Oscar winners do battle at Emmys: Cate Blanchett (‘Mrs. America’) vs. Regina King (‘Watchmen’) is too close to call

These days it’s common to see Oscar-winning movie stars squaring off at the Emmys — winners of Best Movie/Limited Actress in the last decade alone have included Kate Winslet, Julianne Moore, Jessica Lange and Nicole Kidman — but this year’s battle looks like an especially close call, at least according to our early racetrack odds.

Regina King has leading odds of 18/5 as of this writing for her role as a masked detective trying to unravel a conspiracy and protect her family in HBO’s “Watchmen.” She recently won an Oscar for her supporting role in “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018), but the Emmys are her home turf. By the time the motion picture academy honored her she had already won three Emmys out of four nominations, two for “American Crime” (Best Movie/Limited Supporting Actress in 2015 and 2016) and one for “Seven Seconds” (Best Movie/Limited Actress in 2018). So underestimate her at your own risk.

Cate Blanchett is close behind with 4/1 odds for her role in FX’s “Mrs. America” as real-life conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who fought against the rights of women in the 1970s. Blanchett has never been nominated for an Emmy before, but that’s mostly because she has done less TV over the course of her career. The double Oscar champ for “The Aviator” (2004) and “Blue Jasmine” (2013) will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with for this high-profile foray onto the small screen.

We’re already sharply divided over the race. Most of the Expert journalists we’ve surveyed so far for their predictions are betting on Emmy queen King, while a majority of the Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby say Blanchett will prevail. And the Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Emmy nominations are split right down the middle between the two front-runners.

But lest we think this is strictly a two-actress race, keep in mind that Golden Globe nominees Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever are also major threats to win for their roles in the true-crime Netflix series “Unbelievable.” Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon is back in the Emmy race with “Little Fires Everywhere” after winning Best Limited Series as a producer of “Big Little Lies” in 2017. Her Emmy-nominated “Little Fires” co-star Kerry Washington is due for a win after past bids for “Scandal” and “Confirmation.”

And there are yet more Oscar winners who under most circumstances would probably be shoo-ins, including Octavia Spencer for her biographical role as an entrepreneur in “Self-Made” and Helen Mirren as the title character in “Catherine the Great.” In recent years this has been one of the most competitive races at the Emmys, and this is no exception. Right now it’s still too close to call.

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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 the nominees are announced on July 28. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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