Last Year’s Winner: Alexander Skarsgård, “Big Little Lies”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: HBO won this category eight out of nine years between 2003 and 2011. Since then, as the race has gotten more and more competitive, the premium cable network has only won twice in the last six years.
Fun Fact: Only one actor has won multiple times in this category: Beau Bridges, for “The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom” (in 1993) and “The Second Civil War” (in 1997).
Jeff Daniels is aiming to be a double nominee in 2018, as a lead actor in “The Looming Tower” and also in the supporting category for “Godless.” But in which category does the former winner have his best shot? On the one hand, “The Looming Tower” is getting quite the prestige push from Hulu, but “Godless” has proven to be popular and long-lasting. Fans are still buzzing over his one-armed turn as the villainous outlaw Frank Griffin.
There’s still a lot of competition in the best supporting actor race via the limited series and TV movies in competition. Daniels has a few of his peers from “The Looming Tower” coming at him, from Michael Stuhlbarg to Bill Camp (who was nominated in 2017) to Peter Sarsgaard. Stuhlbarg has an early edge — hopefully to make up for his “Fargo” turn being snubbed in 2017 — but two Hulu favorites could end up making the cut. That, or Daniels’ “Godless” co-star Scoot McNairy could snag a nomination, too.
If they don’t bump Daniels, there are plenty of contenders disconnected from the “Newsroom” star, too. Brandon Victor Dixon made quite a mark on audiences in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” as did Bill Pullman in the USA Network thriller “The Sinner.” Edgar Ramirez and Ricky Martin played a couple onscreen in “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”; could they score joint nominations to match?
They may have to fight off two impressive performances from a couple of HBO films. Jason Ritter may be playing a monster in “The Tale,” but the well-liked actor took a big risk and made the most of it. (Similarly, Hugo Weaving plays a very bad man in “Patrick Melrose,” but will voters look past the character and see the work done to bring his evil to life?) He’s more than deserving, as is Michael Shannon for “Fahrenheit 451.” The Chicago theatre veteran and Oscar-nominated big screen star created a nuanced new take on Captain Beatty.
Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie (listed in alphabetical order), which will be updated throughout the season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2018 race, and read predictions for the rest of the categories, as well.
- Jeff Daniels, “Godless”
- Brandon Victor Dixon, “Jesus Christ Superstar”
- Edgar Ramirez, “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”
- Jason Ritter, “The Tale”
- Michael Shannon, “Fahrenheit 451”
- Michael Stuhlbarg, “The Looming Tower”
Spoilers: Bill Camp, “The Looming Tower”; Ricky Martin, “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”; Bill Pullman, “The Sinner”; Peter Sarsgaard, “The Looming Tower”
In a Perfect World: Miguel Ferrer, “Twin Peaks: The Return”; Robert Forster, “Twin Peaks: The Return”; Scoot McNairy, “Godless”; Tobias Menzies, “The Terror”; Tahar Rahim, “The Looming Tower”