Emmys 2011: A Look at the Supporting Comedy Actress Race, Including Our Dream Nominees

Last year, the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series race was dominated — and we do mean dominated — by Glee, Modern Family and 30 Rock. This year looks to be a reprise of that contest unless a seeming underdog (Cougar Town or Community perhaps?) manages to pull off an Emmy breakthrough in awareness and respect – the kind that, say, How I Met Your Mother has been yearning for for so long. It can be daunting. Here’s how things look going into nomination season.

Emmy Races In Review: Lead Comedy Actor | Lead Comedy Actress | Comedy Series

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 Monday for our take on the Supporting Comedy Actor 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. Jim says:

    Jane Lynch is in the wrong category. She is clearly the lead actress in Glee. What irks me to no end are actors who are placed in other categories so that they have a better chance of winning. It’s purely political, self-serving, and shuts other talent out who rightfully belong to be there.

  2. João Amaral says:

    Alison Brie GOGOGOGO

  3. YunaOverdrive says:

    I am absolutely REPULSED that Naya is not mentioned. She’s 100 times funnier than Heather. People I know quote Naya’s lines waaaaaay more often.

  4. abc says:

    Echoing the calls for Naya Rivera on this list. Serious oversight. It’s a longshot at a nom, but she belongs on this list. Naya and Darren were season 2’s breakout stars.

    She has been the most dependable and consistent comedienne on Glee this year, has impeccable comic timing and delivery, and brought a real humanity and depth to her role dramatically as well. She delivers on all fronts and has been one of the few to be funny on a very non-funny season while also tying in with the main plot of the season dramatically.

  5. Ryan says:

    Oh gawd the Gleetards are here. I’m not surprised Naya is not there, can’t exactly sleep with Emmy votes like you can studio heads for screen time. She won’t be nominated, please don’t spam this poll and waste your time. Heather Morris is hilarious though, good for her to be mentioned… she’s a doll.

  6. KS Werleman says:

    Christa Miller saved Cougar Town for me, i Don’t enjoy ANYONE on the show aside from her. The Big Bang Theory did a GREAT job of adding those two ladies to the show, they are HILARIOUS. I LOVE them both.

    So that’s 3 choices, Jane Lynch will get a nominee for sure, regardless of her work. While last spot goes to Betty White for Hot in Cleveland.

    My write in vote goes to….Jane Adams – ‘Hung’, dunno she constantly gets snubbed at the Emmy’s, actually HUNG as a whole gets snubbed, Jane Adams has been amazing throughout the whole season and I truly enjoyed her, so here is to her.

  7. Anatasia B. says:

    I must agree with A LOT of the posters – where’s Naya?!

  8. Quynh Nguyen says:

    Heather Morris is included but not Naya Rivera? Is it a joke?

  9. Jackie says:

    Okay, who is spamming the board with Naya Rivera? I know it has to be coming from somewhere. She’s really good but dont know about worth an Emmy nom and not that many people know of her.

    • Sasha says:

      Not spaming, stating an opinion.

      Based on the list shown everyone is entitled to one.

    • Claire says:

      Why would it be spam? There are obviously a lot of people who think Naya Rivera did great work this year and was overlooked on the list. I’ve never posted here before, but feel strongly enough to have done it today.

    • Berg says:

      You could argue the same about Heather Morris who is never more than ok when she has to step out of doing one liners. I don’t think Glee deserves any nominations this year but the fact that Naya who has been really very good in comedy and drama is missing on this list while there are other actors from the show on Glee who haven’t been anywhere near as strong as her are on the list; it’s just really jarring for me.

    • Sassy says:

      If you look closer at the lists, you’ll notice the vocabulary and syntax are almost identical. It’s one person probably, spamming the boards. I’ve noticed it on the other nomination threads. I hadn’t even heard of the chick before, so I’m thinking she’s not a critic’s favourite either.

      • Daye says:

        If you don’t watch Glee then no, you won’t have heard of her. It also means you haven’t seen then wonderful work she’s done this season on a show that has otherwise sucked a good 80% of the time (and I watch the show). I’m a fan of Naya and I assure you there’s definitely more than one person posting here. Both Naya and Santana (her character) have quite the following online.

    • wouldn't you like to know says:

      L chat…. only idiots on the planet that think this fake plastic fame WHORE deserves an awards. You’re welcome ladies. We asked you not to spam the poll, hoe you all have some nice new visitors.

