In 1995, Julianna Margulies became the first — and it turned out, the only — regular cast member of “ER” to win an Emmy when she took home Best Drama Supporting Actress. Twenty-seven years later, she can add a second trophy in the category and join another elite group: a drama supporting actress winner for two shows.
Margulies is in sixth place in the drama supporting actress odds for “The Morning Show,” on which she recurred in Season 2 as UBA anchor Laura Peterson, who starts a relationship with Bradley (Reese Witherspoon). A victory would make her the 11th person to win the category more than once but just the second to do it for two different shows. Tyne Daly is the only one to accomplish the feat, having won for “Christy” in 1996 (she and Margulies beat each other for their wins) and for “Judging Amy” in 2003. All of the category’s other multiple champs have been repeat winners for one show, like two-time champs Julia Garner (“Ozark”), Anna Gunn (“Breaking Bad”), Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”) and Allison Janney (“The West Wing”). Nancy Marchand holds the category record with four wins, all for “Lou Grant,” though she was twice nominated, including once posthumously, for “The Sopranos.”
If she makes it in, this will be Margulies’ first drama supporting actress nomination since 1996 as she upgraded to lead the following year for “ER” (unlike Janney, who won two Emmys each in supporting and lead for “The West Wing,” she never triumphed in lead for “ER”). It would also be her first individual recognition for “The Morning Show” — the cast scored a drama ensemble nomination at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, but Margulies, who once was the SAG Awards’ winningest performer with eight trophies, did not earn a drama actress bid while her co-stars Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston did. But as leads, they have an advantage in a combined category over a supporting player like Margulies, not to mention that Aniston has won before.
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At the Emmys, she won’t have to worry about that in a supporting category with eight slots. Actors have also clearly been “The Morning Show’s” biggest fans with Season 1 nabbing five acting bids and one win for Billy Crudup in 2020 despite the show missing the Best Drama Series lineup. Margulies is also a veteran and a three-time winner, so she’ll be a familiar face to voters. But what is of note is that she has yet to be nominated under the current popular vote system. Her last nomination — and win — was in 2014, when she claimed her second Best Drama Actress Emmy for “The Good Wife” in the final year of the tape system (she was also shockingly snubbed in 2013 in a field of seven). The legal drama ran for two more seasons after that, earning five more acting nominations, including for supporting actors Christine Baranski and Alan Cumming.
What also helps Margulies, to make it in at least, is that the category is very much open. None of last year’s nominees are eligible this year as “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which took up four slots, and “The Crown,” which snagged three slots, are sitting out this cycle, and “Lovecraft Country” has been canceled. And unlike last year when Gillian Anderson swept the whole season for “The Crown,” there’s no dominant force in drama supporting actress this time around, though you can certainly argue that with Garner back in the mix with a ton of baity material, voters will just gravitate toward her again. At the moment, Sarah Snook (“Succession”), who won the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards, tops the odds, followed by Garner, SAG winner Jung HoYeon (“Squid Game”), J. Smith-Cameron (“Succession”) and Rhea Seehorn (“Better Call Saul”). Fiona Shaw (“Killing Eve”) and Sydney Sweeney (“Euphoria”) are in seventh and eighth place, respectively.
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