Could ‘Top of the Lake’s’ Elisabeth Moss pull off Emmy upset against Jessica Lange?

The Primetime Emmys have a weakness for Oscar-winning stars who make the move to TV, and Jessica Lange is no exception, having won Best Movie/Miniseries Actress in 2009 for “Grey Gardens,” and then Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actress for the first installment of “American Horror Story” in 2012.

This year, she’s nominated for Best Movie/Mini Actress for her role as a tormented nun in “American Horror Story: Asylum,” and she leads our racetrack odds with support from seven out of 13 experts, four out of seven editors, and 58% of users.

But our predictors give one of her competitors strong odds to upset: Elisabeth Moss, who plays a New Zealand detective in Jane Campion‘s mystery “Top of the Lake.” Six experts predict her to win, only one fewer than predict Lange. Two editors agree, as do 33% of users.

This is Moss’s sixth career nomination without a win, including four previous bids for AMC’s “Mad Men” and another Best Drama Actress bid for that series this year. Will she earn extra support for delivering two nominated performances in this year’s Emmy race? And will “Mad Men’s” poor track record in acting races — 31 nominations but still no wins — spur voters to honor her here?

Our top 24 users are evenly split between Lange and Moss, with 11 predicting each.

But are they the only credible contenders? Perhaps not. One of our editors and 5% of users predict Laura Linney, who plays a dying cancer patient in “The Big C: Hereafter.” The role earned her a previous nomination for Best Comedy Actress, her only Emmy loss in four nominations, and she’s undefeated in the Movie/Mini Actress race, winning for “Wild Iris” (2002) and “John Adams” (2008).

Rounding out the category, each with support from 2% of users, are Helen Mirren (“Phil Spector“), who has won this category a record four times, and Sigourney Weaver (“Political Animals“), who has been nominated twice before.

4 thoughts on “Could ‘Top of the Lake’s’ Elisabeth Moss pull off Emmy upset against Jessica Lange?

  1. The experience and depth that Lange brought to her AHS performance this year is unmatched in any acting category. Moss was excellent in TOTL, but her inability to win for Mad Men against weaker performances the past several years in the Best Actress Drama category I think signals a voting pattern that will favor Jessica Lange.

  2. Emmy voters dont always give Oscar winners the win. Julianne Moore comes to mind when she beat Oscar winner Nicole Kidman. Also Shorheh Aghdashloo beat out Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden in the supporting category a few years back. There are SOME exceptions.

  3. An Elisabeth Moss upset? I’m counting on it. Top of the Lake is a fantastic mini-series. I liked it much more than AHS. Also, it has the advantage of having aired more recently. I hate to say this, but I would also think playing the victim of a gang rape would increase her chances? But honestly, I just think she will win because she gave such a heartbreaking performance.

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