Emmys 2016 Slugfest: Tom O’Neil vs. Pete Hammond for Best Drama Actress

“This is cut and dry for me. A simple victory for Viola Davis,” declares Emmy Awards expert Pete Hammond (Deadline), who’s banking on last year’s Best Drama Actress winner to repeat for “How to Get Away with Murder.” “It’s only going to be her second one, and it will only be the second time an African-American actress has won in this category.”

“Here’s why Robin Wright‘s gonna win, let me tell ya!” fires back Gold Derby founder Tom O’Neil. “There are two words for that: Hillary Clinton. This is the year about women being empowered in politics and this is the year in which Robin Wright owned ‘House of Cards.’ This is a woman who’s even more ambitious than Hillary Clinton.” Watch their slugfest above.

Is the race a done deal between either Davis and Wright, or might one of the other leading ladies claim victory? Both Hammond and O’Neil agree that Tatiana Maslany is “amazing” on “Orphan Black,” but admit that those older Emmy voters likely aren’t even watching the sci-fi fave. Also watch out for Claire Danes (“Homeland”), who’s won twice before (2012-13).

Keri Russell (“The Americans”) should have been nominated over several years, but since she’s new to the category, she’s “the untested one” notes Hammond. And Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) might have an uphill climb considering how poorly her show has been embraced by the TV academy.

See all of Hammond’s and O’Neil’s Emmy rankings for Best Drama Actress right here. For the racetrack odds page combining all of our experts’ predix, click here. On that page you’ll see that Wright leads with 10/9 odds, followed by Davis in second place with odds of 19/10.

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UPLOADED Sep 7, 2016 11:30 am