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 winner. 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); Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, “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 2020 race. Voting for the 2021 Emmys will be held from June 17 through June 28 (with polls closing at 10 p.m. PT). Emmy nominations will be announced Tuesday, July 13. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be given out in September, at a date (or dates) to be announced. The 73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place Sunday, September 19. CBS is broadcasting the ceremony.
The State of the Race
Kathryn Hahn has been nominated for one (1) Emmy Award in her outstanding television career, and — barring any superhero bias — she’ll be doubling 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 July.
But who will join her? That’s not an easy question to answer — it’s so hard, in fact, I’m tempted to dial down my certainty around Hahn’s nomination, but I must choose hope. With that, it seems like the TV Academy would be hard-pressed to ignore the exquisite work of Weruche Opia in HBO’s “I May Destroy You” or Jean Smart’s ball-busting turn in “Mare of Easttown.” Airing nearly a year apart, both shows captured the zeitgeist for months on end, and these two performances received regular acclaim.
Similar scene-stealers include Marielle Heller, whose nuanced work in “The Queen’s Gambit” illustrates a borderline unfair ability within the writer-director to thrive in multiple disciplines; Letitia Wright, who becomes a grounding force in Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” premiere; Jessie Buckley, whose diabolical villain in FX’s latest season of “Fargo” was so arresting she could’ve carried an entire series on her own. And lest we forget, T’Nia Miller wowed horror fans in Mike Flanagan’s “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” back in October 2020 — that may feel like a lifetime ago, but Miller’s performance is both unforgettable and eligible!
Then there are the shows with multiple contenders. Teyonah Parris could end up joining Hahn if the TV Academy really sparks to “WandaVision,” just as Julianne Nicholson could sit next to Smart if “Mare of Easttown” blows up,” but Amazon Prime Video has two big ticket limited series with a slew of contenders in each. “The Underground Railroad” is submitting Sheila Atim and Lily Rabe, the former of whom could benefit from a prominent role in the series finale, while the anthology series “Solos” is submitting its A-list cast in Supporting categories. Here, that means Helen Mirren, Constance Wu, Uzo Aduba, Anne Hathaway, and Nicole Beharie are all eligible, as big names hope to draw attention extra attention to the project at large.
I can only imagine how this many choices from this many shows could become a challenge for voters as they narrow down their ballots. IndieWire is always here to help, if you need a hand choosing.
- Kathryn Hahn, “WandaVision”
- Weruche Opia, “I May Destroy You”
- Marielle Heller, “The Queen’s Gambit”
- Letitia Wright, “Small Axe”
- Jean Smart, “Mare of Easttown”
- Jessie Buckley, “Fargo”
Contenders: Sheila Atim, “The Underground Railroad”; Renee Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton”; Teyonah Parris, “WandaVision”; Julianne Nicholson, “Mare of Easttown”; Moses Ingram, “The Queen’s Gambit”; Lily Rabe, “The Underground Railroad”; Uzo Aduba, “Solos”; Cate Blanchett, “Stateless”; Holly Hunter, “The Comey Rule”; Helen Mirren, “Solos”
In a Perfect World: T’Nia Miller, “The Haunting of Bly Manor”; Katherine Waterston, “The Third Day”; Emily Watson, “The Third Day”