Emmys 2012: The Lead Comedy Actress Race in Review, Including Our Dream Nominees

This year’s Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series contest is bound to have some fresh contenders, thanks to the bounty of high quality comedies (many of them new). We’re betting New Girl’s Zooey Deschanel and Girls’ Lena Dunham will hear their names announced on July 19, alongside previously honored ladies like Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler and 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey. 

More Emmy Races In Review | Outstanding Drama Series | Lead Drama Actor | Lead Drama Actress | Supporting Drama Actor | Supporting Drama Actress | Outstanding Comedy Series | Lead Comedy Actor | Supporting Comedy Actor | Supporting Comedy Actress | Outstanding Reality-Competition Series | Outstanding Movie/Miniseries

Review this slideshow of the major contenders — including TVLine’s Dream Nominees — then vote below for who you think are the six best. And check back Tuesday as we tackle the Supporting Comedy Actor race!


Comments (131)

  • I just dearly hope that the Emmys finally appreciate the amazing work that Amy Poehler has been doing for the past 4 years.

    Comment by S. from A. – June 12, 2012 07:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yeah I remember the last time Lea Michele was that amazing two episodes before when she choked at her audition. She puts in a great performance every week but her storyline are carp and glee wont get nominations again.

    Comment by geo – June 12, 2012 08:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well said! Her talent gets disregarded far too easily, due to the nature of the stories she’s asked to portray. Lea is one of the few in the cast who, no matter what is thrown at her, she gives it all she’s got. Off the top of my head, other great Lea episodes, besides Choke and Good-bye, include Heart (her Dads), The First Time, Michael, Asian F, The Christmas episode…hell you can go back to the first episode of the season (The Purple piano Project) and see the amazing work she did when confronted by the “clones” of Rachel & Kurt (her facial expressions were amazing, as was her work in the subsequent car scene) and the audition of Sugar (amazing!) — and those were just her reactions.

      Sometimes I think these “entertainment reporters” just drink whatever kool-aid is being served and don’t think for themselves.

      Comment by Julie – June 12, 2012 08:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Amy Poehler and Melissa McCarthy is an up and coming superstar,but Julia Luis-Dreyfuss blows away this entire field by a country mile

    Comment by DawgDaze (@drdjr24) – June 12, 2012 08:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea Michele is an absolutely phenomenal actress. She is hilarious when given the material, she is dramatic, she is just perfect. She attacks all of her scenes with elegance and perfection. She should most definitely receive this award! She has been on tv for a few years now, and she shines very bright, as she did on Broadway. She is amazing.

    Comment by brooke – June 12, 2012 08:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • PoehlerPoehlerPoehler! Is there any doubt? It’s her year! I know JLD really knocked it out of the park on Veep, and I agree. But clearly it’s Poehler’s year!

    Comment by Linda – June 12, 2012 08:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Girls is too white? Isn’t virtually every show too white?

    Comment by Quinn – June 12, 2012 10:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea Michele definitely deserves a nom. I feel like Glee is tanking, and Lea is the only thing holding it up. Yes that final scene was amazing. Her acting is so raw and real. And she is very funny when given the material. She was the only person to successfully do that christmas episode. Just because Glee shouldn’t be nominated, doesn’t mean Lea should be overlooked. That girl works harder than any actress out there right now, so talented and respectable. With that being said I also want Mary-Louise Parker nominated. She is long overdue for recognition for Nancy Botwin. That woman can act so well. She’s snarky and does amazing work dramatically. Weeds is still great. No Zoey Deschanel! Love her, but no. Amy poehler and tina fey get noms too.

    Comment by abby – June 12, 2012 01:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea Michele is too over the top actress to truly deserve a nom, especially when she stands against so many great actresses. She can do a really good work on her scenes, but 99% of that good work she destroy with her overdramatic faces, when she ends up looking like she has to poop or like she has bad cramps (Choke, Goodbye). She should tone it down a little and then she would be an good actress. Less is sometimes more.
    With that said I hope, that Amy Poeher will win as she was truly briliant this season and I don’t think anyone was better than she this year.

    Comment by Ella – June 12, 2012 06:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • i think your comment is insulting/bullying than criticize her acting work because most critics praised her performance in both episodes

      Comment by Riz – June 13, 2012 04:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It is not, if you would read all of my comment you should see that I said that she did good job, but in the end she overdid it. Like overal she was good, but Cry and the scene when she is in the train leaving Lima was too much and destroyed all her good work before for me and from what I heard for many others too. If she didn’t, she would deserve nod for these episodes. But that faces she pulled out were horrible and I think directors should said something to her about it, because it is their job to make sure, that actors are not over doing it too much. But on Glee directors probably don’t care about things like that, as she is not the only one in Glee doing it, but it is damaging her the most (others who are doing it don’t stand a chance for nominations). I know it is because she was stage actor, but she is on tv for 3 years, she should learn to control her tendency to do overdramatic faces. If she would learn it, she would be one of the best comedy leading actresses on tv.
        And realistically speaking, the only nom Glee will probably get this year is Jane Lynch as critics love her (for a good reason) and even there I wouldn’t bet on it. And maybe for comedy but that would kill any respect I have for Emmy awards.

        Comment by Ella – June 13, 2012 09:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LEA MICHELE IS THE ONLY NOMINATION GLEE SHOULD RECEIVE AT THE EMMYS. Though it won’t happen because the show has gone to hell. It’s an injustice for such a talented young women.

    Comment by Ian – June 12, 2012 07:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Im sick of Kaley CuCo getting no love for her work on TBBT she is sexy and Funny and is on the best Comedy TV ratings wise and in General

    Comment by Josh – June 13, 2012 06:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • IMO this is probably the BIGGEST and Hardest category of them all, you have incredible veterans who have come and gone from this category time and time again, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Patricia Heaton, Christina Applegate, Tina Fey, Mary-Louis Parker, Laura Linney, Edie Falco, Marta Plamption, Julia-Louis Dreyfuss, AMy Phoeler, Melissa McCarthney, Laura Dern…but then you have those newbies that have been awesome press from the crittics, Ashley Ackered, Jane Levy, Zoey Deshenell, Lena Dunahm, kat Dannings, Kristen Chenoweth who have been getting great Reviews, though Lea Michelle was funniest in Season 2, she is also a solid contender….it is time to up this category to 10 women….because…honestly, they are all supremly talented in their own right but this is SUCH a packed crowd….anyone could get a nod and honestly, i wouldn’t be dissapointed because they all kind of deserve it.

    Comment by KevinSW – June 13, 2012 10:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I messed up soo many names in here LMAO…I meant Ashley Rickards, oh and wouldn’t be dissapointed if either Kaley or Courtney got a nod…like i said…this category is freaking tough as nails

      Comment by KevinSW – June 13, 2012 10:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lea should be nominated!!!!

    Comment by J – June 14, 2012 07:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Zooey Deschanel is the ONLY actress that I wouldn’t be upset to see Lea Michele lose against. She’s a really really reaaly good actress (and person).

    Comment by Lea – July 7, 2012 10:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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