- Last Year’s Winner: Bill Murray, “Olive Kitteridge”
- Was It an Upset? No
- Still Eligible? Not in this category.
- Hot Streak: “American Horror Story” has four nominations in four years, but missed out on a nod in 2014. Denis O’Hare and Finn Wittrock were both nominated last year (presumably to make up for the previous omission).
- Fun Fact: Over the years, there haven’t been a lot of repeat contenders in this category. Beau Bridges has the most wins ever — with two (“The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom” in 1993, which, obviously, we all desperately need to see, and “The Second Civil War” in ’97), and only four people have scored more than two nominations in their lifetimes.
“American Horror Story” is an absolute Emmys darling, but if there’s any category where it might get overwhelmed — even after Ryan Murphy’s first anthology series scored nods for Finn Wittrock and Denis O’Hare last year — it’s this one. And by a series from the same guy! “American Crime Story” offers a plethora of options, including awards-friendly actors like John Travolta, David Schwimmer, Nathan Lane as well as less known stars earning rave reviews like Courtney B. Vance and Sterling K. Brown. Vance will be running in the lead actor category — clearly the actor FX thinks has the best shot of winning — so that leaves at least four contenders to duke it out here. Who among them have the best odds? Six-time Emmy nominee Lane certainly has the Academy’s favor, but it’s Brown who makes the biggest impact in the series.
Still, there are other shows. “Fargo” should be offering up a few options itself, including Bokeem Woodbine and Ted Danson, while Forest Whitaker and Jonathan Rhys Meyers could both earn slots for “Roots.” Chris Cooper is an actor everyone loves, respects and wants to put on a ballot, so he could easily sneak in for “11.22.63.” Alfred Molina was a villain everyone loved to hate in HBO’s “Show Me a Hero,” and Hugh Laurie is already earning buzz for his part on AMC’s “The Night Manager.” Throw in Wendell Pierce as Clarence Thomas in “Confirmation” and Anthony Mackie as Martin Luther King, Jr. in “All the Way,” and suddenly Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie is one of the most crowded categories in all the Emmys.
Below are Indiewire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie, which will be updated throughout the awards season. Make sure to keep checking Indiewire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2016 race, and read the rest of the predictions in all the categories, as well.
1. Sterling K. Brown, “The People v. O.J. Simpson”
2. Hugh Laurie, “The Night Manager”
3. Anthony Mackie, “All the Way”
4. Wendell Pierce, “Confirmation”
5. Jesse Plemons, “Fargo”
6. John Travolta, “The People v. O.J. Simpson”
Spoiler: Chris Cooper, “11.22.63”
In a Perfect World: Alfred Molina, “Show Me a Hero”