Who are Top 10 Emmy contenders for Best Drama Actress: Robin Wright, Kerry Washington …?

If I ask you to name the guaranteed Emmy nominees for, say, Best Drama Series, you might reel off four or five shows with confidence and then wring your hands over those last contenders on the bubble. But if you’re like me, you’d be hard-pressed to name more than two sure things for Best Drama Actress, and that’s being generous. So, to help you make your predictions, lets take a closer look at the top 10 contenders according to our latest odds

Will Robin Wright stop a Claire Danes three-peat?
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There were seven nominees last year and all are eligible to return this year. Of this septet, Robin Wright (“House of Cards“) is the safest bet to repeat. Indeed, she currently leads with racetrack odds of 23/10

2011 champ Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife“) as one of last year’s most shocking omissions, but this latest season her CBS hit was its most talked about in years. Indeed, most of us expect her to return – she even ranks second to win with odds of 9/2! 

Claire Danes (“Homeland“) has won twice in a row, so her spot should be secure, right? Well, the show endured a significant backlash for its third season, which resulted in complete rejection by the Golden Globes – though it did still score three nominations at the SAG Awards. And, in recent years, we’ve seen Emmy winners such as Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer“) and Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family“) snubbed the next year. However, Danes looks likely to reap a bid with odds of 6/1. 

Kerry Washington also has odds of 6/1 as “Scandal‘s” ratings are still sky-high and it hasn’t lost any of its media buzz.

Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black“) was only just beginning to generate buzz when voting was underway in 2013, and few had seen her show, but now her star has risen, she’s a Golden Globe nominee, and she’s a two-time Critics’ Choice winner. And, if that’s not enough, Maslany made the April cover of Emmy magazine. She has odds of 14/1. 

Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men“) is a perennial contender, with four previous Drama Actress bids and another in the supporting race (2010). However, support for “Mad Men” has been waning in recent years. It hasn’t won any Emmys since 2011; indeed, it has been shut out despite 29 nominations. If voters are looking for fresh faces this year, might she be the one to miss out? She has odds of just 16/1. 

Keri Russell (“The Americans“) could make the Emmy lineup for the first time with odds of 25/1. Many expected her to break through last year, but her show received a scant two nominations: Drama Guest Actress (Margo Martindale) and Main Title Theme Music. However, another FX series, “Justified,” was similarly slow to catch on with the TV academy. It too earned a Main Title Theme Music nod for its first season, but then took off with four acting bids the following year, winning Drama Supporting Actress for Martindale.

Our odds aren’t optimistic for three of last year’s other nominees: Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel“) and  Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey“) rank eighth and tenth respectively while Connie Britton (“Nashville“) is down in 14th place.

Farmiga was the sole nominee for “Bates Motel” in 2013, and the only other “Nashville” bid was for songwriting, so it’s uncertain how much affection the TV academy still has for those shows. Will they still be Emmy favorites, or were they, if you’ll pardon the phrase, one-hit wonders?

In contrast, “Downton Abbey” has been an Emmy favorite for years, but like “Mad Men,” it’s not the media darling it once was, and critical support has softened (season four scored 72 on MetaCritic, its lowest yet). But the show and its actors have surprised us before at the Emmys, so it may be foolish of us to underestimate Dockery, even with her odds of 100/1. 

Watch our exclusive video chats with Emmy contenders:
Connie Britton, Lizzy Caplan, Keri Russell, and Kerry Washington

Finally, there is freshman contender Lizzy Caplan. It’s hard to guess how “Masters of Sex” will be received by voters. It’s sexually provocative and aired its first season way back in fall 2013.  But it earned Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations for Best Drama, so it’s off to a good start. If voters embrace the show, its leading lady may go along for the ride; she has odds of 50/1. 

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Below, take a photo tour through this year’s top 10 contenders for Best Drama Actress. 

And be sure to use the easy drag-and-drop menu below to make your predictions in this race.

4 thoughts on “Who are Top 10 Emmy contenders for Best Drama Actress: Robin Wright, Kerry Washington …?

  1. Lizzy Caplan totally deserves to be in this category. She’s quite magnetic on Masters of Sex, and funny as hell. I highly doubt Kerri Russell has a shot here. It’s an FX show, a network the voters aren’t especially crazy about, I don’t think the show is nearly as good as certain critics claim it is, she’s never been nominated before, and her character is so cold and unsympathetic. I don’t think The Americans season 2 is really comparable to Justified season 2 at all. The heartbreaking second season of Justified was by far its best with its story of the Bennett clan. The totally awesome Margot Martindale had two fantastic episodes, either of which were always going to win her the Emmy. It was the kind of thing you could just tell was going to happen from the very night they aired, ya know? I watch The Americans, and I haven’t seen Keri Russell own an episode like that yet. But, I’m sure I’ll catch tons of crap for that as there are so many Americans fans on this website. To each his own. The one person that does make me really nervous is Vera Farmiga, because who the heck knows what’s going to happen there. I don’t really like Bates Motel myself, but she is a fairly respected actress and an Oscar nominee.

  2. I don’t know why Vera Farmiga is in 8th place. I have seen most of the actresses in this category and i think she should be one of the strongest contenders this year, her performance is out of this world. I also don’t get how Robin Wright is being predicted as the winner when her only good episode is that 4th episode of the second season after that she doesn’t have much to choose from. Her performance in house of cards is very similar to keri russel in the americans, there are no range of emotions therefore the performance is weak.

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