With a bevy of veteran Emmy nominees – and one first-timer – let’s take a look at the six nominees in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law

Bates is absolutely no stranger to Emmy nominations. She has received no less than eight nods over the course of her career – from guest starring stints on Six Feet Under and 3rd Rock from the Sun to TV movies The Late Shift and Warm Springs. But this is Bates’ first nod for a TV series in which she stars,  and this could be her best shot at snagging the so-far elusive Emmy. Her turn as the irascible lawyer Harriet Korn – the Harry in Harry’s Law  – is pure scene-chewing fun, just the way Bates likes it. She speaks her mind; she self-medicates; and she shoots rats down just as fast as she defends her sometimes unsavory clients. Watch this clip!



Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights

Britton’s second Emmy nod for her role as Tami Taylor in Friday Night Lights is as much a testament to the show, which ended its five-season run earlier this year, as anything else. As the patient wife of a high-school football coach, living in a small Texas town, Britton also plays the town’s no-nonsense high-school principal. And along with Kyle Chandler (who also received an Emmy nod) as her husband, these two talented actors have proven to be one of TV’s best married couples of all time.  Too bad the show couldn’t survive the cutthroat viewership race to last a little while longer. Here’s a clip!



Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Margulies is another veteran Emmy nominee on this year’s list, having received eight nominations so far in her successful TV career. She has only won once — for Outstanding Supporting Actress for E.R. –  but that could change this year as Margulies gains her second nod for her role as a disgraced politician’s wife-turned-defense attorney in The Good Wife.  The gifted actress has steadily been gaining accolades for her performance as a woman who regains her life after being humiliated by her husband in a sex scandal. This could very well be her year. Watch the clip!



Mireille Enos, The Killing

AMC’s The Killing debuted to strong reviews in April, led by Enos’ exquisitely underrated performance. Some of you might remember Enos from her supporting turn in the HBO show Big Love, and in The Killing, the actress truly shines as homicide Detective Sarah Linden — a smart, competent Seattle cop and single mom who rarely shows what she’s thinking but who is always thinking, especially when she is sucked into a grisly murder case involving a young girl. Unfortunately, the Emmys rarely award a newbie, but if The Killing makes the long haul, Enos could have a shot later on. Watch this inside look of the show!



Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Hargitay has become this category’s staple, making her eighth return to the Lead Actress in a Drama list as Law & Order: SVU‘s Detective Olivia Benson. She has already won the award once, but the Emmys love familiarity and so continue to nominate Hargitay from the hit NBC show, now heading into its 13th season. Not to say the actress doesn’t deserve the nods. As Benson, Hargitay has many of the show’s more juicy moments, doing her job – and agonizing over it. See for yourself.



Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

This is Moss’ fourth Emmy nom for her Mad Men role as the ambitious copywriter Peggy Olsen. Funny, she was nominated last year in the Supporting Actress category but all the other nods have been for Lead Actress. Guess she didn’t have as much screen time that year. Nevertheless, Moss has shown her mettle as Peggy, a woman who wants to be taken seriously in the male-dominated profession of advertising. Let’s just hope there are more seasons of the show – and more chances for Moss to win. Here’s a clip!



Who will win?

This one isn’t hard to figure out. Marguilies has already won a Golden Globe and two SAG awards for her role on The Good Wife, so the Emmys should follow suit the second time around. And if the show lasts, you can bet she’ll be on the list each and every year.


Road to the Emmys Series

August 24: Miniseries/TV Movie Acting Roundup – Dantzler Smith

August 25: Outstanding Miniseries or TV Movie – Dantzler Smith

August 26: Outstanding Reality Competition Host – Erica Scandariato

August 29: Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series – Phil Wallace

August 30: Outstanding Reality Program – Erica Scandariato

August 31: Outstanding Reality Competition Program – Savanna New

September 1: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy – Dave Morris

September 2: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy – Kendra Beltran

September 6: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama – Angela Stern

September 7: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama – Adam Spunberg

September 8: Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – Megan Lane

September 9: Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series – Megan Lane

September 12: Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – Kit Bowen

September 13: Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series – Andrew Payne

September 14: Outstanding Comedy Series – Amy Lindorff

September 15: Outstanding Drama Series – Andrew Payne

September 18: 63rd Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards