Place your bets on the Emmys now: Lead and supporting actress in a drama

There may be more talent crammed into the lead- and supporting-actress Emmy categories than in any other races. How do you choose between Connie Britton and Glenn Close, for example? Or between Archie Panjabi and Sharon Gless? Here’s how I do it; I think I know who’s going to win. Oh, sure, every prognosticator says that, and really, your sure-bet is as good as mine. Let’s compare notes, shall we?

Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
Glenn Close (Damages)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
January Jones (Mad Men)
Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)

My prediction: Julianna Margulies. Emmy voters will be so pleased that this well-liked ER veteran has found a fine new vehicle for her talent, and on a big, glossy, solid-rated, mainstream-network show, that her win will be irresistible.

Possible upsets: Connie Britton (I-hope-I-hope-I-hope!) or January Jones (never underestimate the Emmy-magnet that is Mad Men).

Shoulda been a contender: Katey Sagal’s brave Sons of Anarchy work, in a more sane universe, wouldn’t just be nominated, but would have assured her of a win.

Sharon Gless (Burn Notice)
Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Rose Byrne (Damages)
Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)

My prediction: Christina Hendricks. Last season’s Mad Men gave Hendricks opportunities to flesh out her character well beyond Joan’s steely competence. Add the fact that within the industry, voters are as likely to succumb to the past year’s barrage of magazine covers and feature pieces about Hendricks, and you’d have to say she’s reached the point of both being inevitable and deserving the trophy.

Possible upset: Christine Baranski. If there’s a Good Wife sweep, Baranski could be one of the well-known talents to benefit from it. That said, if I had a vote, I’d cast it for Panjabi.

Shoulda been contenders: Breaking Bad‘s Anna Gunn; Dexter‘s Jennifer Carpenter; Southland‘s Regina King

Do you agree with my picks?

Follow: @kentucker

Comments (44 total) Add your comment
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  • Josh

    I hope Connie Britton wins! She not only deserved it this year but the last three years!

    • Julz


  • Bobby’s Robot

    Margulies and Baranski are both Academy favorites. I think Julianna’s a lock, but Hendricks may sneak in a win.

    • Confused

      What does being an Academy favorite have to do with winning an Emmy? ;)

      • Erin

        The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences decide the Emmy winners.

  • dave

    Go Christina!!!!!

  • Allie

    outstanding actress: glenn close
    possible upset: agree with connie britton!

    supporting actress: elizabeth moss
    possible upset(though probably a long shot): sharon gless, i really hope!

  • Valley Girl

    Agree with you re: Margulies FTW, and that Sagal should have been nominated. For supporting, I can’t decide between Panjabi, Baranski and Kendricks.

  • Kevin

    Glenn Close was again incredible this year on Damages and there is NO way that Julianna did superior work. Just not possible. And Christina Hendricks or Elisabeth Moss will win supporting for Mad Men (but i’d love for Rose Byrne to win).

    • graeme

      Unfortunately, Close didn’t submit the finale, which probably would have assured her of another win (and Byrne, her first win).

      • Halle

        I know, what’s up with that? Glenn and Rose both picked the worst episode possible for Emmy consideration. Especially Rose! How did she even get nominated from that episode!? She’s seen three times in the whole thing, and when she actually is on screen she’s dead-pan and comatose. They both should have submitted All That Crap About Your Family, or The Next One’s Gonna Go In Your Throat.

  • EC

    I agree that Jennifer Carpenter really deserved to be on that ballot.

    • Siavash

      ah thank you…She’s a brilliantly gifted actress.

    • Merideth

      Couldn’t agree more. She was brilliant this season. In my opinion, the best female performances on television this year weren’t even nominated-Katey Sagal, Anna Gunn, and Carpenter. Outrageous.

      • koker

        I agree too. Jen Carpenter was amazing in Dexter, since season one, especially in the episode where Lundy gets shot

  • Strepsi

    As someone who is drawn to keep watching the Good Wife despite its banality, I also would vote for Panjabi — she is almost still, poker-faced, yet somehow lets us see there is turmoil broiling underneath the surface. One of the most interesting up-and-coming actresses to watch for sure.

  • Kate

    I’m really rooting for Sharon Gless to win!

    • Jeff

      YEs! Gless would be a fun win! That scene of her with Tyne Daly was great! Also, the finale when she thought Michael was killed someone was held up in jailhouse was great.

  • Mindy

    Anna Gunn submitted as a Lead Actress contender, which is probably why she isn’t a nominee.
    Regina King IS a Lead Actress on Southland, and I believe she also submitted as Lead.
    I predict Margulies and Hendricks as well. Spoilers will be Lead Sedgwick for the best tape submitted and Supporting Gless for a great performance by a veteran.

  • jasonboegh

    Juliana Marguiles will and should win. The ONLY one who could spoile is Glenn Close. Connie Britton, January Jones and Mariska Hargitay have NO chance… I’d love to see a surprise win for Kyra Sedgewick who remains Emmy-less, but it’s not gonna happen.

    Supporting is the real race. Any of them could win. I think The Good Wife ladies can’t be under-estimated here. If I had to narrow it down, I’d say it’s Hendricks by a hair over Baranski. Emmy fave Sharon Gless could surprise here too. This one really is a bit of a toss up. This is how I’d rank their chances…
    1. Christina Hendricks
    2. Christine Baranski
    3. Archie Pajabi
    4. Sharon Gless
    ~and these two are probably out of the running
    5. Elizabeth Moss (had better material last year)
    6. Rose Byrne (also had better material last year)

  • shonna


  • Carrie

    I agree, they love Margulies so I think the lead actress statuette will go to her. However, I wouldn’t count Connie Britton out; at the very least I think she’s got a better chance of pulling an upset than her TV husband (sorry, I adore them both equally, I’m just being realistic).

  • Nick

    Christina Hendricks all the way. Her outstanding portrayal of Joan easily makes her one of the few (if not the only) truly likable characters on the show. More Joan is the ONE thing that Mad Men could do to improve itself.

  • mick

    Why on earth did Glenn Close and Rose Byrne submit such a bad episode?! The finale would have been a better choice than the first episode of the season.

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