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2018 Emmys: The Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie Race

(from left) Haley Atwell (Howards End), Queen Latifah (Flint), Laura Dern (The Tale), Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Cult), Jessica Biel (The Sinner) and Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake: China Girl) are all looking to land Emmy nominations for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Unlike the series categories, there are no ‘returning champs’ in the Limited Series/TV categories…well, not exactly. Anthologies such as American Horror Story feature returning actors (like Sarah Paulson, below) but not necessarily in recurring roles. Then there is the case of Elisabeth Moss in Top of the Lake. While not an anthology, but a continuation of a short-form miniseries, she plays the same character in another storyline. Last year, Big Little Lies debuted as a Limited Series where Nicole Kidman won here. That show has since been renewed and will now compete in the Drama Series categories for the 2019 Emmys.

The Frontrunners

When Jennifer Fox’s The Tale debuted at Sundance earlier this year it created a firestorm of buzz. But it’s highly sensitive material (involving a truly sinister molestation) and presentation of it kept the studios at bay, even the indies. HBO came in and gave it a home and with it gave Laura Dern a clear path to another Emmy (she won last year for Big Little Lies in supporting). She’s this category’s one true lock.

2018 Emmys: The Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Race

The aforementioned Moss should easily return for another nomination in this category, especially on the heels of her first Emmy win last year (for Lead Actress in Drama Series – The Handmaid’s Tale).

Jessica Biel has been trying to shed her pinup girl persona to pursue a legitimate acting career and her performance in The Sinner gave her that. Critically lauded, this should get her out of the Teen Choice and Razzie Award basement and get her her first Emmy nomination.

2018 Emmys: The Lead Actress in a Drama Series Race

After that it’s a bit of a gamble; Queen Latifah (Flint) should be in – she’s a two-time nominee in this category and won Outstanding Television Movie as a producer on Bessie. Sarah Paulson is an Emmy darling. She was a five-time nominee before finally winning on her 6th nomination for American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson in 2016. Four of her six Emmy nominations come from seasons of American Horror Story. Hayley Atwell has never been Emmy-nominated but the television remake of Howards End is the type of miniseries and performance the Television Academy loves to honor almost as much as The Oscars do. At least they used to…

2018 Emmys: The Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Race

As you can see below, the Other Contenders list is jammed with possible upsets in the form of Emmy-winning favorites like Edie Falco (Law & Order: True Crime – The Menendez Murders) and Kelly Macdonald (The Child in Time) to Oscar winners like Anna Paquin (The Commuter) and Catherine Zeta-Jones (Cocaine Godmother). I’m keeping my eye out for the never-nominated but respected Anna Deveare Smith in Notes from the Field, her searing one-woman presentation of America’s youth, racism and justice system from her own play.

Here’s how I see the Lead Actress in a Limited Series/TV Movie race right now.

1. Laura Dern, The Tale (HBO)
2. Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake: China Girl (Sundance)
3. Jessica Biel, The Sinner (USA)
4. Queen Latifah, Flint (Lifetime)
5. Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Cult (FX)
6. Hayley Atwell, Howards End (Starz)
Clare-Hope Ashitey, Seven Seconds (Netflix)
Sofia Boutella, Fahrenheit 451 (HBO)
Anna Deavere Smith, Notes from the Field (HBO)
Carmen Ejogo, The Girlfriend Experience (Starz)
Edie Falco: Law & Order: True Crime – The Menendez Murders (NBC)
Kelly Macdonald, The Child in Time (BBC America)
Carey Mulligan, Collateral (Netflix)
Anna Paquin, Electric Dreams: The Commuter (Amazon)
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cocaine Godmother (Lifetime)

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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