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 are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. jules cobb says:

    Agree with Pete at least a nomination she deserves it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Christie says:

    I’m ashamed to admit that the only show I’ve seen on this list is Glee. That said, if ANYONE deserves an Emmy, it’s Lea Michele. She’s absolutely brilliant.

    I also voted for:

    Melissa McCarthy, because everything she does makes me laugh
    Courtney Cox, because she’s fabulous
    Laura Linney, because she can do no wrong
    Tina Fey, because she made it cool for chicks to be funny
    Amy Poehler, because she and Tina are the best comedic team in the world, even though they’re on different shows.

  3. Mike G says:

    Tina Fey is the standard of funniness!

  4. Sandi Poireshmenantalemy says:

    Courtney Cox is very deserving of this honor! She is talented and this role was made for her! Good Luck Courtney!

  5. Milla says:

    Mary-Louis Parker definitely, she is such an amazing actress.

  6. katja says:

    Yvonne Strahovski <3

  7. Sandra says:

    Lea Michele for sure.
    She’s amazing and she’s been doing a great job on Glee this year!
    Talented and beautiful.

  8. Big Benz says:

    Courtney Cox for sure!!!!! Amy Poehler a close second. My favorite two shows of the week! Cox is funnier though!

  9. jordanna says:


  10. melissa says:

    I <3 Courtney!

  11. Kelli Buckley says:

    Martha Plimton is very good but Toni Collette had me way before USoT. She is amazing. Amy Pohler? Really don’t like her but her show is more of a comedy than USoT. I would nominate Toni for Drama instead. Need new DID category ;-)

  12. Juanita says:

    Edie Falco and Nurse Jackie! That’s all!

  13. Mark Twain says:

    Toni Collette, ‘United States of Tara’ 5.28%

    Courteney Cox, ‘Cougar Town’ 8.96%

    Tina Fey, ’30 Rock’ 12.23%

    Mary-Louis Parker, ‘Weeds’ 6.14%

    Martha Plimpton, ‘Raising Hope’ 5.9%

    Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’ 9.54%

    ^ My votes.

  14. Starr Lopez says:

    Lea Michele(: She is my idol and I truly believe she is iconic. Broadway Actress/ Singer/ Comedy Actress/ Animal Activist/ And lets not forget how she is going on tour this summer while filming two movies.

  15. Nila says:


  16. Angel Deno says:

    TINA FEY all the way! Not only does she come up with a lot of those histerical lines she is a phenominal actress too!

  17. holly says:

    Well good thing the Emmy nods aren’t chosen by 15 year-old girls or Lea Michelle would win every category…

    • hunter says:

      I am 32 and would like Lea to get a nomination. Not only teens watch glee or think Lea is a fine actress.

      No reason to be rude.

    • Ella says:

      27 year old here and hoping for a Lea Michele (and Yvonne Strahovski) nomination. Even though Glee hasn’t been a good show since the middle of season 1, I am still watching and that is only because of Lea Michele. She is an amazing actress who is always a 100% in character and makes me love and root for Rachel in every scene.

  18. Hostime says:

    I love Lea Michele and hope she wins an Emmy!

  19. Coll says:


    Tina Fey is totally the most hilarious person EVER!!!!!!!! <333

  20. rachel says:

    TINA or YVONNE do it right!!! sorry to say but lea is quite annoying and her acting is to dramatic like she is still on stage or something :(

    • Joanna says:

      That is the role of Rachel Berry. Lea has even described Rachel as living life as though she was on the stage. That is the whole point of the character so she must be doing something right.

      How is she annoying, driven and energetic? Plus it is about the performance not the person.

  21. Jenn says:

    Courteney Cox is an amazing actress! So unfair that she wasnt considered last year all because of the title of her hilarious show.. Cougar Town has heart, wit, great story lines and its all wrapped into her as the LEAD actress..

  22. Cheryl says:

    Only one can win but they’re ALL deserving. Love Edie Falco, Toni Collette, and Laura Linney. Any of them deserve an Emmy but so does Amy Poler and Courtney Cox. All these women are extremely talented and funny.

  23. Katie says:

    Yvonne Strahovski has on several occasions made me want the show to be changed from “Chuck” to “Sarah.” She is incredibly talented and has a wide range in acting abilities. Not only does she have the drama/romance part played to perfection, but all while doing insane action scenes, too. Her character isn’t given that many comic opportunities, but when she gets them she nails it. She deserves an Emmy nod, but unfortunately I can’t see it happening for Chuck. She will be a big name actress in the near future, though. I wouldn’t be surprised if an Oscar nomination came first.

  24. VBarkley says:

    My choices, in no particular oder:

    Patricia Heaton, ‘The Middle’
    Laura Linney, ‘The Big C’
    Martha Plimpton, ‘Raising Hope’
    Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’
    Yvonne Strahovski, ‘Chuck

    My faves would be Yvonne and Amy. They both killed it this season.

  25. Erica says:

    No doubt…courtney cox,she deserve it.,,

  26. VBarkley says:

    Lea Michelle???? Sure, she’s an ok actress (I mean, she’s what, 26 playing a 16 year old?) and she CAN sing. But I wouldn’t have put her in a comedy category AY ALL

    • kit says:

      Lea is 24 and the same age as every other girl on the show. Glee is a comedy more that a drama and her character is very funny.

      Glee is more of a comedy than the Showtime shows.

      • TigerNightmare says:

        I think maybe it tries to be more of a comedy with all the stupid Sue plots they had this season, but, at least the Showtime shows manage to get a laugh out of you, Brittany lines aside.

  27. Jackson says:

    Lea Michele deserves this!!!

  28. TigerNightmare says:

    I’m also dumbfounded by Lea Michele’s front-running status. I mean, if they were giving away Emmy’s for singing, then sure, she deserves one. But she is not funny. She has never made me laugh and they don’t even try to make her character funny. Really tired of dramatic acting being awarded comedy awards. Will & Grace is over, give the women who actually make us laugh their due.

    • David says:

      You just aren’t getting it then. Rachel Berry is a very funny character. She is over the top, dramatic and narcissistic.

      Her dress, her idea of a party, her obsessions, her reactions to others, her total lack of social skills, all funny. Even how she goes about a song is funny. She dresses the part of the singer or era of the song. She over does just about everything. Who else but Rachel Berry would study the film funny girl get a black dress and belt out the number using the same mannerisms or wear a 70s style shirt to sing Fleetwood Mac?

    • Sam says:

      I think her character is very funny. Comedy is more than one liners and slap stick. Even though she has done that well to.

  29. LaDonna says:

    I really don’t watch a lot of T.V., but I do see the two leading ladies from my two favorite shows and either one of them are worthy of an Emmy. That would be LEA MICHELE & YVONNE STRAHOVSKI. As Lea would sing, let’s ‘Get It Right’, peoples.

  30. Paulo says:

    Yvonne no doubt, she is the most beautiful and talented!

  31. Kelly says:

    I luv Courtney Cox in Cougar Town but I have to give my Emmy vote to Toni Collette! I mean geeze she plays 8 different characters with out skipping a beat. She is amazing!

  32. arts says:

    I’m a huge Lea Michele fan, but I think there are a few women on this list whose work is more deserving of an Emmy. However, to suggest that the girl doesn’t deserve her nomination is ludicrous.

  33. Andy says:

    I totally think Yvonne Strahovski should be in there too!!! She really deserve this!!!

  34. LJ says:

    Um… what about Gillian Jacobs and Alison Brie from Community???

  35. Carla Matos says:

    Here in Brazil the fans is for Kaley Cuoco!!! \O/

  36. sasha says:

    COURTENEY COX SHE’S AMAZING AND SO FUNNY IN COUGAR TOWN (never been nominated for Friends makes me crazy, unjust, was the only group to have had no nomination, so that his character was less easy to play and attach) BUT here its’s OFR COUGAR TOWN AND SHE’S HYSTERICALLY FUNNY (the licence driver picture, the penny can “an Ewok, he wants make love to an ewok lmaoooooooooooo, girl’s night single ladies….)

  37. Linda says:

    Honestly people. Lea’s story line was been crapped on all season and it’s pretty clear that the only people the writers bothered to write somewhat quality story lines this season is Kurt and Santana. Does she deserve a nomination? Absolutely. Rachel Berry is funny and sympathetic because of her and she works hard. However the majority of her story line this season has been about some CW-esque ‘love’ triangle and pathetic pining over a useless boy. None of that screams Emmy worthy despite her playing it for what its worth.

    Here’s hoping Amy Poehler takes it out from under Laura Linney.

    • Jana W. says:

      Certainly. All the more reason she she be nominated. She still did an outstanding job with the crap she was given. I still care and and want more than ever to see Rachel Berry strive and obtain her goal of B-Way even more now to see her be side track but get back to where she belongs.

      Laura is good but I don’t I don’t get all the hype.

  38. Gabriela Magalhães says:

    I’d love to see Yvonne Strahovski win. I think she definetely deserve it and a huge thank you for made Chuck be awesome. I can’t go without commenting what my friend said up here, Brazil loves her more than I could imagine. Besides being a wonderful actress, she’s more beautiful than the others in this competition, there’s no doubts about it!

    • Seth says:

      Wow I hope people don’t vote for her becasue she is prettier than the other woman. All of the actors beautiful in their own right,

      My picks

    • Hannah says:


      • Hannah says:

        Just to clarify, i am agreeing on Yvonne being a wonderful actress and deserving of a nomination. And yes she is beautiful, but so are the other women in question not to mention talented.

  39. jhn says:


  40. casey says:

    i think Lea Michele deserves a nom and a win. She’s hilarious! Someone mentioned the “Blame it” episode and they are right! She was so funny! I personally loved her in The Sue Sylvester Shuffle as well. every scene she had made me double over with laughter. Besides, she gets so overlooked and i think it would be great for her to be recognized.

  41. Sam says:

    Yvonne was awesome this year on Chuck, she deserves an emmy nomination. People who don’t watch Chuck may not have heard her name before but this girl is going to be huge someday. She’s so incredibly talented.

  42. PopCultureMngr says:

    Melissa McCarthy will be nominated for Mike & Molly based on her performance in BridesMaids, but let’s face – she is great in both and imagine the winner speech..

    • pop says:

      well that would be wrong for her to get nominate for a Emmy due to a movie.

      She is fine as Molly the show is average.

  43. Louise says:


  44. AJ says:

    Should be nominated: Laura Linney, Courteney Cox, Amy Poehler, Toni Collette, Tina Fey, Edie Falco
    Most likely to be nominated: Laura Linney, Toni Collette, Edie Falco, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, I really hope Courteney makes it but they might stick with Lea Michele.

  45. Equinox says:

    Amy Pohler and Yvonne from ‘chuck’

  46. lucas oliveira says:

    Yvonne Strahovski muito linda !

  47. Pat says:

    Lea Michele enough said…

  48. Matt says:

    Yvonne Strahovski, the incredibly talented Aussie.

  49. horah says:

    It’s incredible how many supporters Yvonne Strahovski has .. i mean she grew 5.5 % in a day :) either she became more famous then her co`star from Chuck or you can use voting-bots here cause her increase rate is just amazing :) i mean she grows 0.1 % / every 2 minutes :)