This year’s Emmy nominees for Best Drama Guest Actress feature a trio of recent winners in this category — Margo Martindale (“The Americans,” 2015), Allison Janney (“Masters of Sex,” 2014), Carrie Preston (“The Good Wife,” 2013) — who are facing off against former champs Ellen Burstyn (“House of Cards”) and Laurie Metcalf (“Horace and Pete”), and newcomer Molly Parker (“House of Cards”). After watching our editors’ slugfest on this race above, you can find links below to each contender’s episode analysis where we dive into their Emmy pros and cons.
Is Burstyn poised to add a third Emmy to her shelf for her guest turn in “House of Cards?” She already has two trophies (Drama Guest Actress for “Law and Order: SVU” and Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for “Political Animals”) to go with her Best Actress Oscar for “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (1974) and her Best Actress in a Play Tony for “Same Time Next Year” (1975). Burstyn is nominated for playing Elizabeth Hale, the cancer-ridden mother of First Lady Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), and has submitted “Chapter 41.” READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Despite being a guest actress on the show and appearing in only two episodes in its third season, Janney has become the face of Showtime’s “Masters of Sex,” at least where the Emmys are concerned. In the show’s first season, Janney was one of three acting nominees and the only winner. The following year she was one of two acting nominees, but failed to take home the award. This year she’s back for a third consecutive nomination in the role of Margaret Scully and is the show’s only acting contender. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
It took the Emmys four seasons to finally nominate “The Americans” for Best Drama Series, but the one actor from the series who has always been on the TV academy’s radar is Martindale. This year Martindale received her fourth consecutive bid for her role as Claudia, the former KGB handler for undercover spies Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (lead-acting nominees Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) in FX’s period drama. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Metcalf has submitted “Episode 3” of “Horace and Pete” for Emmy Awards voters to consider in this race for her performance as Sarah. This three-time champ for “Roseanne” (1992-1994) reminded everyone this year that she is practically Emmy royalty by scoring three individual nominations as a performer. In addition to this bid she was also nominated for both Comedy Actress (“Getting On”) and Comedy Guest Actress (“The Big Bang Theory”). READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Parker has earned her first-ever Emmy nomination for the fourth season of “House of Cards.” On the Netflix political drama she portrays Rep. Jackie Sharp, a congresswoman from California who also serves as the Democratic whip in Congress, a job which used to be held by President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey). Parker has submitted “Chapter 45” to the Emmy voters, the sixth episode of the season. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Preston returns to the category three years after winning for her role as effervescent and cunning attorney Elsbeth Tascioni on “The Good Wife.” This show treated audiences to some truly memorable guest turns over seven seasons, including Elsbeth, who comes across as ditzy, scattered and dithering but is really a razor sharp and calculating legal eagle. Preston has submitted the episode “Targets” to voters. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
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