Emmys 2014: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series -- Our 6 Dream Nominees!

It’s a common lament that there aren’t enough juicy roles for women on the big screen, but when it comes to television, the opposite seems true. At least that’s the conclusion we came to while narrowing down the field for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series to just six dream nominees.

More Emmy Races In Review | Comedy Series | Lead Actor in a Comedy | Lead Actress in a Comedy | Supporting Actor in a Comedy | Supporting Actress in a Comedy | Outstanding Drama | Lead Actor in a Drama

But narrow it down we did — even though the last cuts were the deepest (and most painful). Indeed, only two of the seven ladies who made the grade with Emmy in 2013 made TVLine’s 2014 wish list.

RELATED | The Good Wife Season 5 Finale: EPs Talk Alicia’s ‘Most Cynical Move Ever,’ ‘Uncomfortable’ Kalinda-Cary Sex and a ‘Younger,’ Riskier Diane

So, click through our gallery (via the blue button underneath the accompanying Orphan Black photo or THIS LINK) to see if your dream nominees match up with ours, and then hit the comments to tell us where we got it right, which ones we got wrong and what shows you think we snubbed egregiously.

And then check back Thursday as we reveal our dream picks for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

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. Ron says:

    My 6 dream nominees:
    – Robin Wright (House of Cards)
    – Connie Britton (Nashville)
    – Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
    – Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy)
    – Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
    – Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)

    The 6 I think will be nominated:
    – Robin Wright (House of Cards)
    – Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
    – Claire Danes (Homeland)
    – Kerry Washington (Scandal)
    – Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
    – Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)

    • Miranda says:

      I stand corrected but I believe Katey Sagal has entered the Supporting Actress category. The only actor who submits as Lead is Charlie Hunnam in the SOA cast.

      • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

        Katey Sagal should be in the Best Actress category she’s the LEAD female of the show…Maggie Siff is the Supporting Actress.

  2. Karen says:

    I would love for Elisabeth Moss to get a nomination AND win. She is such a stellar actress, and just kills it every time. Besides her Juliana Margulies and Lena Headey (presuming she is in the Lead Actress category and not the supporting one) should get nods as well :)

  3. MattArmando says:

    I would replace Kerry Washington with Lizzy Caplan, definitely. Also don’t see Farmiga landing another nod this year… Keri Russel may score a nomination, in place of longtime nominee Elisabeth Moss.

    Kerry Washington, SCANDAL
    Robin Wright, HOUSE OF CARDS
    Tatiana Maslany, ORPHAN BLACK
    Claire Danes, HOMELAND
    Elisabeth Moss, MAD MEN
    Julianna Margulies, THE GOOD WIFE

  4. jasonboegh says:

    While I love most of your nominees (Caplan, Maslaney, Marguiles), how on Earth did you ignore Robin Wright? She is utterly brilliant and the frontrunner to win this year!

  5. Brian says:

    Seriously, they simply CANNOT snub Tatiana Maslany this year… She really deserves that nomination (and the win, but sadly I don’t think she will get it…)

  6. PaulH says:

    You forgot Rachel Nichols. If she submits Second Opinion from Continuum, the race is over. Maslany is the most overrated actress on TV.

  7. Lovinlife says:

    I’m good with this list. Tatiana Maslany deserves the win for sure! Her work is amazing. She deserves all the alcollades she gets. No one is doing what she is doing. She’s get to be the hardest working actress right now and seems very grateful and humbled by the attention.

  8. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    There’s ONLY 2 actress I would like to win and that’s Katey Sagal from SOA and Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black. But to be honest Katey SHOULD WIN it would be a long time coming she has a Golden Golbe all she needs is an EMMY. Gemma is a Cold, Vicious and Ruthless character and Katey plays her VERY well.

  9. JJ says:

    Nobody and i repeat NOBODY can have this over Julianna Margulies! Also Tatiana Maslany MUST get a nomination. That’s all I ask.

  10. wrstlgirl says:

    I’m really over the love for Claire Danes. All she’s done is run around and act crazy. It was good the first season, now it’s just annoying :-)

    • Brian says:

      I concur. She (and the story) was phenomenal in season one. “Homeland” as a whole has gone down since season one…

    • Jane says:

      I quit watching the show in large part because she just over-acted so much. I just don’t get why the critics still say how great she is on the show.

    • abz says:

      I have nothing against her, but this season of Homeland was not even that great and I don’t think she should be included in the nomination list this year. Not saying that she had a bad performance, but there are several other actresses that are more deserving of being nominated based on this past TV season alone.

