Uzo Aduba (‘In Treatment’) already has 3 Emmys, but now she’s moving up our odds to win for the first time as a lead

Never underestimate Uzo Aduba at the Emmys. She already has three trophies on her mantel out of four nominations, which means she has only ever lost once. Now she could claim Best Drama Actress for her role as a therapist in the revival of HBO’s “In Treatment.” Not only would it be her first Emmy victory in a lead category, it would make her only the third Black performer to win this race, following Viola Davis‘s historic victory for “How to Get Away with Murder” in 2015 and Zendaya‘s surprise triumph for “Euphoria” in 2020.

Aduba quickly rose to fame with her scene-stealing portrayal of Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black.” She won Best Comedy Guest Actress in 2014 for the show’s first season, but even though the Emmys moved the show to the drama categories the following year and also bumped Aduba up to the supporting race, she earned another nomination in 2015 and won again. She was nominated for a third time in 2017, but lost to Ann Dowd (“The Handmaid’s Tale”).

Her third victory took us by surprise. In 2020 she was nominated for Best Movie/Limited Supporting Actress for her portrayal of trailblazing politician Shirley Chisholm in “Mrs. America.” But she was up against two co-stars (Margo Martindale and Tracey Ullman) who were also Emmy darlings and also playing biographical roles, so we thought they might split each other’s votes. Nevertheless, Aduba persisted.

Now she has taken over for Gabriel Byrne, who previously played the therapist on “In Treatment” for three seasons. The show’s original run was good to its cast, winning twice out of six acting nominations (for supporting actress Dianne Wiest and guest actor Glynn Turman in season one). And it’s no wonder why: the show was an actor’s paradise with most episodes constituting two actors going back and forth in emotional, psychologically complex one-on-one therapy sessions.

So it’s no surprise that Aduba currently ranks among our predicted nominees for Best Drama Actress according to the combined predictions of Gold Derby users. She ranks fourth with 13/2 odds and support from one of the Editors who covers awards year-round for Gold Derby and two of the Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s nominations.

She might face an uphill climb against Emma Corrin (“The Crown”), who built strong momentum over the winter and spring with victories at the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards. Our odds say Corrin is currently the favorite to win, but “The Crown” premiered its episodes last November, so buzz around that series has had time to cool, while “In Treatment” premiered on May 23, right at the end of the Emmy eligibility period, which means it will be fresher in voters’ minds when they’re marking their ballots in June (and picking the winners this summer). So knowing how much the TV academy already loves Aduba, they may want to book an appointment with her this fall.

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