Best Actor in a Drama nominee No. 1 John Noble, Fringe
For three years now, Noble’s master class in acting has gone unnoticed by the Academy.
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Best Actor in a Drama nominee No. 2 Sean Bean, Game of Thrones
We could tell you why the role of Ned Stark had such a big impact on season 1, but that might still be a spoiler.
Best Actor in a Drama nominee No. 3 Charlie Hunnam, Sons of Anarchy
Thanks to Hunnam’s layered performance, Jax, the outlaw biker with a tortured soul, is smart enough to work a deal with the Feds, badass enough to command respect, man enough to truly love a woman and child, and hot enough to make it totally okay if he unknowingly makes out with his half-sister.
Best Actor in a Drama nominee No. 4 William H. Macy, Shameless
While it’s damn near impossible to love eternally drunk, fiscally irresponsible father of five Frank Gallagher, it’s easy to appreciate Macy’s tragicomic performance.
Best Actor in a Drama nominee No. 5 Joel Kinnaman, The Killing
The Swedish actor transformed into a swaggering meth addict to steal scenes as secretive, dirtbaggy detective Stephen Holder.
Best Actor in a Drama nominee No. 6 Nathan Fillion, Castle
Yes, the perception is that Fillion is just as charming as Richard Castle in real life. But presumably he doesn’t frequently find himself in life and death situations with a homicide detective with whom he avoids talking about his feelings until she’s been shot. Acting is required. Seriously, Castle is even more disarming.
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John Noble, Fringe
Sean Bean, Game of Thrones
Charlie Hunnam, Sons of Anarchy
William H. Macy, Shameless
Joel Kinnaman, The Killing
Nathan Fillion, Castle
Best Actress in a Drama nominee No. 1 Anna Torv, Fringe
”What else could she possibly do to show how Emmy-worthy she is?” wonders commenter tracy bluth. ”Does she need to do a William Shatner impression for two episodes as well? Play three characters who are each pretending to be each other???”
Best Actress in a Drama nominee No. 2 Emmy Rossum, Shameless
Her turn as scrappy older sibling/mother figure Fiona Gallagher is utterly believable. Also: frequently topless.
Best Actress in a Drama nominee No. 3 Lauren Graham, Parenthood
”I’m beginning to wonder if Lauren Graham just appears invisible to Emmy voters,” says commenter iggy. ”It’s bad enough that she’s not recognized for her role in Parenthood, but it is a downright travesty that she never won for Gilmore Girls.”
Best Actress in a Drama nominee No. 4 Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy
The Golden Globes have recognized — and awarded — her fierceness as the matriarch of the motorcycle club. But the Emmys have yet to acknowledge that she’s turned Gemma into one of cable’s most captivating female characters, someone capable of showing great strength and vulnerability in the same moment. She’s to be feared, but also to be protected.
Best Actress in a Drama nominee No. 5 Lisa Edelstein, House
”The woman has been overlooked by the Emmy panel for seven years now,” says commenter Muireann. ”Despite House‘s rapid deterioration, she has remained a bright spot on the show.”
Best Actress in a Drama nominee No. 6 Chloe Sevigny, Big Love
This show really went off the rails in its fifth and final season, but crazy Nicki will always be our favorite wife. (And side note: We’d like to award an honorary EWTubey to Drew Droege and his ”Chloe” spoofs, based on Sevigny.)
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Anna Torv, Fringe
Emmy Rossum, Shameless
Lauren Graham, Parenthood
Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy
Lisa Edelstein, House
Chloe Sevigny, Big Love
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama nominee No. 1 Michael Pitt, Boardwalk Empire
”The show received 18 nominations, but none of those went toward Pitt, the most interesting character on the show,” says commenter Ben. ”In reality, he’s such an underrated actor.”
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama nominee No. 2 Brent Sexton, The Killing
The former Deadwood actor delivers as Stan Larsen, a grieving father with a dubious past (who could also stunt-double for Paul Blart, Mall Cop).