  11. Lynne says:

    Mariska Hargitay should truly be included in this list. She gave a harrowing, brilliant performance this season.

  12. Aimee says:

    I appreciate everyone’s optimism but I just don’t see Maslany getting a nomination. She certainly deserves one but the Emmy’s are notoriously bad at overlooking deserving talent and sticking with the usual, mainstream nominations. I hope I’m wrong but sadly I don’t think I will be.

    • If they don’t give her at least a nomination, then the emmy’s are a joke, and should be looked at as such. I don’t pay a ton of attention to them now, but I will boycott them for all time if they don’t at least nominate her. Her performances are masterful, and downright stunning considering most times, you have to remind yourself that you’re looking at one person playing all these women, and then when she plays one character, pretending to play another character, it is just STUNNING.

      • Christian says:

        I don’t know how anyone can take the Emmys seriously after they nominated Ellen Burstyn for a 15 second cameo on some mini-series years ago? That was utterly embarrassing and should’ve stripped them of all credibility!

      • 324B21 says:

        The Emmys will never nominate anyone from a Sci-Fi show. Face it, Meryl Streep could join Orphan Black next year and give the best performance of her life and Emmy voters would not notice.

        • jj says:

          sad but true

        • Kate Jones says:

          Gillian Anderson was nominated for The X-Files four times and won once, so Sci-Fi has been recognized by the Emmy’s in the past. I do agree that they often ignore amazing performances by actors in Sci-Fi shows, but it *has* happened and it can happen again. I may be too much of an optimist, but I really do expect Tatiana Maslany to have a nomination this year. Her performances have been far too compelling and nuanced to ignore.

      • Ari says:

        Maslany as Sarah as Allison as Donnie during the rehab role play has to be one of the highlights of clones being other clones during the second season of OB. Tatiana does such a stellar job that you can always tell she’s playing Sarah playing Allison (or Cosima or Beth).

  13. Steven says:

    My dream nominees
    -Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) *WINNER*
    -Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
    -Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex)
    -Kerry Washington (Scandal)
    -Emily Vancamp (Revenge)
    -Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)

    Actual Nominees
    -Robin Wright (House of Cards)
    -Claire Danes (Homeland)
    -Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
    -Kerry Washington (Scandal)
    -Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
    -Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)

  14. Courtney says:

    Dream Nominees:
    Robin Wright – House of Cards
    Tatiana Maslany – Orphan Black
    Keri Russell – The Americans
    Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
    Elisabeth Moss – Mad Men
    Lizzy Caplan – Masters of Sex

    I bet it will be something like this …

    Claire Danes – Homeland
    Robin Wright – House of Cards
    Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
    Kerry Washington – Scandal
    Elisabeth Moss – Mad Men
    Vera Farmiga – Bates Motel

    It’s a shame that they don’t really like to takes risks, but I have hope they’ll nominate Tatiana and Keri.

  15. Fran says:

    My dream noms would be:

    Kerry Washington, Scandal
    Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
    Keri Russell, The Americans
    Lizzy Caplan, Masters Of Sex
    Robin Wright, House Of Cards
    Connie Britton, Nashville

    With Tatiana winning!

  16. Claire says:

    My dream ballot:

    Tatiana Maslany
    Robin Wright
    Connie Britton
    Julianna Margulies
    Vera Farmiga
    Lizzy Caplan

  17. Matt says:

    As long as Kerry Washington is nominated and Claire Danes doesn’t win I’m good… Season 3 scandal best acting yet… Bellamy young was very good too should be considered for supporting actress

  18. Tran says:

    Kerry Washington (Scandal), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Robin Wright (House of Cards), Claire Danes (Homeland) and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black).

  19. kirads09 says:

    Certainly there are several excellent lead female performances.
    But for me I can only speak one name : Tatiana Maslany
    If she is snubbed again this year like Allison I may cut someone.
    (that’s just a joke)

  20. Zoe says:

    Why in the hell is Mariska Hargitay not on this list? Rude.

  21. jss0058 says:

    Yeah the exclusion of Robin Wright here is puzzling. I don’t think any list would be complete without her on it. Ironically I didn’t think she deserved a nominatoin for season 1, but man she definately earned it in season 2. I wouldn’t/won’t give her the win, as I think there are a few others more worthy of that, but she should make the list.
    I think one problem Maslany is going to run into this year, is that while she is brilliant in her role(s) and has picked up more buzz I think people who are tuning in to check her/the show out in season 2 (at least thus far) might be a little underwhelmed. Season 2 hasn’t been near as strong as season 1, so if people are checking it/her out for the first time I’m wondering if they will be as impressed. Especially since there are less “multiple clones in one scene” stuff this year. Also generally speaking, the Emmys have a bias against Sci-Fi shows and its actors.

    My dream six:
    Tatiana Maslany
    Robin Wright
    Keri Russell
    Claire Danes
    Lizzy Caplan
    Kerry Washington

  22. dreamlife613 says:

    Tatiana Maslany should be nominated and win. She’s so talented and blows away all the other actresses mentioned.

    Elisabeth Moss is the actress from Mad Men who should be submitting, not Jessica Pare

    Would love to see Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, or Lena Headey submit as either Actress of Supporting Actress

  23. Joe says:

    Can Tatiana Masalny just be nominated 6 times for each character she plays?

    • Aprilcot says:

      That’s what I was going to suggest! :)
      Tatiana Maslany as Sarah
      Tatiana Maslany as Allison
      Tatiana Maslany as Helena
      Tatiana Maslany as Cosima
      Tatiana Maslany as Rachel

  24. abz says:

    This is honestly the most difficult category for me. There are so many excellent choices to choose from.
    My 6 dream nominees:
    – Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) –> TGW was perfection this season.
    – Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel) –> Seriously anyone who has not seen BM needs to tune in just for her.
    – Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) –> No explanation needed.
    – Robin Wright (House Of Cards)
    – Sandra Oh (I know Grey’s hasn’t been Emmy worthy in a while, but Sandra Oh was always fantastic with her acting and her impact on the show)
    – Katey Sagal (I know she won’t get a nod and honestly because of my hatred for Gemma I kind of didn’t want her to be nominated, but it’s undeniable that she is amazing in the role and with her ability to make me absolutely HATE a fictional character. Hope Maggie Siff gets a nod for Best Supporting Actress because she definitely deserved it after this season of SOA)

    • cme says:

      Sandra would probably submit in the Supporting category as she always had. It’ll be a shame if she at least dont get nominated

      • abz says:

        Yeah I guess your probably right. I guess I was thinking of her for lead because this season of Grey’s was pretty much HER season. I don’t think she will end up get a nomination but we can dream.

  25. cme says:

    I just want to see Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Connie Briton (Nashville) get nominated. And maybe give The CW some love with Nina Dobrev. She’s great as Elena.

    • Palomiix says:

      I agree, Ninna Dobrev should have a nomination, not just only for Elena, I mean, she has played Katherine, Amara and doing the same thing as Tatiana Maslany! But nobody talks about her because she is on a CW show. Such a shame! Hope someday she’ll get the recognition she deserves.

    • Wild child says:

      Connie Britton? Seriously? She does a respectable job on Nashville but absolutely nothing even close to Emmy worthy. Including in the same sentence as Tatiana Maslany is an insult.

  26. Dee says:

    How about Stana? She did a great job in the “Disciple”, “In the Belly of the Beast”, and “Veritas” episodes of Castle. It’s long overdue for her, even for a nomination.

  27. Bonesfan47 says:

    You forgot Emily Deschanel she is so amazing and so underrated Bones is such an amazing show and she is always phenomenal on it!!!! I really wish more people would watch and see how amazing she really truly is after all there is a reason why it’s going into it’s 10th season because of how great she and the rest of the cast and the crew are!!!! They all need so much more recognition than what they get

    • Lauren says:

      I hate it when people say they “forgot.” This is a list of TVline opinions, nothing was “forgotten” this is just who THEY chose.

    • abz says:

      She wasn’t really forgotten. It’s just that Bones is a show that doesn’t really even come near the same level as the many other shows on this article.

  28. Britta Unfiltered says:

    “Thanks be to Ulysses.” I see what you did there. You guys are naughty. :) I like that.
    I hope beyond hope Lizzy Caplan wins this. I would also like to see Claire Danes get nominated, because she had some nice episodes in the start of season three of Homeland, Katey Sagal for Sons of Anarchy (that murder scene was just rough), Elisabeth Moss for Mad Men, Julianna Margulies, and Robin Wright for House of Cards.
    I think this might be the closest race where I get my way, because I think most of those women will actually be nominated. Just substitute Katey Sagal for Kerry Washington.

