By EW Staff
July 12, 2016 at 11:32 PM EDT
Mitch Jenkins/AMC; Ryan Green/ABC; Paul Schiraldi/ Courtesy of HBO

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.

Olivia Colman

The Night Manager (AMC)

The undersung British actress has been bringing understated power to the small screen for some time now (see: Broadchurch, to start). But her turn here as Angela Burr, a relentless intelligence officer working for the good guys, ranks as one of her finest yet.

Regina King

American Crime (ABC)

King’s Terri LaCroix was a lioness of a mother who ferociously protected her star-basketball-player son after he was involved in a crime. But it was King’s quieter moments, when Terri’s picture-perfect life came crashing down, that were the most affecting.

Catherine Keener

Show Me a Hero (HBO)

Decked out in a gray wig and granny glasses, Keener’s casual racist–turned–housing advocate looked harmless at first glance, but her character’s inherent frailness and unassuming nature made her enlightened evolution all the more powerful.

Paul Schiraldi/ Courtesy of HBO; Suzanne Tenner/FX; Chris Large/FX

Latanya Richardson Jackson

Show Me a Hero (HBO)

She may not have had many lines as Norma, a nurse whose failing eyesight might cost her a job, but Richardson Jack- son’s worn-out expression said everything. Her performance was filled with the desperation of a woman who needed a spot in public housing but was too proud to ask.

Sarah Paulson

American Horror Story: Hotel (FX)

As junkie Hypodermic Sally, Paulson brilliantly captured the devastating desire to get that next fix, while her heart’s true wish — simply to be loved — provided a surprising relatability to a despicable character (who was dead the entire time).

Jean Smart

Fargo (FX)

When the character is a pipe-smoking Midwestern Mob boss named Floyd, you don’t expect Jean Smart. But watching her transform for the role and bring such a dynamic mix of flint and fragility to it, you’re left with a new expectation: that Jean Smart can do anything.