Will Kelly Reilly (‘Yellowstone’) finally crack Emmy’s Best Drama Actress lineup?

This time last year, I was convinced that British actress Kelly Reilly would finally receive her first ever Emmy nomination for playing Beth Dutton on Paramount Network’s blockbuster neo-Western “Yellowstone.” Reilly fits the bill for that kind of television character that comes along every once in a while that hits a nerve with fans, driving viewership and generating deafening social media buzz. I figured that Emmy voters could not possibly deny that Reilly had crafted a character that is so memorable and popular, that they wouldn’t resist giving her a spot in the competitive Best Drama Actress lineup. Fast forward a few months to July 2022, and Reilly shockingly missed out on a nomination. To make matters worse, the TV academy inexplicably snubbed “Yellowstone” across the board, despite its popularity with audiences and critics.

So, here we are again. Nominations for the 2023 Emmy Awards are months away (they are set to be announced July 12). Will Emmy voters finally invite “Yellowstone” to the party? If anyone from the show can do it, it’s Reilly. She’s earned gushing raves for portraying the ruthless Beth Dutton, a 21st century Lady Macbeth who scorches the earth around her in pursuit of her intense, white-hot quest for vengeance over the events of her traumatic past.

SEE Exclusive Video Interview: Wes Bentley (‘Yellowstone’)

Remember, Emmy voters are often late to the party. Reilly’s Emmy trajectory might follow in the footsteps of Anna Gunn (“Breaking Bad”), another fierce female power-player that had to wait until Season 4 of “Breaking Bad” before the TV academy finally honored her in 2012 with an Emmy nomination for Best Drama Supporting Actress. She lost that year to Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”), but then came roaring back as an Emmy favorite, winning the next year and then again the year after that.

All it takes is a breakthrough for Emmy voters to catch on, and then they tend to double down. I’m betting that Reilly will get her breakthrough this year if voters are paying attention.

SEE Ben Affleck reveals he and Jennifer Lopez are ‘Yellowstone’ fans

“Yellowstone” is the top-rated scripted show on TV. The hit series broke ratings records and shattered hearts last season, and Season 5 has built on that success, captivating 12.1 million live-plus-same-day viewers, a huge uptick on an already high watermark. The neo-Western was created by Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan (“Hell or High Water”), starring Oscar, Emmy and SAG Award winner Kevin Costner (“Dances With Wolves,” “Hatfields & McCoys”) as tough-as-nails family patriarch John Dutton, with Reilly co-starring as the ruthless Beth alongside TV siblings Luke Grimes as favorite son Kaycee and Wes Bentley as black sheep Jamie, and Cole Hauser portraying rough-diamond rancher Rip Wheeler, the Duttons’ honorary adopted son and Beth’s devoted husband.

If voters cotton on to the show’s immense popularity and quality, Reilly could upend the current status quo among the actresses vying for a spot in Best Drama Actress. She’s currently sitting pretty in 12th place according to our combined odds, behind early frontrunners Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”), Imelda Staunton (“The Crown”), Bella Ramsey (“The Last of Us”) and Emma D’Arcy (“House of the Dragon”).

But Reilly has a decent shot to crack the top six, because she’s holding her own among a bunch of other “on the cusp” contenders, like Juliette Lewis and Tawny Cypress (“Yellowjackets”), Lily-Rose Depp (“The Idol”) and Hilary Swank (“Alaska Daily”), who are just ahead of Reilly for now, and all of whom are within striking distance. Our odds are based on the combined forecasts of Experts we’ve polled from major media outlets, Editors who cover awards year-round for this website, Top 24 Users who did the best predicting the winners last time, All-Star Users who had the best prediction scores over the last two years, and the mass of Users who make up our biggest predictions bloc.

Hey, Emmy voters — in a world of Karens, be a Beth!

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