Emmys 2013: The Supporting Drama Actor Race in Review, Including Our 6 Dream Nominees

Emmy Best Supporting Actor Drama NomineesIronically, death may breathe some new life into this category! With two of last year’s nominees — Breaking Bad‘s Giancarlo Esposito (RIP, Gus) and Mad Men‘s Jared Harris (RIP, Lane) — no longer eligible, a coupla slots have opened up for new contenders. (Or one, if Esposito pulls off a long-shot nod for Revolution.) Maybe this is exactly the confluence of events that Southland’s Michael Cudlitz needs to bring home an Emmy to keep his Critics’ Choice Award company?

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 | Lead Drama Actress | 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 Friday as we tackle the Supporting Drama Actress race!

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. Paul says:

    How the heck is Nikolaj Coster-Waldau not one of your dream noms??? Come on!

    • Aleksa says:

      I’d love to see this happen.

    • D'Arcy says:

      Nikolaj deserves this. But TVLine has always been biased against GoT. No true fans on the staff.

        • Jamie says:

          I’m sorry I’m not buying it Matt. Game of Thrones seems to be one of the shows that TvLine besides never bother to cover whether it’s production changes, casting decisions etc. (recaps not withstanding)

          Heck, EW always remains ahead of the game in that respect. Still love TVLine but I’m just here to keep it real.

          • Matthew says:

            It’s because the site and it’s runners/writers would rather waste their time on the biggest steaming piles of cr*p seen on TV in a decade (eg, Glee, NCIS, Bates Motel, The Good Wife, etc.) than on real, actual quality programming. Seriously, a new group of writers needs to be brought in that can make real appeals for quality shows, many of which get unjustly ignored. Editors of TVLine, you know there’s shows on TV that don’t revolve around weekly grisly murders and who’s-going-to-propose-to-who, right? Grow some balls and cover real TV.

          • Eli says:

            LOL, going a little over the top are we mate? First off, there’s no show these guys are bigger fans of than Girls (on HBO), which does not meet your ridiculous qualifications for what makes a show bad.
            Secondly, The Good Wife is awesome and I will defend it at all costs. You can chop my head off, or my hand off, or flay my skin off, or hell go all red wedding on me. I’ll still keep telling you The Good Wife is a great show and not deserving of your ignorant criticisms.

        • D'Arcy says:

          Certainly Kim Roots has her recaps, and I don’t doubt she’s a fan.

          But TVLine focuses on shows that Michael, Michael, Matt, and Megan like.

          If any of those four were true fans, they would have been given the Game of Thrones duties, and then the show would be featured more prominently here, as well as given more favour.

          • JC says:

            Could it be that they focus on shows that drive traffic? That would be a shocking strategy for running an ad supported website!

          • Blackbeard says:

            Hitfix.com runs on ads. They give Game of Thrones the proper attention.

    • Elena says:

      I know. That’s ridiculous. He’s been absolutely stellar this season and is the most deserving of a supporting actor nod in the cast. I hope the emmy voters are more generous to him than tvline.

    • Jamie says:

      Yeah, completely agree with this. I mean Freddy Highmore from the mess of a show that is Bates Motel over Nikolaj or Peter Dinklage ?!?!?! Really TVLine ???

      • Nick says:

        I like Game of Thrones just as much as anyone, but let’s not call Bates Motel a mess of a show. Can we reserve that title for shows like The Glass House, which is actually, well a mess?

        • Matthew says:

          Well, The Glass House was a mess, but I really don’t see anything at all redeeming about Bates Motel either. I honestly am dumbfounded as to why this site even bothers to mention it so consistently.

        • Lauren says:

          ICAM, Bates Motel was better than I had hoped and by no means was a “mess”. Can’t we each like what we like and not be priggishly defensive when a “favorite” show is overlooked? So odd.

        • Jamie says:

          Well according to the AvClub who I find much more credible than TvLine, the show has clear problems and yet everyone seems to be showering it with praise. It’s competent-to-good at best, whereas Game of Thrones reaches much loftier peaks with episoders like “The Rains of Castamere”.

    • emy26 says:

      that’s what i said! i mean come on, his performance this season was spectacular!

  2. marge says:

    Jeff Perry FOR SURE! He was outstanding on Scandal this season. I know the Emmys overlook network TV dramas (aside from The Good Wife), but there is some great talent on other shows other than Downton, Mad Men, Homeland, etc (shows I, too, love. btw).

    I hope Emmy does a better job at spreading the love and acknowledgement this year.

