Emmys 2014: Who Should Win Lead Actress in a Drama? Take Our Poll!

Emmy 2014 Best Actress Drama Series

That old saying about “three’s a crowd” doesn’t apply to Emmy statuettes on your mantle. Which is exactly why Homeland‘s Claire Danes will be hoping to score her third consecutive win as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the 2014 ceremony.

RELATED Emmys 2014: What Should Win Best Drama Series? Take Our Poll!

Coming off the Showtime thriller’s uneven third season, though, Danes is hardly a lock. Among her competitors are 2011 champ Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), who got left off the ballot in 2013 but roared back into contention this year with the CBS drama’s jaw-dropping, reinvented fifth season.

Meanwhile, Scandal‘s Kerry Washington and House of Cards‘ Robin Wright are back in the race for the second straight year for playing modern D.C. power players, while Downton Abbey‘s Michelle Dockery finds herself in the running for the third time in a row for her portrayal of a ’20s-era widow.

RELATED Emmy Nominations 2014: The 43 Biggest Snubs

The only newcomer in the field is Masters of Sex‘s Lizzy Caplan, for her work as groundbreaking researcher Virginia Johnson. Caplan’s nod — and a reduction in nods from seven back to the usual six — leaves 2013 nominees Connie Britton (Nashville), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) and Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel) on the sidelines this time around.

What would you do if you had the power to honor one of these fine actresses when the Emmys are handed out on Aug. 25 ? Take our poll below to vote for your favorite, then hit the comments to justify your pick!

Every day for the next couple of weeks, 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!

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. I’d be ok with Robin, Julianna, Claire or Lizzie. They were all superb this year.

  2. Joe says:

    well if all the good wife fans are going to hi-jack the best drama poll im going to hi-jack this one and answer with: Tatiana Maslany!!!!!

    • knd says:

      If she was nominated it wouldn’t even have been a contest. Hands down the most deserving!

    • MrMank says:

      I absolutely would agree with you here, had she been nominated. And the fact that she was not is a travesty.

    • ... says:

      I wasn’t that impressed with her performance this year. She had a lot of great moments (the shower scene with Helena and Sarah, for example), but a lot of the power in her performance comes from the clone-on-clone interactions. This season, though, saw a drastic reduction in that type of scene, making her overall performance less impressive.

      • dsm says:

        I’m sorry – but there is not ONE thing that either Kerry Washington or Robin Wright did in their respective shows that came close to what Tatiana Maslany does each and every week! I can’t speak for Michelle Dockery since I don’t watch Downtown Abbey anymore, but Maslany’s peformance is leaps and bounds ahead of at least TWO of the nominated actresses.

    • Roz12 says:

      I don’t see how they can explain this absence, or Keri Russell’s. It only speaks for the lack of criteria. It really is sad.

    • Sil says:

      Tatiana Maslany is the best actress in this category, IMO. The best show too.

  3. Deion says:

    Robin and Lizzie were fantastic, but this was some of the best work I’ve ever seen by Juliana. Michelle Dockery has had better stuff to work with, she should have won in past seasons of Downton.

  4. MrMank says:

    Julianna is my pick because the show went above and beyond this season, and that is largely due to her performance. Why the show itself was left off of the ballot truly baffles me.

  5. Sarah says:


  6. Ashley says:

    There should be an ‘other’ option. Mariska Hargitay should’ve been nominated, and won. None of these ladies had to go through what she did this past season. It’s a shame that award shows are more about politics than talent these days.

  7. Mookie Glenn says:

    Rooting for Robin or Lizzy.

  8. Tran says:

    If Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black doesn’t get Emmy nominated next year, the blame is on the Emmy voters. On the other hand, Kerry Washington deserve to win even though she lost to Claire Danes last year.

    • After this year, I’m done with the Emmy’s, if they didn’t nominate her this year, then they’re just caving to popular demand next year, and shows how little they’re actually judging on true acting skills. She deserved it this year, and therefore, I’m done with them.

