Emmys shockeroo: Guest actresses Jane Fonda, Geena Davis must go supporting

In an effort to define what it truly means to be a “guest” star, the Emmys introduced a new rule this year that only performers appearing in less than 50% of the eligible episodes may enter the guest categories. Those who appear in half or more of the season’s episodes must now go supporting.

Among the actresses affected by this rule change are Jane Fonda, who popped up in three of the six episodes of “The Newsroom,” and Geena Davis, who was seen in 12 of the 24 episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Now that they’ve been cruelly thrown out of the guest star race, will Fonda and Davis get their revenge on the Emmys in the Best Drama Supporting Actress category? Hurry — make your predictions now and you could win our $1,000 prize as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a leading role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmys).

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According to Gold Derby’s exclusive predictions, the biggest competition for Fonda and Davis this year on our Best Drama Supporting Actress chart are: Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”) with 10/3 odds, Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife”) at 5/1, Sissy Spacek (“Bloodline”) with odds of 13/2, Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”) at 15/2, and Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”) and Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”) who are both at 9/1. 

Fonda has reaped two consecutive guest bids for playing Leona Lansing on “The Newsroom,” while Davis contends for the new role of Dr. Nicole Herman on the long-running “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Both are Oscar winners: Fonda as Best Actress for both “Klute” (1971) and “Coming Home” (1978) and Davis as Best Supporting Actress for “The Accidental Tourist” (1988).

Keep in mind that Fonda and Davis are hardly the only guest actresses from dramas or comedies who must go supporting this year. Gold Derby’s savvy forum posters have uncovered that all of the following names must also make the category switcheroo from guest to supporting:


Becky Ann Baker (“Girls”)

Melora Hardin (“Transparent”)

Gillian Jacobs (“Girls”)

Mary Kay Place (“Getting On”)


Betsy Brandt (“Masters of Sex”)

Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”)

Portia de Rossi (“Scandal”)

Annabeth Gish (“Sons of Anarchy”)

Marcia Gay Harden (“The Newsroom”)

Chloe Sevigny (“Bloodline”)

Gabourey Sidibe (“Empire”)

Mary Steenburgen (“Justified”)

Yael Stone (“Orange is the New Black”)

Lorraine Toussaint (“Orange is the New Black”)

Samira Wiley (“Orange is the New Black”)

Mare Winningham (“The Affair”)

See any major omissions on our list? Be sure to sound off in the comments section below or join the discussion in our TV forum.

Make your Emmys picks now — click here — or scroll down to predict the Best Drama Supporting Actress winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Best predictions will win $1,000. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Emmys last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. See contest rules.

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Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can change your picks later as often as you wish.

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