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Emmy Predictions 2019: Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Multiple series and movies offer multiple contenders in a crowded Best Supporting Actress category.

Sharp Objects Episode 7 Patricia Clarkson

Patricia Clarkson in “Sharp Objects”

Anne Marie Fox/HBO

Last Year’s Winner: Merritt Wever, “Godless”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: No actress has ever won this category more than twice — Jane Alexander (“Playing for Time” and “Warm Springs”), Judy Davis (“Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story” and “The Starter Wife”), Colleen Dewhurst (“Between Two Women” and “Those She Left Behind”), and Mare Winningham (“Amber Waves” and “George Wallace”) are the only actresses to win twice for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie, and Regina King (“American Crime”) is the only actress to win two trophies consecutively.
Fun Fact: The Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie race has been somewhat immune to the streaming and premium cable dominance seen in other Emmy categories. Over the last five years, winners have come from broadcast, basic cable, premium cable, and streaming. If you expand the timeframe to this decade, two additional networks are represented, making for six different networks in eight years.
Notable Ineligible Series: Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, and Zoe Kravitz in “Big Little Lies”; anyone from “American Horror Story”; anyone from “American Crime Story”

At the bottom of this page are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie (listed in alphabetical order). This article will be updated throughout the season, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz from the 2019 race, and read predictions in the other categories as well. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards take place, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15. The 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 22. Fox will broadcast the ceremony.

The State of the Race

Always unpredictable and prone to choosing one or two out-of-nowhere nominees, the race for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie appears turbulent yet again. That being said, there are early frontrunners: The two Patricias should feel somewhat confident about hearing their name called come July 16 (when nominations are announced). Clarkson was already up for a Screen Actors Guild Award to honor her turn in “Sharp Objects,” and that field included lead and supporting actors from limited series. Meanwhile, Arquette — who won the SAG for her lead role in “Escape at Dannemora” — could face off against Clarkson again as a supporting actress in “The Act.”

HBO, however, has quite a few more contenders to consider. Carmen Ejogo took a tricky role in “True Detective” and owned it. Emily Watson looks to wow voters with the haunting true story of “Chernobyl.” Meanwhile, two TV movies each feature more than two potential nominees: Margaret Qualley, Sanaa Lathan, and KiKi Layne are all up for “Native Son,” while Anna Gunn, Kim Dickens, and Robin Weigert each hope their return to “Deadwood” means a trip to the Emmys.

Not to be outdone, the streaming giants have a fleet of respected actresses, too. Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series on the Central Park Five, “When They See Us,” features a few Emmy-friendly names, including two-time nominee Niecy Nash, former nominee Vera Farmiga, and past winner Felicity Huffman (though her attendance at the ceremony could be precluded by a little prison time). Amazon will be pushing “King Lear,” including Emma Thompson, Florence Pugh, and Emily Watson (on double duty for this and “Chernobyl”). Hulu’s best hope is Sissy Spacek, who wowed critics in her solo episode of “Castle Rock” (as did the writers, who snagged a WGA Award for their efforts).

But that’s not all! Netflix is also pushing Elizabeth Reaser in “Haunting of Hill House,” which could benefit from plenty of views, and Sally Field in “Maniac,” who is always a threat at awards shows. HBO has more than just Clarkson for “Sharp Objects”: Eliza Scanlen is the breakout, while Elizabeth Perkins stole plenty of scenes. Bravo will be pushing Jean Smart, Julia Garner, and Juno Temple for “Dear John,” while fellow cabler FX is backing Qualley for “Fosse/Verdon” (as well as Aya Cash). Connie Nielsen hopes to sneak in for her mysterious turn in “I Am the Night,” while Miranda Richardson needs a late boost from Amazon to help “Good Omens” get into the mix.

Anything can happen here, so look for more contenders to emerge as the race continues.

Predicted Nominees:

  • Patricia Arquette, “The Act”
  • Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
  • Carmen Ejogo, “True Detective”
  • Niecy Nash, “When They See Us”
  • Sissy Spacek, “Castle Rock”
  • Emma Thompson, “King Lear”

Spoilers: Sally Field, “Maniac”; Anna Gunn, “Deadwood: The Movie”; Eliza Scanlen, “Sharp Objects”; Elizabeth Reaser, “Haunting of Hill House”; Olivia Colman, “Les Miserables”; Emily Watson, “Chernobyl”; Elizabeth Perkins, “Sharp Objects”; Margaret Qualley, “Fosse/Verdon” or “Native Son”; Kim Dickens, “Deadwood: The Movie”

In a Perfect World: Sanaa Lathan, “Native Son”; KiKi Layne, “Native Son”; Connie Nielsen, “I Am the Night”; Juno Temple, “Dirty John”

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