The Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama series tends to be an ever-changing category. Last year, only three of the nominees from the previous year were nominated. In 2011, Peter Dinklage was the only nominee to be carried over from the previous year.
Two of last year’s nominees, one of them being the winner, are ineligible for more permanent reasons. Which leaves two open spots, but there is a chance that one of last year’s nominees is snubbed.
1. Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad: After his second win two years ago, Paul became the first actor in 16 years to have a repeat win in this category. This year he is definitely a lock for a nomination and the frontrunner for the win, especially with a solid submission. (Likely Episode Submission: “Confessions”)
2. Josh Charles, The Good Wife: After a strong creative resurgence for the series, many were surprised by his exit. Although his first and only nomination for this show was three years ago, the deafening buzz will carry him through to a nomination. (Likely Episode Submission: “Hitting the Fan”)
3. Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones: Another previous winner of this category, Dinklage is one of the main points of praise for the show. Also, as the books indicate, this is going to be a big year for the character. (Likely Episode Submission: TBD)
After these three locks, the rest of the category looks like this.
4. Dean Norris, Breaking Bad: He was deserving of a nomination since season 3 of the show, but he finally looks like he’s going to get his due. Combined with the buzz for the final season and his character’s arc, I think he’s very close to a lock. (Likely Episode Submission: “Blood Money”)
5. Mandy Patinkin, Homeland: Although he was snubbed for the series’ first season, I can’t see the academy pushing him out now, even with the shaky third season of the show.
The final spot is pretty much a toss up.
6. Jim Carter, Downton Abbey: If Downton barely misses out on most of its categories, then I can see them still slipping into this weaker one. Plus apparently Carter had a strong season.
7. Jeffrey Wright, Boardwalk Empire: This is just purely because he is getting some buzz. I can’t attest to how strong he is, but last year’s winner is also from his show.
8. Jon Voight, Ray Donovan: Every year we predict a veteran to get in (Mandy Patinkin, Sam Waterston), and every year they are snubbed. I think this year is no exception, but he did win the Globe so I’ll just keep him here.