There are certain categories at the Emmys that feel like they don’t have enough spots for the nominations, making it seem like a tight fit for the contenders that end up making it. Certain categories, especially in the Limited Series categories, only have five or six nominees and no more. The Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category is not one of those categories this year, holding space for eight nominees in the category for the second year in a row. This is due to the sliding scale that is now followed, where the number of submissions in the category determines how many nominees there can be. This year there were enough for eight performances to be recognized, but that makes the category no less competitive. Having eight nominees is broad enough to bring in all types of performances, it’s also still not enough to recognize the vast amount of talent the past year has brought.
This category is difficult because there are certain shows that have a plethora of supporting performances in them, allowing those shows to submit multiple supporting actresses in the category. This means that, although there are eight nominees, there’s a chance that only a handful of shows will be represented amongst the nominees due to sheer size of the cast. It’s a similar situation to the 2019 Emmys where there were six nominees in this category, but only three shows were represented because Game of Thrones took up a whopping four nominations out of the six. That same thing could happen again this year with a couple of different shows.
The Crown has enjoyed stellar reception from both critics and audiences for its first three seasons, and the fourth season was no different. The show received praise for its ensemble and this year at the Emmys, that ensemble is looking to take up quite a bit of space in the acting categories. In the Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category alone, The Crown has submitted three women that gave incredible performances in the show’s fourth season. Leading the pack is Gillian Anderson, who is sure to be nominated for her spot-on portrayal of Margaret Thatcher. Anderson has received much praise since the season came out in November, winning the Golden Globe and SAG award for her performance. Sure to be joining her is Helena Bonham Carter, fresh off an Emmy nomination for the show’s third season and her performance as Princess Margaret. The third actress from the show, that’s likely to gain a nomination at the Emmys, is recent Oscar winner Emerald Fennell (Original Screenplay, Promising Young Woman). It seems like there’s a good chance for all three of these actresses to garner a nomination at the Emmys, taking up quite a bit of space in the pool of nominees.
Another such show that could garner the same amount of nominations for its fourth season is Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The Handmaid’s Tale has garnered much attention and praise across its four seasons, gathering Emmy nominations each year that it comes out. This year will prove to be no different with the show having recently finished its explosive fourth season, sure to keep Emmy voters looking their way. Similar to The Crown, The Handmaid’s Tale has a chance of taking up three spots at the Emmys this year. 2017 Emmy winner for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Ann Down will surely return to the category this year, as she’s won for this performance before and has also been nominated again a separate time. Another previous nominee and winner, Samira Wiley, is also sure to return to this category. She’s won for her role in the show in the Guest Actress in a Drama Series category, but has yet to win in the Supporting Actress category. Either way, she’ll likely be joining her co-star Ann Dowd in the pool of nominees come July 13. Lastly, Yvonne Strahovski is very likely to secure herself a nomination for the show’ fourth season, which would be her second nomination for her role.
If all of the aforementioned happens, that means six out of the eight spots are already taken up. This means there are only two spots left already. As aforementioned, just because the category has eight spots doesn’t mean it’ll be able to fit in people from all different shows. It seems that this year could shape up to only be represented by four different shows in this category. Who are the other two nominees? Well, one could certainly be Cynthia Nixon from Netflix’s Ratched, following the titular Nurse Ratched through her journey at a psychiatric hospital that houses intense patients. Nixon plays Gwendolyn, a woman who has feelings for Nurse Ratched. Nixon plays the role beautifully, and as a previous Emmy winner is likely to gain another nomination for her role on the show. Joining her to finish out the nominations could be Wunmi Mosaku of Lovecraft Country who plays her role as Ruby Baptiste in extraordinary measure. Though supporting, Mosaku is central to the story of the show and her story is just as pivotal to the series as the leads. This is why it seems plausible that Mosaku could round out the nominations as the eighth nominee.
There are a few actresses that could serve as disruptions to these eight. The aforementioned eight are in no way “locked”, leaving room for other actresses to swoop in and perhaps take a spot for themselves. Such actresses could be found on FX’s Pose: Indya Moore and Dominique Jackson. Though not having been nominated before for their roles on the show, the final season could prove to one of triumph for the show. With leads Mj Rodriguez and Billy Porter poised to take a nomination each (hopefully), it might bring enough love to the show to give recognition to its supporting actresses as well. Alexis Bledel could be another actress from The Handmaid’s Tale to gain a nomination this year (which would equal four nominations in one category for the show). She’s won an Emmy before for her performance in the Guest Actress category, so she does have a good past with the Television Academy that could propel her back into nominations. Chloe Sevigny could emerge as a dark horse nominee for We Are Who We Are, a show where she gives a reserved but effective performance.
There are a number of women who could be nominated, and even though eight nominations in an acting category is a blessing, it still doesn’t seem like enough sometimes.
My predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
- Gillian Anderson – The Crown
- Helena Bonham Carter – The Crown
- Ann Down – The Handmaid’s Tale
- Samira Wiley – The Handmaid’s Tale
- Yvonne Strahovski – The Handmaid’s Tale
- Emerald Fennell – The Crown
- Cynthia Nixon – Ratched
- Wunmi Mosaku – Lovecraft Country
Then: Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale; Indya Moore, Pose; Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country; Nicola Coughlan, Bridgerton; Tatiana Maslany, Perry Mason; Chrissy Metz, This is Us; Dominique Jackson, Pose
Photos: Sophie Giraud/Hulu; Sophie Mutevelian, Ollie Upton, Des Willie/Netflix