Michael Gambon in Emma

By Phil Wallace

The nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie have a decidedly British bent. Three of the five nominees hail from the United Kingdom, and all three of them appeared in productions that were released in England first. This year’s award is considered wide-open, but AwardsPicks will do its best to help you with your Emmy pool. Here are the nominees:

Michael Gambon, Emma – Best known these days for playing Albus Dumbledore, Gambon plays Emma’s father, Mr. Woodside, in the latest adaptation of this Jane Austen novel. As a four-part BBC miniseries, Gambon has a bit more material to work with than some of the other nominees in this category. Gambon has one Emmy nomination to his credit, but most of his other honors come in theater. Widely respected by his peers, this role could be enough to put Gambon on top. His performance was extremely well reviewed and he may very well be the favorite in this category.

John Goodman in You Don't Know Jack

John Goodman, You Don’t Know Jack – Nominated for 10 Emmys (seven for Roseanne), Goodman has only one win to his credit, as a guest actor in the forgettable series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. In this HBO movie, Goodman plays Jack Kevorkian’s friend and sidekick and earns excellent reviews. One gets the sense that Goodman has never quite received the respect in awards circles that he deserves (I still think he should have been nominated for an Oscar in The Big Lebowski), and it’s hard to say if Al Pacino’s spectacular performance overshadows him. Perhaps the Academy will look past him again.

Jonathan Pryce, Return to Cranford – A surprise nominee, Pryce is the biggest underdog in this race. A respected British actor, he simply has the wrong role to win an Emmy. This miniseries which is a sequel of Cranford, is known for its leading ladies, such as Judi Dench. Pryce does not appear to have distinguished himself enough to beat out the others in this strong group of nominees.

Patrick Stewart, Hamlet – Stewart wins bonus points for playing both King Claudius and the ghost of the late King Hamlet in this modern dress version of Hamlet. Stewart has been doing Shakespeare for virtually his entire career, and could probably do an excellent job of playing these roles without a single rehearsal. This is Stewart’s fourth Emmy nomination, and he was surprisingly never nominated for his role as Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Could this be the year?

David Strathairn in Temple Grandin

David Strathairn, Temple Grandin – One of Hollywood’s most underrated actors, Strathairn has one Oscar nomination (for Good Night and Good Luck) and has seldom won anything of significance. In this HBO movie, Strathairn plays a science teacher and mentor for an intelligent autistic girl Angela Temple, played by Claire Danes. Strathairn is reliable and always excellent. But does he stand out enough in this role to win the Emmy? It’s hard to see how.

Prediction: Strathairn deserves to win one of these years, but this isn’t it. That’s even with three British nominees potentially canceling each other out. Pryce is a longshot at best. Goodman also deserves more recognition, but it’s hard to see him breaking through. While Stewart is always phenomenal, this particular version of Hamlet hasn’t gotten as much publicity as some of the others. And besides, how many versions of Hamlet do we really need anyways?

Michael Gambon’s performance was the best reviewed of these five, and he’s long overdue for a statuette. Pick him in your pool and thank me later.

Road to the Emmys Series

July 5: Nomination Preview Podcast – Lilit Marcus, Andrew Payne, Rebecca Rose, and Phil Wallace

July 8: Nomination Analysis Podcast – Rebecca Rose, Dantzler Smith, Phil Wallace, and Bryce Van Kooten

July 12: Outstanding Host: Reality Show or Reality Competition – Adam Spunberg

July 14: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie – Adam Spunberg

July 15: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie – Phil Wallace

July 19: Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Movie – Phil Wallace

July 21: Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie – Gene Williams

July 26: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special – Savanna New

July 28: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series – Dantzler Smith

August 2: Outstanding Reality Program – Gene Williams

August 4: Outstanding Reality Competition Program – Savanna New

August 7: Outstanding Made for TV Movie – Savanna New

August 8: Outstanding Miniseries – Adam Spunberg

August 9: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Colin Campbell

August 10: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Kit Bowen

August 11: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Rebecca Rose

August 12: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Andrew Payne

August 16: Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – Phil Wallace

August 17: Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series – Steve Neumann

August 18: Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – Andrew Payne

August 19: Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series – Bryce Van Kooten

August 23: Outstanding Comedy Series – Kit Bowen

August 25: Outstanding Drama Series – Adam Spunberg

August 29: 62nd Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards