Emmys 2013: The Lead Drama Actress Race in Review, Including Our 6 Dream Nominees

Emmy Best Actress Drama NomineesIf ever a category was primed for a shake-up, it was this one. There are so many potential first-time nominees — from Scandal’s Kerry Washington to House of Cards’ Kelly Capwell… er, Robin Wright — that the question is less who will win than who will manage to win a nod.

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

Review the following slideshow of the major contenders* — including TVLine’s Dream Nominees — then hit the comments to vote for who you think are the six best. And check back Thursday as we tackle the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama race!

*Before you ask, Anna Torv of Fringe did not submit herself for Emmy consideration.

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. Jamie says:

    I’m so worried for Tatiana since the Emmys just seem unable to acknowledge Sci-Fi/genre shows. Honestly, she does deserve a nod and she deserves to at least be in contention for the win (even if I do think that Claire Danes would make a fine and worthy winner). But I worried she might get snubbed on both accounts :( . I dare you to proof me wrong Emmy voters ;)

  2. Lori says:

    Ellen Pompeo

  3. juan says:

    I really hope Kerry Washington and Connie Britton get nominated, from the ones that are realistically in contention. For some dream nominations I would love Ellen Pompeo to finally get one for this season where she was great and Emily VanCamp too.

  4. HAP says:

    Emmy Rossum was amazing in every scene on Shameless this year. She really deserves recognition.

  5. Rachel says:

    tatiana maslany could really shake things up and after her cca win I think she has a real chance!

  6. Jenny says:

    Curious as to why Anna Torv did not submit herself- it was the last chance (small chance, admittedly) for recognition as one of the best heroines I’ve ever seen.

  7. Mark says:

    This should be an easy win for Tatiana Maslany, and she deserves it. Watch “Orphan Black”.

  8. Britta Unfiltered says:

    People need to go to the Emmy website to see what performers submitted and what categories they submitted in before getting indignant over TVLine omitting their favorite performers. Hayden Panitierre, Jessica Capshaw, Lauren Graham, Jennifer Carpenter, Monica Potter, pretty much all the people in Game of Thrones, and pretty much all the actresses on Grey’s Anatomy who aren’t Ellen Pompeo are all in supporting.
    My dream nominees would have to be Khandi Alexander for Treme, Claire Danes, Robin Wright, Katey Sagal, Elisabeth Moss, and Emmy Rossum. Claire Danes FTW, I guess, but I would really love to see Emmy Rossum up there too. I also would not frown if Elisabeth Moss could finally get it.
    I think the real list of nominees will end up being Claire Danes, Elisabeth Moss, Julianna Margulies, Michelle Dockery, Glenn Close, and….Connie Britton? That 6th spot that Kathy Bates had last year is a hard one to decide on. I don’t watch Nashville but I think Connie is an Emmy favorite, so she could get nominated. I’m tempted to say Robin Wright will get it instead, but as I said before, I’m not convinced the Emmys will take House of Cards seriously, and Robin missed out on getting a Critics Choice Award nomination, didn’t she? Keri Russell might be hurt by the fact that her show is on FX and is a freshman drama. The Emmys don’t seem to like FX show actors, with the exception of Louie and Justified villains.

    • Tinemi says:

      Thanks for the info in your first paragraph! I thought it was a list they did on their own account, didn’t knew it included all of the actresses that submitted their names to the Emmy. I’ll go and check ;)

    • Jamie says:

      Respectfully Disagree. I think Keri Russell is a no brainer. The Americans got massive press/acclaim/buzz in the media so I fully expect her to get nominated, and she’s the only person I could realistically see snatching the Emmy away from Claire Danes

    • It's Monica, now or never says:

      Thanks for the good info – I did just check the Emmy web site – I notice Elisabeth Moss has indeed nominated herself for the best actress/drama, rather than supporting actress, same for Monica Potter. I need to learn more about how this process works – do the actresses select what category they would like to be included in? Does anyone try to ‘talk them out of it?’ I saw some names on that long list that had me laughing – I didn’t know Carrie Diaries was a comedy.

      Anyway, I think Em and MP would far better in the supporting drama category, but that’s certainly their call, not mine. I wish them both the best of luck – they are deserving, but the competition in that category is incredibly tough.

  9. cjeffery7 says:

    how much self control did it take not to mention tatiana maslany in the pre-slidedhow blurb? LOL.

  10. cjeffery7 says:

    if tatiana maslany doesn’t get a nomination i am going to need a cone of silence. my tantrum will be more terrible than any 7 year old before me.

