For the first time, “The Crown” is fielding two drama actress contenders, in Emma Corrin and Olivia Colman, and both have gotten in everywhere so far. If they do it at the Emmys as expected, they’ll be one of the few duos from the same show to accomplish it in the category this century.
At the turn of the century, we got four straight years of co-star nominees in Best Drama Actress. “The Sopranos'” Edie Falco and Lorraine Bracco were nominated from 1999-2001, with Falco prevailing in 1999 and 2001 (Sela Ward won for “Once and Again” in 2000). In 2002, “Six Feet Under” landed bids for Frances Conroy and Rachel Griffith, but they lost to Allison Janney, who upgraded to lead for “The West Wing” after two consecutive victories in supporting.
After that, it was crickets for drama actress pairs — until “Killing Eve.” Sandra Oh got in by herself in 2018, becoming the first Asian nominee in the category, and then Jodie Comer joined in on the fun in 2019 and 2020. Comer, of course, won in 2019, and the twosome lost to Zendaya (“Euphoria”) last year.
“Killing Eve” is sitting this Emmy cycle out, but “The Crown” is here to carry on the double drama actress torch for a third straight year. Until now, the royal drama has only submitted a single lead actress contender, nabbing nominations for Claire Foy the first two seasons and a win for the second, and Colman last year for their respective turns as Queen Elizabeth II. But the fourth season introduced Corrin’s Princess Diana, and the Diana-Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) storyline dominated the installment, giving Colman some friendly internal competition. Corrin has beaten Colman for the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award, but they lost the Screen Actors Guild Award to their co-star Gillian Anderson, whom they don’t have to worry about at the Emmys since she’ll be in supporting.
Corrin and Colman occupy the top two spots in the odds, with the former way out ahead at 69/20 to the latter’s 4/1. With “The Crown” the drama series frontrunner and Colman being the only eligible returning nominee from 2020, they are basically locks for nominations. Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), Uzo Aduba (“In Treatment”), Jurnee Smollett (“Lovecraft Country”) and Phoebe Dynevor (“Bridgerton”) round out the top six.
Best Drama Actress wasn’t always so allergic to pairs from the same show, back when there were far fewer shows on the air. The ’80s slates were populated by lots of them between “Cagney & Lacey” (Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless), “L.A. Law” (Susan Dey and Jill Eikenberry), “Dallas” (Barbara Bel Geddes and Linda Gray), “Hill Street Blues” (Barbara Babcock and Veronica Hamel), “Family” (Kristy MacNichol and Sada Thompson) and “The Rockford Files” (Lauren Bacall and Mariette Hartley).
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