Bryce Dallas Howard (“Black Mirror”) is surging in our experts’ Emmy nominations predictions for Best Movie/Mini Actress. Just last month she had the support of two experts from major media outlets, but now four think she’ll earn an Emmy nom: Eric Deggans (NPR), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly) and Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby). Is it possible that underdog Howard will continue rising in the rankings until she upsets category frontrunner Jessica Lange (“Feud: Bette and Joan”)?
Howard was featured in the “Black Mirror” episode “Nosedive” as a woman named Lacey Pound who’s obsessed with social media. The anthology is a watercooler hit for Netflix, and Howard even earned a surprise SAG nomination for her performance, so she’s already demonstrated that she has support from her industry peers. This would be the film star’s first Emmy nomination.
While Howard is surging, she’s still no match for Lange. As of this writing we’ve polled 20 journalists from top media outlets, and exactly half are forecasting that Lange will triumph on Emmy night: Deggans, O’Neil, Sheehan, Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Ken Tucker (Yahoo) and Adnan Virk (ESPN).
In addition to her two Oscars for “Tootsie” (Best Supporting Actress, 1983) and “Blue Sky” (Best Actress, 1995), Lange has also been a favorite of Emmy voters, winning three times out of her seven nominations. She claimed Best Movie/Mini Actress twice, for “Grey Gardens” (2009) and “American Horror Story: Coven” (2014). And she won Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for “American Horror Story: Murder House” (2012). Just like “Feud,” the “AHS” franchise is created by Ryan Murphy, so this collaboration has already proved fruitful for Lange. It doesn’t hurt that Lange plays a recognizable real-life figure, film icon Joan Crawford, as Emmy voters often go gaga when a famous person plays another famous person.
But don’t count out Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”) just yet. These nine Emmy pundits think she’ll be the ultimate winner: Rice, Michael Ausiello (TV Line), Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Pete Hammond (Deadline), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Glenn Whipp (LA Times) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
Kidman won an Oscar for “The Hours” (Best Actress, 2003), and she’s also been nominated three more times, including a Best Supporting Actress bid this past year for “Lion.” In addition, Kidman is currently promoting a new film by Sofia Coppola, “The Beguiled.” So Emmy voters might wish to reward her for the strength of her year overall in addition to her acclaimed performance in “Big Little Lies” as a wife and mother who is the victim of domestic abuse. Kidman has one previous Emmy nomination in this category for the telefilm “Hemingway & Gellhorn” (2012), but is yet to win. That could give her a boost if voters feel that Lange has been duly awarded and want to spread the wealth.
The final expert, Robert Rorke (New York Post) is predicting a victory for Lange’s “Feud” co-star Susan Sarandon, who plays Joan Crawford’s longtime rival Bette Davis. She’s looking for her first Emmy victory after four previous bids, though she’s already an Oscar-winning movie star as Best Actress for “Dead Man Walking” (1996). Could we be underestimating her? That’s a distinct possibility, though she could be hurt by the fact that Lange has a showier role. And there’s a possibility that Lange and Sarandon could split the vote, which could happen under the new voting system.
Kidman should also worry about vote-splitting since she may be nominated against her “Big Little Lies” co-star Reese Witherspoon. None of our experts are currently predicting a win for Witherspoon, but 17 out of 20 predict she will be nominated, so we mustn’t count her out. Witherspoon won an Oscar for “Walk the Line” (Best Actress, 2006), but she’s never yet contended at the Emmys.
Nineteen of our Emmy seers believe that Oprah Winfrey will earn a nomination for HBO’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” She plays the daughter of the title character, who is investigating the life of her mother, a cancer patient whose cells were harvested without her knowledge. Suffice it to say Winfrey is familiar with the Emmys. She won a Primetime Emmy as a producer of the telefilm “Tuesday with Morrie” (2000), and she won a whopping 16 Daytime Emmys, most of them for her self-titled talk show. But Winfrey has yet to win an Emmy for acting.
A dozen Emmy gurus predict a nomination for Carrie Coon (“Fargo”). She’s a past Tony nominee for her work on the stage, but she has yet to be nominated for an Emmy. The good news for her is that she is featured in two prominent TV roles this season. Both FX’s “Fargo” and her HBO drama series “The Leftovers” finished airing in June, so she could get support from voters who want to honor her versatile body of work, much the way Martin Freeman won an Emmy in 2014 for his supporting role in “Sherlock” while voters were also considering him for his lead role in “Fargo’s” first season.
Four experts think Felicity Huffman will earn her third consecutive nomination for “American Crime.” She contended in this category in 2015 and 2016 for playing different roles in this ABC anthology series, and now she’s being considered for her performance as a woman who clashes with her family when she stands up for exploited farm laborers who died in a fire. Huffman has a total of four Emmy nominations, winning once for “Desperate Housewives” (Best Comedy Actress, 2005).
Rounding out the likely nominees for Best Movie/Mini Actress, two experts are predicting a bid for Lauren Graham (“Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life”), while one apiece are opting for Sanaa Lathan (“Shots Fired”) and Andrea Riseborough (“The Witness for the Prosecution”). All three ladies would be first-time Emmy nominees.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.