You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Emmy Drama Lead Actress: What Will Happen?

Bevy of new contenders could shake up ranks

In the fourth post of our final countdown to the 2013 Emmy nominations, we look at the increasingly unpredictable lead drama actress competition.

Turnover is fair play: My argument throughout Emmy season has been that lead drama actress has as much possibility for change as any other category:

… Of last year’s lead drama actress nominees, Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”), Julianna Marguiles (“The Good Wife”) and defending champ Claire Danes (“Homeland”) are the safest bets to return. … Kathy Bates is ineligible following the cancelation of “Harry’s Law” a year ago, and it’s questionable whether Michelle Dockery of “Downton Abbey” can make it back with a season in which she was far less central to the show’s plot than in 2012. Your guess is as good as mine on Glenn Close (“Damages”) – the show is yesterday’s news, but then again, it’s Glenn Close. …

Swarm, swarm: Even if three spots open up, it’s not as if there won’t be strong competition for those spots. Kerry Washington (“Scandal”) has been percolating all season, while Connie Britton (“Nashville”) could be nominated for her third program in three years.  And honors are overdue for Emmy Rossum (“Shameless”), Katey Sagal (“Sons of Anarchy”) and — obligatory “Treme” mention — Khandi Alexander.

Four on the fore: A quartet of top candidates emerged just from shows that have premiered since January: Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”), Keri Russell (“The Americans”), Robin Wright (“House of Cards”) and the most interesting acting story of the Emmy season, Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”). Maslany was almost completely unknown to Americans before March (and remains unknown to many), but now she’s a big Emmy wild card.

More on the four: It’s not impossible for these challengers to collectively deliver a shocking shakeup to the category. But if they’re reduced to battling for a final spot, it’s anybody’s guess who emerges. Some clearly had more exposure than others, but you can make a case that any of them could win enough votes. No one really knows, for example, what kind of impression a digitally distributed show like Wright’s “House of Cards” has made, or what kind of effect the prominent film backgrounds of Farmiga and Wright will have.

One man’s wish list: Alexander, Danes, Maslany, Moss, Rossum, Washington

One man’s best guesses: Danes, Margulies, Maslany, Moss, Washington, Wright

Emmy Drama: What Will Happen?
Emmy Comedy: What Will Happen?
Emmy Drama Lead Actor: What Will Happen?

More TV


    'Chambers' Canceled After One Season at Netflix

    Netflix has canceled the drama series “Chambers” after one season. The series followed a teenager who gets a heart transplant and becomes consumed with the mystery surrounding her donor. The series starred Uma Thurman, Tony Goldwyn, Sivan Alyra Rose, Lilliya Reid, Nicholas Galitzine, Kyanna Simone Simpson, Lilli Kay, Sarah Mezzanotte, and Griffin Powell-Arcand. Leah Rachel [...]

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    TV News Roundup: 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' to Air Live After Democratic Debates

    In today’s roundup, Trevor Noah announces two live specials after the first Democratic debates and the new season of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” sets a premiere date. SPECIALS “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” will broadcast live following the Democratic Party’s first 2020 presidential primary debates on June 26 and 27 at 11 p.m. ET on Comedy Central. [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Samantha Bee Variety

    Samantha Bee Isn't Thrilled to Be the Last Woman Standing in Late Night

    Samantha Bee is now the only female host in late night, and that’s a stat she’s not happy about. “It’s a bit unsettling,” Bee recently told Variety. “It’s been a bad year to be a woman in this space. It’s not really a badge that I want to wear.” Shows that have been canceled over [...]

  • XXXTentacion

    Watch a Trailer for New XXXTentacion Documentary

    A year to the day after rapper XXXTentacion was murdered, his estate has released a trailer for an upcoming documentary on the artist, which the announcement says is “releasing soon.” The clip, which includes narration from X himself, captures quick flashes of him reuniting with family and friends, engaging with fans, and working on music. In the [...]

  • The-Saddest-Goal

    Fascism and Fútbol Feature in Chilean Series Project ‘The Saddest Goal’

    PAMPLONA, Spain – Chilean production company Manufactura de Películas pitched its unconventional Pinochet-era drama “The Saddest Goal” today at Spain’s Conecta Fiction TV co-production and networking TV event, held in Pamplona. Set during qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, a period of great political instability in Chile, “The Saddest Goal” kicks off as the [...]

  • Spain’s La Claqueta, Portugal’s SPi Ink

    Conecta Fiction: La Claqueta and SPi Ink Fiction Co-Production Pact

    Spain’s Seville-based shingle La Claqueta and Portugal’s SPi have clinched a co-development agreement for three fiction projects a year. Companies first made contact at last year’s Conecta Fiction, the annual co-production meet in Spain. The companies have also pacted to co-produce the animated feature-length docu “El viaje más largo” in collaboration with Portuguese pubcaster RTP [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content