  3. ryan says:

    How is Aaron Paul not a dream nominee he is amazing no1 cares about scandal

  4. Michelle says:

    Jeff Perry has done some ridiculous acting this year!

    • KD says:

      I agree Jeff Perry FTW!! Cyrus went from being a beast of a politician who turned on his friends and even his husband, to being a vulnerable man who just wanted to go home, to a man having a heart attack. He deserves this one.

  5. Alan says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Jeff Perry’s name is already inscribed on the trophy.

  6. Pixley says:

    Rob James Collier (Thomas on Downton Abbey) has actually been submitted by PBS for consideration for Supporting Actor, unlike the departed Dan Stevens. I think Collier at least deserves a slide in your slideshow (even if he’s not a dream nominee!)

    Thank you for recognizing Jeff Perry, the acting glue that holds Scandal together.

    • scooby says:

      Dan Stevens must’ve been the one who submitted himself. Downton submitted 8 and there’s 9 up. I say Jessica Brown Findlay should’ve been submitted.

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        Dan Stevens absolutely did submit himself. The show only submitted Rob James-Collier and Jim Carter for supporting actor. It was a strategy decision on their part to avoid vote splitting. It makes me laugh a little that Dan pretty much said, “Well, screw you guys, I’ll submit myself then!” I wonder if it will actually have an effect on who gets nominated.

      • Sara says:

        How do you know the show submissions? I would love to see the link if there’s any

    • Amanda says:

      Totally agree about Rob. He was amazing in season 3 and he should’ve been pictured as he is a contender too.

  7. GS says:

    Jeff Perry for Scandal! He was fabulous all season long. Love Cyrus Beane!!

  8. Amanda says:

    John Noble getting a nomination would be a dream come true for Fringe fans everywhere

    • Liz985 says:

      I just caught up with Fringe on Netflix and am astonished by John Noble. The man was amazing pulling off all the tones of the various iterations of Walter Bishop. He definitely deserves a nomination, if not the win.

    • Michele says:

      but no one will nominate him, sadly. we all know it’s true =(

  9. Kelly says:

    Michael Cudlitz
    John Noble
    Robert Carlyle

  10. Ari says:

    Damn right! Robert Carlyle better get an official nomination AT LEAST! He’s phenomenal

  11. Anthony says:

    Larry Hagman finally winning his first Emmy for portraying the greatest scoundrel in TV History would be the highlight of the Emmy awards if this were to happen.

  12. Erin says:

    What about Guillermo Diaz for Scandal? His work in the 752 episode was totally nomination-worthy.

  13. Tanderix says:

    It’s incredible that John Noble never won an Emmy! He absolutely deserves it!

  14. justjack says:

    Josh Charles is so freaking handsome.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      If you’re a fan of him, you should go watch Dead Poets’ Society. He plays a high school student in that movie and really is quite delicious.

  15. Nancy Pedersen says:

    Robert Carlyle is one of the most gifted actors of our time. It would be criminal for him not to win, let alone not be nominated.

    • Gizmo says:

      And he is playing 2 distinct roles in Once showing a huge range in his acting skills! He could be nominated twice!

    • cas says:

      THIS! I know everyone says that OUAT wasn’t as good this season but he still has been outstanding! How have I not seen him in anything before this is beyond me.

  16. rty123 says:

    Jeff Perry and Corey Stolt over Nikolaj and Peter?

    The Lannisters will send their regards…

  17. Sharon says:

    that is all.

  18. Xandra says:

    Given Aaron Paul’s diminished screen time last season, I thought Mandy Patinkin would be the favorite to win. But then he wasn’t even nominated for the Critics Awards while all the critics praise him, so I’m not so sure anymore. Bobby Cannavale was amazing, but maybe too dark. And because he’s never mentioned Vincent Kartheiser.

    • Lauren says:

      ITA, thing is Mandy/Saul got kinda shafted this past season too. No real “Emmy” arc, y’know?

    • Alicia says:

      I have no idea how Vincent Kartheiser has been overlooked every single year! Of the principal cast members he is the ONLY one without a nomination… Ever. Pete Campbell is such a slimy little weasel and he plays him so brilliantly.

      Frankly I’m still bitter about Jarred Harris’ loss last year, but that’s in the past and VK has 2 more chances so COME ON!

