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2016 Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie

With "Fargo," "The People v. O.J. Simpson" and "Confirmation" all in the running, this Emmys season marks one helluva year for women.

Quick Hits

  • Last Year’s Winner: Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge”
  • Was It an Upset? No
  • Still Eligible? No
  • Hot Streak: Other than citing “American Horror Story’s” four straight years of nods (with one win for Jessica Lange in 2014), there isn’t much of a streak to speak of. So, instead, let’s just remember when Meryl Streep won for her landmark performance in “Angels in America” (and hope someone, someday — even if it’s Meryl herself — can ascend to such heights again).
  • Fun Fact: None other than Helen Mirren has the most nominations (10!) and wins (4!) in this category.

READ MORE: ‘Fargo’ or ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’? You Have to Pick a Side: IndieWire Emmys Endorsements (Limited Series)

A lock if we’ve ever called one, this race comes down to one person: Sarah Paulson. The dual nominee in 2016 who’s yet to win after four previous nominations will get her due for “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” if there’s any justice in this world. Kirsten Dunst, in particular, deserves a trophy for her work on “Fargo,” but we just can’t see any way around a Paulson victory here.

Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Lead Actress 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.

READ MORE: ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’: Why Sarah Paulson Will Win Best Actress Emmy (Video)

The Nominees:

  1. Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo”
  2. Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
  3. Audra McDonald, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grille”
  4. Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson”
  5. Lili Taylor, “American Crime”
  6. Kerry Washington, “Confirmation”

Will Win: Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson”
Could Win: Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo”
Should Win: Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson” and Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo”

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The title is plain wrong, Sarah Paulson hasn’t won an Emmy.


I think Lady Gaga and Sarah Paulson certainly will be nominated, especially after Gaga’s Golden Globe win.


It’s ANIKA* Noni Rose…..


I would really say Sarah Paulson, lady gagas golden globe win was just a pat on the back for her, even my grandma knows she can’t win in this category, my second choices would be Kirsten Dunst and Felicity Huffman.


You’re probably right to assume American Crime will push Huffman in the leading category, but of all the fantastic performances delivered on the show’s second season Lili Taylor was the one that blew me away. I was alternately grieved and disturbed by the the obsessive lengths her character took and she rendered all of that perfectly.


"Past Emmy winners like Sarah Paulson…" Good to know that you know what you’re talking about, Ben. NOT!
Sarah isn’t an Emmy winner.

Sam Swidler

wait, NOBODY is considering Beyonce?


I read that Anika is now going into the supporting category due to her screen time not being as large as expected. It was still such a powerful performance and should be recognized! I believe Gaga is now a lock for a nom as well


If Sarah Paulson doesn’t win this, there is no justice.

Yeah. I intended to make that pun.


this is Paulson’s year, if she doesn’t win now, she never will

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