Emmy Preview: Supporting Actor in a Drama

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We know who the nominees are, and we've taken a look at some of the biggest snubs, but now it's your turn to weigh in on the 2012 Emmy Awards TV Fanatics! Staff writer Dan Forcella is here to give you quick refresher on each of the major categories, and then turn it over to you all to let us know who should win come September 23.

Other categories previewed so far: Lead Actress ComedyLead Actor ComedySupporting Actress ComedySupporting Actor ComedyComedy SeriesLead Actress DramaLead Actor Drama, Supporting Actress Drama.


No offense to the boys from Downton Abbey, or yet another Mad Men performer, but the race for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series looks to be between three men. This issue then becomes deciding which one of those three are the favorite at this point in the competition.

Peter Dinklage earned the honor last year, and he absolutely deserved it.  The man is the highlight week in and week out on Game of Thrones, so I definitely think he deserves to win again. The Academy knows that Thrones is a great show, and this may be their only chance to honor the wonderful acting on display.

Varys and Tyrion

The problem for Dinklage is that he's going up against two worthy competitors from Breaking Bad. Aaron Paul won this award the last time he was eligible (2010), and most are raving just as much about his performance in 2012 as at any other point in the series run. Too bad for both recent winners that they're going up against Giancarlo Esposito.

Esposito is my favorite to win come September. His portrayal of drug lord Gustavo Fring was such a slow build that its peak and inevitable destruction both came during this past season. He quickly garnered the attention of everyone within shouting distance of a Breaking Bad fan, and because of that, he has as much of a chance as anyone.

I can't speak of the performances by Jim Carter and Brendan Coyle, since I've never seen Downton Abbey, but since neither was nominated in the miniseries category last year, I can't imagine there is a ton of weight behind these nominations. The current Emmy infatuation with Downton was seemingly enough to grab a ton of nominations, but I don't see it turning into wins for anyone but Maggie Smith.

The biggest surprise in the category was the fact that Jared Harris was nominated over four-time nominee John Slattery. I'm not saying that Harris doesn't deserve it over Slattery (although I definitely am saying he doesn't deserve it over Walton Goggins and Neal McDonough), but the switcheroo between castmates just seemed a bit strange to me. 

Who did enough to win the prize? And who just didn't have the stuff? It's your turn to let us know who you think should win this year's Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series?

Vote in the poll below and then sound off in the comments!

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


I am sure they are all good actors but I don't watch any of these. I usually at least know someone but since they are focusing on cable only shows it is making me lose interest in the awards.. why watch when it is only on channels not everyone can get?


I don't understand why everyone is complaining about Dinklage being in the supporting actor category. There is no lead in Game of Thrones. It is clearly an ensemble cast. If you compare the amount of screentime Dinklage gets compared to the actual Lead Actor nominees Bryan Crandston, Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm, Damian Lewis, Hugh Boneville, and Steve Buscemi you will see that his screentime on Game of Thrones is significantly less than what they have on their shows. He doesn't belong in that catergory.


As phenomenal as Aaron Paul and Peter Dinklage are, my vote goes to Giancarlo Esposito. Unlike the other two, he's never won this award. And unlike the other two, this is the last time he'll ever be eligible for this award for his amazing portrayal of Gustavo Fring.


I am not saying he shouldn't been nominated he was great but he was not a supporting character. The other nominees were. At the end of day it not about screentime it about whether they shined as the most being a lead or supporting. the lead actor category is problematic for me this year, there are people I removed that I felt Dinklage could have taken their place, so I don't care who win there as there was so many snubs. Like I said Esposito is most people's favorite anyway so anyone other him winning is just blatant robbery.
However if we going on based on your criteria than Dinklage played a smart game then, I can't hate on one's game but for me I can't consider him in the running.


His story was still the main storyline, he still had way more screentime than his fellow ensemble members which is my point (which is why I would place Lena Headley into the supporting because she was the support in his story). It not about screentime but storyline and his storyline was the main one and he is the known lead like Sean Bean was in season 1. He wasn't moved to the beginning of the credits for no reason.


While I agree his screen time was bumped from season one, I disagree that it doesn't still belong in this category (as the Emmys are currently configured). Game of Thrones is still very much an ensemble, and he may have been "the most" lead of the cast, I doubt he had more screen time per episode than Aaron Paul on Breaking Bad. If you were to compare Dinklage's role on season two of Thrones to say Jon Hamm on Mad Men or Michael C. Hall on Dexter, it wouldn't be fair either. Hall is on screen almost the entire time, while Dinklage gets 15 minutes on average per episode at best. It's a tough game, so given the way the category shakes up, I think Dinklage is a worthy competitor. Don't you?


Yes, I would penalize him for it as clear his work is that of lead character so of course he suppose to shine in them and to me it gives him unfair advantage over the supporting, who are shinning in the supporting roles next to their leads, the material is just not the same. And he imo took someone else's spot (which to me is unfair) and should have submitted himself as the lead as I'm pretty sure he would got it.I guess saying is you can't rate his episodes against the others because he is in fact the lead and you can't compare the them. You pointed out he was the highlight and the point of it was him being the lead is suppose to stand out, so yes when it comes to the definition of supporting character he's not anymore. I am big fan of Dinklage but the fact his material is far different and it was common knowledge GOT execs made him the lead hence why he appears first in the credits and right now it seems he made have manipulated the system here, it would be like Ellen Pompeo submitting herself as a supporting actress, when the storylines center around her.


whateva: so you would penalize Dinklage because he's in the wrong category? I agree that Esposito deserves it, but I don't think that reasoning is fair.


While I thought Dinklage was deserving of the award last year, after his win it became common knowledge he was to be the lead in season 2 because Sean Bean was gone and due to his popularity. He shouldn't be in this category and that makes him unfit to win the statue. I also think people would riot if Esposito does not win, hearing people foots in their tv as for everyone the winner is clear in this category.