Emmys upheaval: Guest actors Joe Morton, Frank Langella 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 actors affected by this rule change are Joe Morton, who by season’s end will have popped up in more than half of the 23 episodes of “Scandal,” and Frank Langella, who was seen in 10 of the 13 episodes of “The Americans.”

Now that they’ve been cruelly thrown out of the guest star race, will Morton and Langella get their revenge on the Emmys in the Best Drama Supporting Actor 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).

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

According to Gold Derby’s exclusive predictions, the biggest competition for Morton and Langella this year on our Best Drama Supporting Actor chart are: Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) with 10/3 odds, Jon Voight (“Ray Donovan”) and Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”) both at 11/2, Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”) with 13/2 odds, Jim Carter (“Downton Abbey”) at 8/1 and Sam Shepard (“Bloodline”) with odds of 20/1.

Ironically, Morton won the Drama Guest Actor Emmy last year for appearing as Rowan Pope in almost the entire season of “Scandal,” so if this rule had been enacted then, he would’ve had to compete instead against Drama Supporting Actor champ Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”). Could Morton have beaten Paul? Who would have won the guest star race if Morton wasn’t eligible there? We will never know.

Langella contends for the new character of Gabriel on “The Americans,” however he was previously nominated for an Emmy (Best Individual Achievement, “I, Leonardo: A Journey of the Mind,” 1983) and an Oscar (Best Actor, “Frost/Nixon,” 2008).

Keep in mind that Morton and Langella are hardly the only guest actors 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:


Patton Oswalt (“Veep”)

Dermot Mulroney (“Shameless”)

Peter Scolari (“Girls”)


Mike Colter (“The Good Wife”)

Garret Dillahunt (“Justified”)

John Doman (“The Affair”)

Sam Elliott (“Justified”)

Chris Noth (“The Good Wife”)

Steven Pasquale (“The Good Wife”)

Ray Romano (“Parenthood”)

Suraj Sharma (“Homeland”)

Tom Verica (“How to Get Away with Murder”)

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 Actor 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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