  29. Bill says:

    Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Eva Green (Penny Dreadful) should be nominated. Acting at its finest….

  30. Ally Oop says:

    I haven’t watched Bates Motel, Masters of Sex or House of Cards so I can’t comment on the lead actresses from those shows nor have I seen the latest seasons of Homeland and Sons of Anarchy although I did see one specific episode of Sons of Anarchy this year.Therefore, my nominees from those actresses I’ve actually seen in their shows are: Tatiana Maslany and Katey Segal,

  31. Sammy says:

    I’m surprised nobodys mentioned Alison Tolman from Fargo, or Eva Green from Penny Dreadful…although maybe Eva is premature.

    • Miranda says:

      Fargo is entered in the Miniseries categories so Alison Tolman won’t be eligible here.

    • Vanessa says:

      According to EvaGreenWeb which is her unofficial website and who has close ties to Showtime, Eva Green is not eligible for an Emmy this year because the show didn’t make the submission cut BUT she is eligible for a Golden Globe and an Emmy next year. I say it’ll be a neck and neck Golden Globe battle between Eva Green and Tatiana Maslany.

  32. Mel says:

    If Tatiana Maslany does not get an Emmy this year, then the Academy members are worthless. No other leading actress on TV can top her performances.

  33. Miranda says:

    My Dream 6 nominees:

    – Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) — TO WIN
    – Keri Russell (The Americans)
    – Kerry Washington (Scandal)
    – Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
    – Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
    – Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex)

  34. Aprilcot says:

    This category should belong to Tatiana Maslany. My picks would be:
    – Tatiana Maslany for the well-deserved win (Orphan Black)
    – Robin Wright (House of Cards)
    – Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
    – Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
    – Connie Britton (Nashville)

    • Miranda says:

      Lena Headey, and every other regular performer on GoT incl. Peter Dinklage, submits in the Supporting categories so isn’t eligible for this category.

  35. Ari says:

    The Emmys just can’t even pretend to be a legit recognition of quality work if they snub Maslany. There is just no way. She is so talented and brings each of those characters to life in such unique ways.

  36. Vanessa says:

    My list:

    Tatiana Maslany
    Robin Wright
    Keri Russel
    Vera Farmiga
    Julianna Margulies
    Lizzy Caplan
    Eva Green* (but she is not eligible this year, unfortunately)

    This should be Maslany’s year. Showtime will surely go for Green over Danes now and I have no problem with that. she’s far more deserving and consistent. This year’s Golden Globe (Green is eligible) and next year’s Emmys would basically just be Maslany vs. Green. Top notch acting every single episode.

  37. Carmen says:

    I like everyone on the list, it’d be the list I would make as well.
    JULIANNA for the win. After 5 years, and especially this season, she keeps surprising me with the depth of her performing and the character layers she keeps revealing. This season was such a roller coaster for Alicia and she kept it so real, she had me holding my breath and at the edge of my seat most times. And what makes it even more amazing is that she does that 22 times a season, not 10 to 12 like the rest that have a bit more the luxury of time.

  38. Jerry says:

    I do wonder if the rave reviews might have hurt Tatiana Maslany’s chances, it’s no secret that very few people (even for cable shows) have watched Orphan Black, so while most people who watched it are blown away by the acting, new voters or viewers only probably heard of the show due to rave reviews, before checking out.

    I do think that the possibility of getting blown away with Maslany’s performance might have been significantly lowered in a scenario where everyone is heaping huge praises such as her being the greatest actress ever before someone even watched, compared to a scenario where you watch her performance without any expectations. It’s quite similar to a movie where most of your friends love and recommend, but because of that astronomically high expectations, you felt underwhelmed when you finally watched, when in fact you will probably love the movie if you didn’t have any expectations or hype.

  39. Monica Potter was brilliant this year on Parenthood. Heck, all of the ensemble cast were spot on this year, but Monica was even named performance of the week by your site twice. Hoping, but not holding my breath, that the actual nominees will include at least someone from Parenthood.

  40. Haley1020 says:

    What about Emily vancamp!?

  41. Quantity is no measure of quality. And that’s what exposes Tatiana Maslany’s roles as so much of a gimmick, so much Emmy bait the Academy would be wise to ignore. It is on the level of Mariska Hargitay/Jane Kaczmarek bait. Don’t reward it, Emmys. There is an alternate candidate which has gotten 1/10000000th the attention but has been spectacular and career-defining almost every week of season 2 of Continuum. Rachel Nichols.