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Good Emmy prospects for Candice Bergen, Rachel Griffiths, Rose Byrne and Chandra Wilson, but who'll be the fifth nominee?

July 13, 2008 |  7:38 am

Looks like our Emmy prophets agree on four of the five slots for supporting actress in a drama series: Candice Bergen ("Boston Legal"), Rachel Griffiths ("Brothers and Sisters"), Rose Byrne ("Damages") and Chandra Wilson ("Grey's Anatomy"). But one goes for Sandra Oh ("Grey's Anatomy") in fifth slot, the other for Dianne Wiest ("In Treatment").

Below: Our forum moderators and special Emmy seers Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria.

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Rob and Boomer mirror the actual voting process when making their predix. First, they calculate the order of the top 11 semifinalists as determined by the popular vote by the TV academy's actors' branch. Then they predict how the panel judges scored the sample episode entries. They combine these results on a 50-50 basis, just like the accountants do, to determine the final ranking of the nominees. Lowest numbers rank highest.

Here's how Rob thinks these rivals fared in the popular vote: 1) Rose Byrne. 2) Candice Bergen. 3) Chandra Wilson. 4) Sandra Oh. 5) Rachel Griffiths. 6) Dianne Wiest. 7) Christine Hendricks. 8) Jill Clayburgh. 9) S. Epatha Merkerson. 10) Sharon Gless. 11) Jane Alexander.

Here's how Boomer thinks these rivals fared in the popular vote: 1) Candice Bergen. 2) Chandra Wilson. 3) Rose Byrne. 4) Sandra Oh. 5) Rachel Griffiths. 6) Christina Hendricks. 7) Dianne Wiest. 8) Jill Clayburgh 9) S. Epatha Merkerson. 10) Jane Alexander. 11) Sharon Gless.

My opinion: Rob and Boomer rank Rose Byrne too high. Come on, she's a little-known actress in a TV show that aired last summer, for cryin' out loud. She's gonna pull higher than Sandra Oh and, according to Rob, Emmy queen Candy Bergen? Memo to Rob: Put down the pint of frothy ale, mate.

Here's how Rob thinks voters ranked episode samples after viewing: 1) Rose Byrne. 2) Chandra Wilson. 3) Candice Bergen. 4) Christina Hendricks. 5) Rachel Griffiths. 5) Sandra Oh. 6) Sharon Gless. 7) Dianne Wiest. 8) Jill Clayburgh. 9) Jane Alexander. 10) S. Epatha Merkerson.

Here's how Boomer thinks voters ranked episode samples after viewing: 1) Rose Byrne. 2) Rachel Griffiths. 3) Dianne Wiest. 4) Chandra Wilson. 5) Jane Alexander. 6) Jill Clayburgh. 7) Candice Bergen. 8) Sandra Oh. 9) Christina Hendricks. 10) Sharon Gless. 11) S. Epatha Merkerson.

My opinion: Yes, Byrne will rank high once voters see her "Damages" eppy. I think Boomer got a bit carried away with Griffiths and Rob with Hendricks.

Below: Predix that include the titles of sample episodes viewed by judges. I think Boomer's off in one forecast: He doesn't have Sandra Oh in his top five. Oh, Wilson and Griffiths were nominated last year and probably will be back. Last year Candy Bergen took her name out of competition, but when she does choose to compete, the five-time champ (and daughter of the academy's founding president) always makes it in. That means, if my analysis is correct, we have only one slot open, which must go to the star-blazing newcomer of the TV year — Rose Byrne, who, arguably, could've competed in the lead race but was smart enough not to take on Glenn Close off screen too. No doubt their on-screen clashes are weary enough.

BEST SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS: ROB'S PREDIX
(Top 5 = nominees)
1) Rose Byrne, "Damages" ("Because I Know Patty") -- 2 points
2) Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal" ("The Mighty Rogues") -- 5 points
2) Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy" ("Lay Your Hands on Me") -- 5 points
4) Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers & Sisters" ("Domestic Issues") -- 10 points
4) Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy" ("The Becoming") -- 10 points
6) Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men" ("Babylon") -- 11 points
7) Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment" ("Paul & Gina: Week ??") -- 14 points
8) Jill Clayburgh, "Dirty Sexy Money" ("The Watch") -- 17 points
8) Sharon Gless, "Burn Notice" ("Identity") -- 17 points
10) S. Epatha Merkerson, "Law & Order" ("Bottomless") -- 20 points
11) Jane Alexander, "Tell Me You Love Me" ("Episode 10") -- 21 points

BEST SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS: BOOMER'S PREDIX
(Top 5 = nominees)
1) Rose Byrne, "Damages" ("Because I Know Patty") -- 4 points
2) Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy" ("Lay Your Hands on Me") -- 6 points
3) Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers & Sisters" ("Domestic Issues") -- 7 points
4) Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal" ("The Mighty Rogues") -- 8 points
5) Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment" ("Paul & Gina: Week ??") -- 10 points
6) Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy" ("The Becoming") -- 12 points
7) Jill Clayburgh, "Dirty Sexy Money" ("The Watch") -- 14 points
8) Jane Alexander, "Tell Me You Love Me" ("Episode 10") -- 15 points
8) Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men" ("Babylon") -- 15 points
10) S. Epatha Merkerson, "Law & Order" ("Bottomless") -- 20 points
11) Sharon Gless, "Burn Notice" ("Identity") -- 21 points

Rob's commentary: I'm confident about my top four predix. Oh is the best bet for the fifth spot, but Hendricks will probably score a strong panel vote (great performance) and Weist score a strong popular vote (name recognition), thus putting those two in contention. Bergen is a sure thing, and I think that, given the obvious love for "Damages," Byrne is safe as well.

(Photos: ABC, FX)


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