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Which guest performers have the edge at Emmy Awards?

June 18, 2009 | 12:25 pm

Variety has published a surprisingly short list of possible guest performer Emmy contenders. The trade paper only highlights a handful of performances in each of the four categories of guest actor and actress in drama and comedy series. By comparison, the official Emmy ballot lists 118 guest drama actors and 88 guest drama actresses as well as 61 guest comedy actors and 46 guest comedy actresses. Emmy voters are instructed that they may check off up to 10 names in each category. There will be six or seven final contenders in each of the races.

Our forum posters have been discussing possible nominees for months already and have compiled a far more thorough list of viable contenders than Variety. While the trade paper made an effort with the guest actor category, it gave short shrift to the other three awards.

Guest Actor (Drama Series)George Clooney Eriq La Salle Noah Wyle Julianna Margulies Emmy Awards

Variety named 13 men as possible contenders: Ed Asner ("CSI: NY"); Ernest Borgnine ("ER"); Gaius Charles ("Friday Night Lights"); Alan Dale ("Lost"); Patrick Fischler ("Mad Men"); Michael J. Fox ("Rescue Me"); Jared Harris ("Fringe"); Mark Moses ("Mad Men"); Mos Def ("House"); Bob Odenkirk ("Breaking Bad"); Stephen Root ("True Blood"); Jimmy Smits ("Dexter"); andEric Stoltz ("Grey's Anatomy").

Our forum posters made much mention of performances by "Mad Men" guest stars Colin Hanks and Robert Morse as well as Sterling Beaumon as the young Ben on "Lost."

In addition, three of the returning regulars of "ER" – George Clooney, Eriq La Salle and Noah Wyle – have put themselves in the running for guest actor. Anthony Edwards – who appeared in an emotional flashback – decided not to toss his name into the mix. And while Julianna Margulies is looking for a matching "ER" Emmy bookend, Sherry Stringfield opted to submit herself instead for an appearance on "In Plain Sight."

Guest Actress (Drama Series)

Variety had just five women in mind for this category: Brenda Blethyn("Law & Order: SVU"); Mary Kay Place ("Big Love"); Adina Porter ("True Blood"); CCH Pounder ("The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency"); and Susan Sarandon ("ER").

The most obvious names Variety left off its list are six-time Emmy winner Carol Burnett ("Law & Order: SVU"); Oscar champ Ellen Burstyn("SVU"); Tony winner Bernadette Peters ("Grey's Anatomy"); and Golden Globe champ Sigourney Weaver ("Eli Stone").

Among the women who did not submit themselves for consideration are Oscar winners Faye Dunaway ("Grey's Anatomy") and Angelica Huston ("Medium") as well as Emmy darlings Mary Tyler Moore ("Lipstick Jungle") and Betty White ("Boston Legal").

Guest Actor (Comedy Series)

Variety thought there were only seven funny men worth profiling: Scott Bakula ("Chuck"); Albert Brooks ("Weeds"); Peter Dinklage ("30 Rock"); Idris Elba ("The Office"); Jon Hamm ("30 Rock"); Stellan Skarsgard ("Entourage"); and Ryan Stiles ("Two and a Half Men").

For our forum posters other standout comedy performers included: Alan Alda ("30 Rock");  Will Ferrell ("Eastbound & Down"), John Laroquette ("Chuck"); and Steve Martin ("30 Rock").

Guest Actress (Comedy Series)

Only four funny ladies caught Variety's eye: Christine Baranski ("The Big Bang Theory"); Tina Fey ("Saturday Night Live");Salma Hayek ("30 Rock"); and Kristen Wiig("Flight of the Conchords").

Our forum posters found the following to be Emmy-worthy as well: Jennifer Aniston ("30 Rock"); Gena Rowlands ("Monk"); Amy Ryan ("The Office"); previous category champ Elaine Stritch ("30 Rock"); and Betty White ("My Name is Earl").

An earlier version of this post listed Scott Bakula ("Chuck") in the drama category rather than comedy.


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Photo: NBC

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The comments to this entry are closed.


Sterling Beaumon is the best kid actor ever! He was terrific in "Lost" as Little Ben and we want to see a lot more of Sterling Beaumon in the future.

I think Glynn Turman, who won the Dramatic Guest Actor Emmy last year for "In Treatment," should at least be nominated this year in the Comedy category for his performance on "Scrubs" this past season. He played a man dying alone at Sacred Heart and it was an incredibly funny and moving performance

They only bothered with 4 guest actress in a comedy nominations? That's an insult to Amy Ryan! Thank God the forum posters know what they're doing.

I'm pleased to read that Variety so enjoyed Scott Bakula in "Chuck" to consider it a breakout performance, but you've got him listed in the drama category rather than in the comedy guest category where he's being considered for an Emmy nomination!

I hope Brenda Blethyn, Ellen Burstyn and Carol Burnett score nominations for their turns on SVU - all three women are great actresses and delivered award worthy performances.

My predictions have the following in the guest acting categories...

DRAMA GUEST ACTOR: Edward Asner (C.S.I.: New York), Ernest Borgnine (E.R.), Ted Danson (Damages), Michael J. Fox (Rescue Me), Jimmy Smits (Dexter) with the following close behind -- Charles Durning (Rescue Me), Patrick Fischler (Mad Men), Robert Morse (Mad Men), Glynn Turman (In Treatment), Jon Voight (24).

DRAMA GUEST ACTRESS: Carol Burnett (Law & Order: SVU), Ellen Burstyn (Law & Order: SVU), Tyne Daly (Grey's Anatomy), Susan Sarandon ( E.R.), Sigourney Weaver (Eli Stone) with the following close behind -- Sharon Gless (Nip/Tuck), Mary McDonnell (Grey's Anatomy), Melinda McGraw (Mad Men), Bernadette Peters (Grey's Anatomy), Mary Kay Place (Big Love).

COMEDY GUEST ACTOR: Alan Alda (30 Rock), Will Arnett (30 Rock), Beau Bridges (Desperate Housewives), Albert Brooks (Weeds), Steve Martin (30 Rock) with the following close behind -- Gary Cole (Entourage), Will Ferrell (Eastbound & Down), Jon Hamm (30 Rock), David Strathairn (Monk), Justin Timberlake (Saturday Night Live).

COMEDY GUEST ACTRESS: Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory), Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live), Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives), Elaine Stritch (30 Rock), Betty White (My Name Is Earl) with the following close behind -- Jennifer Aniston (30 Rock), Salma Hayek (30 Rock), Bernadette Peters (Ugly Betty), Gena Rowlands ( Monk), Oprah Winfrey (30 Rock).



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