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AMC’s Mad Men may have scored four consecutive drama series Emmy wins, but it’s sorely lacking in trophies for its buzzy cast.
Despite raking up nearly 20 nominations for its lead, supporting and guest actors, the series has yet to score an Emmy for any of its acting talent, which is why some of them — including January Jones — have been rethinking their strategies.
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Previously submitted as lead actress in a drama, Jones scored her first and only Emmy nomination in 2010, but she lost that year to The Closer’s Kyra Sedgwick.
Edged out in 2011 for a nomination by newcomer Mireille Enos from The Killing, Harry’s Law star Kathy Bates, Friday Night Lights’ Connie Britton, Jones’ Mad Men co-star Elisabeth Moss and ultimate winner Julianna Margulies of The Good Wife, Jones has submitted herself as a contender this year for supporting actress in a drama.
Her decision to jump categories follows the lead of Moss, who switched from lead to supporting in 2010, then back to lead in 2011. The moves helped to net Moss three consecutive nominations for the role of Peggy Olson — though, like fellow nominees Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery and Jones, Moss has never taken home gold.
Jones hasn’t seen too much screen time so far this season on Mad Men. She was totally absent from the show’s two-hour premiere, appeared in the subsequent episodes, yet was again absent from this week’s installment. Sources say Jones plays a larger part in the show later this season.
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Jones’ move to the supporting category comes at a good time: Last year’s winner, Margo Martindale of Justified, was killed off in the season finale. The previous year’s winner, Good Wife’s Archie Panjabi, benefitted from the buzz surrounding the CBS drama’s first season but likely isn’t a major threat this year. Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly Macdonald, also nominated last year, was superb in the HBO drama’s second season, though the series, like Mad Men, hasn’t scored an Emmy win for acting.
Ironically, Jones’ biggest Emmy threat this year could be her co-star, Hendricks, whose fifth season as sexy secretary-turned-doting mom Joan Harris has proved to be her most emotional and dynamic yet.
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