My Predictions For This Year’s Emmys: Limited Series Edition

Part 5: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Movie/Limited Series

There is a very good chance that any number of the fine actress from Mrs. America and Hollywood will be among the nominees. Considering that there are so many they will probably divide the Academy, I’m going to do my best to split the difference, as well as add some who might very well be overlooked from other series.

Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America

Admittedly, I’ve never given as much due to Orange is the New Black, even though its hard to ignore Aduba’s extraordinary — and in one case, genre bending –work that earned her two Emmys. But those who only knew her as Crazy Eyes will be stunned by her work as Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman to run for President, who finds herself fighting for the ERA almost entirely against her will. Even historians may have forgotten Chisholm’s role in history, and the fact Aduba disappeared into her in a way you wouldn’t have though, makes her in my mind, one of the more likely candidates for a nomination from this series.

Rose Byrne, Mrs. America

This is a more personal pick than some of the others. I was always a huge fan of the show that introduced Byrne to America: Damages. Byrne’s work as Ellen Parsons, the dedicated attorney who fought with and against Patty Hewes, never got quite the same recognition as Glenn Close’s (though Byrne did get two Emmy nominations). Considering that she spent so much of her career playing the model of a feminist icon, I think it would be fitting for Byrne to receive another nomination for playing an actual one. Her work as Gloria Steinem, one of the major forces behind the ERA would’ve been dazzling enough on its own, but will likely get lost among all the other extraordinary actresses on the series. I’m giving a push for Byrne because she’s a personal favorite.

Great icon, great actress

Toni Collette, Unbelievable

Ever since Toni Collette dove into a Kansas housewife with multiple personalities in the undervalued United States of Tara for which she deservedly won an Emmy, the Hollywood world has well been aware that there’s nothing she can’t do. Which is why her turn as Grace Rasmussen, the utterly solemn, seemingly joyless, workaholic at the center of the action in Unbelievable who serves at the catalyst that gets the task force started and who helps lead the detectives through the darkest part of the human soul, was so astounding. So much of her best work has centered around comedy, it’s actually kind of stunning to see her do something so perfect. I don’t know why she’s competing in the Supporting Actress category instead of Actress, but based on her triumph at the Critics Choice Awards, it seems to have determined she has a lock on it — were it not for another brilliant investigator in this category.

Allison Janney, Bad Education

I’ve long since stopped being amazed at the vast array of talent that Janney is capable of — she has seven Emmys and an Oscar, so it really seems like there’s nothing more she can do to surprise us. Then you see her play a character like Pam Gluckin, Frank’s utterly indispensible right hand woman, with her perfect Queens accent, and you realize she has more to teach us. She seems to be the perfect undervalued assistant, until we learn she’s been embezzling millions of dollars to give her family the life she wanted from the schools budget, and everything goes out the window again. I think at this stage, even Janney would say she doesn’t need another Emmy. But another nomination seems more than fair.

Jean Smart, Watchmen

How times have changed. Four years ago, Jean Smart was almost certainly robbed of an Emmy for her exceptional performance as Floyd Gerson, the head of a Minnesota crime family making a last stand against the business model, by Regina King. Now its 2020, and she’s starring with the woman who beat her. Smart continues to demonstrate why she is one of television greatest actresses, playing FBI Agent Laurie Blake, a former costumed hero now bent on arrested them, an utter cynic who has no patience for vigilantes, who doesn’t even want to hear the villains explain their plots because she’s been there before. When Watchmen was regarded as a series, Smart upset many bigger names with a win for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama at the Critics Choice earlier this year. Could she manage to do the same thing here? God snaps his fingers, and she might win an Emmy.

Megan Stott, Little Fires Everywhere

There are a lot of great supporting performances in Little Fires, from Alex Pettyjohn’s work as the put upon oldest sister to Rosemarie DeWitt as Elena’s friend whose desperation for motherhood has driven so much of the action in the series. But in my mind, the most stunning work was given by Megan Stott as Izzy, the problem child, at least as far as her mother goes, mainly because she never wanted her in the first place. Facing the struggle of being an artist and a lesbian in a very suburban community, ostracized by her best friend who won’t accept her sexuality, Stott gave arguably the most realistic performance by a young actor or actress in this long year. The series ended with no clear idea of Izzy’s fate. I think a nomination would be in order.


Naomi Watts, The Loudest Voice

It seems very odd that the two actresses who played Gretchen Carlson, the Fox News personality whose lawsuit brought down Roger Ailes were both Australian: Nicole Kidman in Bombshell, and Watts here. Kidman was the only female lead ignored by the Oscars, and it seems just as likely Watts will be ignored by the Emmys. But Watts had much more to work with in The Loudest Voice. We got a far greater portrayal of just how much abuse she ended up taking, how she plotting to go against him, and when she delivered the fatal blow. When she brought him down, it meant more when we saw it because we’d suffered along with Carlson. I’m not sure enough people want to recognize her, given the atmosphere, but Watts shone brightly.

See you on July 28th, when the actual nominations come out.



David B Morris

After years of laboring for love in my blog on TV, I have decided to expand my horizons by blogging about my great love to a new and hopefully wider field.