  11. MrMank says:

    1) Tatiana Maslany – whether it happens or not, she is unequivocally the most deserving by FAR!!
    2) Claire Danes or Keri Russell
    4) Vera Farmiga
    5) Julianna Margulies
    6) Katey Sagal

  12. Julie says:

    Guess Anna realized it wasn’t worth it. Not after season 5, in particular. Can you blame her? I sure don’t. Not after the way J.H Wyman treated Olivia Dunham. He metaphorically and literally used her a piece of furniture.

    At this point I hope Tatiana gets something. Though we’re always talking about Emmys.

    • Missmurray says:

      and yet you were just fine when jasika and Blair were treated like “furniture?”

      You Anna torv fans are soooo pathetic. You bash joshua Jackson, Titana Manslay, EVERYONE just because the world doesn’t act like Anna is the queen of the universe.

      Grow up.

    • Joanne says:

      How was she treated? She was given a storyline that lasted all the way through the season and she had major episodes, devoted to her character. I don’t get this, poor Anna T stuff. If she wasn’t even in the fifth season or she got killed off early in the season, then fair enough, but she wasn’t a piece of furniture, she was a mother grieving for her daughter. Her journey was portrayed all the way through the season. They were given a short season to finish the series off and that is what they did and that included Olivia’s final journey.

      • Bete says:

        to critique say that character olivia wasn’t treated well in S5 , same Anna didn’t submit herself to emmy this year, cuz she was not satisfied with the way her character was handled in season 5.just because you enjoyed the season that does not mean that the season was good mainly for Olivia/Anna

  13. Tinemi says:

    My list would include Kerry Washington, Keri Russell, Juliana Margulis, Vera Farmiga and Maisie Williams (why is none of the women from GoT in this list??)

  14. Para says:

    Emmy Rossum all the way!!!

  15. This year, more than anyone, it is Monica for supporting actress says:

    Good info here – lots of great roles for actresses on television [broadcast, and cable especially] right now – that’s great to see. I just read the comments – all good. I learned something – I have not watched Orphan Black, so until today (and the Critics Award Show) I honestly didn’t know who Tatiana Maslany was/is. I’ll remedy that and will check her out in OB.

    I agree with prior comments about many of the actresses mentioned being ‘supporting’ players; and hence, some names we are considered in this blog will be picked up in another blog regarding supporting actresses. One name keeps coming up that I’ve noted no one is mentioned as supporting [only as lead] – Elizabeth Moss on Mad Men. I see her in supporting role – in a way, probably everyone on that show is supporting the one lead – Jon Hamm at this point; now more than ever since the cast and storylines are getting bigger and more spead out. However, Moss would definitely be on my list for supporting actress, and perhaps Christina H as well if room allows.

    However, this year, as much as I admire Elizabeth Moss, CH, and other actresses in the various cable series, this year is the year for Monica Potter/Parenthood. This is probably her best shot at a nomination for a supporting actress/drama, and I’m hoping NBC really pushes hard to help get her name on that short list. She’s earned it.

    • Jamie says:

      You really should check out Orphan Black. It’s a fantastically well done show, that manages to find the correct balance between entertainment, strong writing, and excellent acting IMO

  16. TL says:

    Clearly, there are MANY options, which means it’s a great time to be an actress in a TV series. Take note movie actresses…you want to know where the good stuff is? Head to the small screen and kick butt.

  17. K says:

    I will always look for th underrated and underappreciated Katey Sagal. I will love to see Maslany win, too!

  18. CJ says:

    For me, it comes down to Keri Russell and Tatiana Maslany. Both are so incredible it defies words.

  19. Kelly says:

    Jennifer Morrison
    Keri Russell

  20. Melissa says:

    Anna Torv should have been recognized in S2 and 3. She wasnt because Fringe was a low rated sci fi show.
    Instead people like Monica Potter will get nominated for the Emmt bait cancer story

    • Missmurray says:

      So you’re blaming monica potter for the crappy ratings of Anna torv’s crappy show?

    • It's Monica, now or never says:

      It’s not just Monica Potter’s work as ‘cancer victim’…. she’s been doing good work all along, but no one noticed or seemed to care. Yes, the ‘cancer victim’ role will get her some notice now, and indeed, this is probably her one shot because of that. But that’s no fault of her’s – she has quietly been doing very good work on that show, and Parenthood is on the rise. The timing for Parenthood and MP could not be better. This is their one shot. Few shows get better with age – Parenthood may be one of those.

    • mallie says:

      No, she shouldn’t. Torv did an acceptable job occasionally, but nothing deserving of awards. Fringe was a low-rated show in the last two seasons and a half, but before they were high enough and got lots of media attention.

    • Frank says:

      @Melissa I so agree with you about Anna Torv, especially about S3.

