While the film awards season is a marathon of regional critics groups and industry organizations bestowing their own awards in the run up to the definitive Academy Awards, such an awards circuit is largely nonexistent on the TV side, making the Emmys much more unpredictable.
Although several groups that hand out film awards simultaneously recognize television, any correlation between these kudos and the Emmys is weak, especially given that these “precursors” operate using the calendar year rather than the TV academy’s June to May eligibility period.
Last year, 17 performances were nominated at the three awards shows that recognize television acting by the calendar year: the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Golden Globe Awards and the Satellite Awards. Eleven of those were for work in continuing series, while the other six came for miniseries and made-for-television movies—all of which happened to have been from the first half of 2012 and so had already competed at the Emmys.
Of the 11 series performances cited in 2012, only Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”) would be snubbed at the Emmys the following summer. Drama lead actor Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom”), drama lead actress Claire Danes (“Homeland”) and comedy lead actor Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) would go on to win. However, while Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”) was the only comedy lead actress to be nominated by all three precursors, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) won the Emmy, despite being snubbed by SAG.
For 2013, the 14 television performances listed below were consistently nominated. Note that none were for supporting roles; Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”) managed that feat last year (and the year before).
If last year is any indication, these are almost surefire nominees at the next Emmys and odds are that the winners are to be found among them for the series races; all of the movie/mini performaces but for Lange contended at last year’s Emmys. Then again, nine performances in 2011 were nominated by all of the SAG, Globes and Satellites and none of the four eventual series-leading Emmy winners were among them.
BEST DRAMA ACTOR
• Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
• Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
• Kerry Washington, “Scandal”
BEST COMEDY ACTOR
• Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
• Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
• Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
BEST MOVIE/MINI ACTOR
• Matt Damon, “Behind the Candelabra”
• Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra”
• Al Pacino, “Phil Spector”
BEST MOVIE/MINI ACTRESS
• Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story”
• Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton & Taylor”
• Helen Mirren, “Phil Spector”
• Elisabeth Moss, “Top of the Lake”