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Emmy Predictions: Best Guest Actor & Actress in a Drama Series

I continue my series of Emmy predictions with the people eligible in the categories for Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series and Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series. I’m going to take a look at the categories and make groupings: Tier One, Tier Two and Tier Three. Tier One placements are for people/programs that I fully expect to get an Emmy nomination. Tier Two are people/programs that are still in the running but could be left out. And Tier Three are people/programs that I don’t expect to be nominated, but they would be a little bit of a surprise. Let’s take a look at the categories…

BEST GUEST ACTOR – DRAMA SERIES:
TIER ONE:
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Harry Hamlin, Mad Men
Nathan Lane, The Good Wife

*Even though The Good Wife has fallen out of favor in the main categories, it’s still a force in the Guest categories. Michael J. Fox is beloved by everybody and his role is juicy enough to get another nomination. Nathan Lane was borderline supporting. I’m putting Harry Hamlin here, which might be a little bit of a surprise. The last few years Mad Men has done well in the Guest categories. Hamlin’s role fits right in with previous nominees from the show. He’s a respected TV actor with a recurring role that lasted the whole season. It’s what the Emmy voters go for and I would be surprised not to see him included next Thursday.*

TIER TWO:
Dylan Baker, The Good Wife
Jim Beaver, Justified
William Daniels, Grey’s Anatomy
Rupert Friend, Homeland
Ciaran Hinds, Game of Thrones
Chris Messina, The Newsroom
Robert Morse, Mad Men
Matthew Perry, The Good Wife
Jesse Plemons, Breaking Bad
Jason Ritter, Parenthood
Ray Romano, Parenthood
Jimmy Smits, Sons of Anarchy
Ray Stevenson, Dexter

*This is an extremely competitive category. I have a lot of people in this second tier and they all belong there. I could see any three combinations of people and not be surprised at all. Jason Ritter was quite a surprising nomination last year. He could do it again. Or if voters really liked Parenthood, they could go for Ray Romano instead. Robert Morse could always get back in. He’s been nominated multiple times before. He would be more of a contender if he had a submission tape to work with. Dexter has also done well in the guest categories and Ray Stevenson would be a worthy nominee. But he’s less of a name than other contenders and that doesn’t help. Speaking of former Dexter guest stars: Jimmy Smits is a big contender for Sons of Anarchy. The show hasn’t received much Emmy attention but that could change this year. The Good Wife is already a lock for two nominations with Fox & Lane, but that doesn’t mean they could go crazy and also include Dylan Baker & Matthew Perry also. Look out for Jim Beaver. Justified won this award last year for Jeremy Davies and it could do the same with Beaver, who had a very showy role this season. I’m also expecting something for Rupert Friend. The Emmys loved Homeland last year and I think its nomination totals are going to go way up. Friend was basically supporting and that helps in a category like this.*

TIER THREE:
Ed Asner, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Andre Braugher, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Beau Bridges, Franklin & Bash
Jere Burns, Justified
Scott Foley, Scandal
Walton Goggins, Sons of Anarchy
T.R. Knight, The Good Wife
Matt Lauria, Parenthood
Derek Luke, The Americans
Gerald McRaney, House of Cards
John Noble, The Good Wife
Mike O’Malley, Justified
Patton Oswalt, Justified

*While I’m not predicting any of these people, the Emmys do some strange things in the guest categories sometimes so it wouldn’t completely surprise me to see any of these names slip through the cracks and appear on the Emmy list on July 18th.*

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FINAL PREDICTIONS:
Jim Beaver, Justified
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Rupert Friend, Homeland
Harry Hamlin, Mad Men
Nathan Lane, The Good Wife
Jason Ritter, Parenthood

*I decided to go with Beaver, Friend & Ritter for the final three spots. Beaver fits in the same mold as Jeremy Davies (the winner) from Justified last year. Rupert Friend is basically a supporting actor masquerading as guest on an Emmy favorite show. And I think Jason Ritter will end up with a repeat nomination. He had another strong year on the show and I don’t think any other contender is strong enough to take him out. In terms of winning: I think we’ll see Michael J. Fox with another Emmy on his mantle.*

BEST GUEST ACTRESS – DRAMA SERIES:
TIER ONE:
Linda Cardellini, Mad Men
Jane Fonda, The Newsroom
Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey
Martha Plimpton, The Good Wife

*Martha Plimpton won this category last year and has just as a competitive a tape this one. I could see her with another Emmy win. Jane Fonda & Shirley MacLaine are both legendary actresses with memorable guest star turns on Emmy caliber shows. Everything about that screams a lock. I would be absolutely shocked if either of them were left off of the nomination list. I’m putting Linda Cardellini in this category for a few reasons. Mad Men has done well in the Guest categories the past few years and Cardellini’s role is the type they’ve been nominating. Also, Cardellini has been doing a lot of press for the show the past couple weeks. She made appearances on The View and The Daily Show. She’s done more than enough to secure a nomination.*

TIER TWO:
Stockard Channing, The Good Wife
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Debra Mooney, Scandal
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
Yvonne Strahovski, Dexter

*I would put Diana Rigg in the upper tier. She was one of the most talked about things about the show this year. I just don’t know if her role was big enough or if she was a big enough tape to compete with the other top contenders. I expect her to be nominated but there are a few reasonable qualms if she doesn’t make it. Joan Cusack has been nominated the past two seasons for Shameless. Her role wasn’t as featured this year, but she does have a good tape and the Emmys like to repeat nominations. You can never count out anybody on The Good Wife. Stockard Channing had a good role as Alicia’s mother and Carrie Preston has become a fan favorite. Both of them are very much in the mix. Margo Martindale is a previous Emmy winner with one of the best reviewed performances. It wouldn’t surprise me if she got another nomination. Yvonne Strahovski is in the same boat as Ray Stevenson in the male category. She would be a worthy nominee but I think that because she’s a lesser known actress she won’t have an easy as a time as previous Dexter nominees. And lastly, I’m putting Debra Mooney in this tier. Shonda Rhimes has a good track record in this category and Debra Mooney had a very showy role this year on Scandal. She’s a respected veteran TV actress. This is her best shot for an Emmy nomination. Watch out for her.*

TIER THREE:
Patricia Arquette, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Alison Brie, Mad Men
Kate Burton, Scandal
Sarah Chalke, Grey’s Anatomy
Kristin Chenoweth, The Good Wife
Hope Davis, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Jenna Elfman, Damages
Marcia Gay Harden, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Marin Ireland, Homeland
Janet McTeer, Damages
Julia Ormond, Mad Men
Maura Tierney, The Good Wife
Rita Wilson, The Good Wife
Alfre Woodard, True Blood

*While I’m not predicting any of these people, the Emmys do some strange things in the guest categories sometimes so it wouldn’t completely surprise me to see any of these names slip through the cracks and appear on the Emmy list on July 18th.*

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FINAL PREDICTIONS:
Linda Cardellini, Mad Men
Stockard Channing, The Good Wife
Jane Fonda, The Newsroom
Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey
Martha Plimpton, The Good Wife
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones

*For the last two spots I went with Channing & Rigg. Diana Rigg has been nominated multiple times before and Game of Thrones has never been more popular. Stockard Channing is another Emmy favorite playing the mother of a main character, which is usually a recipe for a nomination. In terms of winning: I think it will be a close race between Fonda, MacLaine & Plimpton. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top.*

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