    • Mike Bee says:

      Oh! I didn’t realize the award was for pathetic OVER-acting. Yes, in that case BOTH Kerry Washington and Claire Danes could win. If some of you people could actually COMPREHEND what “acting” is, you would know that the winner should be either Robin Wright or Julianna Margulies. (And the only REAL actress who wasn’t nominated is Connie Britton, not the strange-named Tatiana Maslany. The Academy would have had to HEAR about her to nominate her!)

    • Mike Bee says:

      No….I meant members of the Academy would have needed to hear about her …… not your little clique who keep changing names so they can SCREAM about her repeatedly, ad nauseam.

  9. Matt says:

    Preferably Kerry but will be happy as long as Claire doesn’t win!

  10. ... says:

    Kerry Washington was horrid this season on Scandal – so one-note and lacking the complexity that made her performance in seasons one and two so interesting. I would give the win to either Caplan, who is positively radiant in Masters of Sex, or Danes, who had a not-great season but submitted far and away her best episode with the season finale.

    • Matt says:

      I disagree I think Kerry had some of her strongest moments on Scandal this past season and definitely not one noted… Maybe overall she did better in seasons 1 and 2 but I also think she had less scenes because of the pregnancy and a lot of side stories with other characters… She is still an incredible actress who should be recognized and win at least once… I am tired of the same person winning every year *cough* Claire Danes *cough*… I also think Bellamy Young was robbed of a nomination… She was incredible this year!

  11. Brad says:

    Tatiana Maslany

  12. ggny says:

    Tatiana Maslany

  13. paris says:

    I’m actually surprised Kerry was nominated. I though Bellamy deserved a nom more.

    • Wasn’t she nominated for supporting actress?

    • Kat Aston says:

      I’m not surprised Kerry was nominated for the Emmy, her submission, “The Fluffer,” was excellent. If you haven’t watched it, I strongly recommend it. For the past 3 seasons she has been a excellent leading actress. Yes seasons 1 and 2 had stronger storylines (more cases of the week), but her performance for all three seasons has been on point. Scandal wouldn’t be as nearly as popular or have the high ratings without Kerry Washington as the lead actress. There are some shows that can have their lead actress/actor miss a few episodes, but not Scandal. Without Olivia Pope, Scandal would take a huge nose dive in the ratings.

  14. D. says:

    Julianna deserves it. I also loved Lizzie, Robin and Claire work. In that order.

  15. Ari says:

    Tatiana Maslany! Oh wait, she’s not nominated?

  16. Michelle says:

    Tatiana Maslany, obviously. Unless the Emmy voters are idiots.

    Oh, wait…

  17. Luli says:

    Tatiana Maslany !! 🙌🙌

  18. Et al says:

    I refuse to vote since the only acceptable choice wasn’t nominated.

  19. minilyra says:

    Tatiana Maslany!
    Oh wait…

  20. nitemar says:

    If I were to pick, that will be Julianna, and if I were to choose what episode stands out for me the most , it was when Will died, when Kalinda tells her, Alicia’s reaction was so heartbreaking she transmitted it to you all in one take, no words, all on her face looking directly at the camera. Chills!

  21. Dude says:

    Kerry Washington is my favourite of the bunch but I don’t think her material/performance was strong enough last year to justify it so I’ll root for Julianna or Claire. I do not think Robin deserves a nomination nevermind an award.

  22. Courtney says:

    Julianna is my pick – absolutely incredible this year. However, Robin Wright was outstanding this season. She really mad the season. She’s mesmerizing on screen – that televised interview she did about her abortion was incredible.

  23. Yolanda says:

    Without Tatiana Maslany this category is as meaningless as celebrity’s public apology. She should have been nominated and won this in cakewalk.

  24. Tina says:

    Secret option nr G: Tatiana Maslany!

  25. Dan the critic says:

    Tatiana Maslaney of “Orphan Black” should not only have been nominated but she should have won.

  26. Rook says:

    Tatiana Maslany. 100%

  27. Spencer says:

    Tatiana Maslany! Oh wait…

  28. Ana says:

    Tatiana Maslany or Eva Green!

