Will ‘Ratched’ earn Sarah Paulson her first Emmy nomination for Best Drama Actress?

With seven nominations under her belt, it might feel like Sarah Paulson has been all over the Emmys for years. But the frequent collaborator of Ryan Murphy has only dominated a specific section of the awards: the limited series/TV movie categories. This year she has the opportunity to change that.

Paulson won her first and so far only Emmy for her lead performance as Marcia Clark on FX’s anthology series “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” in 2016. However, she has been nominated a total of three times in the Best Limited Series/TV Movie Actress category. Her other two bids were for the “Coven” and “Cult” installments of FX’s horror anthology series “American Horror Story.” Paulson’s other four Emmy nominations came in the corresponding supporting actress category and are for her performances in HBO’s “Game Change” as well as the “AHS” installments “Asylum,” “Freak Show” and “Hotel.”

This year Paulson is looking to show that she can go the distance in an ongoing role. She is eligible for Best Drama Actress for her performance as Nurse Mildred Ratched on the Netflix drama “Ratched,” which was created by Evan Romansky and executive-produced by Murphy. It’s a psychological thriller that acts as a prequel to the events of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Paulson, who received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama Actress for her performance, is currently sitting in eighth place with 35/1 odds.

SEE ‘Ratched’s’ Cynthia Nixon on telling a queer love story opposite Sarah Paulson [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

With only six spots available in the race for Best Drama Actress, Paulson is going to need a strong final push during nomination-round voting, which runs from June 17 until June 28. The good news is, nearly all of last year’s nominees are ineligible because of pandemic-related filming delays. Currently, Emma Corrin of “The Crown” leads the race with 69/20 odds. She has long been the frontrunner in the category after winning the Golden Globe and receiving an individual Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her turn as Diana, Princess of Wales on the royal drama. She’s a shoo-in, which leaves five open slots for Paulson to try to claim.

Between Corrin and Paulson in Gold Derby’s combined odds sit an Oscar winner and Emmy nominee in the form of Olivia Colman (“The Crown”) and two previous Emmy winners: Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Uzo Aduba (“In Treatment”). There are also three actresses who are hoping to nab their first nods: Jurnee Smollett (“Lovecraft Country”), Phoebe Dynevor (“Bridgerton”) and Mj Rodriguez (“Pose”).

Working in Paulson’s favor is the fact that she’s a known name and a previous Emmy winner. Voters have already established they like her work, even if she is just 1-for-7 at the moment, so that could easily give her a leg up on the competition. Meanwhile, Moss was actually dropped from the lineup in 2020, and “Handmaid’s Tale” fatigue could potentially prevent her from making a comeback this year despite adding “director” to her resume.

Lastly, while “Bridgerton” certainly charmed the love-starved masses, Emmy voters don’t often jump aboard a show during its first season, and romances aren’t your typical Emmy bait, so Dynevor isn’t entirely safe. This means there are a couple of avenues that Paulson could potentially take to earn her first Emmy nomination outside of the limited series/TV movie genre.

Emmy odds for Best Drama Actress
Emma Corrin is out front

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