Hey, Mandy Patinkin (‘Homeland’): Here’s why I’m not ruling out an Emmy upset for you as Best Drama Supporting Actor

Mandy Patinkin is now on his fourth Emmy nomination for Showtime’s “Homeland,” his previous three being in 2013, 2014 and 2017. This time around, he is up against Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”), Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”), Joseph Fiennes (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), David Harbour (“Stranger Things”) and Matt Smith (“The Crown”). While Harbour is the odds-on favorite to win Best Drama Supporting Actor with odds of 5/6, Patinkin sits down in 6th place with odds of 66/1. But don’t count an upset by “Homeland’s” perennial nominee, and see below for my reasons why.

Alongside Dinklage, Patinkin is the most Emmy nominated actor in the supporting actor line-up, with seven nominations total. The one and only time he prevailed was in 1995 for “Chicago Hope,” in the Best Drama Actor category. After 23 years, Emmy voters may feel like he’s overdue for a second statuette, especially since he has yet to win for playing Saul Berenson on “Homeland.” Having been in the industry for a good 40 years now, he is the veteran actor whom Emmy voters tend to award time and again.

Like last year, where “Homeland” picked up three bids for Best Drama Supporting Actor (Patinkin), Best Drama Directing and Best Sound Editing, it only has three nominations this year. Next to Patinkin’s bid in supporting actor, it’s up for Best Drama Guest Actor for F. Murray Abraham and Best Sound Editing. Patinkin’s nominations both this year and last year practically make him “Homeland’s” perennial nominee as the Television Academy even snubbed Claire Danes for the very first time in Best Drama Actress last year. That makes Patinkin’s bids all the more impressive and shows that he still has strong support within the acting branch.

What sets his chances in this year’s race apart from last year’s is that last year John Lithgow (“The Crown”) was the heavy favorite to win. This year on the other hand, the best supporting actor category seems to be wide-open and not have a clear front-runner, so an upset could easily be in the making. Yes, Harbour is out in front according to our combined odds, but Dinklage is giving him a run for his money in second place. With six contenders in this category, one of them only needs 17% of the votes to prevail.

Perhaps it’s Patinkin’s veteran status that just tips him over the edge. Of note, he is the only nominee in this category whose show isn’t a contender for Best Drama Series. However, he may not have to worry about that. While defending champ Lithgow was in a Drama Series contender, Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”) wasn’t and was still able to prevail in 2016 despite tough competition from many actors in Best Drama Series contenders.

If episodes matter, then Patinkin’s submission “Species Jump” would only help him. This year, after being one of 200 federal employees to be arrested under President Keane’s (Elizabeth Marvel) command, his character is appointed to the position of National Security Advisor. In this episode, Saul has to get to the bottom of a potential Russian operation taking place on American soil while having to connect the dots for a confused Carrie (Danes).

Patinkin is as strong as ever and benefits from a significant amount of screen time, practically being a co-lead to Danes, and from playing an important character who fits perfectly into the current political climate. The subject matter of this episode, and of the entire season for that matter, hits close to home for American citizens. Maybe supporting actor is the place to award “Homeland” for its relevancy and incredible depiction of it, especially as Patinkin’s character is one of the driving forces in that particular storyline.

PREDICT the Emmy winners now; change them until September 17

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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