Emmys: Reese vs. Nicole and 16 More of Peak TV's Co-Star Competitions

7:00 AM 8/4/2017

by Anna Lisa Raya

From 'Saturday Night Live' to 'Big Little Lies,' this year's acting nominations include an unusually large number of high-profile rivalries with stars from the same series pitted against one another.

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in 'Big Little Lies'
Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in 'Big Little Lies'
Courtesy of HBO

  • Saturday Night Live

    NBC

    Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon
    Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon
    Courtesy of NBC

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

    First-timers Vanessa Bayer and Leslie Jones landed surprise nominations alongside 2016 winner Kate McKinnon (also nominated in 2014 and 2015). For Bayer, it's bittersweet recognition of her final SNL season — the most watched in more than two decades, which nabbed the late-night stalwart the most noms (22 in all) in its 40-plus-year history.

    GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

    Dave Chappelle hosted two nights after Trump's presidential win; Tom Hanks, in his ninth outing as host, created the inimitable David S. Pumpkins; and Lin-Manuel Miranda brought Hamilton magic to his opening monologue with a riff on his musical's hit "My Shot."

    GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

    This is the second time Melissa McCarthy is up against former SNL castmember Kristen Wiig in the guest category for their hosting duties (the first was in 2013 — both lost to Louie's Melissa Leo). It's the eighth nomination overall for both stars.

  • Feud

    FX

    Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange in 'Feud'
    Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange in 'Feud'
    Byron Cohen/FX

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    The battle that Susan Sarandon's Bette Davis waged against Jessica Lange's Joan Crawford in Feud continues. History isn't repeating itself, however: Davis got a 1963 Oscar nom for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? while Crawford was snubbed.

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Judy Davis is nominated for portraying Hedda Hopper (she has been Emmy recognized for two other real-life characters, Judy Garland and Nancy Reagan). She'll battle Jackie Hoffman, up for her scene-stealing Mamacita.

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Alfred Molina is nominated with a co-star he has collaborated with once before: He and Stanley Tucci starred together in 1998's The Impostors. Their portrayals of Robert Aldrich and Jack Warner, respectively, have Emmy pundits split on the favorite in this race.

  • The Night Of

    HBO

    Riz Ahmed (left) and John Turturro in 'The Night Of'
    Riz Ahmed (left) and John Turturro in 'The Night Of'
    Courtesy of HBO

    LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Though they were on the same side of the courtroom in HBO's gritty anthology series, Riz Ahmed (left) and John Turturro will compete for the trophy in a race that also includes the likes of Robert De Niro.

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Bill Camp's beleaguered detective on the verge of retirement and Michael Kenneth Williams' prison kingpin were understated portrayals that nabbed noms for both character actors (Camp's first).

  • Grace & Frankie

    Netflix

    Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in 'Grace & Frankie'
    Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in 'Grace & Frankie'
    Courtesy of Netflix

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

    Jane Fonda scored her first-ever comedy lead actress nomination this year, which pits her against co-star Lily Tomlin, who has been nominated twice before for her role in the Netflix comedy. Tomlin has five total Emmy wins to her name, most from her 1970s comedy specials; Fonda has one, from 1984.

  • The Handmaid's Tale

    Hulu

    Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley
    Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley
    Courtesy of Hulu

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

    Fans of Hulu's dystopian drama would love to see Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd, also nominated for guest actress for HBO's The Leftovers) take a few hits from rebellious Moira (Samira Wiley) in an onscreen battle — but in this awards race, neither is heavily favored.

  • Girls

    HBO

    Riz Ahmed and Matthew Rhys in 'Girls'
    Riz Ahmed and Matthew Rhys in 'Girls'
    Courtesy of HBO

    GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

    Who was more memorable in Girls' final season: Riz Ahmed's shallow surf instructor or Matthew Rhys' sexual harasser/novelist? Both have two shots at Emmy glory — they also got lead noms for their respective series, HBO's The Night Of and FX's The Americans.

  • Veep

    HBO

    Tony Hale and Matt Walsh in 'Veep'
    Tony Hale and Matt Walsh in 'Veep'
    Courtesy of HBO

    SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

    With Timothy Simons, Reid Scott and Sam Richardson shut out, Veep's stellar supporting male cast didn't get the sweep some were hoping for. But nominations for two-time winner Tony Hale and Matt Walsh mean the duo will battle it out for a second year in a row.

  • Big Little Lies

    HBO

    Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in 'Big Little Lies'
    Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in 'Big Little Lies'
    Courtesy of HBO

    LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    The hottest intra-series race of all this year: Reese Witherspoon versus Nicole Kidman. The two Oscar winners play best friends on the Monterey, California-set series and served as executive producers on the project, which Witherspoon optioned in 2014.

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

    Laura Dern is at the top of many pundits' lists for this category. More surprising was Shailene Woodley's nomination — as the series' third lead, she was expected to compete against Witherspoon and Kidman, but was submitted for supporting instead.

  • Transparent

    Amazon

    Kathryn Hahn and Judith Light in 'Transparent.'
    Kathryn Hahn and Judith Light in 'Transparent.'
    Courtesy of Amazon Studios

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

    Kathryn Hahn's rabbi character, Raquel, opened season three with a sermon that spoke to her and other characters' journeys through loss and faith. It got Hahn her first-ever nom — putting her up against Judith Light, who nabbed her third nom (and second for Transparent).

  • This Is Us

    NBC

    Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia in 'This Is Us.'
    Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia in 'This Is Us.'
    Courtesy of NBC

    LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

    Sterling K. Brown (left) has the heat of his 2016 win for playing Christopher Darden in FX's American Crime Story. This is his TV dad Milo Ventimiglia's first nomination.

    GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

    This Is Us has the most acting nominations of any drama series (with seven total), thanks in no small part to its guest stars, including Brian Tyree Henry, Gerald McRaney and Denis O'Hare.

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