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Emmy Predictions 2021: Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series — Is Anyone a Sure-Thing?

It's been Kathryn Hahn all along, but the Best Supporting Actress race has tightened.

WandaVision Kathryn Hahn Disney+ best performances

Kathryn Hahn in “WandaVision”

Courtesy of Disney+

Last Year’s Winner: Uzo Aduba, “Mrs. America”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: The same actor hasn’t repeated in this category since Regina King took home back-to-back trophies for “American Crime” in 2015 and 2016 — which is the only time anyone has garnered consecutive wins in a category not exactly conducive to repetition — but nominees from streaming series have won the last three years running (Uzo Aduba in FX on Hulu’s “Mrs. America,” Patricia Arquette in Hulu’s “The Act,” and Merritt Wever in Netflix’s “Godless”).
Fun Fact: As is the case surprisingly often with the Emmys, the actor with the most nominations in category history is not among the most awarded winners. Kathy Bates has seven nominations here (“The Late Shift,” “Annie,” “Warm Springs,” “Alice,” and three for seasons of “American Horror Story,” for which she won her only trophy in 2014.)
Notable Ineligible Series: “American Crime Story: Impeachment” (the season did not air in time to be eligible); “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (submitted as a Drama Series)

At the bottom of this page are IndieWire Deputy TV Editor Ben Travers’ predictions for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series, or TV Movie. This article will be updated throughout the season, along with all our predictions, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for the latest news from the 2021 race. Voting for the 2021 Emmys was held from June 17 through June 28 (with polls closing at 10 p.m. PT). Emmy nominations were announced Tuesday, July 13. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be given out Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12. The 73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place Sunday, September 19. CBS is broadcasting the ceremony.

The State of the Race

Kathryn Hahn had been nominated for one (1) Emmy Award in her outstanding television career, but she doubled that total this year. Following up exquisite TV turns in “Parks and Recreation,” “I Love Dick,” “I Know This Much Is True,” “Mrs. Fletcher” and “The Greatest Event in Television History” (look it up), Hahn has sent her star soaring with “WandaVision,” and her repeated transformations in the Disney+ hit should be recognized by TV Academy voters come September.

But the Best Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series category isn’t exactly an open-and-shut case — mainly because it remains difficult to distinguish which, among the elite limited series contenders, will be the TV Academy’s favorite. “WandaVision” has a lot going for it, but so do “Mare of Easttown,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” and “Hamilton,” all of which are represented in this category.

Let’s start with the double-nominees: “Mare of Easttown” has both Julianne Nicholson and Jean Smart representing the HBO drama here, and each has their own compelling campaign. Smart has had a helluva year; between “Hacks” and “Mare,” the three-time Emmy winner has reminded plenty of fans just how great she can be, and voters may be eager to reward her for both. Then again, Nicholson had the meatier role, one that got juicier with each passing episode. This is her first Emmy nomination, but there’s still plenty of goodwill for the veteran performer. If voters fall hard for “Mare,” Nicholson could win this.

Still, TV Academy members already cast their ballots for “Hamilton” to the tune of 12 nominations, including nods for Renee Elise Goldsberry and Phillipa Soo here. Considering the filmed stage production doesn’t exactly invite easy comparisons to traditional TV productions, it’s hard to say how “Hamilton” will perform overall, but it’s a long shot here — there are too many recent limited series to pass over in favor of a production that won its awards years ago.

That still leaves Moses Ingram, the lone Supporting nominee for “The Queen’s Gambit” after the surprising exclusion of Marielle Heller (not to mention Bill Camp in the Actor category). Again, if “The Queen’s Gambit” maintains its winter awards’ momentum and proves the overwhelming favorite across Limited Series categories, Ingram could be swept up in the adoration. But with so many beloved shows in the category, it seems more likely that voters will spread the love. I can only imagine how this choice could become a challenge for voters as they narrow down their ballots. IndieWire is always here to help, if you need a hand choosing.

Predicted Nominees:

  1. Kathryn Hahn, “WandaVision”
  2. Julianne Nicholson, “Mare of Easttown”
  3. Jean Smart, “Mare of Easttown”
  4. Moses Ingram, “The Queen’s Gambit”
  5. Renee Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton”
  6. Phillipa Soo, “Hamilton”

Will Win: Kathryn Hahn, “WandaVision”
Could Win:
Julianne Nicholson, “Mare of Easttown”
Should Win:
Kathryn Hahn, “WandaVision”

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