Last Year’s Winner: Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: FX and HBO have both earned nominations in this category since 2012 (and HBO’s streak dates back to 2003).
Fun Fact: For the first time since “Downton Abbey” made the jump from limited series to drama series in 2013, not a single anthology series (or other franchise) that was nominated the year prior is in contention this year.
Actors in FX programs snagged half the slots in this race, but that doesn’t mean an “American” entry is going to walk away with the trophy. Of the nominees from “American Crime Story” and “American Horror Story,” Penelope Cruz may have the best shot. The Oscar winner turned heads as Versace’s landmark successor (and sister-in-mourning), and the franchise is hoping to repeat its successful Emmys run seen in Season 1.
But she’s not the series’ only nominee. Judith Light, who’s been nominated three times prior, joins Cruz in representing “Versace.” She’s yet to win and remains a TV Academy favorite, so perhaps her familiarity with voters will boost her over the movie star charms of Cruz. Then there’s Adina Porter, who rounds out the FX nominees. Though “Horror Story” has lost a bit of steam over the years at the Emmys, she’s a fresh voice and stood out in a stand-out season.
Meanwhile, Netflix has two nominees of its own. Merritt Wever is riding a wave of strong reviews for her role in the well-seen western, “Godless,” and the TV Academy has shown its love for her to the tune of three nominations in six years — and one win. Letitia Wright is benefitting from the streaming giant’s savvy placement of “Black Mirror”; the TV movie got a big push from Netflix (in part, because its category placement meant it couldn’t steal any votes from “Godless”). And with that being said, Wright is great in “Black Museum” and could see extra attention because she’s also great in “Black Panther.”
Finally, that leaves us with Sara Bereilles. A surprise nomination for a live event that played better within the TV Academy than most anticipated, Bereilles’ clearly left a mark in “Jesus Chris Superstar” and her one-night-only turn could net NBC another surprise: a win.
Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actress 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.
- Sara Bereilles, “Jesus Christ Superstar”
- Penelope Cruz, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
- Judith Light, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
- Adina Porter, “American Horror Story: Cult”
- Merritt Wever, “Godless”
- Letitia Wright, “Black Mirror”
Will Win: Merritt Wever, “Godless”
Could Win: Judith Light, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Should Win: Merritt Wever, “Godless”