Sarah Paulson has been nominated for three years in a row for her roles in "American Horror Story" anthologies. This year, she contends for playing conjoined twins in "Freak Show," and dual roles are often catnip to Emmy voters; Sally Field won for playing multiple personalities in "Sybil," and so did Toni Collette in "United States of Tara." Will that be the key to victory for Paulson?
We predicted Paulson would win this category back in 2013 for "American Horror Story: Asylum," but she lost to Ellen Burstyn ("Political Animals"). This year, she's nominated against two of her co-stars: Angela Bassett and last year's surprise winner Kathy Bates.
But competing against co-stars could actually be a boon for Paulson. This year, the Emmys have required supporting performers in miniseries to submit a sample episode to judges, which means Paulson has the benefit of being seen in three submissions, as opposed to just one episode apiece for Zoe Kazan ("Olive Kitteridge") and Regina King ("American Crime").
But there's also MoNique to contend with. The "Precious" Oscar-winner has a showy role in "Bessie" as legendary blues singer Ma Rainey. As of this writing, Paulson leads our predictions with 4/11 odds, but Mo'Nique is right behind her with 9/2 odds. And as we learned two years ago when Paulson was considered the frontrunner to win for "Asylum," you can't take anything for granted at the Emmys.
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Last year, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 58.62% when it came to predicting the Emmy winners. That score tied them with both Gold Derby's Editors and the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best at predicting last year's Emmys). Our Users scored 51.72% (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)
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Photo: Sarah Paulson in "American Horror Story: Freak Show." Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX