While the field of Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series is looking to be one of the most-competitive races leading up to the 2012 Emmy Awards, the race in the Drama Series category among the ladies is looking a bit more one-sided.
While there are a few serious contenders here for the trophy, at this point the race is ultimately looking like it is one woman’s race to lose.
The deserving nominees
Claire Danes, “Homeland” (Showtime) – Pending a shock from Emmy voters or her somehow doing something to torpedo her own chances, Danes will and should win this award. She’s always been a brilliant actress, but Carrie Mathison may end up being one of the landmark roles of her career.
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” (CBS) – Is Margulies’ Alicia a great role? Definitely, and she’s been deserving of this award twice before. We still contend that season 3 of the show — save for a brilliant arc by Matthew Perry near the end — was not the show’s strongest, and this could hurt its lead’s chances of taking home gold.
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men” (AMC) – Who says that you have to pick and choose between one “Mad Men” actress and the other? Moss was fantastic yet again this season, and deserves the love alongside someone else…
Jessica Pare, “Mad Men” (AMC) – Pare does not have the same odds as Moss does for getting the nomination this year (mostly due to familiarity), but that does not mean that Megan Draper was any less meaty of a role. Pare has reinvigorated a show that was on the verge of becoming a tad stale, and “Mad Men” is as good as ever because of it.
Elizabeth McGovern, “Downton Abbey” (PBS) – A stellar performance on a show stuffed full of incredible performances. While McGovern may have little shot at winning here, she is “Downton Abbey’s” best chance for an acting nomination outside of the all-but-assured Maggie Smith in the supporting field.
Madeleine Stowe, “Revenge” (ABC) – We almost wish that Stowe submitted in the supporting field where she may have had a better shot at winning; even that being said, though, Victoria was really the force that made the show move throughout its first season, and a nomination here would be the icing on the cake.
Honorable mentions: Callie Thorne (“Necessary Roughness”), Katey Sagal (“Sons of Anarchy”), Emmy Rossum (“Shameless”), Anna Torv (“Fringe”)
The likely nominees
Claire Danes, “Homeland” – As we said, Danes will almost win this award with her eyes closed. We really don’t even see it being competitive.
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” – Danes’ dominance is bad news for Margulies, who would probably be picking up the trophy if she was not here.
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men” – We don’t see both her and Jessica Pare actually getting nominated, and the episode surrounding Peggy’s exit from SCDP should be enough to seal the deal here.
Glenn Close, “Damages” (DirecTV) – As stellar as Close may be as an actress, “Damages” is in many ways becoming a blip on the radar, and this nomination would surely not result in a win for her.
Debra Messing, “Smash” (NBC) – If this happens (and we believe it will), this is one that will be easy to pout over. When there are so many deserving actresses out there, why nominate someone whose character was both incredibly unlikable and thrown around by the writers like a hot potato? We know awards shows love musicals, but there’s not much about “Smash’s” disappointing first season to love.
Katey Sagal, “Sons of Anarchy” (FX) -We certainly have no problem at all with Sagal getting some love here — she’s deserved it for so long, and we really think it’s time that the Emmys start to actually recognize the existence of “Sons,” regardless of how they feel about creator Kurt Sutter.
Likely to receive votes: Madeleine Stowe (“Revenge”), Elizabeth McGovern (“Downton Abbey”), Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”), Kathy Bates (“Harry’s Law”).
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Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences