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2013 Emmy Nomination Preview & Predictions: Lead Actress in a Drama Series

With the Emmy nominations coming up on July 18, I am posting predictions and analysis of each of the top categories.  Each post consists of predictions and analysis for one category.

Here are my predictions and analysis for:
 
LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
 
 
CLAIRE DANES as Carrie Mathison in HOMELAND
The reigning champion in this category, Danes is one of the biggest locks on Emmy nomination morning.  Though she didn’t have as many standout moments in season 2 compared to season 1, she is still playing one of the most fascinating characters on television and deserves to have her frontunner status.  She’ll probably win this category again this year and I can’t say it wouldn’t be deserved, much like her co-star Damian Lewis.

 
MICHELLE DOCKERY as Lady Mary Crawley in DOWNTON ABBEY
 
Dockery managed to get a nomination last year in a category full of big name actresses and continues to shine as one of the most popular shows on television.  I did not watch Downton Abbey this season but I’ve heard that her screentime did not decrease nor did her performance get any worse, so I presume that she’s in again.  There is an even bigger pool of actresses to choose from this year but she should be able to return if the new actresses split votes.
 
 
VERA FARMIGA as Norma Bates in BATES MOTEL
 
I’m really not confident about this prediction at all, but for some reason I have a weird feeling that Farmiga will be the one to cut through all the new performances this year and land a nomination.  She’s been campaigning like crazy lately and For Your Consideration ads are everywhere, in addition to the fact that she’s an Oscar nominee.  She may be on a wildly inconsistent show, but Farmiga is an actress people like in a very over-the-top yet complex performance.  I hope I’m right about this one.
 
 
JULIANNA MARGULIES as Alicia Florrick in THE GOOD WIFE
 
Unlike Farmiga, I’m very confident that Margulies will get another nomination in this category.  She’s been nominated since the show began and won for her second season so there’s no reason why they would give up on her now.  She is an Emmy favorite who’s been a part of television for decades now so she has enough credence to get the respect of the voters and pick up enough votes from rubber-stamping.  She likely will never win again but she’ll keep getting nominations until someone better comes along.
 
 
ELISABETH MOSS as Peggy Olson in MAD MEN
 
I’m predicting that Moss will be a double nominee this year, one for Mad Men and one for her performance in the miniseries Top of the Lake.  She didn’t have a particularly memorable season this year on Mad Men but in addition to Jon Hamm she’s almost become the face of the show at this point.  Even if she doesn’t have a great chance of winning this year I think enough voters will see her name and check it off regardless, perhaps based on simply liking Peggy so much.
 
 
KERRY WASHINGTON as Olivia Pope in SCANDAL
 
Scandal has become a water-cooler phenomenon over the past year, and much of the reason is because of Washington’s complex performance as fixer Olivia Pope.  It’s crazy how much buzz she’s picked up over the past few months to the point where almost everyone is predicting her to get in despite not getting nominated for anything major thus far, but this seems like Washington’s year.  She is definitely Danes’ biggest threat to take home the trophy in September.
 
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This was the roughest category for me to predict, just because there were four contenders I felt very confident about (Danes, Margulies, Moss, Washington) and about 10 other actresses that could fill the last two spots.  Dockery is certainly a conservative choice but she could very easily be left out in favor of bigger names and showier performances.  The biggest snub I’m predicting is Glenn Close for Damages.  She won this category twice in a row for her performance as Patty Hewes so it seems strange to leave her out completely but few people even know that there was a fifth season of Damages so I have a feeling she’ll get passed over.  There are two other new contenders that could take Farmiga’s (or Dockery’s) place: Keri Russell in The Americans and Robin Wright in House of Cards.  Both performances are on big shows that could do well but I just don’t think they’ll have enough passionate voters that get behind them.  Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black is certainly a critical darling but very few people know her or watched her show so I highly doubt she could sneak in here but I suppose it’s possible.  Connie Britton has become an Emmy darling over the past few years so she could get a random nomination for her new show Nashville, though with so many stronger performances I can’t see it happening.  I suppose Mariska Hargitay could get in if the voters get really lazy, but thankfully her ship has sailed.
 

 

Next time on 2013 Emmy Nomination Predictions:
Miniseries/Movie
 
The 2013 Primetime Emmy Nominations will be announced on Thursday, July 18.
 
Please feel free to voice your opinion in the comment section below.
 

Also, read my predictions and analysis of other categories:

 
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