Next year’s new Emmy contenders today

Summer TV just ended and fall TV has barely begun, but already we can see new Emmy acting contenders for 2012 emerging from recently premiered series. Actress possibilities in particular seem to be overflowing.

This isn’t an all-encompassing list, but here are some to keep an eye on, in alphabetical order:

Christina Applegate: Twice nominated for “Samantha Who?” on ABC, Applegate has helped make “Up All Night” one series that NBC doesn’t have to worry about. 

Maria Bello: First and foremost, “Prime Suspect” needs to stay alive, but with NBC hurting for dramas following the cancellation of “The Playboy Club,” Bello’s star vehicle will get every opportunity to do so.

Homeland_101_0119(1) Claire Danes: Only a year removed from her “Temple Grandin” awards parade, Danes tops the new Showtime series “Homeland” that has won near-universal critical praise.

Kat Dennings: Following Melissa McCarthy’s Emmy win last month as a co-star on a CBS Monday comedy rookie, the door is open for “2 Broke Girls” co-star Dennings to at least join in whatever skit Amy Poehler concocts for the nominees at next year’s ceremony.

Zooey Deschanel: No, she’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but plenty of “New Girl” fans like themselves a steaming cup of Jess.   

Jason Gann/Elijah Wood: FX’s “Wilfred” co-stars don’t get a lot of publicity and have already entered hibernation for the winter, but the show should return for its second season next summer just as voters are beginning to mark their ballots. In general, though, FX has had better luck earning drama noms compared with comedy.

Romola Garai: The question isn’t whether she’s deserving — she absolutely is — but whether a) voters will remember her next summer and b) will she, like Idris Elba of “Luther,” end up in the miniseries acting category instead of regular drama, where she rightfully belongs. Co-star Ben Whishaw also deserves consideration, though he’ll be competing with Dominic West for attention on the guys’ side.

Jane Levy: As discussed this morning, an obvious breakout talent.

Damian Lewis: Danes’ “Homeland” co-star should get a serious look — especially if he ends up competing as a supporting actor, a category that of late has seen much year-to-year turnover. “Homeland” castmates Mandy Patinkin and Morena Baccarin are hardly far-fetched choices, either.

Maya Rudolph: With her broadening, post-“Bridesmaids,” post-“Saturday Night Live” appeal, Rudolph is about as likely as any new-series thesp to try to steal the comedy supporting actress kudo from Julie Bowen of “Modern Family.” 

Coming soon: Among those headed to this list in the next couple of weeks once their shows premiere: Laura Dern (“Enlightened”), Kelsey Grammer (“Boss”).

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