she’s dating to operate on her, but confesses that she loves Mike under anesthesia.

FELICITY HUFFMAN, “DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES”
Emmy noms: 2005
Season’s shining moment: After being stuck at home with four kids the entire first season, Lynette becomes the family breadwinner — and proves she can keep up with her co-workers.

JANE KACZMAREK, “MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE”
Emmy noms: 2000, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’05
Season’s shining moment: In the “Graduation” episode, Lois gives a lengthy speech to Malcolm about her dreams of him becoming president.

DEBRA MESSING, “WILL & GRACE”
Emmy noms: 2000, ’01, ’02, ’03*
Season’s shining moment: When “The Sound of Music” sing-a-long comes to town, Grace dresses the part.

*Emmy win

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