The Emmy for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor is guaranteed to go to someone new. Four of the six nominees have never been nominated before and the other two lost their previous races. Since the Emmys often prefer familiar faces, that could be good news for Hugh Laurie, who is nominated for his villainous performance as an arms dealer in “The Night Manager.” Also counting his nomination as an executive producer of this AMC limited series, Laurie has now been nominated nine times without a victory.
His first seven nominations included six for Best Drama Actor as the irascible title doctor in “House” and one Best Drama Series bid as a producer of that series. Now he’s playing a new role in a different field of competition altogether. His character, Richard Roper, is a mustache-twirling villain, the kind Emmy voters often love (like Bryan Cranston in “Breaking Bad” and John Lithgow in “Dexter”). On “House” he was often unlikable, but not in the kind of grand, theatrical way voters prefer; if you want to win for playing a baddie, it helps to go the full “Macbeth.”
Laurie, the sole “Night Manager” nominee in this category, he faces three fellows from one of this year’s biggest Emmy darlings, “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” which has 22 nominations total. That puts it second only to “Game of Thrones” (23) as the most nominated program of the year. Two of these men are first-time nominees: breakthrough performer Sterling K. Brown as prosecutor Christopher Darden and acting vet John Travolta as defense attorney Robert Shapiro. The third is David Schwimmer, who plays Simpson’s conflicted friend Robert Kardashian. He was nominated just once before: Best Comedy Supporting Actor for “Friends” 21 years ago (1995).
The last two contenders in this category are first-time nominees from “Fargo.” Bokeem Woodbine plays philosophizing mob enforcer Mike Milligan, and Jesse Plemons portrays mild-mannered butcher Ed Blumquist. Both have multiple past TV credits, though Plemons may be more familiar to Emmy voters thanks to his roles in Best Drama Series nominee “Friday Night Lights” and two-time Best Drama champ “Breaking Bad.” Both Woodbine and Plemons were nominated for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor at the Critics’ Choice Awards last winter, with Plemons winning. But those critics kudos only honored TV that aired between June 1 and December 31, so “The Night Manager” and “People v. O.J.” weren’t yet eligible.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions right here. You’ll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmy nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.