Emmys

Emmys 2011: A Look at the Lead Comedy Actress Race — Including Our Dream Nominees

When it comes to the Emmy Awards, there’s no counting out 30 Rock’s Tina Fey. Ever. In 50 years, she’ll be Betty White. But this year’s Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series competition may be all about Showtime and its three show-stopping leading ladies. Will the Academy prescribe a consecutive win for Nurse Jackie’s Edie Falco, or will Toni Collette grab a second statue to go with Tara’s multiple personalities? Or could they and The Big C’s Laura Linney split the pay cable vote, leaving an opening for someone new, like Raising Hope’s Martha Plimpton?

Emmys 2011: Sizing Up the Best Comedy Race — And Sharing Our Dream Nominees

Review this slideshow of the major contenders — including TVLine’s half-dozen Dream Nominees — then vote for your own favorite six below. And check back tomorrow for our review of the Lead Actor in a Comedy race!




Comments (721)

  • Any other year I would pick Tina Fey for the win (and she still might do it), but I could not get into this last season of 30 Rock. I always ended up watching it last after I got through with Community, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, Parks and Rec, and even Perfect Couples and Outsourced came before 30 Rock when watching my DVR’d Thursday shows. But I still think Tina Fey is one of the hardest working women in show business as an actress/writer/producer, and is pretty talented to boot.

    Though one person I think who works even harder than her is Lea Michelle. Even with the crapolafest that Glee was this last season, Lea Michelle was always spot on, and MDT is such an incredible undertaking to do. That girl worked her a$$ off. So here are my dream picks, in order of who I would want to win.

    1. Lea Michelle
    2. Toni Collete (I dig her and the show. I just do.)
    3. Amy Poehler (She’s such a great comic actress and her character is so adorable)
    4. Tina Fey.
    5. Melissa McCarthy (this would be a retroactive award for her work on Samantha Who, where she was quite the scene-stealer. That’s not easy to do against Christina Applegate. Her winning would help my bitterness over Samantha Who getting canceled)
    6. Kaley Cuoca (another cutie).

    Comment by Amber – June 1, 2011 02:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • i agree with you 200% lea michele was the best thing of glee season 2, she should at least score a nomination and why not, win the emmy. I wouldn’t rule out naya rivera for best supporting actress, she has had some solid episodes this season

      Comment by laulau – June 1, 2011 02:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lead Female is an easy one because most amazing comedy female are supporting (Jane Lynch, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Sofia Vergara, etc…). If Amy doesn’t get nominated I would be SHOCKED. She has an actual shot of winning this year :)

    Tina Fey was the only funny thing about 30 Rock (and yes that does include Alec Baldwin’s snoozefest performance!). Kaley Cuoco has been consistently funny but there are little to no memorable moments in her performance.

    Predictions: Amy Poehler, Laura Linney, Edie Falco, Tina Fey, Lea Michele, Toni Collete.

    This is not Courteney’s year just yet.

    Comment by V – June 1, 2011 02:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Question though… is the Hot In Cleveland cast only getting suporting nominations? Coz Betty White is an Emmy favorite.

      Oh and let me add to that list Brooke Elliott who is amazing in Drop Dead Diva :)

      Comment by v – June 1, 2011 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • yes, all Hot in Cleveland actresses are going supporting

        Comment by forceofhabit – June 2, 2011 07:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 1000000000000000000000000% agree with DRW & Wendy
    COURTENEY COX FOR THE WIN
    Her no nomination for Friends and now for Cougar Town it’s UNFAIR

    Comment by nawal – June 1, 2011 03:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Courteney Cox should be with 100% in this pool. Best comedy actress and of course is time to give her a emmy already!

    Comment by jane – June 1, 2011 03:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t think Martha Plimpton or Kaley Cuoco should be nominated for Lead. They are so obviously supporting roles that it doesn’t really make sense they’d be nominated for lead. As supporting roles, maybe. Leads? Definitely not, as they are clearly not the leads of their shows.

