Emmys: TVGuide.com’s Picks for Lead Actress in a Drama Series

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Emmy season is in full swing! Voters will be checking off names and shows this week they think are worthy of getting a nomination come July 18. We at TVGuide.com have a few selections in mind ourselves. Next up: our dream ballot for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Claire Danes, Homeland
The defending champ is the favorite until proven otherwise, and it’s hard to take issue with another win for Danes when you take a look at her body of work. No matter how uneven Season 2 got, Danes was enthralling as ever. Plus: She’s got a go-to episode submission: Carrie’s spellbindingly tense and intense interrogation of Brody in “Q&A.”

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Sure, Margulies is an oldie, but she’s one helluva goodie. A nine-time nominee and two-time winner, Margulies always shines and added new dimensions to a constantly evolving Alicia — which all built up to that game-changing decision in the season finale.

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
You mean we can’t fill all six slots with Maslany? Not only does she play a number of clones, but her clones often impersonate each other — and somehow Maslany, who won the Critics’ Choice Award, has managed to make all of them so distinct, nuanced and multi-faceted that you forget they’re all played by one person. Maslany’s ballot entry — her characters are listed as “Sarah, Beth and others” — ought to inspire curiosity and voters ought to like what they see.

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Remember when we were all worried that we wouldn’t see a lot of Peggy after she bolted SCDP last season? While Moss, a four-time nominee including three in this category, still wasn’t heavily featured this season and does not have a killer tape like the past two years, she’s been flawless in capturing Peggy’s exasperation, uncertainty and desires at her personal and professional crossroads.

Keri Russell, The Americans
Felicity who? Going against type, Russell has been nothing short of a revelation. Her icy, steely, merciless Elizabeth Jennings is all at once sympathetic and unlikable, not to mention a welcome addition to the male-dominated antihero stable.

Kerry Washington, Scandal
Scandal only works because of Washington. As the craziness amplifies and the dialogue breaks words-per-minute records, Washington commands the soap with a fearless ferocity and has made Olivia Pope one of the most intriguing and frustrating characters on TV. If Washington makes it in, she’d only be the fifth African-American actress to be nominated in this category.

Who do you hope is nominated?

Read More Emmys: TVGuide.com’s Picks for Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Today’s News: Our Take | TVGuide.com.


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