Will “Game of Thrones”-mania give Lena Headey the edge to win her first-ever Emmy crown for Best Drama Supporting Actress, or will two-time “Downton Abbey” champ Maggie Smith take home a goodbye trophy for the departing PBS series? Let’s take a closer look at this race based on the predictions of our Emmy Awards experts derived from major media outlets.
Headey has the backing of eight experts who’ve chimed in with their early Emmy predictions: Eric Deggans (NPR), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
Meanwhile, Smith has the support of only one Emmy expert: Joyce Eng (TV Guide). But don’t forget, Smith is an industry favorite who’s won two Oscars for “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (lead, 1969) and “California Suite” (supporting, 1978), as well as a trio of Emmys for “My House in Umbria” (2003) and “Downton Abbey” (2011 and 2012).
Last year’s winner Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”) was strangely snubbed this year, which makes the Drama Supporting Actress race an exciting one to follow.
Joining Headey on the nomination block are a pair of her “Game of Thrones” co-stars: three-time nominee Emilia Clarke and fresh face Maisie Williams. Clarke would seem like the logical choice to upset Headey, but Williams’ nomination came out of nowhere and suggests she has many more fans within the TV academy than we initially thought.
Surprise nominee Maura Tierney (“The Affair”) has a shot to follow-up her victory at the Golden Globes with an Emmy win for Season 2 of her Showtime drama. And never count out underdog Constance Zimmer. She won Best Supporting Actress at the Critics’ Choice Awards for Lifetime’s “UnReal,” which will strategically air new episodes during Emmy voting.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions right here. You’ll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmy nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.