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Critics pick best actress, drama

Falco, Field have a leg up on the competition

NOMINEES
Patricia Arquette, “Medium”
Minnie Driver, “The Riches”
Edie Falco, “The Sopranos”
Sally Field, “Brothers & Sisters”
Mariska Hargitay, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
Kyra Sedgwick, “The Closer”

GAIL PENNINGTON
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Sally Field will win, even though she’s arguably not the lead actress in a show that might not even be a drama. Is it more of a drama than “Desperate Housewives”?

If I made the rules, I’d insist the lead actress be somebody who was a solo star or otherwise carried her show. Some years, that might mean few nominees, but this year we have several, including Kyra Sedgwick, who is 100% the reason for the success of “The Closer.” I’m not actually a huge fan of her performance, but as far as carrying a show, she’s a winner.

If I were nominating, though, I think I would have remembered Evangeline Lilly, who had a great year on “Lost” and is as much a lead actress as anyone could be in this big ensemble.

JOHN GRIFFITHS
Us Weekly Magazine

I think it’s neck and neck between a movie-screen legend — that’d be Field — and a TV legend, Ms. Falco. Emmy voters revel in rewarding big-screen stars for thriving on the tube (think to way back when Barbara Stanwyck won for “The Big Valley” in its first season), and Oscar favorite Field has already nabbed Emmys for “Sybil” and, more recently, her “ER” stint, so I give her the edge. This may have been “The Sopranos’ ” swan song, but Falco has won before … and she had less meat to chew in the show’s final season. As for who deserves it, Minnie Driver is the real revelation. Her raw pathos and comic twists were rich indeed.

BRUCE MILLER
Sioux City Journal

The “Sopranos” train is going to be hard to derail — in all categories. While Edie Falco didn’t have the dramatic moments of, say, Sally Field, she has the momentum to win. Personally, I’d like to see Sally get it. She came in as a replacement (for Betty Buckley) and took what could have been a secondary character and made her the lead. She exhibited incredible range and deserves the prize, once again. Never bet against her.

ED MARTIN
MediaVillage

Six nominations in the category and they still couldn’t find room for Connie Britton of “Friday Night Lights”?

There are so many surprises in recent years that it’s really hard to predict. But since Britton wasn’t nominated, I would hand the award to Sally Field of “Brothers & Sisters.”

Critics’ reactions in all categories were collected by TCA member Kathy Tracy.