    • Ayan says:

      Every Glee viewers know exactly who really have the juice for emmy nomination… and that is Naya Rivera!

  10. Quinn says:

    This poll is worthless since Naya Rivera’s name is left out in favor of Heather Morris and Jane Lynch. She deserves it more than both this season.

  11. Christine says:

    I agree with the people who say that Glee probably doesn’t deserve wins this year but if there was anyone from Glee that should be nominated, it is Naya Rivera. For an average season 2 she has definately played up to her part and is hilarious.

  12. Justin says:

    My top 6, in order, are:
    1. Sofia Vergara
    2. Aubrey Plaza
    3. Melissa Rauch
    4. Julie Bowen
    5. Busy Phillips
    6. Christa Miller
    Truthfully, this category is loaded with talent this year, cause I also like Mayim Blalik, Rashida Jones, Eve Best, Ellie Kemper, Jenna Fischer, and Alyson Hannigan. So these six choices were very difficult for me to make. I can’t wait to see the supporting comedic actors list.

    • KSWerleman says:

      Someone who gets my pain…this catogory is really packed…even canceled shows like Better With You and Mr. Sunshine has potential ladies for supporting roles. Hung, The Big C….also have ladies for this catogory.

      Really it’s hard to put a list together. I dunno if the voters put actual 6 or a list of 10 but good luck to them…because it’s gonna be hard.

      I do hope to see Jane Adam’s name on the nomination ballot. Her work on Hung has been incredibly amazing.

  13. michelle says:

    jayma mays?!

  14. Jess says:

    How is Naya Rivera not an option? Heather Morris is great and all, but Naya Rivera’s acting was truly Emmy worthy this year.

  15. jlaff says:

    this year was full of good supporting actress my nominees are:

    -Sofia Vergara: Modern Family (she need to win, really good this year) LATIN POWER
    -Merritt Wever: Nurse Jackie (they own her a nomination from last year)
    -Christa Miller or Busy Philipps: Cougar Town(Christa is way better but Busy was so funny and good this year)
    -Alison Brie: Community (she seems to have life in this show now she is really good now)
    -Jane Lynch: Glee (she is really good but this year she was kinda absent and no so good like last year but she deserve it)
    -Mayim Bialik: The Big Bang Theory (Good performance from her)

    Also good this year: Naya Rivera, Julie Bowen, Aubrey Plaza, Melissa Rauch, Gillian Jacobs and Heather Morris

  16. Yibbet says:

    Where is Phyllis Somerville from THE BIG C??

  17. KG says:

    Blossom? Really? NO!

    • Steve says:

      Don’t think Mayim is great as Amy? I guess you got suckered into the fake viewer vote and the producers rating gimmicks on American Idol at that time..

  18. Anna says:

    Can we just all agree that with the crappy writing, not even the cast (That for the most part is not excellent anyway) can save Glee? God, that show is ridiculous and do not deserve the hype. Just let quality TV like Parks & Rec and Community (Specially you, miss Alison Brie) get the awards they own… For actually being good shows.

  19. Sarah says:

    How in the world is Naya Rivera not on this poll? She is by far the most deserving of the Glee cast, she can pull off comedy and drama.

  20. Amber says:

    Oh gosh, why are so many people wanting Sofia Vergara to win? Her character is an overly sexualized cartoon character. I call her Jessica Rabbit. Jessica Rabbit does not need to get a bigger head than she already has. She’s already in danger of tipping over. This award should really go to Julie Bowen, a much more endearing character. And I’m not holding my breath for Heather Morris to get nominated. That’s another character without any depth. Her whole shtick is to walk in, say something ridiculous with a deadpan face, and then her scene ends. There is no emoting whatsoever going on there. Her eyes are emotionally dead, like a shark, though I’m sure she’s probably very nice and warm in person. My picks would be in order of favorites:

    1. Julie Bowen
    2. Christa Miller (because Ellie is my alter ego. Reason she can’t be friends with someone: “Named her daughter Chesapeake.” I once blocked someone on Facebook because they said they named their daughter Scottland, with 2 t’s.)
    3. Eden Sher (Omitted from the list, but I’m amazed at the level of comedy that teen is able to pull off. It’s something I would only expect from a seasoned adult comedian)
    4. Aubrey Plaza (now here is someone who plays deadpan comedy with so much more going on beyond the surface)
    5. Busy Phillips (love her!)
    6. Merritt Wever (she’s so charming and a scene stealer!)

