emmys supporting actress drama

Emmys 2016: Supporting Actress in a Drama — Our 7 Dream Nominees!

Some people spend their summers dreaming about upcoming vacations. Others obsess over baseball stats or Olympic trials. But most of our spare brainpower is devoted to the Emmys — and whether or not the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will recognize fabulous freshmen or previously snubbed standouts.

Today we put on our goggles and dive headlong into the deep end of the race for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Remarkably, none of the six women who made our fiercely debated list appeared on TVLine’s 2015 Dream Emmy Ballot.

What’s more, none of the women who made the actual Emmy shortlist in 2015 make our list, either. (See how brutal this process can be in the era of “Peak TV”?)

For the record, 2016 Emmy nominations will be made from June 13-27, and announced July 14. The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, is slated to air Sunday, Sept. 18 on ABC.

Check out the gallery below — 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. Kat says:


  2. N says:

    Regina King- The Leftovers

  3. Joey says:

    Alison Wright has been utterly fantastic on The Americans. If there’s any justice in the universe, and there very rarely is, she’ll get a nomination.

  4. LC says:

    I hope Hayden can pull through and score a nomination. After hinge watching Nashville all throughout April and finally finishing in May (right before it was axed) I had come to appreciate her more as an actress and I can say that she’s more than deserving of a nomination.

  5. tyanna cooper says:

    My honarble mention
    Gabrielle Union on Being Mary Jane

    Mary jane is selfish, angry, lonely and giving. Playing all these shades of a character and making it believable is difficult for any actress. However Gabrielle plays all shades so well that she even makes you root for Mary Jane despite her obvious flaws, terrible choices and overall circumstances. If you ever wanted a show that depicts the real world consequences of being a woman in the workplace, having a family that drains you, and searching for impossible love, look no furth. Mary jane is real,relatable and most importantly herself.

    Its on netflix, check it out

  6. Gabe says:

    Regina King and Constance Zimmer NEED to be locks for my sanity.

  7. Lily says:

    Surprised you didn’t mention Elizabeth Henstridge at all. She deserves a lot more for 4,722 Hours than she was given. She and Iain DeCaestecker are phenomenal actors, and the only reason they haven’t gotten all the recognition they deserve is that SHIELD often only ever gives them bit parts. Hopefully with the cut-down of the cast, seemingly separate storyline for Daisy and overall darker tone of the show in S4 the writers will finally treat them as assets.

    • Hollie says:

      Shield is a genre show, not a respected drama, as the unspoken rule for acting Emmy nominations require.

      • Joey says:

        Plus you don’t hear her name bandied about by critics like Tatiana Maslany. While Orphan Black is a genre show, her talent has elevated the show far beyond what most shows can achieve. This is the same reason actresses like Eva Green and Caitriona Balfe get snubbed for Penny Dreadful and Outlander. Sci-fi/Fantasy shows are usually given the shaft by the academy.

      • DV says:

        You just totally made that up out of thin air.

      • KLS says:

        Personally, I don’t like many of the fantasy/sci-fi shows (except TWD), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good performances/performers on these shows. If what you say is true, then they are doing a great disservice to the industry (like when the Grammys omitted rock and rap for years).

    • Sarah says:

      She might have a chance if she submitted the episode on the planet–that was some first class acting!

  8. Lala says:

    Kether Donohue – You’re the worst
    Regina King

  9. matty says:

    Seriously? No Christine Baranski? What is with TVLine snubbing The Good Wife?

  10. Matt C. says:

    Melissa McBride has deserved a nom for the past 3 seasons now, but season 6 was by far her best season yet. Carol is one of my favorite TV characters of all time.

    • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

      Yasss Melissa McBride!!!! Carol once again a badass in S6 and then became a bit “broken” almost at the end leaving the group. Someone from TWD needs to be NOMINATED/WIN so Carol is my vote!

  11. webly3 says:

    My personal Emmy nominations for this category are
    Regina King – The Leftovers
    Taryn Manning – Orange Is the New Black
    Melissa McBride – The Walking Dead
    Rhea Seehorn – Better Call Saul
    Maura Tierney – The Affair
    Alison Wright – The Americans
    (7th slot would be Amy Brenneman – The Leftovers or Maisie Williams – Game of Thrones)

    I was shocked to see Hayden Pannetierre on the list. I gave up on Nashville long ago. She was the best part of the show, but she must have done spectacular work to surpass the women on my list. Mirando Otto and Constance Zimmer also did fantastic work, and I did consider them when making my personal dream Emmy noms.

  12. Court says:

    My favorites are:

    Christine Baranski
    Alison Wright
    Constance Zimmer
    Maura Tierney

    Winner for me is Alison Wright. She was amazing this year.

  13. Emily says:

    Miranda Otto. She was just…wow..in Homeland.

  14. Amanda says:

    I don’t watch any of the shows the actresses are from, so for me I would love if Linda Cardellini got one for “Bloodline”. She was amazing in season 2 and her role got larger like I was hoping.

  15. Bryan says:

    – Constance Zimmer (UnREAL)
    – Maura Tierney (The Affair)
    – Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy)
    – Melissa McBride (TWD)
    – Hayden Panettiere (Nashville)
    – Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey)
    – Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones)

    • Yes, Sarah Drew! Damn. Everyone overlooks her because her character is a little annoying. But her performances in “unbreak my heart” and the finale were beyond outstanding. Honestly, I cannot name a television actress who could have played that c section scene better.

  16. DarkDefender says:

    Melissa McBride for sure.
    I’d add to that list:
    Tatiana Maslany (as best lead actress, too!)
    Lena Headey
    Sarah Drew
    Maria Doyle Kennedy

  17. carrabus says:

    Carol’s Cookies!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Joey Padron says:

    Hope Melissa and Constance gets nominated!

  19. Anna says:

    Regina King is everything. She really does deserve a nod.

    Also, Maura Tierney, Sarah Drew, and Taryn Manning all hit it out of the park this year.

  20. HAP says:

    I vote for Constance Zimmer, a hugely versatile actress who has excelled in both comedy and drama in her long career.

  21. Miranda says:

    My dream ballot:
    Alison Wright (to win)
    Regina King
    Constance Zimmer
    Hayden Panetierre
    Rhea Seehorn
    Taryn Manning

  22. Guest says:

    Hayden better get nominated, she is well overdue.

  23. db07 says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t even mention Liza Weil!!
    it takes a hellllllllll of a lot of talent to hang with Viola Davis… But at times this season Liza actually STOLE the spotlight from her!!