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. jess says:

    um….so how isn’t naya rivera on thins list? did you watch ‘silly love songs’, ‘sexy’, ‘born this way’, ‘rumours’ ? she was outstanding in them ALL and even in smaller roles in other episodes she stole the show! i just don’t understand? yes i love hemo and thought she was great this year and jane was hardly in it but not having naya on this list? are you kidding me? she deserves a nomination for the hurt locker ALONE let alone anything else!

    • laulau says:

      if heather gets a nomination so should naya
      i mean i love heather and her acting, but naya was superb this season!!

  2. Maria says:

    I’m confused as to why Naya Rivera is not on here.

  3. lizzy says:

    Naya does deserve an emmy and stuff..but you could be proud for heather instread of trashing her..i mean couldn’t she be nominated for Drama emmy or somthing!

  4. Bri says:

    WAIT….What!?!? Where’s Naya Rivera!!?!? How could you put a list together and include Heather Morris but not Naya Rivera??? The only excuse for this would be if she were going to be considered for Leading Actress instead of Supporting, because she has done so much more in the way of comedy than Heather has in this season of Glee.

  5. Rachel says:

    Naya Rivera. Seriously, guys.. you fail so hard at this poll by leaving her name out.

  6. Bri says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Heather and I can understand why she was chosen but it makes no sense to have her as a contender and not Naya.

  7. atleastiadmitthetruth says:

    what the f**k people???!
    why you hatin’ on heather? she’s UBER smart but you don’t know that coz
    she plays dumb so damn well. and duh. her and naya bet nay nay’s happy for her. unlike you people. SO BEAT IT.

  8. Laura says:

    I agree with the majority, clearly whoever made this list has had a memory lapse since they seem to have forgotten how Naya Rivera OWNED this season of Glee! I’m not exactly seeing any of the others with a brand spanking new record contract!

  9. Alex says:

    I wasn’t sure if Naya was going to be nominated. She’s really good but I was used to the idea that maybe only next year she would be nominated or something. BUT Heather is nominated and Naya isn’t? I love Heather but, seriously? Naya is defenitly better than her, that’s why I am upset.

  10. bryce says:

    No one from glee deserves to be nominated for any type of acting award. It’s impossible to act out lines that are written so poorly.

  11. Karen says:

    Alison Brie NEEDS to be nominated, she is incredibly talented.

    • tomincmh says:

      Agreed. Alison Brie totally deserves to be nominated.

      • Laua says:

        Agree! Alison Brie is incredibly deserving.

        • Vixela says:

          Alison Brie for the nom. Not only is she deserving but ANY major nomination for Community could help the show’s ongoing plight for survival in this TV landscape.

          • I agree with that sentiment, and Community is more than deserving of securing noms in each comedy category, as the show itself was superb in its sophomore season, a rarity seeing as Modern Family and Glee saw a steady decline in quality this past year. I would both be surprised and disappointed if the show, itself, doesn’t win Outstanding Comedy, and if Joel McHale, Dany Pudi, and Alison Brie don’t secure nominations in their respective categories.

  12. Tyler says:

    Wow, what a loaded catergory. It was hard for me to only pick six.

    First off, I agree with everyone else when they say Naya Rivera should be up there. I will be very upset if she does not get a nomination.

    My heart will forever belong to Aubrey Plaza and Heather Morris. However, I do not forsee either getting the nomination they deserve.

    Sofia Vergara is my pick to win it all this year.

    Also, I think Casey Wilson from Happy Endings should be included. I look forward to seeing more from her once Happy Endings returns. I think she’ll be the one to watch next year.

  13. Laura says:

    Vanessa Williams from DH! I know people here dismiss the “tired DH” but they have given her great material and awesome one-liners. Her or Sofia Vergara.

  14. Salet Cabanas says:

    Where’s Naya Rivera???????????????
    Naya for the win!

  15. chris says:

    Love Busy Philipps but that garbage of a show called Cougar Town is a waste of her talents.

    Sofia Vergara was awesome this year on Modern Family. Great comedic timing. She MUST win!!!!!!!!

  16. rubost says:

    Is this the official list of nominees they’re considering? I hope not! Why is Heather Morris there but no Naya Rivera? I have nothing against heather morris but hey, Naya brought the house down. Even Cory M. said that she’s the breakout star this season. Hope this isnt the official list. Honestly, try to review her acting and you’ll know. Dont put her off screen issues in here. It’s not about the Naya Rivera as a “person” we’re talking here. It’s Naya Rivera as an ACTRESS. Try to be patial guys and give the girl a chance.

  17. Yani says:

    I got a little tired of all the complains about Naya Rivera…. there is a world outside Glee u know?

    No one from Glee deserves ANY nomination this season, it was a VERY dissapointing season on all aspects

    • Alex says:

      There is so many things right with this post.

      Anyone who think Naya or anyone from Glee deserve nominations for season 2 is delusional and clearly has not been watching quality television. Its ok though, the Emmy voters are exactly the same!

