Emmys 2011: Analyzing the Supporting Drama Actor Race - Including Our Dream Nominees

You know who isn’t missing Lost this season? The many performers jockeying for an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series nod at this year’s Emmys. The absence of perennial nominees Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson creates two big vacancies. The number of openings jumps to four when you consider that both Aaron Paul and Martin Short — nominated in ’10 for Breaking Bad and Damages, respectively — will also be MIA (since their shows didn’t air during the eligibility period). Basically, the race is pretty much up for grabs.

Other Emmy Races In Review: Supporting Drama Actress| Lead Drama ActorLead Drama Actress | Drama Series | Supporting Comedy Actor | Supporting Comedy Actress | Lead Comedy Actor | Lead Comedy Actress | Comedy Series | Reality Program

Review this slideshow of the major contenders — including TVLine’s half-dozen Dream Nominees — then vote below for who you think are the six best.

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. DL says:

    Shawn Hatosy’s managed to score a CCTA nom, so things are looking good for him. Really hoping either he or Cudlitz get recognition. Southland deserves some time in the limelight.

  2. kozmikg says:

    John Noble all the way!!!

  3. Fox says:

    Alan Cumming
    Peter Dinklage
    Jared Harris
    Joel Kinnaman
    John Noble
    Denis O’Hare

  4. Kyle. S says:

    if either John Noble, Peter Dinklage or Alan Cumming win I’ll be happy.

    • DennyS says:

      AGREED. Those are definitely my top 3 choices as well.

      Toughest category to pick in so far.

      • DennyS says:

        Voted for Cudlitz,Walter Goggins and Joel Kinnaman too. The Mad Mens deserve some recognition as do the men in Boardwalk Empire. Too much!

  5. kf says:

    No FNL nominees?? The cast should be recognized in their last season.

    • Johnification says:

      As much as I love Michael B. Jordan and Matt Lauria, if Zach Gilford couldn’t break into the race, none of them can. FNL’s best bets will be Chandler, Britton, the show, and direction (a minor category at the Emmys, but FNL’s is excellent.)

    • Becky says:

      Here’s a better question than why no FNL nominees. Why wasn’t Willie Garson from White Collar nominated? Mozzie had so many great moments in Seaon 2! He deserves an emmy!

  6. Aimee says:

    John Noble AND Joshua Jackson; Fringe

    • Mike says:

      I think if Jackson would be anywhere it would be as a “LEAD” actor. Wasn’t Anna torv listed as a Lead Actress? Of course, formalities aside, I would say all 3 are Leads (Noble included) and all deserving of some Emmy love. But definitely Noble and Torv for their work this year.

  7. Manissa says:

    Joshua Jackson should be on that list.

  8. Becca says:

    If Peter Dinklage is not nominated, I will freak out. He deserves to win, but that could be saved for next season as well.

  9. Jamie says:

    This category is incredible. While I struggled to reach six in some of the others, there are a whopping nine on this list that I would fully support. But honestly, Peter Dinklage is the frontrunner for me. He’s just amazing, and has already been forced to show a shocking amount of range.

  10. soco says:

    John Noble please!

  11. Kristina says:

    I’ve said it in all the drama categories and I’ll say it again, Southland deserves more nominations and wins. Both Cudlitz and Hatosy had exceptional seasons; I’d say for non-Southland fans to watch Code 4 and the finale but you really need to see Southland from the start to really understand these characters and their relationships with others in the show. And I also love John Noble. I’d be happy if he wins but I’m really rooting for the underdogs here so Hatosy and Cudlitz all the way.

    • Ceecile says:

      Unfortunately John Noble is also an underdog. Doesn’t seem like it from the internet poll support but he is.

      • Aimee says:

        I’d eat a gym sock if Noble won an Emmy. ;)

      • kozmikg says:

        So true!! The Emmy’s have always been resistant to recognize genre shows in the big categories.

      • Kristina says:

        Yes, Noble has been overlooked (his work in the first two season should have gotten him at the very least a nomination) but in my opinion, Hatosy and Cudlitz are more of the underdogs here. Both shows have extremely loyal fan bases but Fringe gets more recognition among audiences, reviewers, and critics (at least from the sites I frequent, I could be mistaken). I believe that this is the year for Noble to at least get a nomination and I am hoping for a win although the sci-fi genre is often overlooked. Hatosy may get a chance because of his CCTA nomination, he deserves all the accolades he can get for this past season. Cudlitz has yet to be acknowledged. I would be happy if any of these three men were nominated and thrilled if one should win against contenders from the other critically acclaimed actors in this category. This is going to be a really tough decision but good luck to everyone.

