Right off the bat, there are three very exciting facts about the battle for Best Drama Supporting Actress at this year's Emmy Awards. The most recent winner - Margo Martindale ("Justified") - is no longer on that show, so the category is guaranteed a new champ. Last year's movie/miniseries supporting winner Dame Maggie Smith ("Downton Abbey") is now entered in this race.
As for the rest of the potential contenders, all five of the remaining 2011 nominees will be back on the ballot. Expect Christine Baranski and Archie Panjabi ("The Good Wife"), Michelle Forbes ("The Killing"), Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men"), and Kelly Macdonald ("Boardwalk Empire") to be in the mix. Rose Byrne ("Damages"), Sharon Gless ("Burn Notice"), January Jones ("Mad Men"), and Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson ("Grey's Anatomy") have been previously nodded for their current roles and would like to be back.
From the rookie shows, look out for Morena Baccarin ("Homeland"), Loretta Devine ("The Client List"), Jill Hennessy ("Luck"), Megan Hilty, Anjelica Huston, and Katherine McPhee ("Smash"), Connie Nielsen ("Boss"), and Lana Parrilla ("Once Upon a Time").
A few other possibilities include Betsy Brandt ("Breaking Bad"), Jennifer Carpenter ("Dexter"), Joanne Froggatt ("Downton Abbey"), Lauren Graham ("Parenthood"), Anna Gunn ("Breaking Bad"), Lena Headey ("Game of Thrones"), Regina King ("Southland"), Mary McDonnell ("The Closer"), Gretchen Mol ("Boardwalk Empire"), Monica Potter ("Parenthood"), Kiernan Shipka ("Mad Men"), and Maggie Siff ("Sons of Anarchy").