    Comment by Justin – June 1, 2011 03:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My votes go out to:
    1. Amy Poehler
    2. Courtney Cox
    3. Kaley Cuoco
    4. Mary-Louise Parker
    5. Laura Linney
    6. Tina Fey

    Comment by Justin – June 1, 2011 03:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • IS COURTENEY COX YEAR!!! SHE HAVE TO WIN A EMMY!

    Comment by blake – June 1, 2011 03:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Alison Brie!
    But from that list, definitely Tina, Amy, or Courtney.

    Comment by Brad – June 1, 2011 03:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love, love, love that Yvonne Strahovski is on this list!! She is fantastic as Sarah & totally deserves a nomination! While I could take or leave Cougar Town, Courteney Cox should’ve gotten a nomination for Friends, so she’s definitely due for one.

    Comment by Stephanie – June 1, 2011 03:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • #Twitition Emmy Nomination for Courteney Cox as Lead Comedy Actress http://twitition.com/lnxoi

    Comment by sasha – June 1, 2011 03:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Laura Linney all the way. Hey work on the Big C has been incredible and hysterical at the same time.

    Comment by Dan – June 1, 2011 04:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I voted for 6 but I only care about 3. I really think that Amy Poehler, Yvonne Strahovski, and Courteney Cox deserve to be nominated!!! Amy has been great all season!!! Yvonne’s performance in Chuck vs. Phase 3 was just brilliant! And I don’t watch Cougar Town, but Courteney Cox should have been nominated for an emmy years ago! It’s time!

    Comment by Jenny – June 1, 2011 04:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yvonne Strahovski richly deserves an Emmy for her work – see the Phase 3 episode. The problem is that Chuck is a show that does not fit one category it is an action dramedy and as such it is hard to have her nominated and win in the comedy category when she has played for the most part the serious role in the show against the comedic Chuck character. Although, she has had some comedic scenes which she has pulled off extremely well. I am reminded how difficult it was to categorizes Desperate Housewives at the beginning. Good Luck!!

      Comment by 5MillionChuckFan – June 1, 2011 07:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I will give one more chance for the Academy to give a Emmy for Courteney Cox,or i’m done with this BS!

    Comment by julie – June 1, 2011 04:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Courtney Cox – Cougartown

    Comment by N – June 1, 2011 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Emmy Nomination for Courteney Cox as Lead Comedy Actress http://twitition.com/lnxoi Sign & RT

    Comment by sasha – June 1, 2011 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea Michele!! She’s great as a neurotic high school girl!

    Comment by ness – June 1, 2011 05:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ok I think there are cheat on the % now Lea is first???????????
    And Courteney 5?! shame on you for that

    Comment by sam – June 1, 2011 05:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LEA MICHELE. She is a great young talent that should be recognized for her hard work. As bad as Glee is, and I refuse to watch it anymore, I always enjoyed her performance and she could always make me laugh.

    Comment by not important – June 1, 2011 05:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Courteney Cox on Cougar Town is hilarious

    Comment by sophia – June 1, 2011 05:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • -Leeeaaaa the BEST ! *-* She’s Amazing s2

    Comment by Riicardo – June 1, 2011 05:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea Michele deserves to win!! she´s a great comedy actress!

    Comment by Sally – June 1, 2011 05:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LEA ALL THE WAY! She totally deserves to be in first! Lea has the most incredible voice in the world. But no, that’s not it. She’s an amazing comedic actress as well! She never fails to make me laugh out loud. I just love her crazy little personality! This girl is priceless <3

    Comment by Laura – June 1, 2011 05:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea Michele is awesome!!! The best… really she can sing, dance, and her acting skills are amazing…. LEAAAAAAAAAA!!

    Comment by Alice – June 1, 2011 05:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ok I’m done with crap, I vote for 6 actress and they drop in the percentage while Lea increases every second
    Sorry but she doesn’t deserve to be nominated, she’s not very funny and can’t carry a show alone. She hasn’t the experience of some who deserve it most and make laugh

    Comment by sam – June 1, 2011 05:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She carries the show more that nay other character and is very funny. The Rachel Berry character is the great and add on everything else Lea has to do fro her role she deserves some credit.

      Comment by Lin – June 1, 2011 05:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Can’t carry a show alone? I’m pretty sure if it wasn’t for her Glee would end very soon. The show is getting worse every episode. The writer’s are always messing up with the script. And I can see many other’s actress doing what she does (with the little that she gets), don’t forget that she has to sing, dance and act.
      I’m not saying that the other’s don’t deserve being nominated but for me Lea deserves atleast a nomination.

      Comment by XiVa – June 1, 2011 05:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Lea has a lot of show biz experience. People act like this is her first job she has been a working actress for 16 years.

      It is about what they do on their show now not what they have done in the past.

      For the record Lea makes me laugh a lot of Rachel Berry, as well cry and sing along.

      Comment by Tim – June 1, 2011 06:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Melissa McCarthy is the funniest chic out there. Period. Not only in Mike and Molly, but she was a genius in Bridesmaids…LOL!! My other two favorites are Kaley Cuoco and Mary Louise Parker.

    Comment by Ellie – June 1, 2011 05:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • lea michele all the way, the girl is so talented. i think that she should be nom on the support category because this season was all about kurt gay bullying (chris colfer).

    Comment by renata – June 1, 2011 05:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She was still the lead female. She had some crappy storylines but she was always on and she has more to do than any other nominee in terms singing and dancing as well of just acting.

      Comment by Dan – June 1, 2011 05:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t find Cougar Town funny at all. I’ve always like Courtney well enough but she doesn’t stand out to me in Cougar Town. Just cause she was never acknowledged for Friends doesn’t mean she deserve it for this show.

    Comment by Matt – June 1, 2011 05:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • One of the MF ladies

    Comment by Mike – June 1, 2011 05:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • they are all in the supporting category this is for lead.

      Comment by Dan – June 1, 2011 05:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Matt it’s your opinion but here Courteney fans vote for her for Cougar Town. I think you are just see somes episodes but season 2 is awesome and the final is amazing

    Courteney Cox for the win, after Kaley & Tina

    Comment by farah – June 1, 2011 05:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I have seen a few on her say she is long over do. I have watched it and while she is fine I just don’t see it, sort of flat. But to each their own.

      Comment by Matt – June 1, 2011 05:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 1.Courteney Cox
    2.Tina Fey
    3.Kaley Couco
    4.Mary Louise Parker
    5.Melissa McCarthy
    6.Toni colette

    Comment by nina – June 1, 2011 05:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to say Lea too at least to be nominated. I know Rachel Berry can be a bit much but even with that Lea Michele makes her sympathetic and she is one of the most popular characters. And as mentioned I think it should be taken into consideration the other things she has to do for her role. Lea has recorded over 30 songs for the show which on its own takes hours per song. She has to learn dance routines as well. Not to mention her characters has more dialog than most because of the nature of the over active dramatic hyper teen.

    She deserves more respect that people give her just because some have a anti -glee stance.

    Comment by Albert – June 1, 2011 05:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What about Naya Rivera (Santana on Glee)??? She is absolutely the best actress on that show, and deserves an Emmy nomination way more than Lea, in my opinion

    Comment by Samantha Thompson – June 1, 2011 05:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Except Naya is a supporting character and Lea is the lead. Plus Lea has a lot more to do over the netire course of the season than Naya.

      I love Naya (my second fav) but Lea is the lead and is just as good if not better actress and singer. I’ll give Naya dancer.

