DON'T TRUST THE B
... as did Walker, the wide-eyed yang to Ritter's groovy-cynical yin. A prime role in feature film Compliance broadened her profile a bit.
It could be three nominations for three different programs in three consecutive years for Britton, following American Horror Story: Asylum and Friday Night Lights.
Carpenter has no Emmy noms to her credit, but that could change after season seven's powerful concluding episode that put her in a critical role.
The door isn't closed on Close, nominated for an Emmy a year ago and for a Golden Globe last winter for the concluding season of the one-time FX drama.
The winner of the 2012
Emmy tore herself into more emotional shreds in season two of the sizzling drama. She has already pocketed her second Golden Globe as Carrie Mathison.
BODY OF PROOF
The autopsy has begun on Proof, but the cause of death won't be Delany's performance.
Season three was a calm between two storms for Dockery's Lady Mary (right), with a whirlwind romance in season two and the challenges of motherhood awaiting in season four.
With a mix of bravado and vulnerability, Farmiga made her presence felt immedately in the new spin on the old Psycho story.
ONCE UPON A TIME
Goodwin took Snow White to the dark side, as the classic Disney princess channeled her inner Wicked Witch in plotting to kill the mother of all mothers, Cora.
Looking for a true upstart in this category? Look no further than Maslany, delivering inspired work as she plays six different personalities on the clone-centered drama.
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS
She's survived a near ride off the rails, a drugging from her dad's girlfriend and her older boyfriend's surprise son, so could Aria's song soar this awards season?
LAW & ORDER: SVU
Hargitay won the 2006 Emmy in this category and has been nominated as recently as 2011.
No mere sidekick is this Watson. She is competing in the lead category, not supporting, after a standout first season.
THE GOOD WIFE
Marguiles is going for her fifth consecutive nomination in five years of Good Wife, but is looking for her first win since the show's freshman year.
McDonnell nabbed a guest actress nomination in 2011 as Sharon Raydor on The Closer, but is still looking to translate that into a lead nom on the spinoff.
ONCE UPON A TIME
Morrison had a busy year visiting the Big Apple, reconnecting with Henry's birth father, finding out he's Rumplestiltskin's son, jumping down every available porthole, and heating up enough scenes with Captain Hook to burn down a small Midwestern town.
Fans afraid that Peggy Olson might
fade away after her separation from Don Draper had their fears assuaged bigtime in season six's developments. Moss is also contending for a miniseries acting honor in Sundance's Top of the Lake.
The longtime feature actress joined the parade of stars to the smallscreen with this juicy part as an undercover police officer in the DirecTV original series.
Perabo earned a 2011 Golden Globe nomination but is still looking to cash in on the Emmy side of things.
SONS OF ANARCHY
While she has always played Gemma Teller as a hard-nosed strong woman, Sagal has not shown this much vulnerability with her character since her performance on the second season of Sons.
While Grey's long did well in supporting categories, Pompeo has always been on the outside looking in as lead. And yet there's something to be said for being the star of this stalwart show.
CALL THE MIDWIFE
Raine gives an absolutely winning
performance as the central figure telling the story of how challenging life could be -- especially for women -- in post-war London.
Rossum showed a wide range this season as Fiona fought to win custody of her siblings, but severed her relationship with Jimmy to do so. Might be enough for an award worthy of her name.
Russell found a juicy part to play (mixing sex and nerves of steel) in the FX period spy drama, and could find her first Emmy nomination as a result.
A supporting cast member on such
shows as Homicide and Rescue Me, Thorne earned the right to a starring role and has had fun with it.
For VanCamp, who brought charm and sympathetic qualities to the duplicitous Emily Thorne, the reveal of her character's true identity to Jack promises to bring even more acting challenges.
As the show caught fire in its second season, Washington became more believable as the classy but carnal, fearless yet vulnerable Olivia Pope.
HOUSE OF CARDS
The steely counterpoint to Kevin Spacey's Frank, Wright became an instant inner-circle contender the moment Cards bowed on Netflix.
Robert Evans, Wiliam Friedkin, Sumner Redstone and Sherry Lansing
The birthday boy with Tom Cruise and Danny DeVito
Redstone's birthday cake
Stars Mark Wahlberg and Tom Cruise with Viacom's Philippe Dauman