Emmy Wish List: Supporting Actor in a Drama

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With nominations for the 2012 Emmy Awards scheduled to be announced by Nick Offerman and Kerry Washington on July 19, staff writer Dan Forcella is here to give you a quick overview of each category, his predictions for the 2012 nominations, and his Emmy Wish Lists for who ought to be on the ballot.

Other categories we've covered, predicted and forecasted so far: Lead Actor Comedy, Lead Actress Comedy, Supporting Actor Comedy, Supporting Actress Comedy, Comedy Series, Lead Actor Drama, and Lead Actress Drama...


The competition only gets tougher, and deeper, as we move on to the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series race. The winner from each of the previous two ceremonies should be the favorites going into September.  Peter Dinklage will look to repeat after a bit of a surprise win last year, while 2010 winner Aaron Paul returns to the field after Breaking Bad's absence last year.

The New Hand of The King

Alan Cumming - The Good Wife
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
Giancarlo Esposito - Breaking Bad
Walton Goggins - Justified
Aaron Paul - Breaking Bad
John Slattery - Mad Men

The dark horse to top the two favorites is probably Paul's castmate, Giancarlo Esposito, who was phenomenol as the super creepy Gus Fring this season. Add Cumming, Goggins and four-time nominee John Slattery to the mix, and you have one heck of a group.

Still on the outside looking in may be folks like Andre Braugher and Josh Charles, who both made the field last year, as well as great performers like Neal McDonough, Michael Pitt, John Noble, Mandy Patinkin and everyone's favorite crazy man, Nick Nolte.  It's a very deep field.

Emmy Wish List
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
The second season might not have lived up to the first, but our love of Tyrion Lannister never wavered. Dinklage's performance was a big reason for that, as the actor continued to play sarcastic, loving, scared, and powerful all a the same time.

Giancarlo Esposito - Breaking Bad
Could you imagine Breaking Bad without Esposito playing Gustavo Fring over the past couple of seasons? Neither can I. The man is now playing the magic mirror on Once Upon a Time, and it just isn't the same. This was a performance to be remembered... with a nomination.

Neal McDonough - Justified
Slightly edging out his fellow Justified player Goggins, McDonough was just too good in his lone season to leave off my list. Between Margo Martindale, Goggins, Mykelti Williamson and McDonough, this show has created a number of interesting villains, but the portrayal of Robert Quarles was my favorite yet.

Klaus, Chilling

Joseph Morgan - The Vampire Diaries
My Klaus love is well known around these parts, but I don't think I am biased at all when I say that Joseph Morgan deserves a spot on this list. With all the hype that was building up to what Klaus might be, Morgan's performance has both lived up to and surpassed that hype.

John Noble - Fringe
Like Anna Torv, Noble has played numerous characters on Fringe, each one vastly different from the other. Just this season there has been Walter, Walternate, and that early season Walter that didn't have Peter. The detail that Noble puts in to each performance is astounding.

Michael Pitt - Boardwalk Empire
The emotions that Michael Pitt can evoke from viewers of Boardwalk should not go unmentioned. Whether it a glare, a word, a punch or a gunshot, Pitt was able to turn Jimmy Darmody into a character that nobody wanted to see leave their screen for a second this season.

Now it's your turn TV Fanatics!  Who would make your Emmy Wish List for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series?

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Robert Carlyle - Superb acting in portraying both over-the-top Rumpelstiltskin and understated Mr Gold. Such a pity the network shows tend to be overlooked in favour of the cable programming. Grittier writing doesn't necessarily mean better acting.


Excuse me, what about Vincent Kartheiser? It's astonishing to me that he continues to be overlooked when he knocks his performance as Pete - who's not an easy character to make the audience care about - out of the park every episode. It's sad that not only was he not in your predictions but that he didn't even make your cut of considerations. It blows my mind that he's always overlooked.


Aaron Paul and Mandy Patinkin are my favorites




John Noble is so overrated, always has been, and this season 4 he was overacting most of the time, did not do a decent double, but still gets all the credit,
as he gets all the the writing, the oneliners, the tearjerker scenes, and the scenes that get all the attention.
Does not make you a good actor, and very telling the moment Noble has to do something else than playing his gavourite Walter, he misfires, and the writing gets the blame.
Walter Lewin, 72 yr old MIT physisc, is where Walter has been copied from, only Lewin does not drown in selfpity.


Because my comments have been critical of the process, I wanted to list my very positive picks (not ordered):
1) Walter Goggins (Justified)
2) Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
3) Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
4) Jeremy Allen White (Shameless)
5) Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad)
6) Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)


Peter Dinklage and Robert Carlyle. Dinklage is a no brainer considering he frakking rocks his part! But Carlyle has been sadly overlooked. His Rumplestiiltskin/Mr. Gold performance is definitely award winning; he goes from creepy evil dude, to almost sympathetic, tragic hero without blinking an eye. In fact the whole cast of Once Upon a Time is so spot on, I can't believe the show is being overlooked this much.
Also, I would put in a vote for Brenden Coyle from Downton Abbey. Mr. Bates had such a tragic season and he played the part perfectly, I literally cried with despair. That's good acting.


Peter Dinklage
Joseph Morgan
Michael Pitt
Neal McDonough
Robert Carlyle
John Noble


@ Dan Forcella - Hi Dan... I understand & respect your logic, but I have to stand pat on my opinion. Please consider John Lithgow's Emmy win as best guest in 2010 for his full season 12 episode turn on Dexter. Even Paul McCrane's win last year on a broadcast network was for 7 episodes. Times have changed. I just think it's time for the Academy to recognize that the explosion of networks and serial dramas demands an examination of the catagories. And I personally think that there needs to be some recognition of the vast differences between 'supporting' and 'guest' roles. Regular supporting actors have the task of preparing their roles based on their characters' past, present and future life across the universe of the series. The guest actor has a clearly defined mandate across the contained reality of one story arc. And, btw, McDonough really didn't have many scenes with Olyphant. But, to be clear, I think Neal McDonough is a fine actor and he turned in a fine performance on Justfied.


liddy- the way the Emmys separates its performers, "is the way it is," but I don't agree with your logic on McDonough. Why would he be a guest, going up against some "guest actors" who appear only in one or two episodes of a season, when McDonough was in a majority of Justified? After Goggins I'm not sure anyone else was more prominent in supporting Olyphant as the lead. Not Searcy. Not Carter or Pitts. Just because he's only on for one season, that doesn't mean he should be in "guest." It all depends on how you view the categories, and I think with McDonough, they've got it right.