The Emmy race for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress is full of past award-winners. Four of the six have Emmys already and two of those also have Oscars. And we all know how much the TV academy loves Oscar-winners who do TV. Consider recent winners in this category like Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey,” 2011), Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story,” 2012) and Ellen Burstyn (“Political Animals,” 2013). But it looks like Emmy queens will trump Oscar royalty in this year’s race, judging from the predictions of the expert TV journalists we’ve polled.
Emmy darling Jean Smart is nominated for playing Floyd Gerhardt, the matriarch of a Midwest crime family in “Fargo.” This is her eighth career nomination, and she’s accumulated all of them in just the last 16 years. Of those she won three: Best Comedy Guest Actress (“Frasier” in 2000 and 2001) and Best Comedy Supporting Actress (“Samantha Who?” in 2008). Now 11 out of 13 experts predict she’ll win again, giving her leading 2/3 odds: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
She faces Regina King (“American Crime”), who was the surprise winner in this category last year. King is nominated again for “American Crime,” this time in a new role as Terri LaCroix, whose teenage son comes under suspicion after an alleged rape at a high school party. This is her second career nomination, and she may get a boost if any voters are also fans of her performance last season in “The Leftovers,” which was shut out of the nominations. But only two experts are predicting King to repeat, which places her second overall with 14/5 odds: Eric Deggans (NPR) and Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes).
Kathy Bates won this category just two years ago (2014) for playing a racist killer in “American Horror Story: Coven.” Her nomination this year for playing Iris in “American Horror Story: Hotel” is her third in a row for the “AHS” franchise and her 14th overall. She has one other past victory: Best Comedy Guest Actress in 2012 for “Two and a Half Men.” She’s also an Oscar champ for her leading role in “Misery” (1990), so awards voters clearly love her in the horror genre. But our experts don’t think this will be her year; she gets 25/1 odds.
There is another nominee in this category from “AHS: Hotel”: Sarah Paulson, who plays Hypodermic Sally. Paulson has been nominated at the Emmys for the last five years in a row. This is her fourth nomination for “AHS”; before that she earned a 2012 bid for her supporting role in the telefilm “Game Change,” and this year she’s also nominated for her lead performance as prosecutor Marcia Clark in “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” bringing her career total to six nominations. She has yet to win. But even though she’s the heavy favorite to win Emmy for “People v. O.J.,” she’s an underdog in this category, getting 40/1 odds from our experts.
Melissa Leo is the only nominee in this race who plays a real-life person, which is often an advantage at the Emmys. She portrays Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon Johnson, in HBO’s political docudrama “All the Way.” She also won an Oscar for a biographical role, as Alice Ward in “The Fighter.” In addition, Leo has an Emmy for her guest performance in “Louie” and another nomination in the Movie/Mini Supporting Actress category for “Mildred Pierce” (2011). She’s a dark horse in this race, getting 11/2 odds based on experts’ predictions.
Rounding out the category is first-time Primetime Emmy nominee Olivia Colman, who plays intelligence agent Angela Burr in “The Night Manager.” But Colman does have an Emmy history: she was nominated for an International Emmy for the British mystery series “Broadchurch” in 2014. In addition, she has won three BAFTAs for her TV work across the pond. She gets 18/1 odds to win this contest.
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