      Comment by Lon – June 1, 2011 06:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If she get nominated it will be in the supportive category, she is not the lead of the show and wasn’t submitted as that, and my vote is still fro lea; yes naya have great moments but others not so much

      Comment by andrea – June 1, 2011 06:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • as they’ve said, naya would be in the supporting category, which i’m hoping she’ll get a nomination. besides lea, she an jane lynch are the best actress from the show. We all know what Jane lynch is able to do (Funeral episode) but Naya has shown that she is really good, she sings really good and when she sings you can she the emotions on her face, and only lea is able to do that from the rest of the cast. Let’s remember the episodes Sexy, Born this way, Rumours and Prom Queen. You could feel whatever she was saying as if it was true.
        lea will get a nomination, she is solid and spot on every episode. And either jane or naya another nom, if they submit the proper episodes.

        Comment by laulau – June 2, 2011 01:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • L
    LE
    LEA
    LE
    L

    M
    MI
    MIC
    MICH
    MICHE
    MICHEL
    MICHELE
    MICHEL
    MICHE
    MICH
    MIC
    MI
    M

    Comment by natalia – June 1, 2011 06:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just a couple of hours ago, I copied down the top contenders on this list and their percentages. At that time Lea Michele has 6.9% of the vote and was runnung a distant 6th place. Now, suddenly, she has over 19% of the vote. What utter crap. Some gleek had to have found a way to vote over and over again. Lea, in my opinion, doesn’t have any business even being nominated!!!

    Comment by opus – June 1, 2011 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No the glee fans just now found the poll. Don’t need to accuse anyone of cheating. I think Lea fans have given reasons why they have chosen her and have been respectful in their opinions.

      I don’t see why she shouldn’t be considered for all the things she brings to glee.

      Comment by no need to be hostile – June 1, 2011 06:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I saw the link on a forum so the glee fans probably just now are finding the poll.

      She was still 6th meaning she would still be in contention if this vote meant anything.

      It is just a poll.

      I don’t see why not her, she seems to do a good job plus can sing. Emmy deemed her good enough last year why not again.

      Comment by Georgie – June 1, 2011 06:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • you have no business commenting because u clearly do NOT know what you’re talking about. Lea Michele is hilarious as Rachel Berry. She’s the only on of these actresses that was a part of a Tony award winning
      musical.

      Comment by ash – June 1, 2011 06:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Amy
    Edie
    Lea
    Laura
    Melissa
    Tina

    Comment by Lucy – June 1, 2011 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No one was funnier than AMY FARRAH FOWLER…Drunk kissing a girl, ballroom dancing with Sheldon and for having a chain-smoking monkey in her house…

    Comment by zinga poe – June 1, 2011 06:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • she would be considered a supporting character not a lead. but I agree she was awesome.

      Comment by Lourdes – June 1, 2011 06:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Me me encanta lea yo voto por ella.

    Comment by Cristian – June 1, 2011 06:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • totalmente de acuerdo, lea se lo merece,ella es grande i love you lea!!!

    Comment by gabriella – June 1, 2011 06:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • VOTE YVONNE STRAHOVSKI!! if you watch chuck, you will agree. Her performances are astonishing!

    Comment by Alisha – June 1, 2011 06:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea Michele needs to win, she deserves it. She is very talented at everything. :)

    Comment by Zarmeena – June 1, 2011 06:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea Michele!! She can obviously act. I mean hello, she was the lead on Broadway’s Spring Awakening!

    Comment by nessa – June 1, 2011 06:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea Michele deserves the win. She is absolutely hilarious and neurotic and Rachel Berry. And of course she can act. She was the lead in Broadway’s Spring Awakening.

    Comment by ness – June 1, 2011 06:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Like Amy, Tina, Lea, Kaley and Melissa.

    Nurse Jackie , The C word and US of Tara are dramas.

    Comment by Frank – June 1, 2011 06:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can Glee not be involved/included in the awards shows anymore? It’s a fine show that I watch religiously but it’s just taking up space for better nominees mire suited for the “comedy” category. I just think it’s time the show just be on, and not winning awards and taking chances away from funnier people. Just my opinion. Again not a Glee hater.

