Emmys: How Screen Time Affects Guest Actor Races

9:20 PM PST 06/12/2011 by Stacey Wilson
Matthias Clamer/Fox
Cloris Leachman appeared in 20 episodes of Fox's "Raising Hope."

More than 350 actors and actresses -- some whom appeared on one episode, others who were in 92% of the season -- submitted themselves for consideration in the category.

If you read the official list of submissions for Emmy guest stars when the comprehensive ballot was posted June 6 and wondered aloud, "But he's in every episode!" or, "Wait, she's really a supporting actress, isn't she?" you weren't alone.

This year's quest for guest-star Emmy gold is so competitive -- more than 350 actors and actresses have submitted themselves for consideration -- that one has to wonder: How will a talent's overall time onscreen affect their chances for the prize?

John Lithgow raised the bar last year when he won the guest drama actor Emmy for a 12-episode arc on Dexter, but then again, Betty White nabbed gold for comedy actress for her zeitgeisty one-off Saturday Night Live hosting gig.

This year, Emmy's most unpredictable categories in comedy and drama are bursting with big names, whose screen-time totals vary as much as the characters and series they inhabited.

GUEST COMEDY ACTRESS

Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock (NBC) | Episodes: 23 // Appeared In: 6 (26%)
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee (Fox) | Episodes: 22 // Appeared In: 11 (50%)
Cloris Leachman, Raising Hope (Fox) | Episodes: 22 // Appeared In: 20 (91%)
Shelley Long, Modern Family (ABC) | Episodes: 24 // Appeared In: 1 (4%)
Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee (Fox) | Episodes: 22 // Appeared In: 3 (14%)
Gabourey Sidibe, The Big C (Showtime) | Episodes: 13 // Appeared In: 7 (54%)

GUEST DRAMA ACTRESS

Maria Bello, Law & Order: SVU (NBC) | Episodes: 24 // Appeared In: 2 (8%)
Joan Cusack, Shameless (Showtime) | Episodes: 12 // Appeared In: 11 (92%)
Jennifer Esposito, Blue Bloods (CBS) | Episodes: 22 // Appeared In: 17 (77%)
Minka Kelly, Parenthood (NBC) | Episodes: 22 // Appeared In: 7 (32%)
Gretchen Mol, Boardwalk Empire (HBO) | Episodes: 12 // Appeared In: 9 (75%)
Julia Stiles, Dexter (Showtime ) | Episodes: 12 // Appeared In: 10 (83%)

GUEST DRAMA ACTOR

Jeremy Davies, Justified (FX) | Episodes: 13 // Appeared In: 11 (85%)
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife (CBS) | Episodes: 23 // Appeared In: 3 (13%)
Hal Holbrook, Sons of Anarchy (FX) | Episodes: 13  // Appeared In: 4 (31%)
Robert Morse, Mad Men (AMC) | Episodes: 13  // Appeared In: 13 (100%)
Norman Reedus, The Walking Dead (AMC) | Episodes: 6 // Appeared In: 5 (83%)
John Stamos, Law & Order: SVU (NBC) | Episodes: 24  // Appeared In: 1 (4%)        

GUEST COMEDY ACTOR

Matt Damon, 30 Rock (NBC) | Episodes: 23 // Appeared In: 3 (13%)
Richard Dreyfuss, Weeds (Showtime) | Episodes: 13 // Appeared In: 4 (31%)
Will Ferrell, The Office (NBC) | Episodes: 25 // Appeared In: 4 (16%)
Nathan Lane, Modern Family (ABC) | Episodes: 24 // Appeared In: 2 (8%)
John Lithgow, How I Met Your Mother (CBS) | Episodes: 24 // Appeared In: 2 (8%)
Rob Lowe, Californication (Showtime)  | Episodes: 12  // Appeared In: 3 (25%)

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