Margo Martindale jumps to supporting Emmy race for ‘The Americans’ — Can she threepeat as Claudia?

After winning back-to-back Emmy Awards for Best Drama Guest Actress as KGB handler Claudia on FX’s “The Americans,” Margo Martindale will now try her luck in the supporting race, Gold Derby has learned exclusively. The Best Drama Supporting Actress category is one very familiar to Martindale, as she prevailed here for her memorable one-season stint on “Justified” back in 2011. Can the popular actress threepeat for her fan-favorite role as Claudia?

Related: Oscar winners competing at 2017 Emmys

Last year “The Americans” struck Emmy gold by earning first-time nominations for Best Drama Series, Best Drama Actor (Matthew Rhys) and Best Drama Actress (Keri Russell), in addition to a Best Writing bid for showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg. With the current fifth season airing to critical acclaim, might we see some of the show’s supporting players earn nominations as well? Besides Martindale, the featured stars on the Emmy ballot for “The Americans” will be Holly TaylorBrandon J. Dirden, Noah Emmerich, Frank Langella, Costa Ronin and Keidrich Sellati.

Is there precedent for someone in Martindale’s predicament to take home a supporting acting Emmy after previously winning down in the guest category? Yes, just ask Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”) and William Shatner (“Boston Legal”), to name just two recent examples.

Aduba initially won Best Comedy Guest Actress in 2014, but then because of increased screen time and a genre switch in 2015, she had to enter the Best Drama Supporting Actress category where she prevailed again. Shatner won a guest Emmy for playing eccentric lawyer Denny Crane on “The Practice” in 2004, and then joined spinoff series “Boston Legal” the next year where he took home a bookend trophy in the supporting race.

‘The Americans’ previews the rest of season 5: ‘This could destroy us’ [WATCH]

As of this writing, eight episodes of “The Americans” Season 5 have aired and Margo has appeared in four of them. That’s a big jump from the previous two years where she only appeared once in Season 3 and twice in Season 4. However, Emmy voters didn’t seem to care about her relatively small amount of screen time in those years, as she won Emmys for both seasons.

TV critics are excited to see Martindale’s role increased this year, including Jen Chaney (Vulture), who writes, “Any episode of ‘The Americans’ is always a little bit better when Claudia appears, the hard-nosed handler of spies.”

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