Thursday, September 29, 2022

How To Win Your Emmy Pool: Outstanding Drama, Comedy & Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actor & Actress

By Amanda Spears 

I’m taking you television fans through how to methodically make your Emmy predictions and win your pool. Previously we looked at Outstanding ComedyDramaLimited Series/TV Movie Writing and Directing, CastingDrama & Comedy Guest Actor and Actress. Next up are the Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress categories for Drama, Comedy & Limited Series/TV Movie.
 
Five years ago, the Emmys moved to a plurality vote replacing the more level playing field of 80-100 person panels. Since we spend more time watching television than a film, it’s easier to let our personal preferences affect our predictions as we try to manifest a win for our favorites.

Trends can only take you so far when predicting the acting winners—instinct and buzz is also necessary. But patterns can help you narrow the field of possibilities. Let’s take a look at how to predict the winners for Outstanding Drama, Comedy & Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actor and Actress based on recent trends.


Let’s start with the Drama category first…

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEES
Nicholas Braun, “Succession”
Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Mark Duplass, “The Morning Show”
Giancarlo Esposito, “Better Call Saul
Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession”
Bradley Whitford, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Jeffrey Wright, “Westworld”

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies
Julia Garner, “Ozark”
Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
Fiona Shaw, “Killing Eve”
Sarah Snook, “Succession”
Meryl Streep, “Big Little Lies
Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Since 2017, on the Drama side your series has to be nominated if you’re going to win anything – with the exception of “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” hanging episodes last year in the acting categories. This leaves the state of the race with…

Outstanding Drama Supporting Actor
Nicholas Braun, “Succession”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Giancarlo Esposito, “Better Call Saul
Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession”
Bradley Whitford, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Outstanding Drama Supporting Actress
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Julia Garner, “Ozark”
Fiona Shaw, “Killing Eve”
Sarah Snook, “Succession”
Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Believe it or not, but “Big Little Lies” not receiving an Outstanding Drama Series nomination is enough to knock out recent Oscar winner Laura Dern, who won Outstanding Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actress (2017), and the Greatest Actress of her Generation, Meryl Streep. One of the reigning winners, Thandie Newton, can also be knocked out since “Westworld” didn’t air new episodes during the 2019 eligibility period. On the gentleman’s side, “The Morning Show” not receiving a series nomination knocks out recent SAG Award nominee, Billy Crudup, and his co-star Mark Duplass. On his third consecutive nomination for “Westworld,” Jeffrey Wright can also be knocked out. If any of these six are going to upset, lookout for Streep and Crudup.

In a popularity vote, buzz matters. “The Handmaid’s Tale” hit a speedbump receiving far fewer nominations than many were predicting, including the series star Elisabeth Moss being snubbed. Outstanding Drama Supporting Actress hasn’t had a back-to-back winner since Anna Gunn (“Breaking Bad”) in 2013-2014. It’s also hard to tell if Garner won outright or if the stars aligned in her favor last year as she was the only American in the category and four of her fellow nominees were from “Game of Thrones.” Then there’s Nicholas Braun who rode a wave of “Succession” support to a surprise nomination, but Cousin Greg doesn’t have the storyline or buzz to pull off a victory. Now the race looks like this…

Outstanding Drama Supporting Actor
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Giancarlo Esposito, “Better Call Saul
Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession”

Outstanding Drama Supporting Actress
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Fiona Shaw, “Killing Eve”
Sarah Snook, “Succession”

Fiona Shaw’s storyline was increased for season three of “Killing Eve” and she was the series MVP, but she may not have the passion to get the votes necessary to win. “Succession” racked up nine acting nominations, and if the actors are inclined to vote for “Succession,” they only have one choice in Supporting Actress. This makes Sarah Snook a real threat to upset. However, the frontrunner has to be Helena Bonham Carter, an expert at portraying members of the British monarchy. Bonham Carter is at a career best with her portrayal of Princess Margaret in “The Crown,” and has received both a Golden Globe and SAG Award nomination this year. For Bonham Carter, this may be her best chance as next year Emmy favorite, Gillian Anderson, joins the series as The Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, and Emma Corrin as Princess Diana. Should she win, this would be Bonham Carter’s first major award in the U.S.