  19. Patti says:

    Robert Carlyle

  20. Jonathan Banks – Breaking Bad
    Corey Stoll – House of Cards
    Walton Goggins – Justified
    Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad
    Mandy Patinkin – Homeland
    Ron Perlman – Sons of Anarchy

    • The Beach says:

      This is a great list. I would probably trade out Perlman for Perry but good job. This is a really tough category and could include 7 or 8 deserving winners.

  21. John Noble, Mandy Patinkin, Peter Dinklage, Aaron Paul, Josh Charles and Sam Waterston. Wild card: Jonathan Banks (either supporting or guest starring).

  22. gayle johnson says:


    Like I already said on here before, definitely MICHAEL CUDLITZ. His brilliant portrayal of Officer John Cooper is EMMY WORTHY! John Cooper was a character in a well-written script, but Michael’s portrayal of that character gave Cooper a heart and soul, almost too real sometimes. Southland is one of the best “cop shows” to hit TV, and the fans are missing it already.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      I wish the Emmys would notice Southland. I think because it aired on TNT, that hurt it. If it stayed on NBC, it probably would have gotten more recognition, but at the same time, it might not have been as good since NBC has a tendency to ruin things that are wonderful. I do hope Michael Cudlitz gets nominated this year. He might be able to win with that kidnap episode if he could sneak in there.

  23. JAMANDAFAN says:

    John Noble and Mandy Patinkin!

  24. joey says:

    Michael Cudlitz, Aaron Paul, and John Noble.

  25. Eric7740 says:

    Aaron Paul
    Larry Hagman
    Robert Carlyle
    James Purefoy
    John Slattery
    Corey Stoll

  26. mrallan78 says:

    Michael Cudlitz for the WIN!!!

  27. How is Sean Harris (Michelletto from The Borgias) no nominated?? He killed it this series! Especially in episode 8, his performance was outstanding! *goes into a corner and sulks*

  28. Juan says:

    I’m surprised you don’t have Guillermo Diaz as at least in contention, I thought he was great though I would totally go for Jeff Perry too. He has been amazing as Cyrus. So that’s my one pick that I’m really rooting for

  29. Robert Carlyle is one of the most talented, gifted & versatile actors of our generation. He most definitely deserves a nomination, because he most definitely deserves to win :)

  30. John says:

    Whoa!! What? This is a crazy dream ballot! First off, how is Guillermo Diaz from Scandal not even an option? Secondly, I couldn’t personally decide between Coster-Waldau and Dinklage – so I stuck with both. Aaron Paul is a no-brainer, always phenomenal. Went with Josh Charles over Cummings and I agree with Patinkon:

    Guillermo Diaz
    Aaron Paul
    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones
    Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
    Josh Charles. The Good Wife
    Mandy Patinkon, Homeland

  31. The Beach says:

    Walton Goggins is long overdue for some recognition. He has been stealing every scene he’s in for years.

  32. nannarpite says:

    Michael Cudlitz for ‘Southland’. For 5 seasons as John Cooper. For 2 of the best episodes of television ever (‘Chaos’ and ‘Reckoning’). For the win.

    • gayle johnson says:

      Right on. Thank you for supporting Michael. He is absolutely an awesome actor. EMMY WORTHTY. Thanks again.

  33. Luiza Novaes says:

    Robert Carlyle, with no doubt

  34. Matt says:

    I just do understand how Emmy always shafts some of the greatest actors and shows from Broadcast Networks. Robert Carlyle, Jeff Perry, Peter Krause, Guillermo Diaz, charles esten, and James Purefoy all from broadcast shows are outstanding, and consistently, year to year, they keep getting ignored by other actors from raunchy, provocative shows. Not sayin that cable actors aren’t good, because they are, but why are broadcast network actors always automatcally ignored? It is so sickening every year. Also, not even quality broadcast shows such as Revenge, Scandal, Greys Anatomy, Nashville, Parenthood, Smash, Happy Endings, and raising hope always pushe over for overall show nominations? Not fair

  35. Let Me Be Your Star says:

    Ummmm just saying. JEREMY JORDAN. Where is he on this list? He played a character that had such a dark place but he still wrote the greatest music ever on TV. Also Jack Davenport and Christian Borle. And does Kyle count as supporting because he’s dead?? Idk how these ppl aren’t on this list.

  36. cas says:

    So many good options! And another thing, I think it is a little rude to come to someone’s site and bash on the writer’s just because they don’t cover a show you like. It is impossible to cover every show and they probably want to appease mass audiences, and they tend to watch network shows over HBO because those are free to watch.

