There’s more TV than ever before, which means there are also more opportunities for performers than ever before. At this point it’s relatively common for an entertainer to be nominated for acting, writing, directing and producing for various projects, but there are multiple stars this year who could be nominated four or more times just in performance categories. For the purposes of this list, I’m not only counting acting in live-action programs but also character voice-overs, narration, and reality hosting awards. And when you add up all those different styles of performance, a few could rise to the top. Who do you think will earn the most acting bids this year?
Tiffany Haddish — She won an Emmy in 2018 for guest hosting “Saturday Night Live,” and this year she has five chances to add to that. She’s on the ballot for Best Movie/Limited Supporting Actress (“Live in Front of a Studio Audience” and “Self Made”), Best Comedy Guest Actress (“The Last O.G.”), Best Character Voice-Over Performance (“Crank Yankers”) and Best Reality Host (“Kids Say the Darndest Things”).
Allison Janney — She already has seven career Emmys, and the all-time record at the Primetime Emmys is eight acting awards (Cloris Leachman and Julia Louis-Dreyfus share that distinction). Janney could conceivably obliterate that record this year as she also has five acting submissions this year: Best Comedy Actress (“Mom”), Best Movie/Limited Supporting Actress (“Bad Education” and “Troop Zero”), Best Comedy Guest Actress (“The Kominsky Method”) and Best Narrator (“Expedition Amelia”).
Laverne Cox — She has three past nominations for her recurring guest role on “Orange is the New Black.” She has once again been submitted for Best Drama Guest Actress for that performance, but she also has three submissions for Best Comedy Guest Actress: “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Dear White People.” That’s a total of four nomination chances.
Giancarlo Esposito — He earned nominations for playing villain Gus Fring on “Breaking Bad” (2012) and “Better Call Saul” (2019). He’s once again a contender for Best Drama Supporting Actor for “Saul,” but he could also get into that category for “Godfather of Harlem,” and he has two other chances in the race for Best Drama Guest Actor: “The Boys” and “The Mandalorian.”
Kathryn Hahn — A previous Emmy nominee for her role on “Transparent,” she could be nominated again for that performance, this time Best Movie/Limited Supporting Actress for “Transparent Musicale Finale.” She’s also a contender in that race for “I Know This Much is True,” in Best Movie/Limited Actress for “Mrs. Fletcher” and Best Character Voice-Over Performance for “Central Park.”
Aaron Paul — A three-time Emmy winner for playing Jesse Pinkman on “Breaking Bad,” this year he could be nominated for Best Movie/Limited Actor for reprising that role in “El Camino.” He’s also being considered for Best Drama Actor (“Westworld”), Best Drama Supporting Actor (“Truth Be Told”) and Best Character Voice-Over Performance (“BoJack Horseman”).
Maya Rudolph — The former “Saturday Night Live” star could earn her third straight nomination for Best Comedy Guest Actress for “The Good Place.” She could also be nominated in that category for playing Senator Kamala Harris on “SNL.” And she’s got two character voice-over performances in the running too: “Big Mouth” and “Bless the Harts.”
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