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama nominee No. 3 Michael Cudlitz, Southland
As outspoken, badass, gay L.A. cop John Cooper, Cudlitz consistently stands out in TNT’s underrated drama.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama nominee No. 4 Matt Czuchry, The Good Wife
The Emmys recognized his castmates Josh Charles and Alan Cumming in the supporting actor category, but let us not forget the fine line that Czurchy walked in season 2 as Cary worked for the enemy (Childs) but helped out a friend (Kalinda). You were ready to hate him, but he never gave you a reason to. But that wicked smile of his keeps you waiting.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama nominee No. 5 Vincent Kartheiser, Mad Men
”It infuriates me that the Academy continues to ignore the absolutely superb Vincent Kartheiser year after year,” says commenter Anna.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama nominee No. 6 Michael B. Jordan, Friday Night Lights
Jordan shined on FNL‘s final season as Vince, the stubborn, gifted quarterback who found a mentor and paternal figure in Coach Taylor.
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Michael Pitt, Boardwalk Empire
Brent Sexton, The Killing
Michael Cudlitz, Southland
Matt Czuchry, The Good Wife
Vincent Kartheiser, Mad Men
Michael B. Jordan, Friday Night Lights
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama nominee No. 1 Mae Whitman, Parenthood
”Her portrayal of Amber was smart, heart-shattering and, I hate to sound like a douche, real,” said commenter Luther. Her? Yes, her. She’s the belle of the ball!
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama nominee No. 2 Regina King, Southland
As one of the only female cops on the force, King’s Lydia Adams — who endured a very drama-heavy season 2 — is pretty much the pulse of the series.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama nominee No. 3 KaDee Strickland, Private Practice
”I can’t believe they nominated Mariska Hargitay AGAIN and so therefore didn’t have room for KaDee,” says commenter the_girl. ”Give her an EWWY!!”
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama nominee No. 4 Maggie Siff, Sons of Anarchy
It’s not easy being with Jax (Charlie Hunnam), but as Tara, Siff makes you believe a woman with a medical degree could love the man and not the lifestyle and keep coming back for more. Tara has the same innate strength as Katey Sagal’s Gemma, which is what’s made the building of their relationship as exciting to watch as anything the boys have gotten into.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama nominee No. 5 Sara Ramirez, Grey's Anatomy
Aside from singing it to win it in the musical episode, Ramirez’ Dr. Callie Torres suffered pregnancy troubles and married her girlfriend. This should have been her Emmy season.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama nominee No. 6 Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
”She gave one of the strongest performances on the recognized Game of Thrones, in what was her first television role,” says commenter BHM1304, ”and instead they nominate two actresses from the same procedural. Shenanigans.”
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Mae Whitman, Parenthood
Regina King, Southland
KaDee Strickland, Private Practice
Maggie Siff, Sons of Anarchy
Sara Ramirez, Grey’s Anatomy
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Best Drama nominee No. 1 Fringe
”Year after year it has proven itself to be one of the most intelligent and gripping shows on television. What the Emmy panel has against it (not to mention its cast — JOHN NOBLE, PEOPLE!) is beyond me.” —Muireann
Best Drama nominee No. 2 Justified
Since season 2 earned it four acting Emmy nominations — for lead actor Timothy Olyphant, supporting actor Walton Goggins, supporting actress Margo Martindale, and guest actor Jeremy Davies — we know people are watching the FX drama. So how could they miss the chance to honor the masterful plotting of the deadly Givens-Bennett-Crowder feud?
Best Drama nominee No. 3 Shameless
Showtime’s unapologetic series about a trashy, lively Chicago-based family — led by father Frank (William H. Macy) and daughter Fiona (Emmy Rossum) — could be the best drama you don’t know about.
Best Drama nominee No. 4 Parenthood
With its impeccable cast and characters you sometimes feel could be part of your own family, Parenthood has quietly become one of the best dramas on TV.
Best Drama nominee No. 5 The Killing
The series, based on the Danish original, is a moody and intriguing whodunit. (Just would’ve been nice if the season 1 finale actually told us who did it.)
Best Drama nominee No. 6 The Walking Dead
AMC. Zombies. Need we say more?
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The Walking Dead