George Kraychyk/Hulu; Ron Batzdorff/NBC; Helen Sloan/HBO
As the nominations period comes to an end, EW’s team of experts and critics have compiled a list of the top contenders for the 2018 Emmy Awards.
For more TV talk, check out EW critic Kristen Baldwin, editor at large Lynette Rice, and editor in chief Henry Goldblatt’s witty new podcast about the Emmy Awards, Chasing Emmy
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Margo Martindale - The Americans (FX)
To Martindale, playing Claudia, steely handler of spies Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), was all about discipline. "With Claudia, what you see is what you get," the three-time Emmy winner, 66, says of her impressive run on the Cold War drama. "I loved this season because they allowed her to open up."
Alexis Bledel - The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
There was a moment during season 1 when we thought we were seeing the last of former handmaid Emily, but luckily Bledel returned for season 2 and audiences got the chance to learn so much more about her facinating character's backstory.
Ann Dowd - The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
Dowd has already won an Emmy for playing Aunt Lydia, and her work in season 2 proved to be even more captivating — so let's get her a bookend, already!
Lena Headey - Game of Thrones (HBO)
For the past three years, Headey has received nominations for portraying cutthroat Cersei. And the actress was just as deliciously icy in her epic drama's penultimate season as ever.
Chrissy Metz - This Is Us (NBC)
From dealing with the emotional toll of her father's death to having an all-out fight with her mother, Kate was on an emotional roller coaster all season — and Metz really made us enjoy the ride.
John P. Johnson/HBO
Thandie Newton - Westworld (HBO)
"You're playing a robot who discovers she's a robot and proceeds to become a superrobot...and she wants to find her daughter." That's the seemingly ridiculous jist of what must have been pitched to Newton for season 2 of her HBO drama. But somehow the actress played every confusing nuance with Emmy-worthy emotion.