• Was It an Upset? No
• Fun Fact: Last year set a record for total nominees with eight.
Perhaps the biggest question leading up to this year's Emmy nominations isn't who will be nominated in this category, but if there will still be eight nominees. After all, the record-setting group of ladies from last year all remain eligible, and there are still a number of new qualifiers who could steal their spot (but keep the total number of nominees at eight).
Last year's winner seems like a safe bet. Allison Janney tied a record for most Emmy wins by a performer with her seventh trophy in 2015, and the "Mom" star could very well own the title by herself by the end of 2016. Three Academy favorites also seem like locks, as Julie Bowen ("Modern Family"), Anna Chlumsky ("Veep") and Jane Krakowski ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt") are all back and as good as ever. Mayim Bialik should benefit from a busy season on "The Big Bang Theory," but Gaby Hoffman ("Transparent") and Niecy Nash ("Getting On") may need the same luck they got last year to break into the race again. Yet when looking back on last year's nominees, we'd most like to see Kate McKinnon in the mix. She's been a tearing up "SNL" in its 41st season, even when the rest of the show disappoints. If that's not what you're looking for in a supporting actress, I'm not sure what is.
As for new faces, we're pulling hard for Judith Light after a knockout season of "Transparent" and Melanie Lynskey, who turned it up a notch in Season 2 of "Togetherness." Carrie Brownstein is also deserving as one-half of the genius behind "Portlandia," while Kristen Schaal might be able to sneak in for "The Last Man on Earth." Also, while she might have been overshadowed a bit by the brilliant portrayal of Aya Cash, Kether Donohue had quite a year on "You're the Worst" — a show in need of awards attention. (FX doesn't need a comedy version of "The Americans" and neither do we.) Throw in Jillian Bell for "Idiotsitter," and we're getting pretty close to a dream nomination ballot.
Below are Indiewire TV Critic Ben Travers' predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, 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. Allison Janney, "Mom"
2. Anna Chlumsky, "Veep"
3. Judith Light, "Transparent"
4. Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"
5. Kate McKinnon, "Saturday Night Live"
6. Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory"
Spoiler: Jane Krakowski, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
In a Perfect World: Kether Donohue, "You're the Worst"