      • tiki says:

        Season two was ridiculous and had a lot of problems. It was mostly horrible. But the only thing that kept me watching was Naya Rivera. She killed all the scenes she was in. Glee sucks, but girl can act.

  18. Lindsey says:

    I’m sure Glee or someone from it will not only be nominated but also actually win, but I hope I’m wrong. I used to love the show, but season two was absolutely awful. There are definitely some deserving women on this list, but they are not it. Sofia Vergara should win!

  19. Alex says:

    KRISTEN WIIG (will, and should be) nominated.

    In a perfect world Jenna Fischer, the Community girls, Busy Phillips and Cobie would be nominated. Alas, it will be taken up by the Modern Family ladies and Glee. When this is the case, I hope Sofia beats Jane Lynch.

  20. Géraldine says:

    Why didn’t you quote Naya Rivera who really made this season bearable?! She deserves a nomination surely more than Jan Lynch whose the character was ridicule.
    Glas that Heather Morris was quoted but Rivera was better than Lynch & Morris this season! :)

  21. Phileo says:

    My six picks (in no order):
    Julie Bowen
    Sofia Vergara
    Naya Rivera
    Jane Lynch (or Betty White)
    Alison Brie
    Jane Krakowski

    The reasons:
    Julie Bowen may be FANTASTIC as Claire Dunphy, but her “consistently pitch-perfect work” might not score her a nod this year (?, it’s still May).

    If Alison Brie gets nominated, let’s leave it at that ’cause it’s a win in and of itself.

    Sofia Vergara’s performance was so hilarious, she may as well grab that Emmy… BUT WAIT! Could her performance have been overhyped? (She does her job well, but sometimes, I can’t help thinking that it may just be her looks and accent.)

    It was a great year for Jane Lynch – especially after winning that Golden Globe – but that was before the “Glee” writers started running her character down to the ground (if she gets snubbed, I hope it’s because recent SAG winner/”Community” guest star Betty White pushed her out).

    It’s so sad that Naya Rivera was not included in this list, but with her character – mean former-cheerleader Santana – standing out much more than Jane Lynch/Sue for the latter half of the season (and Heather Morris/Brittany for that matter), she should score a nod (or she’ll show you what people from “Lima Heights” do to bad people).

    Jane Krakowski… for five seasons she has made me laugh so much, but while that is the case, her character “doesn’t ever really grow”. What? She’s provided pitch-perfect humor. Well, if she gets nominated I’m rooting for her… Or, probably Naya, if her chances get slimmer than her character Jenna Maroney’s post-hysterical pregnancy waist line.

  22. Ayan says:

    I’m gonna go Lima Heights and bring this people down! For not making Naya Rivera on the list!

  23. Angie says:

    Heather Morris is winning! Go HeMo! But, it doesn’t make up for the lack of Naya Rivera who would OWN this poll. She’s been amazing and fearless in this role and needs an Emmy nod. I love that girl :)

  24. Laura says:

    Jane Lynch is hilarious!! I think the GLEE writers have really messed up, she could have dominted this category again! She’s extremely talented and knocks it out of the park every week. Awful material is not her fault- her acting should walk it but I worry that she’s not going to get it because of the ludicrous season her character’s had.

  25. Krystal says:

    No one on Glee has made me laugh harder than Santana Lopez.
    Where the hell is Naya Rivera?!!!?!!!!!?!

  26. T says:

    Anyone that’s watched “30 Rock” this season knows that Jane Krakowski should be a shoe in. I really think this season may have been her best work yet. She’s amazing. Also LOVE Aubrey Plaza and Alison Brie and both of their shows have stellar casts so to stand out even a little is a huge accomplishment. Julie Bowen has gotten stronger too. Her expression in the episode when she gets in the car with Jami Gertz’s character and it hits Claire that’s she’s with the neighborhood speedster is Emmy worthy alone.

  27. Lex says:

    the modern family girls! mostly Sarah Hyland, but Ariel Winter is fantastic too.

  28. Amanda says:

    I voted Naya Rivera on other. I can not understand why she isnt on this list. Especially since Heather Morris is. No offense to Heather but Naya was more then outstanding this season and deserves this Emmy. VOTE NAYA!

  29. Where is Queen Naya? says:

    You forgot to include the flawlessly hilarious Naya Rivera. I wrote her in under ‘Other’ but I can’t believe you would forget her. Heather is great at her deadpan one-liners, but Naya is snarky and has a much broader range than HeMo. The girl can really act – in both comedic and dramatic scenes.

    Naya Rivera is flawless and should win all the awards, tbh.

  30. vbarkley says:

    Aubrey Plaza, ‘Parks and Recreation’ should be the winner, hands down. Great storyline, and with what started as a one note character, she has really blossomed, without losing her original darkness.

