Will Uzo Aduba (‘OITNB’) join Ed Asner as only Emmy winners for same role in two genres?

Is Uzo Aduba about to join Edward Asner in the Emmy records book? That TV vet is the only performer in Emmys history to win for the same role in both the comedy and drama categories. Because Aduba’s show “Orange is the New Black” is being forced to make the genre switch into drama this season, she could soon be following Asner’s lead.

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Of Asner’s seven career Emmy victories, five of them came for playing the acerbic journalist Lou Grant. The first three of those was as Best Comedy Supporting Actor for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1971, 1972, 1975). When that classic sitcom, set in a Minneapolis TV station, signed off in 1977, Asner’s character was spun-off into the hour-long drama “Lou Grant,” which was based at a Los Angeles newspaper. He won Best Drama Actor twice (1978, 1980).

Aduba prevailed last year as Best Comedy Guest Actress for playing prisoner “Crazy Eyes” on the first season of “OITNB.” New Emmy rules have moved the Netflix series into the drama field this summer. And Aduba is shifting into the supporting category, where she is currently ranked fourth in our exclusive statistics with 13/2 odds. She trails Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey“) in first place at 4/1 and Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men“) and Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife“), who are in a tie for second place at 11/2.

This type of genre switch on TV is so rare that we can come up with only one other performer to have been nominated in two fields for one role. Joan Cusack has reaped bids four years running for playing Sheila Jackson in “Shameless” (2011-2013 in drama; 2014 in comedy) but has yet to win. The other “OITNB” nominees from 2014 — Laverne Cox, Natasha Lyonne, Kate Mulgrew and Taylor Schilling — could join Cusack as nominees on both sides of the ledger.

Are there any others we have forgotten who have accomplished this feat? If so, speak up in our fun forums where we have created a special thread to discuss the topic.

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2 thoughts on “Will Uzo Aduba (‘OITNB’) join Ed Asner as only Emmy winners for same role in two genres?

  1. No , Aduba will not even be nominated this year. Her nomination and then win came in the guest comedy actress category, which was much weaker than the supporting actress drama category . She is not even in the top two in that category for OITNB.

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