2016 Emmy Contenders: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

Supporting Actor in a Drama Emmy
Courtesy of PBS/HBO/USA Network

Last year, Peter Dinklage took home his second Emmy Award for his role as Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones.” Despite the impressive ensemble of the show, Dinklage could stand out again this year; he already has the best line of the season: “That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.” He could face competition from co-stars Kit Harington and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, neither of whom has been nominated yet.

Jonathan Banks is a likely repeat nominee for “Better Call Saul,” but his co-star Michael McKean was a scene stealer as well, and also the biggest villain of the season as he looked to usurp his own brother. McKean is a beloved vet who has never received an Emmy nomination and is long overdue.

We could see repeat nominations for Jon Voight (“Ray Donovan”) and Michael Kelly (“House of Cards”), as well as two actors whose shows left the air this year, Jim Carter (“Downton Abbey”) and Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”). Nom newcomers may include Golden Globe winner Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot”) and Ray Romano, showing his dramatic side on “Vinyl.”
And while it’s hard to know if Emmy voters will take to Louis C.K.’s “Horace and Pete,” one should never underestimate five-time Emmy winner Alan Alda.



Jonathan Banks (BETTER CALL SAUL)


Alan Cumming (THE GOOD WIFE)

Peter Dinklage (GAME OF THRONES)

Michael Kelly (HOUSE OF CARDS)


Ray Romano (VINYL)

Christian Slater (MR. ROBOT)

Jon Voight (RAY DONOVAN)


F. Murray Abraham (HOMELAND)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (GAME OF THRONES)

Christopher Eccelston (THE LEFTOVERS)

Rupert Friend (HOMELAND)

Kit Harington (GAME OF THRONES)

Andre Holland (THE KNICK)

Joshua Jackson (THE AFFAIR)


Ben Mendelsohn (BLOODLINE)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (THE GOOD WIFE)

Mandy Patinkin (HOMELAND)

Jussie Smollett (EMPIRE)


Craig Bierko (UnREAL)

Beau Bridges (MASTERS OF SEX)

Norbert Leo Butz (MERCY STREET)

Keith Carradine (MADAM SECRETARY)


Clayne Crawford (RECTIFY)

Tony Goldwyn (SCANDAL)

Nick Jonas (KINGDOM)

Joel Kinnaman (HOUSE OF CARDS)

Frank Langella (THE AMERICANS)


Christopher Meloni (UNDERGROUND)

Tobias Menzies (OUTLANDER)

Chris Noth (THE GOOD WIFE)

Pedro Pascal (NARCOS)

Jeff Perry (SCANDAL)

Norman Reedus (THE WALKING DEAD)


Jonathan Tucker (KINGDOM)

Martin Wallström (MR. ROBOT)

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  1. Sharon says:

    Madam Secretary is such a good show. Tea Leoni and Tim Daly are excellent and the shows are well written and engaging. Why is there no Emmy recognition?

  2. fo says:


  3. How about Josh Charles in “Masters of Sex”? He’s a previous nominee and has a pivotal role in the season (he’s in more episodes than Beau Bridges, actually).

  4. Alex Potter says:

    I think that Michael McKean has a great chance to win it if he’s nominated.

  5. L. G. G. Freitas says:

    Jim Carter!

  6. Bill B. says:

    Curious why Norman Reedus is considered to be a possibility over Steven Yuen. I don’t think either has a good chance, but I think Yuen has been a lot more effective & certainly one of the more talked about characters on this show the past season or two.

  7. Lolly says:

    Sorry but Cillian Murphy is amazing in Peaky Blinders, especially the new season 3. He is scary good and blows most of these guys out of the water.

  8. Jayne says:

    I think Tobias Menzies should be moved to the Frontrunners list. I don’t understand why he doesn’t get more recognition for his stellar work in Outlander.

    • Dave Allen says:

      Jayne, I certainly agree – Menzie’s two characters provide the foundation upon which the whole story rests. Without Frank/Jack, Jamie and Claire would just be floating about the stage, punching at feathers.

      [Note: Does any one else think it is a little odd to call Dinklage (or Harington or Coster-Waldau) a “Supporting Actor”? It is TRULY an ensemble cast where there are actually several lead male and female roles. These three all have solo credits (along w/Headey and Clarke) and appear 1st in the credit roll.]

  9. Cath says:

    Looking at the list shows how hard it is to reduce the list to six (or whatever number they allow) and how difficult it is to then choose one. Makes one happy that there are so many good to great performances this season.

  10. This list has a glaring omission – the obvious front-runner, in my mind: Jon Bernthal for this season of The Punisher.

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