Ray Richmond is an AwardsLine contributor
The competition is fierce in this year’s lead drama actor and actress race, with veteran nominees that are hopeful for a first-time win battling it out with first-time nominees looking for their own shot at a statuette. Here’s a look at the favorites and the dark horses:
HUGH BONNEVILLE (Downton Abbey, PBS)
Emmy Pedigree: This is Bonneville’s first nomination. He also landed a Golden Globe nom earlier this year for his Downton Abbey portrayal of Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham. He’s a veteran actor who, at 48, has been plying his craft with great success in the U.K. for nearly a quarter-century. Everyone in this exquisite cast had to pulls his/her weight to create an Emmy phenomenon in the show’s shift from movie/miniseries to the drama series category, and Bonneville did his part.
What We Say: It’s heartening to see a deserving veteran like Bonneville get his due in America. That doesn’t mean he’s going to win. Barring a huge upset, he won’t.
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Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Lead Drama Series Actress race:
GLENN CLOSE, DAMAGES
Why She Got Nominated: If the TV Academy voters hadn’t nominated Glenn Close in this race, they might as well have called off the Emmys. She’s still the gold standard for actresses on TV. Her episode submitted for consideration, “Your Secrets Are Safe”, was the first of this past season and aired back in January. But that’s what screeners are for.
Why She Has To Win: This is Close’s 13th Emmy nomination. She’s won 3, including two in a row in this category. Close’s reputation precedes her: it’s tough to find anyone who can say anything even remotely negative about her. That goes a long way in contests of this sort. It also helps that she hasn’t lost a step in her performance. “Voting for Glenn Close, you never feel like you’re settling,” one actor says.
Why She Can’t Possibly Win: Three-peating is never easy. Things like professional jealousy come into play, as does increased competition. Close also has to fight the “been there, done that” vibe of the multiple winner. Lastly, the fact her ratings-challenged show could no longer cut it on FX and is now moving to DirecTV may hurt.
JULIANNA MARGULIES, THE GOOD WIFE
Why She Got Nominated: Margulies gave the most high-profile performance of any lead actress in a freshman drama, CBS pulled out all the stops publicity-wise for her and the show, and the TV Academy has a obvious soft spot for this actress as … Read More »
Julianna Margulies, age 44, is cheated-on political wife Alicia Florrick in the CBS legal drama The Good Wife. While Margulies famously departed ER after six seasons in 2000 to pursue a film career that never caught fire, she’s never been too far away from the small screen — whether on The Sopranos or the short-lived Canterbury’s Law. She received Golden Globe and SAG awards for her work in Good Wife and faces off in Emmy’s lead drama series actress category against Glenn Close (Damages), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU) and January Jones (Mad Men). Margulies spoke with Ray Richmond for Deadline Hollywood about the Emmys, the grind of starring in an hour-long network drama series, and working close to home in New York City:
Deadline Hollywood: You’ve already won the Golden Globe, a SAG Award, and honors from the Television Critics of America for your Good Wife role. The Emmy is in the bag, right?
Julianna Margulies: [laughing] Oh, not a chance. The Emmys are honestly very unpredictable. I mean, have you looked at my Emmy record? I was nominated 6 times for ER and won once. So you never know at all. But my God, it’s all icing at this point anyway. The fact our show is being watched and I’m winning accolades for my performance is already beyond my wildest expectations. Read More »