Supporting Actress: Drama

'In Treatment, 'Grey's Anatomy' dominate category

Unless Dianne Wiest pulls off back-to-back victories, the supporting actress drama category will go to either one of the three Emmy newcomers or one of two often-nominated cast members from “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Wiest won last year for her subdued work as Gabriel Byrne’s therapist on HBO’s “In Treatment.” She is joined in the category this year by first-time nominee Hope Davis, who co-starred as the daddy-damaged Mia. With an impressive resume in independent film, Davis could well find favor with voters.

Joining the “In Treatment” actresses are two perennials from ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” — Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson. Oh has been nominated for the show five times; Wilson has four nods. (Wilson is also nominated this year in the lead actress miniseries/movie category for “Accidental Friendship.”) Obviously, both actresses are playing well-loved characters. The question is: Will they continue to split the vote?

Tony Award-winning stage veteran Cherry Jones received her first Emmy nom for her turn this season as “24’s” first female chief executive. Jones and guest star Jon Voight brought new life to a show that continues to be relevant after seven seasons.

Australian actress Rose Byrne is the category’s youngest nominee, winning her first nod for her work as Glenn Close’s foil on FX’s “Damages.” Byrne’s exposure on “Damages” and the show’s two consecutive drama series noms could result in the Oz thesp getting more work on U.S. shores.

Show: “Damages”
Emmy pedigree: First nom
Best scene: Ellen tells Patty she has proof Patty set her up to be killed. When the evidence turns up missing, Ellen pulls out a gun.
Why she might win: Has certainly held her own opposite high-powered Close and portrays a character that often has to juggle several emotions at once.
Maybe not: It’s still Close’s show, and if she wins again, voters would be hard-pressed to select Byrne as well.

Show: “In Treatment”
Emmy pedigree: First nom
Best scene: Mia confronts Paul about his history of falling for his patients and suggests he add one more to the list. “Don’t tell me you haven’t had fantasies about us,” she purrs. “Crazy chicks are great in bed, right?”
Why she might win: Made Mia’s wild ride a compelling journey toward self-realization.
Maybe not: Unlikely the series would produce winners in consecutive years.

Show: “24”
Emmy pedigree: First nom
Best scene: As president, she decides to actually uphold the Constitution and turn in her wayward daughter.
Why she might win: Though not as well known for her television roles, Jones is one of the finest U.S. actresses, with several Tony Awards. What’s not to like?
Maybe not: The lack of TV recognition might hurt her.

Show: “Grey’s Anatomy”
Emmy pedigree: Four noms
Best scene: Christina confesses her love for Owen — a doctor who recently came to the hospital after serving in the military — saying she “can’t breathe” without him.
Why she might win: At some point, a nom should turn into a victory. It’s the fifth straight year Oh has been nominated for “Grey’s” without a trip to the podium. She has to win sometime, right?
Maybe not: It could be awhile. “Grey’s” isn’t going off the air anytime soon, and it took Susan Lucci 19 tries.

Show: “In Treatment”
Emmy pedigree: Two wins plus one other nom
Best scene: Paul (Gabriel Byrne) ends his therapy with Gina, who tells him there’s very little she can offer him anymore and that he shouldn’t return.
Why she might win: Paul ending his therapy might mean Wiest is ending her run on the show. What better way to reward her?
Maybe not: Except for co-star Hope Davis, Wiest appeared in much less of the show she’s in than her competish here in their respective skeins.

Show: “Grey’s Anatomy”
Emmy pedigree: Three noms
Best scene: Bailey asks Derek to let a serial killer die so his organs can help her young patient.
Why she might win: Like co-star Oh, Wilson seems to be well-liked by the Academy: She’s also nominated for her work in the miniseries “Accidental Friendship.”
Maybe not: She and Oh seem to be continuing to split the vote and Acad members might want to save their vote for her work in the telepic instead.

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