“Gilmore Girls” fans who gave up on the Emmys after all those painful Alexis Bledel snubs may have a change of heart this year, thanks to Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” According to Gold Derby’s Emmy experts, Bledel is the frontrunner to win Best Drama Guest Actress for her role as Ofglen, one of the titular handmaids who endures countless amounts of pain, both emotional and physical. She has a standout storyline in four of the first five episodes of the hit drama, so even if Emmy voters only watch a few hours, they’ll see Bledel’s impressive performance. (Bledel will be a full-fledged series regular in “The Handmaids Tale” Season 2.)
As of this writing we’ve polled nine TV journalists from top media outlets and these six think Bledel will prevail: Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times). Bledel has submitted the episode titled “Late” for awards consideration. Emmy ballot synopsis: Offred visits Janine’s baby with Serena Joy and remembers the early days of the revolution before Gilead. Ofglen faces a difficult challenge.
Carrie Preston prevailed for her quirky lawyer role of Elsbeth Tascioni on “The Good Wife” back in 2013, and now Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine) forecasts that she’ll win for playing this same character on CBS All Access’s spinoff “The Good Fight.” “Stoppable: Requiem For An Airdate” is Preston’s episode entry this time around. Emmy ballot synopsis: Elsbeth Tascioni is somewhat odd, but completely charming. After Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) is threatened by Mike Krevesta (Matthew Perry), Tascioni once again proves herself to be a fantastic — and ruthless — attorney.
Cicely Tyson (“How to Get Away with Murder”) is predicted to take home an Emmy by Lynn Elber (Associated Press). She returns as Ophelia Harkness, the mother of Viola Davis‘ Annalise Keating, on the ABC legal drama. Her submission is the episode “Go Cry Somewhere Else.” Emmy ballot synopsis: Annalise is embarrassed to see her parents at her trial, so she confronts them, only to learn that Ophelia is suffering from dementia. She thinks that Annalise is taking the blame for her for setting the house on fire that killed Annalise’s abusive uncle.
Can Cloris Leachman add to her Emmy record of eight primetime trophies this year thanks to Starz’s “American Gods”? That’s what Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes) thinks, as he’s predicting her to prevail for the episode “The Secret Of Spoons.” Emmy ballot synopsis: Cloris Leachman plays the role of Zorya Vechernyaya, the eldest of three sisters who watch over the constellations, guarding against horrors forgotten by modern man. Once accustomed to royal status, the sisters have learned to survive on far less in a country that has no memory of them.
None of our Emmy seers are currently predicting a victory for any other Best Drama Guest Actress hopefuls, but seven out of nine believe that Gillian Anderson will earn a bid for “American Gods” as Media. Anderson won the lead actress race for “The X-Files” in 1997, proving that voters aren’t afraid of honoring performers on sci-fi/fantasy shows. “Lemon Scented You” is her official awards entry. Emmy ballot synopsis: Gillian Anderson plays the role of Media. A master of manipulation, Media assumes whatever form will deliver her message most effectively. And unlike some of her fellow New Gods, she favors persuasion over brute force.
Another seven prognosticators think that longtime character actress Ann Dowd will earn her first career Emmy nom. She plays Patti Levin on HBO’s departing drama “The Leftovers,” and has submitted the episode “The Most Powerful Man In The World (And His Identical Twin Brother).” Emmy ballot synopsis: Dead and buried, but alive and well in a surreal afterlife, Patti Levin returns to torment Kevin Garvey again, this time not as a cult leader, but as Secretary of Defense of The United States.
Five Emmy journalists have Alison Wright (“The Americans”) getting nominated for her ever-evolving role of Martha on the FX Russian spy drama. Though her screen time has decreased this year, she still has a great episode entry in “The Soviet Division.” Emmy ballot synopsis: Secretary to the head of FBI Counter-Intelligence, Martha married Clark, an agent with FBI internal affairs. She spied on her colleagues for him. When her cover’s blown, Clark confesses that he’s actually a KGB spy. Sent to Moscow, Martha struggles to adapt to her new life.
A pair of Emmy pundits believe Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”) will earn a second bid after her 2014 nomination for playing Sophia Burset. On Season 4 of the Netflix drama, Cox’s character deals with a powerful solitary confinement storyline and has chosen the episode “Doctor Psycho” as her submission. Emmy ballot synopsis: After Caputo ignores Sophia’s requests to review the decision of her being in SHU, she stages several protests for her release — from stuffing her clothing down the toilet to clog it up to lighting her cell on fire.
Rounding out our experts’ likely nominees for Best Drama Guest Actress, three women have the support of one Emmy guru apiece: Khandi Alexander (“Scandal”), Uma Thurman (“The Imposters”) and Adina Porter (“Underground”). See the experts’ combined racetrack odds in 24 Emmy categories.
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.