[WATCH] Emmy Awards slugfest: Repeat wins for Uzo Aduba (‘Orange is the New Black’) & Peter Dinklage (‘Game of Thrones’)?

My Gold Derby colleagues Marcus Dixon, Ralph Galvan, Amanda Spears and I got together via webcam to talk about the hotly contested drama supporting actor and actress races at the 2016 Emmy Awards (watch above). We all agree that in both categories, the safe bet is to expect to see the return of many of last year’s nominees.

In the Drama Supporting Actress derby, last year’s winner Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”) should be back to defend her title (she also won Comedy Guest Actress prize for the show’s first season in 2014). Nipping at her heels is Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife”).  This 1995 Comedy Supporting Actress champ (“Cybill”) has been nominated for playing Diane Lockhart for six years running and has one last chance to finally win. Also likely to return to the race are Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones,” nominated in 2013 and last year), Joanne Froggatt (“Downton Abbey,” nominated in 2012, 2014 and last year) and Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones,” nominated the last two years). Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”) leaving room for at least one newcomer.

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“I think we’re going to see Maggie Smith take that slot,” Spears says of the “Downton Abbey” dame, which is something we all agree is the most likely outcome. “They just like the same so much,” Galvan says of Emmy voters’ fondness for repeat nominees. “They’ll just re-check a bunch of names.”

However, we are hopeful for some surprises. “You’ve got Constance Zimmer [from ‘UnReal’] in there, you’ve got Rhea Seahorn from ‘Better Caul Saul,’ which, if you actually watch the show, would be a shoo-in and she could potentially win with the episode she would submit,” Galvan declares. And I wonder if anyone else from “Orange is the New Black” might join Aduba, noting that “there’s no show that has more amazing actresses on the supporting side.” We also spitball a number of potential contenders that might break through if Emmy voters are feeling adventurous.

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On the Drama Supporting Actor side, I note “to get nominated in this category is a really big deal” and that’s because “this ballot has the most acting contenders across the board.” In answer to who is most likely to be nominated, Galvan says “Jim Carter,” which is funny to us Emmy nuts because we have been guilty of underestimating him for four years running. “Even after the show is over, he will still be getting in,” Dixon jokes.

Again, we are likely to see a number of repeats in this category. Last year’s champ Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) is likely to be back for a sixth consecutive time and possibly third win (he also prevailed in 2011). Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”) could reap a second bid for this “Breaking Bad” spin-off; he contended for the original in 2013 and way back in 1989 for “Wiseguy.” Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”) could land a fourth bid for this series (he was nominated as a guest actor in 2010 and was as a supporting actor in 2011 and last year). And we agree that both Michael Kelly (“House of Cards”) and Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”) might return but are vulnerable in this race against so many other heavy-hitters.

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“All of those six guys are fantastic, but what about Michael McKean [from ‘Better Call Saul’]? He needs to get in,” Dixon declares, also noting that Kit Harington just had a very strong season on “Game of Thrones.” Spears also mentions that “we have a possible winner with Christian Slater [from “Mr. Robot”].” Galvan also notes that “Horace and Pete” could be a major Emmy player, especially for Emmy legend Alan Alda, and we throw out a number of other names of possible contenders like Rufus Sewell (“The Man in the High Castle”), Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”), Emmy winner Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”) and previous nominee Jon Voight (“Ray Donovan”).

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