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Actors’ Emmy Race Competition Stiffen: Lead & Supporting Categories Combined

Actors' Emmy Race Competition Stiffen: Lead & Supporting Categories Combined

The primetime Emmy Awards have amended their longform acting category to combine both lead and supporting performances into one category. Instead of five nominations each for both lead and supporting roles in the actors’ and actress’ competitions, a total of six men and six women will be singled out for their work in a TV miniseries. This change will not effect this year’s contenders, but will go into effect in 2013.

This is an odd way to make an increasingly competitive field even more fierce. Many of our best actors are heading to TV where the juicier roles are. This year’s pool of competing actors and actresses will include the likes of Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Idris Elba, Woody Harrelson, Ed Harris, Clive Owen, Dominic West, Bill Nighy, Jessica Lange, Julianne Moore, Emily Watson, Nicole Kidman, Patricia Clarkson and Rachel Weisz.

The 2011 winners were Kate Winslet (Lead, “Mildred Pierce”), Barry Pepper (Lead, “The Kennedys”), Guy Pearce (Supporting, “Mildred Pierce”), and Maggie Smith (Supporting, “Downton Abbey”). [Variety]

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The way this post is worded is confusing… Are all acting categories being condensed into single (lead + supporting) actor/actress categories, or solely the awards for "mini series"?

Edward Copeland

Never understimate the Emmys' ability to make the award stupider and more irrelevant each year. It was nonsensical enough when they dumped the individual achievement in a variety, musical or comedy series category to allow SNL performers to take up space in the supporting comedy categories even though SNL competes in variety, musical or comedy series for everything else.


Truly bizarre. This is also how the SAG Awards have done it for years, and it is just as nonsensical there. In these scenarios, Lily Tomlin is nominated as Best Actress for her recurring guest role on The West Wing, and Paul Giamatti WINS Best Actor for his 3 minute cameo as Ben Bernanke in Too Big To Fail. The Giamatti win this past spring did more to discredit the SAG voters than anything in that award's history, showing that they really don't watch the TV Movie nominees, but just vote for actor by name recognition. I really hope the Emmys reverse this decision.

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