    Other picks:
    Ellie Kemper, ‘The Office’
    Heather Morris, ‘Glee’
    Sofia Vergara, ‘Modern Family’

    Eden Sher should be included, as she is hilarious as the hapless, yet always hopeful teenager Sue on ‘The Middle’
    And where is Cloris Leachman from ‘Raising Hope’????? Nobody does dementia better.

  31. Kara says:

    I think it’s kind of silly how you’re all saying Maya deserves it more than heather. Imagine if Heather saw all these! Both the girls are so amazingly talented and they’re my idols! You guys need to understand there’s different types of humor and heather’s character, being a ditzy blonde, gives her a more shallow approach on everything. Give her a character with a storyline like Santana’s and I think she’d do amazing!

  32. Kara says:

    Naya* stupid spellcheck :/

  33. Christina says:

    It’s funny how the comments are filled with people complaining over Naya’s lack of inclusion, yet the “Other” category barely has 2% of the votes. Seems to me, the majority isn’t missing Naya’s presence at all, which goes a long way to explaining why she isn’t viewed as a contender.

  34. Aoife says:

    Naya Rivera needs to be on this list. If anyone from Glee deserves a nomination this year it’s her. She’s been given a huge range of material to work with, both comedy and drama, and each and every time she has played it perfectly. She turned a background character into a completely three-dimensional character. She’s done fantastic work this year and it’ll be a crime if she doesn’t get recognition for that.

  35. Gleek_HBIC says:

    Heather Morris totally deserves to be on this list, her comedic timing is perfect, her delivery of lines is genius, + Naya will be nominated in the Best Actress category

    #1 HeMo
    #2 Sofia Vergara
    #3 Mayim Bialik

    • steve says:

      Thank you for noticing Mayim! Everyone think hard and try to remember when the last time a character was invented that made you stand up and laugh so hard at every line? Of course she has competition, but only from “Sheldon”, and we know that actor won last year!

  36. k says:

    i can’t believe they didn’t have naya rivera there!
    i voted for jane lynch and heather morris
    but i also voted for naya in the ‘other’ selection :P

  37. Bob Smith says:

    Yep I wrote I Casey Wilson on Happy Endings…

  38. fffff says:

    Christa Miller, Jayma Mays and Naya Rivera!!!! I hope all three of them would get nominated.

  39. Anon R says:

    Naya Rivera.

  40. D says:

    Where’s Naya Rivera?!?

  41. Mariana says:

    No Naya Rivera? She deserves it, she was awesome this season!

  42. Steve says:

    Two names and two names ONLY belong on the list for the pure talent they pull off!
    #1 Mayim Bialik on BBT
    #1 Eden Sher on The Middle

    You look at these two and watch them perform and Mayim is so good. Then there is Eden, can you name any actress today that can pull out all the stops as she does? Did anyone see the episode she did on the track race? The best comedy you’ll ever see. She went beyond what any actress can do!

  43. Mark says:

    HOW the hell is Kaitlin Olson looked over again?! She’s the only female character, holding her own against 4 guys, one of whom is Danny freakin’ DeVito! And in a show that’s written by males, mostly for males, on a male-centric network! Now THAT is talent. She’s f’ing hysterical! BS if she isn’t nominated.

  44. Laugh says:

    Supporting actress/actor category is always the toughest since there’s so many! The first name that popped in my head was Jenna Fischer..this has been one of the best seasons of The Office since #1 & #2 and Jenna is outstanding! I keep saying that she’ll be the new Branch Manager next year..just you wait!

    2. Christa Miller
    3. Busy Phillips (Laugh!)
    4. Julie Bowen
    5. Sophia Vergara
    6. Ellie Kemper

    I love the funny on Cougar Town and Modern Family…so few shows actually make me laugh but those two do!

  45. Paul R. says:

    So I am looking through the list and a bit shocked to see Naya Rivera from Glee not included. Considering that was the best performance by woman on a comedy, this is ridiculous. What’s next? Leaving Margo Martindale off the supporting actress in a drama list.

  46. Terence says:

    Heather Morris totally deserves a shot, she has been consistently and hugely funny and popular on Glee. And she has handled the dramatic moments with flair as well, I just don’t understand how people get down on her acting. She does it all, acting, singing, and that incredible dancing ability of hers.

    Naya is wonderful and I love her character, but Brittany is why I watch Glee and end up laughing out loud every week.

  47. Amanda says:


  48. Eric says:

    Merritt Wever is the best comedic actor in any category, male of female. Her timing, body language and what she can do with a line is amazing, I’ve never seen anyone like this before. Like ever!

    Eve Best is also great, and Busy Philipps is the only one making me laugh on that show. But Merritt all the way, she is totes avail!

  49. Amber says:

    Where was Martha Plimpton from Raising Hope? She is hilarious.

  50. harmograz says:

    Although Chris Colfer definitely deserves an Emmy, it shouldn’t be for comedy (although he definitely has his funny moments) – It should be for superb acting in general (and making people cry really well). I thought for SURE Naya Rivera would be on this list – her dry wit had me rolling the whole season long. It’s a super close tie between her and Heather Morris for me.