Dream Emmy -- Drama Series Actress

Emmys 2017: Lead Actress in a Drama Series — Our 6 Dream Nominees!

Smell that? It’s the scent of fresh blood, and it’s coursing through our latest Dream Emmy category.

Three of the six women on our Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series short list are Dream Emmy rookies, and a fourth one is making her triumphant return after a years-long absence (and for a completely different role). 

Of course, the question remains whether any of the newbies will sneak into the actual Emmy race when nominations are announced next month. At least one obstacle has been removed from their path: 2016’s victor, Tatiana Maslany, is ineligible this year in light of Orphan Black‘s delayed return.

For the record, 2017 Emmy nominations will be voted on from June 12-26, and unveiled on July 13. The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, hosted by Stephen Colbert, is slated to air Sunday, Sept. 17 on CBS.

Check out the gallery to the right — or click here for direct access — to see our fresh-blood ideas, then tell us if our picks warrant a “Woot!,” a “Whaaaat?” or a crisp slap of rebuke!

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. ABG says:

    Claire Foy
    Viola Davis
    Evan Rachel Wood
    Keri Russell
    Mandy Moore / Elizabeth Moss

  2. Thank God we won’t have the Gimmicked One, Maslany in the mix. That was a miscarriage of justice last year.

  3. E says:

    No Vera Famiga?

    • Ann says:

      Eh. I think she did a great job playing a stuffed dead person, but it’s not Emmy worthy. She should have been nominated last year instead.

    • Brian says:

      She submitted in supporting this year. Probably a smart move since that category is way open this year. Last year Maggie Smith won. She can’t be nominated because Downton Abbey is over. 3 Game of Thrones actresses were nominated which can’t happen either since that show didn’t air this season.

  4. BRGG143 says:

    Are you kidding? Mandy Moore in a terrible actress and that show is so, so overrated. It’s offensive to put her in that group with the rest of those talented ladies.

    • darkangel200 says:


    • Karen says:

      so so agree………..what an overrated boo hoo show…………..try watching something that actually has good writing, acting and a great story…………she can’t shine these other women’s shoes when it comes to acting………and what about Carrie Coon in FARGO?

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        FARGO competes in the Limited Series or Movie category. –Mgmt.

        • arlene says:

          Which seaon of Fargo? Didn’t Kirsten Dunst already have her shot? If not, yes, by all means, add her too. Why just six? And won’t she be a mini-series star again, not just drama? A confusion of categories.

    • Elaine says:

      That’s only your opinion and you are in the minority

    • Cas says:

      Opinions are like a holes. Everyone has one. I love MM. I think she was better than I expected as well.

    • Jamie says:

      Lmao I love when people try to pass their personal opinion off as fact. Just because you didn’t like a show or a performance doesn’t make it overrated. Quite a few of us thought it was a breath of fresh air for network TV – something that was well written, well directed, and well acted, for a change.

    • Krista says:

      I agree! There are better actresses not even on this list that are more worthy of an Emmy than her. She’s a sub-par actress in a horribly overrated show.

    • Lex says:

      I am constantly surprised when people talk about This Is Us as if it’s among the top dramas out there. Someone described it as a “critical darling,” but it didn’t get a very high meta critic score, so what critics are they talking about? Maybe I’m just a snob; I think you have to be Viola Effing Davis to get a nom for a network show these days.

  5. Midnight says:

    tvline has it backwards:

    The Americans should not be nominated for best drama for a lackluster season.
    Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys should be nominated for their incredible performances.

  6. darkangel200 says:

    Yay for Carrie Coon, but where is Keri Russell?? And is it some new rule that TV LIne now has to include This Is Us on every single post?

  7. Guy says:

    List is irrelevant without Keri Russell, who should not only be nominated but should win.

  8. Jane says:

    Agree with everyone except Mandy Moore. I think she is just an ok in this role. Not bad, just not outstanding. Not sure who I would put in her place. Except for Carrie Coon & Claire Foy I haven’t been that impressed by any actresses this year. I haven’t seen the Handmaid’s Tale yet but Elizabeth Moss is usually good.

    • A fan of TV says:

      Robin Wright in Moore’s place would be my personal vote, but this category has seen six nominees at different awards shows, including Emmys, for several years and maybe they can both make the cut!

  9. fernando933 says:

    Viola Davis will always perform the heck out of a scene love this woman.

    Mandy & Chrisy deserve to get nominated for This is Us.

    Vera Famiga must get nominated for this last season of Bates Motel

    Millie Bobby Brown for her work on Stanger Things

  10. Elaine says:

    Mandy Moore hands down

  11. We can dream all we want about The Leftovers getting nominated, but we know it won’t be. Just like we dreamed about Bates Motel and Penny Dreadful receiving nominations, didn’t happen either.