  12. Ceecile says:

    John Noble. The end.

    • Ceecile says:

      Josh Charles, Alan Cumming, Peter Dinklage, Denis O’Hare, Scott Caan, John Noble.
      John Noble for the win.

  13. OK says:

    John Noble!

  14. Sourabh says:

    Among others, John Noble and Peter Dinklage.

  15. Jay says:

    Its all about Alan cumming the rest can go home.

  16. Lincoln says:

    Excuse me but you cannot nominate/mention Denise O’Hare without giving some due to the original cast members of True Blood like Alexander Skarsgård and Nelsan Ellis.

  17. PFitzDC says:

    Did I miss it, or did you really not cite Scott Bakula for Men of a Certain Age in either category? If so, for shame…he really is doing career-high work in this show!

  18. Steve says:

    Hatosy was phenomenal but how about at least a little love for Terriers Michael Raymond James and Rubicons Michael Cristofer. The character of Truxton Spangler was downright haunting, and that tie speech, top notch.

  19. Ashley says:

    I am SO happy you included Matt Czuchry in this list. He did a phenomenal job this season; Cary grew so much as a character. Whether you love or hate his character (and there are people who feel strongly on both sides), he is remarkably good at walking that delicate line between the good guy and the jerk. He’s very underrated and I sincerely hope he gets attention soon. I also hope Billy Campbell is nominated because I love him and miss him from his Once and Again days (where his costar Susanna Thompson was totally robbed of an Emmy for the third season, btw). My choices are Czuchry, Campbell, Charles, and ALAN CUMMING, who is one of the best parts of TGW!

  20. Charlotte_ says:

    wheres’s Michael C. Hall?

  21. Terry says:

    There are quite a few actors on this list who are giving great performances, but none comes close to Walton Goggins on Justified. He mesmerizes!

  22. TJ says:

    No one from Shameless? I think that the smaller roles were definitely the ones that shined more.

  23. bac says:

    Walton Goggins should win this category. He was simply superb this past season.

  24. Charlotte_ says:

    sorry I didn’t notice the SUPPORTING
    my mistake

  25. Ethan says:

    Walton Goggins of Justified – no question “THE BEST”. How quickly people forget about the greatness of the case of Justified. How about some love for Misha Collins.

  26. wonj says:

    Really Team TVLine… you don’t think Peter Dinklage is a “Dream Nominee”? He should WIN the award. His work playing the richest character in the series is absolutely marvelous.

    Though, there are a lot of strong contenders… so, but still, i feel like this is Dinklage’s award to lose.

  27. Louisa says:

    I’ve really been enjoying Alan Cumming’s performance in The Good Wife… he has taken a character who could potentially come over as a real douche and made him likable.

  28. Missy says:

    I really hope JOHN NOBLE to be nominated.. As well as Anna Torv and Fringe on their respective categories… Not only it will reward the show’s great season 3, but it will also help (Hopefully) Fox to renew the show for a season 5…

    But worthy nominees as well are the two Mad Men regulars, JARED HARRIS and VINCENT KARTHEISER…

    PETER DINKLAGE was superb for The Game of Thrones… Probably, the shows ONLY worthy acting nod…

    I can also see ALAN CUMMING being nominated for a stand-out performance in The Good Wife, which also has other worthy nominees… (But not in a Panjabi and Baranski level)

    And of course John Slattery, he has been very consistent in Mad Men all four seasons, and the last season was no exception… He even raised his performance on the next level…. (I’m just wondering why he’s NOT included in AMC’s FYC site? ANYONE?)

  29. Freyja says:

    I would love for Alexander Skarsgard of True Blood to be nominated the most!!
    But of the ones named above I would like for Denis O’Hare to be one of the nominee.

    • Sarah says:

      i so agree with you!

    • Arya says:

      Oh yes, Alexander Skarsgard should be nominated. He’s my favorite on True Blood, the main reason reason I watch. He’s talented, full of charisma and sex appeal. I also love Dennis O’Hare, another one of my favorites. And from GoT I love Tyrion, he also gets my vote!

  30. TL says:

    Michael Cudlitz of SouthLAnd deserves a boatload of Emmys delivered straight to his door for his phenomenal performance this season.

  31. Sarah says:

    I would love to see Alexander Skarsgard “True Blood”. He is an amazing Actor! He should be on there.

  32. CG says:

    Ben McKenzie from Southland deserves to be on this list.

  33. Irina says:

    Alexander Skarsgard is Best Supporting Actor.

  34. Tripple M says:

    John Slaterry in Mad Men!!!! About time… I also love John Noble In Fringe ever since, hope he makes the cut!

  35. Mafalda says:

    Denis O’Hare
    John Noble
    the guys from The Good Wife

  36. Tripple M says:

    John Slaterry in Mad Men!!!! About time… I also love John Noble In Fringe ever since, hope he makes the cut!!

  37. Shirarose says:

    You are missing Ian Somerhalder — he blows all of them out of the water…

  38. frank says:

    No love for Joshua Jackson? Boo! I vote ‘other’

  39. Mary says:

    Brent Sexton from The Killing should be on this list. Stan is one of the standouts of that show so far.

  40. Justin says:

    John Noble for the win! His portrayal of Walter and Walternate on Fringe this year was a performance unmatched by anyone this year. However, I also like Denis O’Hare for True Blood. He made a lasting impression in my mind as a “King” of vampires.

  41. Mandy says:

    Michael Cudlitz of Southland gives such a nuanced performance in every episode, he deserves some recognition for that. And hopefully some more limelight on Southland in general. Such a great show.

  42. bhm1304 says:

    The list is closer to what I was thinking. I’d take Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”, Joel Kinnaman, “The Killing” (Brent Sexton deserves one as well), Walton Goggins “Justified” – Boyd Crowder, enough said?, John Noble “Fringe” (this gentleman is loooong overdue.), Dennis O’Hare – (his face was completely burned off and he was still awesome), “True Blood” and the man, the myth, the legend Bruce Campbell “Burn Notice”. I’d have added either Kim Coates or Ron Pearlman for “Sons of Anarchy” to the list as well, possibly Aiden Gillen for “Game of Thrones” and Michael Raymond-James for “Terriers”. Crowded field.

    • Alex says:

      Even though the Lost gang and last year’s winner Aaron Paul are out of the race, I agree that its a crowded race this year.
      Championing Walton Goggins, Peter Dinklage and John Noble like crazy. It’ll be much easier for the Mad Men lot to get in.

    • Amber says:

      “the man, the myth, the legend Bruce Campbell”, indeed! I would also add “the god” in there.

  43. Juliab says:

    While I like Southland’s Shawn Hatosy and Michael Cudlitz, Walton Goggins of Justified deserves an emmy for his work this past season. Too bad mulitiple emmys couldn’t be given out to these actors.

  44. TC says:

    Really, no one from Treme? REALLY??!!

    • bhm1304 says:

      Its too tough to pick just one. I think Rob Brown “Delmond Lambreaux” has been tremendous, as has David Morse “Lt. Colson”, Wendell Pierce “Antoine Baptiste”, and the man everyone hates to admit is great Steven Zahn as “Davis” and also John Seda has been very good as the carpetbagger from Texas. How can you pick just one, or even two? I think I’d put Rob Brown and David Morse at the top of my wish list for this second season.

  45. Josh says:

    Are Ian Somerhalder and Chris Colfer Supporting or Leading? Max Adler is Emmy worthy too!! :PP

  46. Sarah El says:

    All those Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men supporting roles but only room for Peter Dinklage for Game of Thrones? Sure, he’s the most likely of the bunch to earn a nod, but in such a sprawling cast, there are several worthy candidates.

  47. T says:

    Shawn Hatosy had a breakout season on Southland. I really hope he gets a nod.

  48. Sarah says:

    I also think Ian Somerhalder would be great male to for this! ^-^

  49. Xule says:

    Billy Campbell was nominated before for the 1st season of Once & Again. check your facts TVLine!

    • w11 says:

      Billy Campbell was nominated for a GOLDEN GLOBE for Once & Again. Not an Emmy. He’s never been nominated for an Emmy. Maybe *YOU* should check your facts before you go directing someone else to do so.

  50. Aprilcot26 says:

    Denis O’Hare. Period. End of story. Not to take anything away from the other potential nominees, but his Russell Edgington was freaking BRILLIANT last season.

    • Danielle H. says:

      His acting was beyond amazing. The episode that ended with him ripping the news anchor’s spine out and delivering a terrifying message to viewers was so jaw dropping that I literally rewound it over and over again just to see if it was for real.
      I am also pulling for Noble, but I have been since the beginning. I liked him better in past seasons, but his versatility has been shown w/ Walternate this season.

    • Carol says:

      Between his guest portrayal as an affable judge on “The Good Wife” and his terrifying turn as Russell Edgington on “True Blood,” Denis O’Hare is brilliant! He deserves to be nominated for an Emmy.