Game of Thrones is now in our rear view mirrors, not only can we expect a new winner in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Last years winner Peter Dinklage, along with his co-stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Alfie Allen, and Michael Kelly of House of Cards, are not eligible this year. That leaves four open slots in a race of eight nominees. This category isn’t as easy to predict as I excepted.
In addition to last years nominees Dinklage, Coster-Waldau, Allen and Kelly, Giancarlo Esposito and Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul) and Chris Sullivan (This Is Us) were also nominated in 2019. I don’t foresee Sullivan returning for This Is Us, and quite honestly I was shocked to see him nominated last year, especially over Justin Hartley, who had a much more meatier material to work with.
As for the remainder of the nominated lineup, there are plenty of performances to choose from. Tom Pelphrey made a splash joining the cast of Ozark this season and many are forecasting him to earn an Emmy nomination, and I fully agree with that! If Westworld is still as popular with Emmy voters as it was in 2018, Jeffrey Wright could earn another nomination for the show, even though he’s moving from lead actor down to supporting. David Harbour earned nominations for Stranger Things in 2017 and 2018, but was excluded from the race in 2019 due to lack of eligibility, will he return?
Succession has a deep bench of talent hoping for some Emmy love between Kieran Culkin, Matthew Macfayden and Nicholas Braun. I think Culkin has a much higher chance of earning a nomination of Macfayden and Braun seeing he’s been the sole supporting actor nominated for the Golden Globe in 2018 and 2019 for Succession, but it would be fantastic to see Macfayden’s name called on nomination morning as well. The Morning Show supporting player Billy Crudup was on of the shows bright spots for me, and I would be thrilled to see earn a nomination for the show, and I can’t say that for the majority of the cast. It’s unclear how much love, or any, The Morning Show will earn from Emmy voters, but he’s a frontunner in the category for me, hands down.
One actor I definitely see earning a nomination is Bradley Whitford for The Handmaid’s Tale. Whitford won the Emmy last year for this role in the Guest Actor race in a year where only a handful of episodes were eligible for submission, I’d be completely shocked if Whitford didn’t find himself in this category this year.
Be on the lookout for two prior Emmy nominees in this category, Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Mandy Patinkin (Homeland). I’m not particularly worried about either men cracking the top 8, but if there’s a tie and there happens to be nine nominees, it could surely go to one of these men, as they’ve both been nominated for their respective roles quite recently – both showing up in 2018.
It would be really fun for Delroy Lindo to pop up for The Good Fight, a show that inexplicably has never been embraced by the Emmys, despite its mothership series, The Good Wife being an Emmy player for the majority of its run, rewarding Julianna Marguiles and Archie Panjabi with awards, along with numerous nominations for its supporting and guest actors. Lindo’s starring role in Da 5 Bloods may have catapulted him into the attention of Emmy voters for him to secure his first Emmy nomination.
My frontrunners for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
- Giancarlo Esposito – Better Call Saul
- Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul
- Kieran Culkin – Succession
- Tom Pelphrey – Ozark
- Bradley Whitford – The Handmaid’s Tale
- Billy Crudup – The Morning Show
- David Harbour – Stranger Things
- Jeffrey Wright – Westworld
My threats for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
- Mandy Patinkin – Homeland
- Delroy Lindo – The Good Fight
- Joseph Fiennes – The Handmaid’s Tale
- Matthew Macfayden – Succession
- Nicholas Braun – Succession
- Chris Sullivan – This Is Us
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