  12. Spence says:

    No best actress list is complete with Keri Russel for The Americans!!

  13. Rex the Wonder Dog says:

    Chyler Leigh, “Supergirl”

  14. Marsha darrington says:

    Mandy Moore is a terrible actor and singer can’t stand her on this is us

  15. ToyCannon says:

    I would include Connie Britton and Chrissy Metz. Britton’s death scene was perhaps her best acting performance to date.

  16. Grey says:

    This implies you have seen the Leftovers finale. Fans want to know: were you satisfied with the ending?

  17. kirads09 says:

    I know the old lament that Science Fiction always gets overlooked but since this is a dream list:

    Shohreh Aghdashloo for Chrisjen Avasarala in The Expanse – 100% rocks my world.
    Carrie Coon
    Tatiana Maslany
    Do streaming programs count? If so Alexa Davalos – Man In High Castle

  18. LT says:

    Good Lord…this is going to be a tough race. Keri Russell, Claire Foy, and Elizabeth Moss are my top 3. I would be fine with any of them for the win.

  19. pickles says:

    Keri Russell please.

  20. John036 says:

    i really hope no one from This Is Us submits in the Lead categories (except for the actress who plays Randall’s wife and the actor portraying his father, as they are definitely supporting). Mandy, Milo, Justin, Chrissy, and Sterling share screentime pretty equally and I think it would be better fit if they were submitted as Supporting. The cast of Modern Family does the same thing.

  21. xx says:

    Baranski! She should be in the lead race now.

  22. LMF says:

    these awards are a joke since not everyone has the options to see them. Netflix, hbo, Sho hula etc should have their own. regular tv should have their own. Seems like it not a fair awards when the audience doesn’t have the options to see them. ( affordability)

    • LT says:

      This comment is a joke, right? Because some “audience” doesn’t see the projects, actors shouldn’t be nominated and/or win an Emmy?

    • Brian says:

      Everybody has the option to see them. Maybe not affordably, but that’s no different than say the Oscars. You can’t see all the nominated movies affordably either.

    • Jamie says:

      What on earth does a good award winning performance have to do with whether or not you can afford to see all of the shows? A good performance is a good performance. Should the Oscar’s only nominate one or two films because it’s so expensive to go to the movies now? What a silly comment.

  23. Zoe-Pascale Roux says:

    You forgot Keri Russell?!?

  24. Lyndy says:

    Robin Wright instead of Mandy Moore…the only character/actor worthy of an Emmy on TIU is Sterling K Brown
    Glad Maslany is out of the race this year, her win last year felt more like the DiCaprio Oscar win or Jon Hamm Emmy win …something to appease masses.

  25. Cate says:

    Amy Brenneman on her episode of The Leftovers was stunning, Do the actors submit ONE episode for consideration cos if they do, she was amazing.

    Carrie Coon or Keri Russell deserve this most for years of brilliant performances as complex and difficult women

    Elisabeth Moss is fab in Handmaids Tale

    Claire Foy would be my other pick as she brought a difficult role to life and made me think of the Queen as a person rather than a face on my stamps and banknotes!

  26. John says:

    Did you watch Homeland at all??

  27. webly3 says:

    How is Keri Russell snubbed over Mandy Moore??? It makes no sense. Keri Russell’s work was arguably her best from the series this season. I agree with all of the other nominations and would do the same, but I couldn’t possibly imagine a reason for snubbing Keri Russell other than not watching the show.

  28. arlene says:

    Keri Russell (The Americans)
    Jernee Smollett-Bell (Underground)
    Aisha Hinds (Underground)
    Amirah Vann (Underground)
    Elizabeth Moss (Handmaid’s Take)
    Marcua Gay Harden (Code Black)

  29. arlene says:

    Adding Elspeth Tascioni for The Good Fight … supporting, though?

  30. Vas says:

    Evan Rachel Wood. I want her to be awarded so badly.

  31. I’m for Keri Russell over Mandy Moore for a nomination. I love Orphan Black but I was so disappointed when Tatiana beat Keri out for the Emmy last year. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell both deserve Emmys for the 5th Season of the Americans.

  32. KayCeeCee says:

    Mandy Moore and Viola Davis

  33. A.J. says:

    No Keri Russel??!!

  34. Candace Hogan says:

    What about Ellen Barkin in Animal Kingdom? She carries that show employing the subtlest reptilian power, with how she moves her hand, holds her head, lilts her voice, clips a word. Great actor!