Emmys 2012: Who Should Win Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series? Take Our Poll!

emmys 2012 supporting actress dramaThere hasn’t been a back-to-back winner of the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series since Blythe Danner took home the statuette for Huff in 2005 and 2006, and that streak won’t be broken this year.

Indeed, 2011 winner Margo Martindale of Justified only appeared on one season of FX’s acclaimed drama, making consecutive wins an impossibility. Nevertheless, there are several women in the Supporting Actress race who aren’t exactly new kids on the Emmy block.

The Good Wife‘s 
Archie Panjabi, for instance, took home the prize for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series two years ago, while her costar Christine Baranski (a 10-time nominee) was an Emmy winner back in 1995 (as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Cybill). And then there’s six-time nominee Maggie Smith of Downton Abbey, who’s looking for a hat trick to go along with her wins in 2003 (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for My House in Umbria) and 2011 (as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, also for Downton).

Yep, you read that correctly. Smith has a shot at a peculiar two-peat for her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham. Downton Abbey competed as a Miniseries or Movie in 2011, but moved to the Drama Series race for this year.

Of the other three nominees this year, only Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks is a prior nominee (in 2010 and 2011), while Breaking Bad‘s Anna Gunn and Downton Abbey‘s 
Joanne Froggatt are celebrating their first nods.

What would you do if you had the power to send one of these fine actresses to the podium when the Emmys are handed out in September? Take our poll below to vote for your favorite — TVLine voting closes Sept. 14, 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 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. KND says:

    Of all the races this has got to be the hardest. They are all phenomenal.

    • Jane says:

      For sure. This is definitely the toughest.

    • Jared says:

      Toughest category?! R u people crazy?!

      That would be Comedy Lead Actress by far!

      • ben says:

        Nope, I think this is it. There is only one person I want to see win comedy lead actress, that one is easy for me. This one I could be happy with several of them, although I am backing Dame Maggie for the win.

    • Alexis says:

      The Supporting Actor race as well is extremely tight.
      I voted for Anna Gunn, mostly coz I think her character has got a really bad rap for some reason. But honestly I bow down to Christine Baranski and Christina Hendricks who absolutely command your attention when they’re onscreen.

  2. RIZ says:

    Hardest category yet. They are all EXCELLENT.

  3. Reward says:

    Maggie Smith. Also they’re all excellent … MS is a GOD in this world. She deserves this emmy. Go MS, I’m with u.

  4. anniewaslike says:

    The Countess Dowager is the best character on TV right now.

  5. johnny says:

    Tough Choice, but Christina Hendricks is overdue for a win.

  6. ingmarhappy says:

    This is the hardest one for me aswell. I watched some episodes of Mad Men, but am not a fan of it. Therefor I haven’t really seen the work of Christina Hendricks. But I am sure she is good. Huge fan of Downton Abbey and The Good Wife so I would be happy if Baranski / Panjabi / Smith / Froggatt would win. My #1 pick would be Archie Panjabi ; she’s so amazing. BUT I am sure the price will go to either Anna Gunn ( since she’s finally nominated and has a lot of buzz ) or Maggie Smith.

  7. Tt says:

    For me it has to go to Archie. She killed it this season and she’ll kill it again next year with we husband being back.

    • Olive says:

      Archie was great this season; however, her material this season was weaker than season two, so I’d say she’s not going to win, but considering what’s coming next season, I expect her to be a stronger contender next year a long with Anna Gunn who has just been phenomenual this season.

      • C says:

        Agreed :) Archie does some of the best eye acting ever, but she didn’t win it last season for an absolutely phenomenal performance. With equally compelling competition this year and a less fluid story arc, I’m not holding out a ton of hope for her. I have a feeling Kalinda will own S4 though, so fingers crossed for next year.

  8. cjeffery7 says:

    i WANT joanne froggatt, but i’m not that naive. christina hendricks should take it. i don’t watch mad men but i heard aaalllllll about it.

  9. Kat says:


  10. Sam says:

    Gotta be Anna Gunn. I know it wasn’t the episode she submitted, but her performance in the last three minutes of Crawl Space deserves its own Emmy.

    • Rock Golf says:

      Not this year for Anna Gunn, although the nomination is deserved.
      But her work this season is just awe-inspiring, and I’ll bet she takes it next year.

      • Olive says:

        Agreed! The work she’s doing this season is amazing and stronger than last season even though her work then was good too.

    • Michael says:

      She was magnificent last season. I’d love to see an upset in this category.

  11. Lauren says:

    Anna Gunn for me. She is absolutely flawless as Skyler.

  12. Karen says:

    Undoubtedly one of the hardest and best categories, though I don’t watch Downtown Abbey, so I can’t say whether or not they should be in there. But the other four we’re on my emmy-nom wish list. I voted for Anna Gunn – she is just blowing me away right now. But I almost chose Christina Hendricks instead.
    And nothing against Downtown Abbey, but I really hope one of the four other get it

    • C says:

      I would have said the same thing until I started Downton last week. It took me about four days to watch all sixteen episodes and it can be said their noms are all well deserved. I’m totally hooked.

      That being said, this category just got a whole lot harder for me…so maybe ignorance is bliss?

  13. Deena says:

    I know all these ladies are wonderful but Christine Baranski is just all sorts of awesome. She is just so natural you forget sometimes that she is acting & is not the character she’s portraying.

  14. Tywin says:

    Lena Heady from Game of Thrones

  15. Lucy says:

    Christine Baranski. She’s classy and natural and doesn’t need show-off storylines to shine.

  16. Anna Gunn is the best part of Breaking Bad since season 3… So with both hands I vote for her…

  17. propecia says:

    i am hopelessly in love with joanne froggatt so i cannot be objective. i hope she wins. otherwise it’s joan holloway vs the dowager frakking countess.

  18. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Christina! She is long overdue and had a great season of Mad Men this year and submitted a great episode. She might really win too, unless Maggie Smith takes it, which I will cry if that happens, because Downton Abbey last season was a horrible melodramatic soap opera. It’s very undeserving of any awards. But yet, people still seem to love it anyway.

  19. nick1372 says:

    I’ve never seen any of these, but Maggie Smith is FREAKIN’ AWESOME!! So there.

  20. Cindy says:

    They are all wonderful, but Archie Panjabi conveys more with one look than most actors do with pages of dialogue. Watching her badass demeanor crack this past season, especially in the last few episodes, made for some very compelling television. For that reason she gets my vote.

  21. C says:

    This is definitely one of the toughest races to be had. Every single one of them has done outstanding work across multiple seasons. I don’t watch Mad Men, but I remember Christina Hendricks from her two episode stint on Firefly way back when and have no doubt she would deserve a win. She does some great things on screen. Archie is hands down one of my favorites on the list, but her character didn’t have the arc it’s had in the past so I’m holding out hope for a win for her next year. Christine Baranski rocked it this year on TGW (in many of the same understated ways that Maggie Smith did on Downton), but I think I’m going to give my vote to Jo Fro (mainly because she deserves Emmy love and is the least likely to get it). She had an incredible journey on Downton and as much as I love Maggie Smith’s delivery of acerbic wit they didn’t necessarily highlight the range that she is of course capable of (as they did with Jo Fro).

  22. JASon says:

    Christina Hendriks because I like to see her cleavage go up on stage when she wins

  23. Petra says:


  24. sam says:

    Anna gunn submitted Cornered and I think she has a good chance of winning — she is so amazing — funny because I hated her character in season 1. Just love love love Anna gunn.

  25. Sareeta says:

    The only two I watched were Mad Men and Breaking Bad. I can’t really recall any memorable Joan scenes, but I can recall plenty of amazing Skyler scenes, which says something considering how long ago Breaking Bad aired compared to Mad Men. Anna Gunn all the way!

    • Hannah says:

      Can’t recall any memorable Joan scenes! Did you watch this season with your eyes closed? The episode she submitted, The Other Woman, was absolutely packed with big moments and tremendous acting.

  26. Soso says:

    I’m going with Christina Hendricks who delivered a great performance this season !!!

  27. kierahillmin says:

    This and the supporting actor category are the toughest. All of them are very deserving. Maggie Smith is always awesome, but I am sort of pulling for Anna Gunn. She had a very strong performance last season and this season is just… wow.

  28. aayaan says:

    okay this is hands down Christina Hendricks win. Did you guys see her submitted episode ‘The Other Women’? She was absolutely phenomenal in it. she stole that episode from everyone else in it. The scene where she actually whores herself to secure the contract was one of the most poweful and sad scenes I have ever seen. Its hers to loose