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Emmy Predictions 2017: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Final Predictions: No "Downton Abbey," no problem: Broadcast still has a good shot at winning in an intriguing race between Chrissy Metz and Thandie Newton.

THE HANDMAID'S TALE -- The drama series, based on the award-winning, best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world. In this terrifying society where one wrong word could end her life, Offred navigates between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her. Moira (Samira Wiley), shown. (Photo by: Take Five/Hulu)

Take Five/Hulu

Last Year’s Winner: Dame Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: After nabbing one nomination in 2013 (Emilia Clarke) and 2014 (Lena Headey), “Game of Thrones” expanded in subsequent years to two nominations in 2015 and three in 2016 (when Maisie Williams snagged her first nod).
Fun Fact: Only two actresses have won this category more than twice: Ellen Corby for “The Waltons” (three times) and Nancy Marchand for “Lou Grant” (four times).

Let’s be clear: Ann Dowd deserves all the awards. The captivating and endearing star of “The Handmaid’s Tale” made Aunt Lydia a presence from the second Dowd walked on screen. That being said, her competition in this category consists of nothing but beloved and respected peers. OK, so maybe Millie Bobby Brown is a little young to be considered as beloved and as respected, but the fervor surrounding the “Stranger Things” star over the past year more than makes up for her freshman status.

Can she compete with veteran faces like Uzo Aduba? Time will tell. The “Orange is the New Black” actress already has two Emmys to her name for the series, including one when the Netflix series was considered a comedy and then the other after it switched to drama. She missed out on a nomination last year, but when she’s in the mix, she tends to win.

And yet three first-time nominees might be the biggest threats to Dowd’s crown. Chrissy Metz is riding the “This Is Us” tidal wave, and Thandie Newton might just be the fan favorite of “Westworld” — that’s saying something given the cast. Depending on which show the TV Academy feels more strongly about, either could inch out a win. Or it very well could be surprise nominee Samira Wiley, assuming voters spark to the plight of Moira more than Aunt Lydia’s totalitarian domination.

Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (in alphabetical order), which will be updated throughout the awards season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2017 race, and read the rest of the predictions in all categories, as well.

The Nominees:

  1. Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
  2. Millie Bobbie Brown, “Stranger Things”
  3. Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  4. Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us”
  5. Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
  6. Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Will Win: Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
Could Win: Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us”
Should Win: Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

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