    People I feel SO guilty omitting from the list: Alison Brie, Mayim Bialik, Jenna Fischer, Alyson Hannigan, and Gillian Jacobs.

    I would almost want to put Kaitlin Olson on the list except for the fact that Sunny was horrible the last two seasons. I think her and Rob were concentrating a lot more on their real life pregnancy then they were on the show. I do, however, expect to see Charlie Day appear on the list of best supporting actors tomorrow, Team TVLine, because that man is a brilliant comic actor. I truly believe there is no funnier character on television than Charlie Kelly, king of the rats.

    • Justin says:

      People want her to win because she’s Jessica Rabbit with tons of humor. From her accent, to her temper tantrums, she’s freaking hilarious! I love Julie Bowen, too, and honestly, either one of them should win this award.

  21. Eleah says:

    Naya has a better chance than Heather. Heather is hilarious but Naya is the break out star this year and has the storyline that Glee has been pushing for this year. She’s probably the most deserving of the cast this year

  22. hmk says:

    What about Martha Plimpton for Raising Hope? She deserves a nomination and a win, she is hilarious

    • Sarah says:

      I’m not sure but I think she will be in the running for best lead actress in a comedy, rather than supporting

  23. Steve says:

    Naya Rivera is missing from the list. I’m assuming this is accidental.

  24. Jessica says:

    How “Smart about TV” can you be if you overlook Naya Rivera? She deserves all the awards.

  25. Cel says:

    Whoever forgot to put Naya Rivera as an option should be fired.

  26. Holly says:

    I would LOVE for anyone from Parks and Recreation and Community to receive a nomination. Unfortunately I will be surprised if anyone does.

    I think the nominations will be:
    Julie Bowen, Jane Krakowski, Jane Lynch, Sophia Vergara, Betty White, and Kristen Wiig.

    I like Modern Family so I would be happy with any nomination the show gets. I would rather someone from Parks and Recreation get the nomination but I still like 30 Rock too. I don’t watch Glee or Hot in Cleveland. I hope Kristen Wiig doesn’t get nominated again though. She is funny in movies. Bridesmaids is great! But I do not think her SNL work is worthy of an Emmy nomination. Especially this past season.

  27. Jasmine says:

    Why is Naya not on this list? Her portrayal of Santana on Glee is amazing, how she plays a closeted Lesbian who is struggling to accept herself. She plays it perfectly and I think Santana would be a whole other person if it wasn’t Naya playing her. I think she’ll at least get a nod.

  28. gleefan says:

    Love how everyone is posting about Naya :)

  29. Lee says:

    Naya Rivera. Naya Rivera. Naya Rivera. Naya Rivera. Naya Rivera. Naya Rivera. I couldn’t think of six other people more deserving. I’m shocked that she is not on the list.

    • Steve says:

      Who is Naya? LOL….Sorry if she is on Glee…I watch only funny comedy, not a re-make of “Fame”.

  30. J says:

    I can not believe Naya was not on this list. Her storyline was incredibly important, she was easily the best dramatic actor this season on Glee, and she was funny as hell on top of that.

  31. pk says:

    You forgot Naya Rivera? You should write an entire article dedicated to her now!

  32. abc123 says:

    Guys, can you dig up my comment? I posted it hours ago and it still hasn’t shown up. :/

  33. torontogirl98 says:

    How about anyone not from Modern Family, Glee or 30 Rock! I would love anyone from Parks or Community!

    • Justin says:

      “Anyone not from Modern Family”? You’re kidding, right? The best comedy on tv, all of them going for the supporting roles, and not one should be on the ballot?! That sounds ludicrous!

      • Vixela says:

        Except the best comedies on TV are Community, Parks&Rec and Louie. Maybe even Cougar Town. Modern Family is lucky to even be in the Top 5.

        • Justin says:

          Modern Family and Parks and Recreation are tied for #1 on my list, with Cougartown a close second. Louie couldn’t hold a candle to those two. Community is definitely one of the best, but Modern Family and Parks and Rec. got it beat.

  34. jstubb says:

    Naya Rivera should’ve been on this poll. I’m notifying the Naya/Santana fandom!

  35. AJ says:

    Should be nominated: Busy Philipps, Merritt Weaver, Phyllis Somerville, Naya Rivera, Jane Lynch, Heather Morris
    Most likely to be nominated: Julie Bowen, Sofia Vergara, Jane Lynch, Betty White, Kristen Wiig, Jane Krakowski

  36. Gleek says:

    I hope all the people complaining about Naya Rivera not being on the list are putting her name down under ‘other’ and submitting a vote!

