We’re seeing a rush of new blood in the Emmy race for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series this year, even though that blood is coming from a host of TV veterans.
Last year’s nominees (except one) are all out of the running, and Schitt’s Creek queen Catherine O’Hara won’t be back to defend her crown. That leaves room for three first-time category nominees this year — but all three are familiar faces to TV fans.
Jean Smart already has three Emmys in her trophy case, but she’s nominated for the first time for lead comedy actress for her turn as stand-up comedy diva Deborah Vance on HBO Max’s Hacks. Big Bang alum Kaley Cuoco (finally!) earned her first career Emmy nod for her starring role in HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant. Plus, Aidy Bryant is in the mix for the final season of Hulu’s Shrill after previously nabbing a pair of supporting nominations during her years as an SNL cast member.
Speaking of final seasons, Mom‘s Allison Janney is back in this category for the third time for her work as Bonnie on the CBS sitcom’s farewell run, having claimed a pair of Emmys for the role in the supporting category. Plus, the lone holdover from last year’s nominees is black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross, who is still looking for her first win in five nominations for playing matriarch Bow.
Which of these leading ladies most deserves to hear her name called, though, when the Emmys are handed out on Sunday, Sept. 19 on CBS? Vote for your favorite in the poll below, then hit the comments to defend your pick.
Every weekday through Aug. 27, we’ll be posting another “Who should win?” poll, so be sure to visit TVLine.com each day to weigh in on who deserves TV’s most prestigious honor. (For a list of this year’s major Emmy nominees, click here.)