By EW Staff
Updated July 12, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
Chris Large/FX; Paul Schiraldi/Courtesy of HBO; Des Willie/AMC

This year EW is here to help with our first-ever For Your Consideration issue. We have curated the bajillion shows and performances (give or take a million) eligible for Emmy nominations to help voters select their top picks. Consider this a sneak peek into the nomination process and an early guide to the awards, which air Sept. 18 on ABC.

Bokeem Woodbine

Fargo (FX)

As Kansas City enforcer Mike Milligan, Woodbine derived strength from his surprisingly spiritual side. There was a Zen quality to his icy gaze and the eloquent way he quoted literature, even when he was busy draining all the life from some poor buffoon.

Alfred Molina

Show Me a Hero (HBO)

Playing Yonkers, N.Y., politician Hank Spallone, Molina chewed scenery with the same zeal as his compromise-averse character chewed on toothpicks. As the face of the anti-public-housing movement, Molina’s performance was an engrossing study in mob-mentality politics-as-theater.

Tom Hollander

The Night Manager (AMC)

Hiddleston and Laurie may have been the marquee names, but Hollander stole scenes as bawdy Lance Corkoran, the devoted right-hand man who saw through the ruse designed to bring down his boss. Practically every word that escaped his lips was dripping with delicious disdain.

Ray Mickshaw/FX; Chris Large/FX; Des Willie/AMC

Sterling K. Brown

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)

As Christopher Darden, Brown imbued the embattled prosecutor with a warmth and realness rarely evidenced during the actual trial’s televised proceedings. And all that charm and charisma he oozed in his more private moments opposite Sarah Paulson’s Marcia Clark? Well, we rest our case.

Ted Danson

Fargo (FX)

One of TV’s greatest stars, Danson has become one of TV’s greatest character actors. He proved it anew as wintry lawman Hank Larsson, revealing layers of care and quirk with understated, measured precision and providing great foil and support to so many rogues and heroes.

Hugh Laurie

The Night Manager (AMC)

Few people make “bad” look as good as Laurie, and his obscenely wealthy, morally challenged arms dealer Richard Roper was one of the year’s most magnetic villains. Who else could exude ruthlessness while wearing breezy linen shirts and sporty red pants?