  29. IMHO says:

    Tatiana Maslany !
    It should an Emmy crime that she was not nominated.
    I do not watch The Good Wife but the Emmys didn’t give the show a nod this time around
    ( another Emmy crime I hear ) so I think Julianna Margulies should get some Emmy love.
    Homeland doesn’t deserve any Emmys this year,sorry Claire Danes.

  30. CM says:

    Tatiana Maslany

  31. Ron says:

    I know everyone seems to be pulling for Julianna–and don’t get me wrong, she was absolutely fantastic this past season. However, my vote goes to Robin. She was hands down the best thing about HoC season 2. She was nothing short of mesmerizing every time she was on screen. She’s my vote to win. And honestly, coming off her Golden Globe win, I think she may have the momentum to win the Emmy.

  32. webly3 says:

    Anyone besides Michelle Dockery.

  33. Meg says:

    None of the above. Tatiana Maslany.

  34. Julie miller says:

    Tatiana was not nominated – for the Emmy board to have left her out is evidence this award stuff is close to meaningless.

  35. Carolyn says:

    I have to choose Julianna Margulies for the Emmy this year. She was incredible this past season, and when Will was murdered, she re-invented Alicia in such a way that was amazing to me with each week! Sorry that The Good Wife wasn’t nominated for best drama but Julianna truly deserves the Emmy this year!

  36. schu says:

    Julianna. Period.

  37. Jerry says:

    Given the backlash last year, the voters MUST have known about Tatiana Maslany. They must not even have bothered to watch, or perhaps they watch it with the “How good can her acting be?” mindset, and through their confirmation bias, convinced themselves that she’s not Emmy worthy. If she had been nominated, then all the voters in this category would be forced to watch the episode submitted by Tatiana Maslany, in which case she might easily win. (But she still lost The Golden Globes, so it’s not set in stone).

    She did win critics’ choice twice in a row though, if there is some slight comfort. The “critics” are generally more fickle and try out a lot more other stuff.

  38. Robby Horine says:

    I don’t care. Mariska Hargitay wasn’t nominated.

  39. victor says:

    Voted for Lizzy just because I thought no one would vote for her. I was suprised to find out she’s in third! But actually I think Juliana should win. The Good Wife had a incredible season and Juliana was perfect throughout the entire season

  40. Erica says:

    Tatiana Maslany-no question! It’s beyond ridiculous she wasn’t nominated. I won’t be watching the Emmys. They are so consistently out of touch & off. Give me Critic’s Choice or Golden Globes any day over the Emmys!

  41. Temperance says:

    As always, Emmy desperately needs to change the rules: you can only get one award for any particular role (on any show). I’d also add, three noms only for any role or show, wach show can only win once per category, and shows can only be nominated three times. Finally, the Emy nominators should be forced to actually watch the shows, rather than just nominating the same people season after season like cattle with Mad Cow…

  42. ewwww! says:

    I still think that Downtown Abbey hijacked Tatiana Maslany’s nomination.

  43. Kat Aston says:

    Kerry Washington was excellent in the episode, “The Fluffer.” I beleive she is in the top three position for receiving the Emmy. That episode was good and I wouldn’t be surprised if she won.

  44. Tracy says:

    I’m rooting for Juliana or Lizzie to win. I thought both were consistently excellent all season long. I’m sorry, but I don’t even think Kerry W. should have been nominated over actresses like Tatiana and Kerri R. She spent most of the season lip quivering and crying.

  45. Mike Bee says:

    NO, I’M NOT A RACIST …… but just to see Kerry Washington even nominated for that pathetic show amazes me. Now maybe, if they were giving OVER-acting awards! Although she’d have tough competition in that category from Clair Danes …. one hour of Claire’s continual nervous breakdowns and I start reaching for the Zannies myself!
    The Best Actress of the year, whether she wins or not, is the chilling, spell-binding Robin Wright in “House of Cards.”

  46. brian jones says:

    Tatiana Maslany obviously

  47. Jay jay says:

    Robin Wright is one of the most underrated actors working and what she did this year with Claire Underwood was amazingly subtle…how she created a character who is so evil, strong, assurred and vulnerable is amazing …she needs to win it this year….