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

We love Betty White as much as the next person, but wouldn’t it be cool to see the Hot in Cleveland star’s inevitable 2012 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nod go to an actress from Community or Happy Endings? As for the other slots, you can count on Modern Family’s Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara, and Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig scoring nods come July 19. And the final two vacancies? They’re pretty much up for grabs.

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 | Lead Comedy Actress | Supporting Comedy Actor | 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. 

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. Pop pop says:

    Gillian Jacobs was nothing short of brilliant this season of Community. She really deserves a nomination

    • GDV says:

      Totally agree. I’m hoping she and Brie (and even Brown) will get some love this year. (I know, I’m a dreamer …)

    • Shashwat says:

      i think Gillian Jacobs’ performance in season 3 is one of the best comic turn i’ve seen in years, lead or supporting.

    • Angela says:

      She was simply fantastic, absolutely. I’m rooting for her all the way.
      It would be kinda neat to see Yvette get some proper recognition, though, too, as stated, she doesn’t get the recognition Alison and Gillian get. But I love all the girls on “Community”, so if any of them get a nod (and, even better, a win), I’ll be happy.

    • Jimmy says:

      Damn Straight

  2. Marc says:

    Casey Wilson might just be the funniest supporting actress on TV right now.

    • Lee says:

      Agreed. I love everyone on Happy Endings, but shes my favorite, would love to see her nominated.

      • davey says:

        I’m kind of surprised that Elisha Cuthbert wasn’t on this list – she’s surprisingly hilarious on HE. Love me some Casey Wilson and Eliza Coupe though (also Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs) :)

        • the girl says:

          I was thinking the same thing about Elisha. Her character this year stood out to me a lot more than Eliza Coupe’s. But out of the three I still go with Casey Wilson as the one who absolutely deserves the nom.

        • Alex says:

          Elisha Cuthbert’s character is kind of the weak link in Happy Endings- though still fantastic- so I’m sure Casey Wilson or Eliza Coupe will get recognition over her, if any of them do get nods.

  3. Josh says:

    Mayim Bialik Allison Brie Gillian Jacobs Jane Lynch Julie Bowen and Mellisa Rauch are my picks!

  4. Sasha says:

    Love me some Kristen Bell and i also love Melissa Rauch from TBBT. I haven’t watched a lot of the other shows to have an opinion on them unfortunately

  5. Diogo Silva says:

    I believe that Naya Rivera should be nominated this year. She was unstoppable this season with her acid liners. Furthermore she was amazing in “Mash-Off”. I would also like to see Casey Wilson nominated, because she is the most funny in the crew.

  6. Franklin says:

    My dream nomination list: Busy Phillips, Casey Wilson, Merritt Weaver, Eden Sher, Julie Bowen, and Sofia Vergara

  7. Nic says:

    While she is the most understated and underrated actress on the show, Heather Morris’ name wasn’t even submitted in the category, which pretty much destroys any chances of her getting any Emmy love :(

  8. R says:

    Is it just me who thinks Cobie Smulders atleast deserves a nomination for this season of HIMYM? her character Robin went through ups and downs in professional and personal life and Cobie portrayed it perfectly – she has evolved as an actress (that Symphony of Illumination episode – she played it so good!!) season after season becoming one of the funniest characters from the show – i hope she doesn’t get the “Rachael” treatment as Jen-An got nominated in the show’s very last year!

  9. Michelle says:

    I don’t even watch House of Lies but I’m rooting for Kristen Bell to get a nod because uhm Veronica Mars.

  10. Eric says:

    Where’s Krista Miller from “Cougar Town”??? Her Ellie is hilarious!!!

    • TheBeach says:

      My thoughts exactly. While Busy is very good, I think Krista Miller really makes the show. I can’t imagine Cougar Town without Ellie.

  11. completely agree with you! she was amazing this season (and the season before, and the season before)

  12. I’M rooting for Merritt Wever from Nurse Jackie and Maya Rudolph from Up All Night, they were so funny this season

  13. Celie says:

    Ummm what about Jayma Mays? She was submitted and completely underrated! One of the funniest characters on glee!

  14. Ashley says:

    So happy to see Eden Sher on the list. She’s a gem. I had to vote for Eliza Coupe and Casey Wilson, and I think Jane Krakowski should win for everything. Jenna is my idol!

  15. Rock Golf says:

    Comments I never thought in a million years I’d make, but I’m making: Nene Leakes, yes the Real Housewife, deserves a guest actress nom for Glee. Few scenes but she nailed them like a rivet gun.

  16. Steve says:

    I’d really love to see Heather Morris get a nod here. She’s a terrific actress, a great singer and a spectacular dancer, but she has a deadpan comedic delivery that almost rivals Bob Newhart. This young lady is my most reliable source for a bust-out-loud laugh whenever I watch a Glee episode.

    • Jones says:

      She’s a so-so actress, a less-than-average singer and a spectacular dancer and she is the most reliable source for a bust-out-loud laugh whenever I watch a Glee episode.

  17. JJ says:

    Modern family has again two best actresses Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara are both BRILLIANT actresses i hope that Vergara wins this year :)

  18. Phoebe says:

    What about Rashida Jones for Parks? She’s a beautiful tropical fish, who should never be overlooked!

  19. jay says:

    I dont care what anyone says about modern family getting too much love, its still the funniest show of tv and sofia vergara and julie bowen definately deserve nominations. id love too see jane k finally win but jenna took a backseat to liz/criss and jack/avery this season. really hoping that they recognize casey wilson for her great work on happy endings!

    • Diogo Silva says:

      No offense but Sofia Vergara’s character is only a stereotype of a Columbian woman who doesn’t understand the american habits and words. I don’t think she is that funny .

      • tripoli says:

        Agreed. The schtick is so beyond old at this point. I find both Vergara and Bowen the least funny from the cast. Would love to see any number of others getting a nomination, even from shows I’m not a huge fan of. Spread the love this time.

  20. ncmacasl says:

    anyone from… Chuck, DespHousewives, 2&1/2Men, Eureka, GCB, HIMYM,

  21. stefanjames says:

    Jane Krakowski deserves to win this year. This season of 30 Rock has been all about Jenna and I really hope Krakowski finally gets the credit she truly deserves.

    My other dream nominees are Aubrey Plaza, Cheryl Hines, Anna Chlumsky, Eliza Coupe and Kristen Wiig.

    I actually don’t think that Betty White will get nominated this year. The buzz she had in 2010 and most of 2011 has long passed.

    I can see Krakowski, Wiig, Vergara and Bowen getting nominated 100%. The other two spots are up for grabs and I really hope at least one of my dream nominees manages to… well, grab it. ;) I’d say Chlumsky and Hines have a pretty good shot at getting in.

    • stefanjames says:

      Oh and Kristin Chenoweth is always welcome, of course, as is Miriam Shor, but I think the academy will neglect the magnificently funny and, unfortunately, prematurely cancelled, GCB.

  22. JustMy2Cents says:

    No Rashida Jones? I think she’s great on Parks & Rec…
    Other than that I’m all for Vergara, Casey Wilson, any gal from Community, and Bowen too.

  23. Juan says:

    big What What for some Busy and Brie love

  24. nyla says:

    I would like to see Eliza Coupe, Casey Wilson, and Merritt Weaver get some Emmy-love via a nomination… and has Jane Krakowski won yet? If not, she’s due! She slays as Jenna.

  25. MikeyM says:

    If I see Sophia Vergara in one more commercial prancing around with that annoying accent, I am going to scream.

  26. Jerry says:

    Merritt Weaver (Nurse Jackie) and Eden Sher (Middle) are SO very deserving of noms… even wins! They are so committed and so brilliantly funny. I hope they get recognized. Krakowski should have won 2-3 years ago but is still hysterical. Sofia should have taken it last year – now, it seems one-note. Casey Wilson getting a nom would be fantastic too!

  27. Vivi says:

    What do you mean that ‘House of Lies’ didn’t live up to its’ early buzz? By ‘buzz’ do you mean ratings? Then, yes, I can understand that. But HoL is a very funny and entertaining show. All of the talented actors do a wonderful job with the storylines. I can not wait for it to be renewed for a 2nd season.

  28. EmilyDot says:

    I so hope Alison Bre gets some recognition she has been cracking me up this season. I do like Aubrey too terrific dead pan humor. I like Heather morris too but she didn’t do anything hysterical this season. Sofia was funny the first 2 seasons but I feel like she was really shrill this season and overly mean edging towards not being funny.

  29. Melissa says:

    Kristen Bell, Casey Wilson, Busy Phillips, Allison Brie, Cheryl Hines, and Aubrey Plaza were my 6!

  30. Nina says:

    Mayim Bialik definitely deserves a nomination. She should have gotten one last year and she didn’t. She came for a guest star role and ended up being a regular cast member, during the 4th season. That’s how good she is!
    Also, season 5 for her has been great! The Pulled Groin Extrapolation and the Isolation Permutation episodes were all about Amy, she carried those episodes on herself, and turned them into classics. And let’s not forget the Tiara scene. That scene alone is Emmy worthy.

  31. laa says:

    This is such a stacked category! I’m personally rooting for the Happy Endings gals.

  32. fet says:

    Jayma Mays? Thank glee for giving her better screen time on s3 than s2. And Cobie Smulders please?

  33. Sammy says:

    You missed out Elisha Cuthbert, “Happy Endings”!!!!!!!!!

  34. Magali says:

    Casey Wilson for the win!

  35. grace2552 says:

    I voted for Cheryl Hines on behalf of all of Suburgatory’s supporting ladies, though in a perfect world, the nod would go to her scene-stealing on-screen daughter Dalia, played to perfection by Carly Chaikin!

  36. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Gotta go with:
    1. Alison Brie (FTW)
    2. Gillian Jacobs
    3. Merritt Wever
    4. Aubrey Plaza
    5. Kristen Wiig
    6. Eden Sher
    But it’s really gonna be:
    1. Betty White
    2. Kristen Wiig
    3. Julie Bowen
    4. Sofia Vergara
    5. Cheryl Hines
    6. And I think Alison Brie could possibly grab the last spot. She has the best chance.
    Not sure who’s going to win this one. My first instinct says it goes to Julie Bowen again. Just please don’t let it be Sofia Vergara. She’ll get up there and spend her whole acceptance speech talking about how much she deserves it and how beautiful she is and will tell everyone to go out and buy her K-Mart line of clothes, as she does this all this stuff in every single public appearance she makes! She’s so full of herself, I can’t stand her.

  37. Thari says:

    Carly Chaikin was nothing short of brilliant on ‘Suburgatory’ this season. I absolutely love the cast of this show, but her Dalia was an absolute scene-stealer!

    • godzilla's_foil says:

      I second this enthusiastically! She won’t get a nomination, but we just can’t let her merits out of the spotlight.

  38. ceebee says:

    Sofia Vergara just reminds me of a poor man’s Charo….I’m hoping for at least 1 surprise nomination …and I really don’t want to see Betty White nominated again…it’s time for some new blood in this category…..

    • godzilla's_foil says:

      Vergara has always been TERRIBLE as an actress and more people would see that if they could understand what acting is. Not to mention the accent is incredibly irritatating. And she’s also the most beautiful woman in the world when shut up, posing for pictures and not trying to act.

  39. Paul8148 says:

    Kaley drop down to supporting this year for The big bang theory

  40. tvaddict says:

    There are so many great ladies on this list but I chose: Casey Wilson, Eliza Coupe, Sofia Vergara, Aubrey Plaza, Naya Rivera, and Busy Phillips. I know Vergara is the only one of them to likely get a nomination but I can dream. And am I the only one that thinks Coupe actually outshines Wilson on Happy Endings? I find Jane and Max to be the funniest characters on the show!

    • PennyCan! says:

      Agree with five of six, Rivera might be good, but personally I think the writing/storyline on glee didn’t do it for just about any character this season (except Lea Michele in the finale, but that’s it). I’d put Julie Bowen in the sixth spot. Modern Family is an undeniably hilarious show, and I don’t like when people hold it against it just because it has become so popular, real-life family comedy is something that should be celebrated. All the ladies from Happy Endings are the underdogs I’m rooting for to at least get a nomination. Happy Endings is to Comedy as Parenthood is to Drama, my two favs on tv right now.

  41. Thomas says:

    What about the girls on GIRLS?!?! I think if any of them deserve the nod it should definitely go to Zosia Mamet who cracks me up whenever she shows up on screen (which isn’t often enough… FIX IT LENA!)

  42. Line says:

    Kristen Wiig HAS to win!!!! <3

  43. Sean C. says:

    “Glee”‘s stock overall has fallen sufficiently that I doubt she’d have had much of a chance anyway, but it’s criminal how badly the show ruined Naya Rivera’s story this year; it was one of the best parts of Season 2, and they destroyed pretty much all of its potential. It’s good for her that it’s raised her profile enough to finally get included on lists like this, but if the writers had been even marginally competent she could have had a lot more buzz. Though I’m skeptical that even Jane Lynch can get nominated this year (she certainly doesn’t deserve to, given how utterly irrelevant Sue has become).

    • Diogo Silva says:

      I think that Rivera deserves more than Lynch.

      • Sean C. says:

        In terms of role on the show, certainly. Right about at the beginning of Season 2 Sue ceased to serve any real purpose on the show — most of Season 2’s best episodes don’t feature her at all. And I’m hard-pressed to think of anything notable the character has contributed this season. She just takes up space.

        Note, this is in no way meant to detract from Lynch herself, who is one of the show’s most talented performers. But the writers haven’t known what to do with her in two years.

  44. E B says:

    As much as I love Betty White, her Hot in Cleveland co-stars are the ones who deserve more credit. Unfortunately, they will always be over-shadowed by White.

  45. wingster55 says:

    Gillian provided laughs in nearly every episode. Britta for the win!

    Also no Rashida Jones or Dianna Agron? One suffers from being a straight (wo)man and the other from whiplash writing but both did great things with not so great writing.

    • noa says:

      Julie Bowen is the exception to that rule. that’s why i was so happy to see her win last year. not because it’s my favorite show or character (but i really like them both)- but because it was the straight woman who is still really funny even though some of the best writing goes to other characters. i’d love to see Rashida Jones get some emmy love. not sure about Dianna though, esp. in this category.

      Gillian winning would be the best. that character was perfected this season. would love to see a nomination for Aubrey Plaza, even though she deserved it more for seasons 2 & 3 than 4.

      but my #1 pick for the win is Maya Rudolph. which totally contradicts my “straight woman for the win” point above. still- she is hilarious and every single face she makes, every line she says, every reaction- all brilliant. and SO Maya. she made that show 100% better. LOVE HER.

  46. Lianne says:

    Dot-Marie Jones from Glee. She is amazing as Coach Beiste. The lady had the most expressive eyes!!! Shes gold.

  47. Ann says:

    No Cobie Smulders? She was great this year!

  48. Mike says:

    The notion that Catherine Tate was “either loved or hated” by Office fans may be technically true, but this site has always attempted to push Tate (good PR buys access!) despite the fact that the people in the “hate” column vastly, vastly outweighed those in the “love” column. As evidenced by the fact that she barely got more support in this poll than “other.”

  49. crazy4wiig says:

    There is no doubt that Kristen Wiig deserves the nomination and award this year. She has worked so hard for so long and had a legendary run on SNL. My vote goes to Wiig.

  50. Mari says:

    Kristen Bell!