We were guaranteed a new Best Drama Actress Emmy winner before nominations last year with 2018 champ Claire Foy (“The Crown”) out, but that’s not the case this time around. “Killing Eve” star Jodie Comer is currently in fourth place in our odds and is looking to become the first drama actress champ to defend her crown in seven years and the 10th altogether.
Of the 16 women who’ve won this category more than once, nine have done so with at least one successful title defense. Two, Tyne Daly and Barbara Bain, have even three-peated. Here are the nine:
1. Michael Learned, “The Waltons” (1973-74, ’76) and “Nurse” (1982)
2. Tyne Daly, “Cagney & Lacey” (1983-85, ’88)
3. Barbara Bain, “Mission: Impossible” (1967-69)
4. Susan Hampshire, “The Forsyte Saga” (1970) and “The First Churchills” (1971)
5. Sharon Gless, “Cagney & Lacey” (1986-87)
6. Patricia Wettig, “thirtysomething” (1990-91)
7. Kathy Baker, “Picket Fences” (1993, ’95-96)
8. Glenn Close, “Damages” (2008-09)
9. Claire Danes, “Homeland” (2012-13)
Since Danes’ consecutive victories and pre-Comer, there have been single wins by Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife,” 2014 — her second in the category after winning in 2011), Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder,” 2015), Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black,” 2016), Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” 2017) and Foy. Of these, three of them didn’t have a chance to extend their reigns: Foy, of course, but Margulies was never nominated again for “The Good Wife” after 2014, while Maslany wasn’t eligible for “Orphan Black’s” final season until 2018, when she made the cut.
Comer pulled off a killer upset last year, edging out her co-star and frontrunner Sandra Oh, who had claimed the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards and was nominated in 2018. But her momentum and narrative — she would’ve been the first winner of Asian descent in the category — proved to be no match for Comer’s buzzier turn as the most fashionable assassin around.
Just like the first two installments, Season 3 premiered in April, prime time for Emmy consideration, especially now that everyone’s stuck at home. The fifth episode, airing on Sunday, is a standalone Villanelle showcase, which could easily secure a spot for Comer and would almost assuredly be her episode submission.
If Comer makes it in, she might have to defeat a nearly entirely new set of nominees to snag a bookend statuette. Discounting Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) and Robin Wright (“House of Cards”) from last year’s field of seven, Comer and Laura Linney (“Ozark”) are the only ones predicted to return, and Linney had a stellar third season herself on the Netflix hit. Globe champ Olivia Colman (“The Crown”) leads, followed by Linney and SAG winner Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”). Moss, who wasn’t eligible last year as part of “Handmaid’s” orphaned episodes, is in fifth and Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”) is in sixth. Oh is right outside in seventh.
Be sure to make your Emmy nominations predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their 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 thrilling debate over the Emmy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.