Last year, Kyra Sedgwick surprised many by winning Best Drama Actress on her fifth attempt, besting a field of strong contenders. This year, Sedgwick was snubbed which was good news for Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") who had been expected to win last year following her victories at the SAG and Golden Globe awards.
Margulies is the frontrunner this year for the sophomore season of her hit legal drama and her entry, "In Sickness," is full of raw emotion. Her character, the very repressed Alicia Florrick, is forced to deal with the fallout after she discovers her politico husband (Chris Noth) had a fling with her closest friend and confidante (Archie Panjabi). Alicia confrontings both of them head on and this, coupled with a heartbreaking scene with her children, is a strong showcase for Margulies.
After dropping down to supporting last year, Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men") is back in the lead race, where she contended in 2009, for her portrayal of secretary turned copywriter Peggy Olson. In her well-chosen episode "The Suitcase," Peggy is forced to cancel her birthday plans as she works through the night to meet a looming deadline. But then her boss, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) turns to her for support after he learns of the death of someone to whom he had once been close.
As Detective Linden on the freshman series "The Killing," Mireille Enos is usually very reserved. However, in "Missing," she embarks on a frantic search for her missing teenage son. All of her pent-up emotion is released towards the end of the episode and shows a completely different side to this character that could go over well with voters.
Connie Britton is nominated for a second consecutive time for her role as Tami Taylor on "Friday Night Lights." She has submitted the series finale in which her character gets an opportunity for a better position in Philadelphia. She and her husband, a high school football coach (Kyle Chandler), say a sad farewell to small-town Texas in this emotional episode.
Oscar champ Kathy Bates ("Misery") stars in her first TV series, "Harry's Law, as a recently fired patent lawyer who starts up her own firm in a shoe store. In "Innocent Man," Bates' character, Harriet Korn, is at her smooth-talking best.
2004 champ Mariska Hargitay picked up her eighth consecutive bid for playing NYPD Detective Olivia Benson on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." In "Rescue," Benson searches for a drug-addicted mother (Maria Bello) and is drawn into a rape investigation that reopens old wounds.
Gold Derby founder Tom O'Neil dishes this competitive race with senior editors Chris Beachumand Rob Licuria below.
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Below, meet our past winners of recent award prediction contests.
Oscar Nominations: New York state resident Tim Kressner (gufa54) won $1,000 for reaping the highest percentage (78%) when predicting Academy Award noms. Watch our video chat with him here and learn his strategy for making picks. See the leaderboard here. See Kressner's predix here.
Golden Globes (Film): Mario Gomez, a med studen in Mexico, won our contest with the highest percentage of correct picks (86%) and highest point score (2,693). See our video chat with him here. Two other contestants also scored 86%: lulo1989 and eastwest. Tom O'Neil reaped best Experts' score. David Schnelwar had top score among our Editors. See the leaderboard here to see if you made the top tier.
Critics Choice Nominations: Bryce H scored an impressive 83% when sizing up 20 categories. That was one percentage point ahead of our smartest Editor, Daniel Montgomery. Our top Expert was also one of our Editors, Paul Sheehan, who reaped 74%. To see how you performed, check out our leaderboard plus the score section of your account page.
Golden Globe (Film) Nominations: Jonathan was our top User, reaping a staggering 86% when forecasting the lineup of 10 categories. That put him six percentage points ahead of our best Expert -- Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood) -- and eight ahead of our leading Editor, Daniel Montogomery. Did you made the cut on the leaderboard score breakdown?
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Winners: Christian aced all rivals, scoring 82%. That was almost 20 percentage points ahead of our top Expert (Edward Douglas of ComingSoon ) and Editor (Matt Noble), both of whom earned scores of 64%. Christian foresaw that surprise screenplay win for "Before Midnight." See leaderboard.