    Naya Rivera really brought it this season, she took everything she was given and breathed it to life. She was funny and sarcastic as well as dramatic. She definitely deserves AT LEAST a nomination.

  37. Grace says:

    Say it with me: mayim, mayim, MAYIM, MAYIM!!!

    There are almost too many greats on this list, between the ladies of Modern Family, Cougar Town and Community, but Mayim Bialik to me is the gold-standard of comedy. She is hilarious every time she steps on screen. Some of the people on this list are mostly funny because they’re given funny material, but I honestly believe you could replace Mayim’s script with an actual phonebook and she’d still be hilarious.

    Also, WHERE is Cloris Leachman from Raising Hope?? I love me some Shannon Woodward too, but I know better than to hope for Emmy love. Cloris on the other hand…

  38. Jimmy says:

    1. Gillian Jacobs, Community
    2. Julie Bowen, Modern Family
    3. Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
    4. Kaitlin Olsen, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    5. Alison Brie, Community
    6. Yvonne Strahovski, Chuck

    • kaitlyn says:

      YES! The “Community” girls. Gillian Jacobs and Alison Brie are incredible, I’ll be disgusted if Community isn’t recognised at the Emmy’s this year. It’s amazingly entertaining, my favourite show.

  39. Nicmur96 says:

    I think Glee ruined Sue Sylvester which,in turn,ruined the whole show. The best supporting actress this year should hands down go to Mayim Bialik. If you haven’t watched The Big Bang Theory this season you should because Mayim Bialik as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler is hilarious. Laugh out loud funny! I haven’t laughed out loud since Sue Sylvester last year, and she won the Emmy. Just sayin…

  40. M says:

    Naya Rivera definitely deserves a nomination this year. How is Heather Morris on this list but she isn’t?

  41. Bridget says:

    Naya Rivera (unfairly absent from this poll) should be nominated.

  42. someone with intelligence says:

    Good reason Naya Rivera is not on this poll… she is trash and has no star quality. She most certainly is not the break out start of this season, that would imply she is a star, and no one knows who the hell she is. The right choice was made. So you 2 or 3 people spamming on here just stop, that shameless slut is not getting a nomination.

    • someone with more intelligence.. says:

      Wow, someone is a hater… Did she kill your cat?? What could she have possibly done to offend you? Naya Rivera is actually gaining quite a bit of Emmy buzz FYI, and it appears that a lot of people know who she is (including you) and believe she is Emmy-worthy, not just a few spammers.

    • Steve says:

      Who is Naya?

  43. Barbara says:


  44. Snsetblaze says:

    Has Mayim Baylik actually been made a full cast member of The Big Bang Theory? I know Melissa Rausch has. If not, I would think Mayim would belong in the guest actress on a comedy category (I don’t believe that category is divided into lead/supporting actress). Baylik would have a really strong chance in the guest category. I’dd also suggest someone not on the list – Alison Scagliotti from Warehouse 13 (the show is in that gray area like Glee – not 100% comedy but not really a drama either).

  45. Mel says:

    Heather Morris deserves to be on that list as much as everyone on that list is deserved to be there.

  46. Caroline says:

    Where is Naya Rivera? Sorry, but if we’re gonna have anybody from Glee, it should be her. She nails both her comedic and dramatic acting.

  47. yani says:

    Mayim Bialik all the way! She has done an amazing job as Dr Amy Farrah Fowler! So good she was signed for 3 episodes and ended up staying the whole season, promoted to regular and will be back next season too… she has made Amy Farrah Fowler (you have to say the full name) one of my all time favourite characters on TV. She is AMAZING! Go Mayim!

    • Sid says:

      Take your mouse and move it over the name Mayim…now vote for the ONLY standout this season…and yes she will be a regular cast member, how could she not?

  48. Ro says:

    Kaley Cuoco. Does a bang-up job on Big Bang Theory, interacting with all those quirky, jerky talents.

    Surprising myself, for I just hated her on Charmed, but the girl’s got some chops and worked with a lot of pros in the genre, sharpened up her mad skilz.

  49. bryce says:

    Heather morris as #2 on this poll? You people HAVE to be kidding me.

  50. _fan says:

    who made this list? where on earth is naya rivera???