Emmys

Emmys 2011: Who Deserves the Award for Guest Actress in a Drama?

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Law & Order: SVU‘s stranglehold on the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama category will come to a halt when the 2011 Emmy Awards take place on Sept. 18 in Los Angeles. Indeed, while an actress from NBC’s long-running crime procedural has taken home the statuette every year since 2007, none of this year’s seven nominees has crossed paths with SVU‘s Detectives Benson and Stabler.

Which one of this year’s contenders most deserves to take that proud walk to the podium on Emmy night? Take our poll below to vote for your favorite — TVLine voting closes Sept. 13, so act now! — then hit the comments to justify your pick!

Every day for the next month, we’ll launch another “Who Should Win” Emmy poll, so come back to TVLine.com every day to weigh in on who’s most worthy of TV’s biggest honor, and to stay up to speed on all our races, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!



Comments (53)

  • Well, even though this show is going to hell, I must say Loretta Devine is really great in “Grey’s”, but then again, Alfre Woodard was amazing as Lafayette’s insane mom, so…

    Comment by Liz – August 14, 2011 04:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julia Stiles was hauntingly perfect as Lumen, so she has my vote. However, I also thought Randi Heller was a hoot as Ms. Blankenship on Mad Men, and Cara Buono was great as well. Alfre Woodard was good, but the nomination is for her name more than her performance, which was tiny and nothing to write home about. The rest I haven’t seen (although I do love me some Mary McDonnell/Roslin)

    Comment by Rebecca Parker – August 14, 2011 04:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Joan Cusack gave the best performance on television this year, of any kind, in ‘Shameless,’ in my humble opinion. It’s sort of a bizarre category- she probably missed like 2 episodes. Shameless got robbed over all, but I’m glad at the very least it’s most impressive element was recognized.

    Comment by Sean D – August 14, 2011 04:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Totally agree with you. I loved Julia as Lumen and I won’t be sad to see her take it if she does but Joan was the stand out in my mind.

      Comment by Kirstin – August 15, 2011 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Joan Cusak all the way! That show is fantastic all around and I at least wish Bill Macy got a nom as well. Julia Stiles was good on Dexter as well

      Comment by Katie – August 16, 2011 01:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That’s great that the voting is open until 9/13, but aren’t the guest actor and actress awards announced on the 10th at the Creative Arts?

    Comment by MrMank – August 14, 2011 05:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Haven’t watched season 4 of Mad Men yet (thank you, Netflix!!), but even if I did I think my vote needs to go to McDonnell if for no other reason than she was so horribly snubbed for her four seasons of brilliant work on Battlestar Galactica!!

    Comment by MrMank – August 14, 2011 05:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You should probably blame the studio since they control whether or not it appers on Netflix.

      Comment by Jimmy – August 15, 2011 01:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Until this week, I would not have supported Mary McDonnell for this award, but her performance this past Monday clinched it for me. Very impressive.

      Comment by Meg – August 31, 2011 04:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It has to go to Joan Cusack. She was amazing on Shameless and the show itself was completely robbed!

    Comment by Steven – August 14, 2011 05:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Long live Mrs. Blankenship.

    Comment by Melissa – August 14, 2011 05:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Miss Blankenship for best performance under a blanket! :D

      Comment by Dani – August 14, 2011 06:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • She was born in a barn in 1898. She died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper. She was an astronaut.–Bert Cooper

        Long live Ida Blankenship!

        Comment by Yo Mama – August 15, 2011 11:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • She was the only character here whose name I even remember! Miss Blankenship lives on!

          Comment by KevyB – August 15, 2011 07:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed! The impression she was able to make with such a tiny role is the mark of a great guest actress (imho).

      Comment by Audrey – August 15, 2011 11:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Where is Margo Martindale for Justified? Mags was GREAT!!

    Comment by V – August 14, 2011 05:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She’s nominated for Supporting Actress.

      Comment by Buffy Freak – August 14, 2011 06:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She’s in the Best Supporting Actress category.

      Comment by Rebecca Parker – August 14, 2011 06:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julia was really great in Dexter, surprisingly so even. Still, Randee was able to steal scenes from Jon Hamm. That’s no easy feat.

    Comment by Brandan – August 14, 2011 05:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • @V
    Margo was nominated in the Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category.

    Comment by MikeBlunden – August 14, 2011 06:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This category has gotten ridiculous. Julia Stiles was indeed very good…but she was in every episode of Dexter last season. She should be in the supporting or even the lead actress category. And Mary McDonnell seemed to be in a majority of The Closer episodes.

    Comment by Buffy Freak – August 14, 2011 06:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mary of course! She was ripped off by not getting the nom for BSG.
    I also thought Julia Stiles was surprisingly good.

    Comment by SJwashere – August 14, 2011 06:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loretta Devine. Always Loretta Devine. The woman is a phenomenal talent.

    Comment by Summer – August 14, 2011 06:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My pick is for Alfre Woodard. I love her on “True Blood”

    Comment by Erica – August 14, 2011 06:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loretta Devine. Hands down. I wish Shonda and Co. would get rid of annoying cast members and make Loretta a lead. She steals any episode with her in it.

    Comment by Natalie – August 14, 2011 07:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Season 5 of Dexter may have been a total disappointing mess, but Julia Stiles was magnificent and a complete surprise for me. She gets my vote. Though I’d be happy with McDonnell or Woodard too.

    Comment by Geoff – August 14, 2011 07:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Actually Michael, you are wrong. Joan Cusack was on SVU, I think it was this past season. She definitely had dealings w/ Benson and Stabler. She is awesome, so I pick her to win.

    Comment by Nita – August 14, 2011 07:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julia Stiles & Loretta Devine in the lead. OH SHOCKER.

    Mary McDonnell is ridiculously awesome on The Closer. She deserves it.
    And although I love Shameless and I love Joan Cusack, her character is just way over the top.

    Comment by Chmarin – August 14, 2011 08:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This category is ridiculous. Most of these actresses should be in Supporting.

    Comment by anna – August 14, 2011 08:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt was robbed…her performance on SVU was amazing!

    Comment by Carolyn – August 14, 2011 09:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ELIZABETH MITCHELL

    Comment by Sarah – August 15, 2011 01:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julia Stiles should win.

    Comment by Teresa – August 15, 2011 03:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Next Year my vote goes to Maura Tierney on Rescue for this current season. This year however I say Julia Stiles on Dexter.

    Comment by Anthony – August 15, 2011 04:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As much as I liked Joan Cusack in the should have been nominated for more Shameless – I will go with the elegance that is Carla Buono. She gives a very understated performance on Mad Men. She reminds me of Grace Kelly in that role.

    Comment by Matt – August 15, 2011 06:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Why do I always do that with her name when talking about her – Cara not Carla. :D

      Comment by Matt – August 15, 2011 06:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Grace Kelly?! You have to be joking.

      Comment by zoe – August 16, 2011 09:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • No, I’m not joking.

        Comment by Matt – August 18, 2011 11:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought Carla Buono was incredibly annoying on Mad Men.

    Julia Stiles was great.

    Comment by Matt W – August 15, 2011 07:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think her character was supposed to be a little annoying and overbearing because Matt Weiner wanted the audience to root for Don to end up with that overly boring French Canadian secretary who’s name I can’t even remember. I liked Cara Buono, but then again, I usually like female characters who are annoying and overbearing.

      Comment by Amber – August 15, 2011 04:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How can anyone say that Julia Stiles is a good actress? She’s terrible! Her acting is so flat and phony! She doesn’t deserve any award!

    Comment by AL – August 15, 2011 09:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • where is MAGS from Justified?

    Comment by sash fan – August 15, 2011 11:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Read the other comments.

      Comment by Nici – August 15, 2011 12:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mary needs this after she was ripped for her fantastic work on bsg. She is beyond amazing.

    Comment by Alex – August 15, 2011 03:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Half of these shows I don’t watch, so I won’t even pretend to guess who will actually win. I did vote for Julia Stiles though because I’m one of those weird people who actually liked the last season of Dexter. Just please God don’t let Grey’s Anatomy win for any single Emmy category. I used to be a huge fan, but that show is HORRIBLE now. It doesn’t deserve anything other than a kick in the pants for its bad behavior.

    Comment by Amber – August 15, 2011 04:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I didn’t vote because I couldn’t find Jennifer Love Hewitt’s name anywhere! I didn’t know she wasn’t nominated! I never thought she was a great actress, but she changed my mind on SVU. I thought surely she would be nominated. Did the other shows complain because SVU won all the time??

    Comment by G-Mom – August 15, 2011 10:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am so mad at awards shows…It was a crime that Mary McDonnell was not even nominated for Battlestar Galactica during it’s run and that was the best storyline EVER! I have not seen any of the guest appearances nominated except for hers, and I think she is deserving of the award. I just noticed the comment…comment “Don’t frakkin’ curse…LOL”

    Comment by Debbie Caudill – August 18, 2011 02:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julia Stiles was my favorite, but a very very VERY close second is Loretta Devine, who, as always, was divine. If I had a real ballot, I would probably vote for her, since she is completely and entirely under appreciated.

    Comment by Dan G. – August 20, 2011 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Randee Heller, all the way. Julia Stiles was brilliant, but as others have said, the prominence of her role on “Dexter” means that she really doesn’t belong in this category. I think Lorette Devine and Mary McDonnell are awesome, but Heller’s work as Miss Blankenship is the embodiment of what it means to take a small part and make it shine.

    Comment by Amy – August 20, 2011 11:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julia Stiles really impressed me with her performance, so, my vote goes to her for the win.

    Comment by kierahillmin – August 26, 2011 09:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mary McDonnell has deserved an Emmy for years. She was beyond amazing in BSG!!!!
    And the character of Raydor that Mary plays in The Closer, fans love to hate her. If you knew Mary, she is nothing like Raydor!! That’s true acting deserving of an Emmy.

    Comment by Bonnie – August 29, 2011 02:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mary McDonnell absolutely should win an Emmy for her role in “The Closer” The role she has played this season is so crucial to whether or not this season’s story line really brings things home for Brenda. It took me a while to warm up to her character and there are times she get’s under my skin but as far as winning “Most Definitely”…

    Comment by Cynthia – August 31, 2011 04:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mary McDonnell, no question. She is the reason I watch “The Closer”. After her beyond-magnificent performance on BSG, she deserves a huge Thank You for continuing to grace television with her talented presence.

    Comment by Rebecca L – September 1, 2011 05:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • have to agree with the jennifer love hewitt supporters on this one, she had the best guest performance by a mile. have to admit i’ve always felt she was talented but never given a great role…thanks for proving me right JLH hope more great roles come your way.

    Comment by james – November 17, 2011 04:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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