    • D'Arcy says:

      It’s not that they don’t cover GoT. It’s that they show huge favouritism to shows that the higher-up editors love.

      If they wanted to appease the “mass audiences”, Game of Thrones would be higher up on their list of shows they care about. GoT is HUGE.

      Don’t pull any cable vs. network crap, it’s not relevant.

      • Jill says:

        I get what you’re saying. This site tends to focus more on shows they like and shows that bring the most comments (like Glee, Once Upon a Time, etc). That tends to be the case for most TV sites though. I’m not saying it’s right but I guess that’s the way it is. I come to this site for certain shows I know they talk about, and go to EW or other sites for those other shows that don’t get mentioned much here. And I’m not usually one to defend the cable vs. network argument, but I think in this case it IS relevant. In terms of viewership, more people still watch network shows than cable shows so I can understand why they warrant more posts. Again, not saying I agree with it- but I can understand it.

        • Jill says:

          I wanted to add that I wasn’t necessarily referring to Game of Thrones in particular since viewership for that is obviously huge.

      • Sarah says:

        GOT is HUGE because of the perverts who love all the nudity, sex, and incest. Let’s not pretend that showing your butt makes you deserve an emmy.

    • Jamie says:

      I’m not bashing on the writers for not covering GoT more. I’m bashing on them for trying to insinuate that they do when it’s clearly one of the shows that gets considerably less attention.

      Additionally, GoT has been getting about 5 million viewers consistently this season. That’s better than most shows on NBC including Parks and Rec, and Parenthood. Not only that, but Game of Thrones is HUGE on social media. I don’t think Parenthood, Bates Motel, and countless other shows have been able to spawn regularly occuring memes.

      In fact, GoT has considerably more mass appeal than other sites that get covered on TvLine so I don’t think your line of argument is valid either.

      (Note: I’m not some kind of GoT superfan; just here to keep things real)

  37. Angie says:

    Jordan Gavaris from Orphan Black.

    • Magali says:

      Indeed!!! He probably doesn’t stand a chance (and grant it is work on Orphan Black is mostly on the comedy side) but he sure is a revelation. I love him!

  38. SuzyQue says:

    Look, I love Homeland as much as the rest of us but it gets boring when they win every single award that it is nominated for. We need fresh, new contenders.

    • Xandra says:

      It’s only Homeland’s second Emmys it’s not as if it’s coasting like The West Wing did for 4 years. I can see it winning Best Drama, Best Actress, and (if Mandy is nominated), Best Supporting Actor, but Damian Lewis has stiff competition against Kevin Spacey. I’m sure they’ll give Breaking Bad the win next year for its final season.

  39. CJ says:

    There are some really phenomenal guys in this category, but for me, Michael Cudlitz is the clear-cut choice for the win. Most likely won’t happen, as history has shown us, but he deserves it more than anyone this year, which is saying a lot considering the strong performances from so many names on this list. Cudlitz all the way.

    • gayle johnson says:

      Most definitely, Cudlitz all the way. Thanks for your support. And I think it is time for history to change. There is a first time for everything, so it might as well be Michael getting an EMMY!! He is an awesome actor.

  40. Courtney says:

    It’s so weird to me that people praise Jeff Perry’s acting on Scandal. He’s a good actor, but nothing great imo. He overacts. Maybe I don’t enjoy his scenes because I hate the character.

  41. dianaspn2011 says:

    Really reat list although I would definitely iclude Jared Padalecki on it……. All great actors but on this list, it’s gotta James Purefoy!!!! No more comments…..

  42. Alichat says:

    John Noble should be on your Dream list. Did Joshua Jackson not submit himself for consideration like Anna Torv?

  43. Doug says:

    John Noble just for the finale when Walter tells Peter “You are my favorite thing”. Onions were being cut

  44. Karen says:

    By far the category with the most talent – no doubt. Hoping fo the following (and in particular the first 3:

    John Noble
    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
    Aaron Paul
    Mads Mikkelsen
    Jonathan Banks
    Mandy Patinkin

  45. Amanda says:

    Michael Cudlitz should win it. He was amazing and “Southland” was such a great show. Other noms from the shows I watch would be Robert Carlyle, Rob James Collier, Allen Leech, and John Slattery.

  46. EndOfTime says:

    Definitely Jeff Perry from Scandal . He deserve to win

  47. Felicity in Portland says:

    Noah Emmerich deserves a nod for sure – – the whole cast of The Americans really makes the show.

  48. Tora says:

    Where ‘s Charles Esten?