BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
Michael Emerson, Lost
Terry O'Quinn, Lost
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Martin Short, Damages
John Slattery, Mad Men
This is an incredibly strong category this year, and four of these men stand a good chance at winning. Short proved that he could do drama this year on Damages, but he seems like a long shot given how little love the show received this year. Slattery, previously nominated twice for this role, will have to wait a little longer for his first win just by the competitive nature of the category. Braugher is in a show that few people noticed, but Emmy voters love him, so he definitely stands to be a spoiler. Though Emerson was no lesser this year, his win last year makes it unlikely he'll repeat. That leaves it to a showdown between O'Quinn and Paul. Paul had a terrific arc on Breaking Bad this year, and many felt that he should have won last year. But count on O'Quinn to be the first actor in over a decade to repeat as a winner (he won in 2007): he gave a phenomenal performance this year, playing both hero John Locke and the villainous Man in Black with the same charisma and intensity. It was a spectacle to behold, and O'Quinn richly deserves it.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Rose Byrne, Damages
Sharon Gless, Burn Notice
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Byrne chose an awful submission episode; she barely does anything in it, meaning a win is certainly out of the question. Gless is a surprise nominee, and could win just for being on Cagney & Lacey back in the '80s, but I don't see this happening, to say nothing of the popcorn fluff of a show she's in. Panjabi managed to sneak in, but a win for her also seems unlikely, but if the show really strikes a nerve with voters, who knows. However, its more likely that they'd award Baranski for her much more showy work on The Good Wife; she was the front-runner when the nominations were announced, but since then her buzz has been overshadowed by the women of Mad Men (which has the good luck to premiere in the summer, during voting). In the showdown between Moss and Hendricks, expect the latter to win; she had better material to work with last season, and should reap the rewards for it on her first nomination.