No matter which of the women nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series category take home the Emmy Award at the 2015 Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, Sept. 12, viewers will be hard-pressed to find a reason why that person didn’t deserve it. The six actresses nominated are an embarrassment of riches in what many consider the golden age of television, and prove that it only takes a little bit of screentime to make a huge impact on a season of television.
Coming off her Guest Actress win 2014, Allison Janney is nominated again for her role as Margaret Scully in “Masters of Sex.” That alone makes her a strong contender, but she had only one episode in Season 2 instead of the six she had in Season 1, so the Television Academy might look to someone new this year.
Margo Martindale is nominated for her third year in a row for her role as Claudia on “The Americans,” and she’s just as deserving this year. She’s a fan-favorite to win, simply because it’s about time the show started honoring the FX series for its incredible acting (leads Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell have never been nominated since “The Americans” premiered in 2013).
Similarly this is the third year Diana Rigg has been nominated for portraying Lady Olenna Tyrell without a win. Though she had limited screentime — only appearing in two of Season 5’s 10 episodes — Rigg had some of her meatiest scenes yet when she sparred with the High Sparrow, played by veteran actor Jonathan Pryce.
Rounding out the list are Khandi Alexander for playing Maya Pope on “Scandal” and Rachel Brosnahan for playing Rachel Posner on “House of Cards,” and both are up for their first Emmy Awards with these nominations. But while all five of those candidates would well-deserve a win, it’s likeliest to go to Cecily Tyson for her one episode as Ophelia Hartness on “How to Get Away With Murder.”
When Tyson debuted as Annalise Keating’s mother toward the end of Season 1, it was like she and Viola Davis were there to tease a master class in acting. The duo chewed up their screentime in a season-best scene where they opened old wounds discussing Annalise’s childhood rape by a family member and the roles of men and women in society. If anything, a win for Tyson would convince “HTGAWM” producers that they absolutely need to bring Tyson back in Season 2.
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The Creative Arts Emmys air Saturday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FXX.