  21. Sara says:

    Kind of sad Troian Bellisario isn’t listed as a dream nominee! I know it would never happen because she’s on an ABC Family show but she was pretty darn outstanding in Season 3, even capturing TV Line’s performer of the week at one point.

  22. Patrick Maloney says:

    Claire Danes
    Vera Farmiga
    Lucy Liu
    Tatiana Maslany
    Elisabeth Moss
    Keri Russell

  23. Tracey says:

    Kerry Washington for the win!!!!

  24. T says:

    I adore Emmy Rossum. She without-a-doubt, killed it this season.

  25. Sarah says:

    Claire Danes incredibly ACCURATE portrayal of a bipolar patient makes her no contest in my book. After watching it be butchered by Sally Field in ER, to finally see someone get it right week after week is so amazing!

  26. Me says:

    Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany.

  27. mia says:

    Tatiana deserves to win every award.

  28. Alichat says:

    Wait….what??? Why didn’t Anna Torv submit herself for consideration???

  29. Spencer says:

    I’ve never seen Shameless, but I love Emmy Rossum.

    I just thought that should be said.

  30. Mandy says:

    Keri Russell
    Tatiana Maslany
    Kerry Washington
    Robin Wright
    Emmy Rossum
    Claire Danes

  31. Emily says:

    Julianna margulies
    Claire Danes
    Ellen pompeo
    Elizabeth moss
    Lucy Lui
    Kerry Washington

  32. Sparky says:

    As long as Tatiana gets a nom I’d be happy!!!!

  33. Debbie says:

    Katey Segal “sons of anarchy”

  34. Singing_gal says:

    Robin Wright will always be buttercup to me…

  35. EWJ says:

    My “vote” goes to either Emmy Rossum or Katey Segal both did an awesome job this year…

  36. Jacob says:

    Who gets to vote on this? Tat Maslany, Lucy Lui, or Keri Russell would be my picks. Polotics will pick the winner.

  37. kirads09 says:

    My top 3 (because I can’t narrow down further – heart won’t let me)
    #1 Tatiana
    #2 Vera F
    #3 Lucy L

  38. Emilia says:

    Katey Sagal
    Claire Danes
    Robin Wright
    Emmy Rossum
    Julianna Margulies

  39. Mikael says:

    Claire Danes & Keri Russell are my favorites.

  40. lisa says:


  41. Brenda says:

    Tatiana Maslany without a doubt

  42. Donna says:

    1.Katy Sagal
    2.Claire Danes
    3.Lucy Lui
    4.Julianna Margulies

  43. Maria says:

    My top 6 include:
    1. Tatiana Maslany for her role as Sarah
    2. Tatiana Maslany for her role as Allison
    3. Tatiana Maslany for her role as Cosima
    4. Tatiana Maslany for her role as Helena
    5. Tatiana Maslany for her roles as Sarah pretending to be Allison & Allison pretending to be Sarah
    6. Claire Danes

    • Rachel says:

      yes i agree with this

      • Maria says:

        So glad! I don’t think the Emmy’s will do her justice by giving her the award, but she at least deserves the nomination. If Kerry Washington (who is over-hyped her acting is good but not THAT good) gets a nomination over Tatiana the #cloneclub will start a revolution!

  44. lll says:

    Julianna Margulies
    Emily Van Camp
    Madeline Stowe
    Kerry Washington
    Lana Parilla
    Jennifer Morrison
    Ginnifer Goodwin

  45. Crystal Hales says:

    Keri Russell….definitely a fabulous-“sleeper”-of-a-performance….love the entire cast of The Americans!

  46. Tatiana Maslany; gimmick, flavor of the month, shameless Emmy bait, the worst example of it in 20 years.

  47. Jim says:

    Tatiana Maslany with Kerri Russell a close second.

  48. Eugenia says:

    Julianna Margulies, hands down.

  49. Maureen says:

    Network TV Actors and Actresses are always overlooked because the slots go to cable series with far bigger budgets and publicity machines. The Emmy Awards should go back to separate categories for Network & Cable Series, Actors, Actresses and individual craft nominations. That said, Stana Katic is long overdue for an Emmy Nomination -and award -for her excellent work on Castle.

  50. jsfithaca says:

    wow this is an insane category this year. probably not as stacked as last year’s males supporting actor drama but this definetely pretty intense. I predict:

    Claire Danes
    Tatiana Masley
    Keri Russell
    Robin Wright
    Julianna Marguiles
    Elisabeth Moss

    However Id say Michelle Dockery and Vera Farmiga have pretty solid chances at taking down elisabeth moss. and to all you people going on about kerry washington, she’s a fine actress but it’s a joke to think she can compete with what’s happening on cable these days.