Lauren Dern is not primarily known as a TV actress, but she has frequently been on the TV academy’s radar, earning her first nomination in 1992 (Best Movie/Mini Actress for “Afterburn”) and then picking up another five bids for five different projects over the next quarter century. But she has yet to win. The good news for her is that she’s now featured in the frontrunner for Best Limited Series (“Big Little Lies”), playing a showy role (fiercely protective Monterey mom Renata Klein) that was written by a TV veteran known for winning Emmys for his actors (David E. Kelley). Add it all up, and you’ve got your frontrunner for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress.
As of this writing Dern gets leading odds of 8/15, which translates to a 65% chance of winning. Those odds are based on the latest predictions of Expert TV journalists, Gold Derby’s own Editors, the Top 24 Users who got the high scores in last year’s Emmy predictions, the All-Star Top 24 who scored high in the last two years’ combined Emmy predix, and thousands of total Users who are our largest and often smartest predictions bloc.
But a lot could happen in this category, which has resulted in an upset for the past two years, and both of those upsets were by Regina King (“American Crime”), now nominated for the third and final time for the ABC anthology series, which was cancelled by the network this past spring. The series lost a lot of ground with Emmy voters from season one (10 nominations) to season two (four nominations) to season three (two nominations), but that hasn’t affected King yet. Now she’s a strong challenger in second place with odds of 7/1, or a 12% chance of winning.
Speaking of women we shouldn’t underestimate, Judy Davis ranks third with 9/1 odds, or a, 11% chance of winning for playing a showy role in “Feud: Bette and Joan” as a real-life figure, gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. Though Davis doesn’t have the screentime of most of her rivals in this race, she’s an Emmy darling with three victories out of 11 previous nominations.
Like Dern and Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer (“The Wizard of Lies”) is an Oscar nominated movie star. But not only is she best known for films, she’s almost exclusively known for them, so voters may be drawn to the allure of a movie star gracing the small screen as they have been in the past. But the line between quality film and TV work has blurred to the point of nonexistence in the past decade, and “Wizard of Lies” doesn’t have as much academy support (four nominations) as most of her rivals in this race. Nevertheless, she’s right in the thick of it with 14/1 odds (6.7% chance of winning).
Dern’s “Big Little” co-star Shailene Woodley is farther behind with 25/1 odds (3.7% chance of winning), while Davis’s “Feud” co-star Jackie Hoffman rounds out the category with 50/1 odds (1.8% chance of winning).
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