This is Giancarlo Esposito’s second consecutive nomination for his performance as Gus Fring in “Better Call Saul.” Esposito is also nominated for Outstanding Drama Guest Actor for his work in “The Mandalorian.” If the television academy is finally ready to award Esposito – which category? Should Esposito win Outstanding Drama Supporting Actor, he would make history as the first black actor to do so. However, “Better Call Saul” has never won an Emmy in any category. Most likely to benefit should this trend continue is onscreen brother in-laws Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfadyen.

Culkin has earned two consecutive Golden Globe nominations for his brash performance of Roman Roy. However, lookout for character actor Macfadyen with an impressive resume in films, starring as Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice” (2005), “Frost/Nixon” (2007) and “Anna Karenina” (2012), and on television in “Little Dorrit” (2008) (a past Outstanding Miniseries winner), “The Pillars of the Earth” (2010) (nominated for Outstanding Miniseries) and recently “Quiz.” In short, he’s a known entity on the TV academy’s radar. Culkin may give a brash and flashy performance, but it’s Macfadyen who’s at a career best in the final two episodes of “Succession.”


​OUTSTANDING DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR PREDICTIONS
1. Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession”
2. Giancarlo Esposito, “Better Call Saul
3. Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
4. Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show”
5. Bradley Whitford, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
6. Mark Duplass, “The Morning Show”
7. Jeffrey Wright, “Westworld”
8. Nicholas Braun, “Succession”

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS PREDICTIONS
1. Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
2. Sarah Snook, “Succession”
3. Julia Garner, “Ozark”
4. Meryl Streep, “Big Little Lies
5. Fiona Shaw, “Killing Eve”
6. Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
7. Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies
8. Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Now let’s take a look at the Comedy categories for Supporting Actor & Actress…

​OUTSTANDING COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEES
Mahershala Ali, “Ramy”
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine- Nine”
Sterling K. Brown, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
William Jackson Harper, “The Good Place”
Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live”

​OUTSTANDING COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
D’Arcy Carden, “The Good Place”
Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”
Marin Hinkle, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Yvonne Orji, “Insecure”
Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live”

Since 2018, on the Comedy side your series has to be nominated if you’re going to win anything—with the exception of “Saturday Night Live” in the acting categories. This leaves the state of the race as…
 
Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Sterling K. Brown, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
William Jackson Harper, “The Good Place”
Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live”

Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actress
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
D’Arcy Carden, “The Good Place”
Marin Hinkle, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Yvonne Orji, “Insecure”
Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live”


​Sorry “Saturday Night Live,” while your “the show must go on” attitude even in quarantine is admirable, it’s unlikely that any of the series regulars have the momentum to pull out a win. But next year is an election year, so maybe next time. Leaving the race as…

Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Sterling K. Brown, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
William Jackson Harper, “The Good Place”
Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actress
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
D’Arcy Carden, “The Good Place”
Marin Hinkle, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Yvonne Orji, “Insecure”

​Let’s narrow the field even more by eliminating those surprise nominees. Also, the nominees that lack the buzz to win. This leaves us with…

Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actor
Sterling K. Brown, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
William Jackson Harper, “The Good Place”
Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actress
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
D’Arcy Carden, “The Good Place”
Marin Hinkle, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”

Should Yvonne Orji pull off a win, she would be the second African American woman to win this category 33 years after Jackée Harry made history for “227” (1987).

Next to be axed, the double nominee that can’t win, which leaves us with…

Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actor
William Jackson Harper, “The Good Place”
Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actress
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
D’Arcy Carden, “The Good Place”
Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”


​It’s a shame for Marin Hinkle who had even more to do in season three. But unfortunately, she remains in her co-star Alex Borstein’s shadow. When Sterling K. Brown joined “Mrs. Maisel” universe, expectations were high, but he had little to do in the role and won’t stand in Tony Shalhoub’s way.

Then there were three for both categories. Ironically, they come from the same series: “The Good Place,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Schitt’s Creek.” It’s important to remember that with eight nominees in a plurality vote, the winner only needs to receive 12.6% of the vote to walk away with the trophy.

Many believed that D’Arcy Carden was a potential nominee, and William Jackson Harper’s nomination proved that the television academy was paying attention to the series. Should Harper or any of his fellow African American nominees win, they would be the first in 41 years and only the second after Robert Guillaume for “Soap” made history (1979). However, Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actor will ultimately be a race between Levy and the reigning champion Shalhoub. Shalhoub is an Emmy favorite winning Outstanding Comedy Actor three times for “Monk” (2003, 2005-2006). He also happens to be a two-time SAG Award winner for “Mrs. Maisel.” Keep in mind at the SAG Awards combine lead and supporting performances and he bested Bill Hader (“Barry”), the two-time reigning Emmy winner for Outstanding Comedy Actor. However, Shalhoub now faces the auteur Levy who writes, directs, produces and stars in “Schitt’s Creek.” Also, helping Levy’s chances is that “Schitt’s Creek” is the Series frontrunner.

On the ladies’ side, both Carden and Annie Murphy are formidable challengers for the two-time reigning champion Borstein. Borstein has not only won twice, but twice in fields of eight. Should Borstein win, she would join an elite group of ladies to win three or more: Rhea Perlman for “Cheers” (1984-1986 and 1989), Doris Roberts for “Everybody Loves Raymond” (2001-2003 and 2005), Valerie Harper for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1971-1973) and Laurie Metcalf for “Roseanne” (1992-1994). But this is a hard group to join as Kate McKinnon is still trying to enter the club, and Julie Bowen for “Modern Family” was unable to do so. What helps Borstein and hurts Shalhoub is she doesn’t have one clear alternative giving her a rare chance at history.

​OUTSTANDING COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR PREDICTIONS
1. Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
2. Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
3. William Jackson Harper, “The Good Place”
4. Sterling K. Brown, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
5. Mahershala Ali, “Ramy”
6. Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
7. Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live”
8. Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine- Nine”

​OUTSTANDING COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES
1. Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
2. D’Arcy Carden, “The Good Place”
3. Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”
4. Yvonne Orji, “Insecure”
5. Marin Hinkle, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
6. Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
7. Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”
8. Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live”

And now, we finally come down to Outstanding Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actor and Actress. These are two of the most difficult categories to predict since we can’t just use stats to make our predictions – we have to rely on instinct and sometimes our gut feeling.

​OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEES
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “Watchmen”
Jovan Adepo, “Watchmen”
Titus Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend”
Louis Gossett Jr., “Watchmen”
Dylan McDermott, “Hollywood”
Jim Parsons, “Hollywood”

​OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES
Uzo Aduba, “Mrs. America
Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
Margo Martindale, “Mrs. America
Jean Smart, “Watchmen”
Holland Taylor, “Hollywood”
Tracey Ullman, “Mrs. America

Last year, both Patricia Arquette (“The Act”) and Ben Whishaw (“A Very English Scandal”) were able to win without their series being nominated. We’ll begin by eliminating those that snuck into the race, leaving us with…

Outstanding Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actor
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “Watchmen”
Jovan Adepo, “Watchmen”
Louis Gossett Jr., “Watchmen”
Dylan McDermott, “Hollywood”
Jim Parson, “Hollywood”

Outstanding Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actress
Uzo Aduba, “Mrs. America
Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
Margo Martindale, “Mrs. America
Jean Smart, “Watchmen”
Tracey Ullman, “Mrs. America


I would personally love to see Titus Burgess finally win an Emmy after four previous nominations, but no one from a TV Movie has won this category since Martin Freeman for “Sherlock: His Last Vow” in 2014 – and he was double nominated for Outstanding Limited Series/TV Actor for “Fargo.” Holland Taylor snuck in past her girlfriend (Sarah Paulson, “Mrs. America”) and costar Patti LuPone, who many expected would be the one nominated for “Hollywood.” Taylor is a past Emmy Outstanding Drama Supporting Actress winner for “The Practice” in 1999, but she’s racked up an additional six nominations without a win and seems unlikely this time out.

Next on the chopping block: series with double nominees. If you’re going to take down a costar in a plurality vote you have to be the obvious choice. For example, Sterling K. Brown was the clear choice over his “The People v. O.J. Simpson” costars John Travolta and David Schwimmer in 2016. But last year, neither Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo or Asante Blackk was the clear choice for “When They See Us.” In fact, only Brown has been able to conquer a costar since 2015. The same goes for Supporting Actress where only Laura Dern for “Big Little Lies” in 2017 was able to triumph over her costar Shailene Woodley for “Big Little Lies.”

Let’s narrow down the field by eliminating costars. For Supporting Actor, that leaves Louis Gossett Jr. for “Watchmen” and Jim Parsons for “Hollywood.”

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II plays Cal, Regina King’s husband, with a blue twist, but he doesn’t have much to do until the final few episodes. Jovan Adepo and Gossett Jr. play the same character, Will Reeves, at different times in the story, but Adepo like Abdul-Mateen II doesn’t give the kind of performance that stands out. The two should be proud of their nominations as both got in over their more well-known costars, Tim Blake Nelson and Don Johnson.

For Supporting Actress, that leaves Uzo Aduba for “Mrs. America,” Toni Collette for “Unbelievable” and Jean Smart for “Watchmen.”

I don’t feel good about eliminating either Margo Martindale or Tracey Ullman as both ladies are Emmy favorites. Martindale is a three-time Emmy winner, and while many predicted her win for Outstanding Drama Supporting Actress for “Justified” in 2011, it’s her back-to-back Outstanding Drama Guest Actress wins for “The Americans” in 2015-2016 – with less than five minutes of screen-time combined – that makes her a threat. Martindale portrays Congresswoman, Bella Abzug, but her episode is later in the season and she’ll have to hope that voters watched the entire series not just the first few episodes. Then there’s Ullman who’s won seven Emmys in a wide variety of categories, some actually for Variety Series/Specials. Ullman plays feminist icon Betty Friedan, and unlike Martindale, her episode is the third in the series and she goes head-to-head against series star Cate Blanchett, giving her a standout moment.


​The collective thinking at the moment has Parsons winning his fifth Emmy for his portrayal of real-life “Hollywood” agent Henry Wilson. Does the television academy really love Parsons or just Sheldon Cooper (his character from “The Big Bang Theory” for which he won four Emmys)? After his fourth win, he was dropped from the category. Wilson is the complete opposite of what Parsons’ is known for, but it all seems a little too easy. Enter Gossett Jr., an Oscar winner and the first African American to win what’s now known as Outstanding Limited Series/TV Movie Actor (at the time the category was known as Outstanding Actor in a Drama or Comedy Series, Single Appearance) for his iconic performance as the Fiddler in “Roots” in 1977. At 84 years of age, there might not be many more opportunities to award the legend who makes a lasting impact throughout all of “Watchmen.”

Smart is a three-time Emmy winner who’s shown depth beyond the comedies she’s best known for. Ironically, the last time she was nominated in this category for “Fargo,” she lost to her costar Regina King (“American Crime Story”) in 2016. What helps Smart is, if you’re a voter wanting to vote for “Watchmen,” then she’s your only option. Aduba plays Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress and the first Black candidate of a major party for President. Aduba, like Ullman, has the advantage of appearing in an earlier episode—the second to be exact. Like her costars, she’s also a past Emmy winner for “Orange is the New Black,” and if you only know her from her work as Crazy Eyes, this could benefit her as the performances are polar opposites. Collette plays a detective investigating a serial rapist, but unlike Smart, she’s shown up throughout awards season being nominated at both the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. However, “Unbelievable” didn’t perform the way many expected as series stars Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever were snubbed.

​OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE SUPPORTING ACTOR PREDICTIONS
1. Louis Gossett Jr., “Watchmen”
2. Jim Parsons, “Hollywood”
3. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “Watchmen”
4. Dylan McDermott, “Hollywood”
5. Titus Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend”
6. Jovan Adepo, “Watchmen”
 
​OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE SUPPORTING ACTRESS PREDICTIONS
1. Uzo Aduba, “Mrs. America
2. Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
3. Jean Smart, “Watchmen”
4. Tracey Ullman, “Mrs. America
5. Margo Martindale, “Mrs. America
6. Holland Taylor, “Hollywood”

Do you agree or disagree with my logic? What are you predicting to win the Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actor & Actress in the Drama, Comedy & Limited Series/TV Movie categories? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Twitter account. Stay tuned for more articles on the Emmys as I finalize my predictions.

You can follow Amanda and hear more of her thoughts on the Emmys and TV on Twitter at @msamandaspears

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