Hey, Sarah Paulson: Do you have your Emmy speech ready? After losing three years in a row (“Game Change” in 2012, “AHS: Asylum” in 2013, “AHS: Coven” in 2014), Gold Derby predicts this overdue Emmy contender will finally win her first trophy. Paulson has leading 3/10 odds to win the Best Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actress race for FX’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” in which she played conjoined sisters Bette and Dot Tattler.
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For the first time in Emmy history, the TV academy decided this year that the supporting nominees from limited series had to choose specific episodes to submit to judges. (Nominated performers from TV movies continued to submit their entire projects.) Paulson submitted the ninth episode (“Tupperware Party Massacre”) for Emmy consideration, in which Bette and Dot have an emotional debate about whether to undergo surgery to separate themselves.
As for Paulson’s co-nominees, Mo’Nique (“Bessie”) is in second place with 13/2 odds to win. She plays Ma Rainey on the HBO telefilm and is the only contender in this category nominated for a TV movie, so she did not have the option of submitting a specific episode to judges. While this is Mo’Nique’s first Emmy nomination, she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for “Precious” (2009).
Following those two frontrunners, Regina King (“American Crime”) is in third place with 25/1 odds to win. She chose to submit “Episode Four” of ABC’s anthology series to Emmy judges, the hour where her character Aliyah Shadeed’s religious community offers support for Carter despite the fact that the case against him is weakening. This is King’s first Emmy nomination.
Last year’s winner in this category, Kathy Bates (“AHS: Freak Show”), is down in fourth place to repeat with 33/1 odds. Bates entered the first of two Halloween hours, “Edward Mordrake, Part 1,” for Emmy consideration. That’s the episode where her character Ethel Darling, the bearded woman, finds out that she has cirrhosis of the liver, but she decides to keep the information secret from her son and ex-husband. This is her 13th Emmy nomination with two previous wins: Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for “AHS: Coven” (2014) and Comedy Guest Actress for “Two and a Half Men” (2012).
Zoe Kazan (“Olive Kitteridge”) is a newcomer to the Emmys and is tied for last place with 100/1 odds to win. She chose to enter the introductory episode, “Pharmacy,” of her HBO miniseries, in which her character Denise Thibodeau is hired to replace a deceased woman and immediately builds a friendship with the pharmacy’s owner, played by the much older Richard Jenkins.
Angela Bassett (“AHS: Freak Show”) is tied with Kazan at lowly 100/1 odds to win. She decided to submit the anthology’s penultimate episode, titled “Show Stoppers,” in which her character Desiree Dupree rallies the troops against Elsa (Jessica Lange) following Ethel’s (Bates) murder. This is Bassett’s third Emmy nomination with no previous wins.
Experts Emmy predictions: All 32 categories
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Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX