EMMYS 2011 - OUTSTANDING LEAD DRAMA ACTRESS NOMINEES
Julianna Margulies – Nominated for the role of Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife. This is Margulies’ eighth Emmy nomination, and second for The Good Wife. She has an Emmy that she won in 2004 for ER, along with a Golden Globe in 2010. Margulies also possess eight SAG Awards (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2011), four of which are individual, and four of which are for the ER ensemble. It did not take Margulies long to find success once she started acting, and is largely known for her multi-award winning role as Carol Hathaway in ER for six years. After her departure from ER, Margulies acted in various TV miniseries and movies before landing yet another award winning role on The Good Wife.
Elisabeth Moss – Nominated for the role of Peggy Olson in Mad Men. This is Moss’ third Emmy nomination, all for playing Peggy Olson. She also has two SAG awards that she won for her performance in the Mad Men ensemble, in 2009 and 2010. Since she began acting in 1990, Moss has appeared in various TV shows and movies. Besides Mad Men, Moss is most well known for her role in The West Wing as First Daughter Zoey Bartlet.
Mariska Hargitay – Nominated for the role of Olivia Benson in Law & Order: SVU. This is Hargitay’s eighth consecutive Emmy nomination for this role. She also has won Emmy win, in 2006. As for other awards, Hargitay received a Golden Globe in 2005. She has been working consistently on SVU since 1999. Prior to that, Hargitay appeared in numerous films and television shows.
Kathy Bates – Nominated for the role of Harriet Korn in Harry’s Law. This is her eighth Emmy nomination, with the other nominations being for various lead actress, guest actress, and supporting actress roles. Bates has also won two Golden Globes (1991 and 1997) two SAG Awards (1997 and 1999). She also has an Oscar, which she won in 1991. Bates has been acting since 1971, but rose to prominence for her role in Misery in 1990. Since then she has put together an extremely well decorated acting career, though many different and successful movies and television series, such as Titanic, Ambulance Girl, Six Feet Under, About Schmidt, Annie, and Primary Colors.
Connie Britton – Nominated for the role of Tami Taylor in Friday Night Lights. This is Britton’s second Emmy nomination, both times for playing Tami Taylor. Britton originally worked in theater in New York before landing roles in films and TV shows, which she has been doing since 1995. Other than Friday Night Lights, Britton’s most notable roles include Spin City, 24, and a couple episodes of The West Wing.
Mireille Enos – Nominated for the role of Sarah Linden in The Killing. This is her first Emmy nomination. Besides receiving recognition for this series, she is most well known for her role in HBO’s Big Love, which is the only other major project she has worked on.
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EMMYS 2011 - OUTSTANDING LEAD DRAMA ACTOR NOMINEES
Jon Hamm – Nominated for the role of Don Draper in Mad Men. This is Hamm’s sixth individual Emmy nomination, fourth for the role of Don Draper. Hamm also has a Golden Globe (2008), and two SAG awards (2009 and 2010) for the Mad Men ensemble as a whole. Hamm’s breakthrough into worldwide recognition came with his role in Mad Men - he previously worked in minor roles in various television shows and movies. Since Mad Men Hamm has been in a number of Hollywood films, such as The Day the Earth Stood Still, Bridesmaids, and Sucker Punch.
Michael C. Hall – Nominated for the role of Dexter Morgan in Dexter. This is Hall’s fifth Emmy nomination, with four of said nominations being for this particular role. In 2010 he won the Golden Globe and SAG Award for playing Dexter, and has two more SAG Awards (2003 and 2004) for his part in the Six Feet Under ensemble. Hall also has an extensive theater background, having moved from theater to television when he started for HBO’s Six Feet Under in 2001. He has yet to stray far from the television industry into the movie industry, and instead has worked on a number of theater projects during his series’ hiatuses, such as starring in Broadway’s Chicago and the off-broadway play Mr. Marmalade.
Kyle Chandler – Nominated for the role of Eric Taylor in Friday Night Lights. This is Chandler’s third Emmy nomination, and second for the Eric Taylor role. Chandler is best known for his roles in various television shows and movies since 1988. Most notable is his Emmy-nominated stint on Grey’s Anatomy, and his role in J.J. Abrams’ and Steven Spielberg’s 2011 film Super 8.
Steve Buscemi – Nominated for the role of Nucky Thompson in Boardwalk Empire. This is Buscemi’s fourth Emmy nomination, and first for this role. In 2011 he won the Golden Globe and SAG award for playing Nucky Thompson, and also received the SAG Award for his performance in the Boardwalk Empire ensemble. He is a well-known actor, having appeared in many successful Hollywood and indie films (many of which are by the Coen brothers), such as Resevoir Dogs, Big Fish, Fargo, and The Big Lebowski.
Hugh Laurie – Nominated for the role of Gregory House in House. This is Laurie’s sixth individual Emmy nomination, all for this role. He has also won two Golden Globes (2006 and 2007) and two SAG Awards (2007 and 2009). He first became well known in Britain for being one half of the ‘Fry and Laurie’ double act, in which he worked closely with friend Stephen Fry from 1987 to 1999. He has appeared in many British television projects over the course of the years. However, he has become well known in the United States for his role as Dr. House, for which he is now the highest paid actor on television.
Timothy Olyphant – Nominated for the role of Raylan Givens in Justified. This is Olyphant’s first Emmy nomination. He began acting in 1995, having appeared in many various television shows and movies. Other than for Justified, Olyphant is perhaps most well known for his roles in Deadwood and Damages.
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EMMYS 2011 - BEST DRAMA NOMINEES
The Good Wife (2009) is a law drama that shows a different side of the courtroom and the law firm, now in its second season. With Peter Florrick’s campaign heating up, Alicia is forced more into the spotlight to show support for her husband. While she is trying to support him, she also discovers secrets that end up changing her feelings on many issues, both personal and professional. Whereas the critics liked the generally liked the first season, they seemed to love the second season even more, giving it better reviews. The general audience received it better as well, especially as the show started to reveal more. The second season ends on a cliffhanger which will lead to both good and bad things for Alicia.
Dexter (2006) is the story of a likeable Miami forensics expert who moonlights as a serial killer of those who arguably deserve it. Now in the fifth season, Dexter Morgan grapples with the shocking season four finale while trying to put himself back together again. In addition to raising his son and working full-time, Dexter befriends a young woman named Lumen, with her own tortured past, and tries to help her achieve retribution. While the viewers were at an all time high, it was not as well received by the critics and is not one of the series strongest seasons. The subject material of the season, however, allowed for the series to delve into new and fresh territory, and was as well-acted as ever.
Mad Men (2007) is a period drama set in the 1960s, in its fourth season. With the new changes set forth to the ad agency, it is up to the employees of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to get the company going again. It gave the characters (and many viewers) a fresh start where they could see how the company came together. Along with changes in the work place, each character was also faced with their own personal struggles that they needed to face. Although the critics loved this season, many other viewers were iffy about the season as a whole. Many story lines caused viewers to question the direction of the show, and the possible changes that lay ahead for the seasons to come.
Game of Thrones (2011) takes place in the world of Westeros, where kings, queens, knights, and renegades battle for control of the throne. The first season primarily follows House Stark, House Lannister, and the remaining members of House Targaryen, as the realm falls to pieces and the houses go to war. The first season was fairly well received by the critics, with soaring numbers of viewers. It is one of the most ambitious television projects around, having been adapted from the book series by George R. R. Martin, and is the first television series to depict a fantasy medieval story on such a wide scale and in such a well-done way.
Friday Night Lights (2006) is a sports drama about a high school football coach and his family and team. With most of the original cast gone, and Julie in college, the writers were able to start fresh as well as bring the series to a close. They showed Eric finally getting in his groove of coaching the East Dillon Lions, and it showed Tami getting back her old job as guidance counselor. Although the show never had the highest viewership, it did have the fan following and critical following that it needed to succeed, and stay on the air for 5 seasons.
Boardwalk Empire (2010) takes place in the 1920’s and chronicles the life of gangster and politician Nucky Thompson, the ‘undisputed ruler’ of Atlantic City. It has received extremely favorable review from the critics, and is especially well praised for it’s accurate and detailed depiction of the time period. However, it didn’t sit right with many common viewers, coming off as boring, too complex, having too many subplots, and feeling like a rip-off of The Sorpranos. It also lacks a cult following and the mass of passionate fans that other drama nominees possess.
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