    Comment by Ken – June 1, 2011 06:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • But really the Showtime show are not comedies and they will get the most nominations.

      Glee is closer to a comedy then Nurse Jackie.

      Comment by frank – June 1, 2011 06:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • True. I don’t understand that either. I think the comedies on both NBC and ABC have been so spot on and deserve those noms more than anything else.

        Comment by Ken – June 1, 2011 06:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • They need a new category or something because glee has it faults but it is different than any other show on tv.

          At least at the Golden Globes it is comedy or musical

          Comment by frank – June 1, 2011 07:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I disagree that Tara and Jackie are not comedies. Granted they take on serious subjects, and they may be dark comedies, but the writing is hilarious! If you can get through a single episode of either show without laughing hysterically, you lack any sense of intelligent humor. Both Edie and Toni are FABULOUS!

        Comment by Mollie – June 2, 2011 09:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA LEA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by mariana – June 1, 2011 07:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea Michele deserves a Emmy and more so I vote all the way for Lea Michele!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Nadine Koo – June 1, 2011 07:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • DO NOT GIVE LEA MICHELE AN EFFING EMMY!!!! She is a snotty little diva and is not funny at all!

    Comment by CJ – June 1, 2011 07:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • wow that is some real hate for no reason. The award isn’t about the actress it is about their performance. Her character is one of the more comedic on the show. Maybe it is over your head.

      Comment by calmdpwncj – June 1, 2011 07:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Or maybe you are a fool who watches Glee and thinks it’s smart television. Get a clue already, Glee is so last year.

        Comment by C – June 2, 2011 11:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea Michelle <3 she should definitely win this award! Fabulous n great actress. She's extremely talented n truly deserves to win this year!

    Comment by Liz – June 1, 2011 07:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You Lea Michele fans are blind. She is pathetic. If she wins there is no justice in the world. Get a clue already and quit watching Glee, what a ridiculous mess.

    Comment by Anna – June 1, 2011 07:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Really uncalled for. Just becasue you don’t like glee doesn’t mean people’s opinion are pathetic or blind.

      I think most here are hoping she is nominated because they know how much work goes into glee and her character. They aren’t asking for a win just that she be recognized for her work with a nomination again.

      Comment by Joanne – June 1, 2011 07:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • it is a silly poll lady, no reason to be hateful. this poll doens’t determine the winner.

      Comment by odd – June 1, 2011 07:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • rude much, you have to respect other people opinions, and she is not pathetic she is a person with a lot of talent

      Comment by andrea – June 1, 2011 07:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well if you believe Lea Michele is pathetic, I’d hate to see what you think of your own life. She is a very successful actress and singer. Look at all the nominees and tell who would be talented enough to perform on Broadway(since age 8), act on a hit comedy, tour the country to meet fans of a show, participate in a campaign for Peta, while trying to purse their own acting and singing career outside of a show. None, Lea Michele is one of a kind, and for the Haters of her, I simply say you guys only dislike her because she is successful while you guys have nothing better to do than run your mouth on a poll. I at least respect every nominee rather than show hatred.

      Comment by Starr Lopez – June 8, 2011 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hmmm comedy performance? I think Toni Collette is an outstanding actress but to be nominated in this category for comedy is a joke, her performances are dramatic, i love Lea Michele, when it comes to acting she is the best for me as she is the perfect example of some capable of an EGOT. But if strictly considering comedic performance i would have to say Courteney Cox, there seems to have been a stigma attached to her because of friends, which is surprising as she was one of the funniest in that. The academy clearly hasn’t a clue if she doesn’t win. THE perfect COMEDY performance!

    Comment by Joe – June 1, 2011 07:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • But it is best actress in a comedy.

      It doesn’t say best comedic performances.

      Since glee is closer to a comedy than anything else she is more deserving that the Showtime actresses becasue those are closer to dramas.

      Comment by Kammy – June 1, 2011 07:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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