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With just a few hours left before the first round of ballots are due for the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards, more than a few voting members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are likely considering some new blood for this year’s nominations.
Plenty of holes left by previously nominated actors and series that are no longer eligible mean this year’s Emmys could see stars from new series and previously unrecognized veterans sneak in. So ahead of Kate Mara and Aaron Paul‘s July 18 announcement, The Hollywood Reporter‘s The Live Feed team has picked 10 actors and actresses who’ve put themselves in good positions for first-time nominations.
Guillermo Diaz, Scandal
Diaz is the Gladiator with perhaps the biggest heart on ABC’s breakout hit Scandal. In the span of a few months, Diaz’s Huck found out his new girlfriend set him up as the president’s would-be assassin, underwent heart-wrenching waterboarding and was locked inside a box in a storage unit. Suffering from PTSD, the killer with a conscience remembered his loving wife and new son were wiped away at the hands of a black-ops group. Never has being a killer been so conflicted — except maybe when his protégé develops a love for what pains him most.
Sutton Foster, Bunheads
Foster is a force in the theater world, and on ABC Family’s under-the-radar ballet dramedy Bunheads, she’s no different. As former Las Vegas showgirl-turned-ballet teacher Michelle, the two-time Tony winner perfectly inhabits the neuroses of Amy Sherman-Palladino‘s offbeat series — still awaiting renewal news.
Tony Hale, Veep
Though a case could be made for Hale to score a nom for either Veep or Arrested Development, his second season playing Gary Walsh on the HBO comedy was a breakout. Nobody else in the ensemble plays off of Julia Louis-Dreyfus quite as well, and the hilarious glimpses into his personal life only beefed up the case for a nomination.
Jake Johnson, New Girl
The Fox comedy has done a good job of highlighting all members of its ensemble — and after the freshman season’s Emmy love for Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield, the sophomore run belongs to Johnson. Tackling physical comedy, family struggles, romance and heartbreaking self-doubt, all while eliciting some of the series’ biggest laughs, Johnson is a heavyweight that deserves recognition.
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
How many different characters can one woman play? Turns out quite a few, at least where this relative newcomer is concerned. On BBC America’s Orphan Black, Maslany plays nearly a dozen fully realized characters — including versions of clones playing other clones playing other clones. Confused? Maslany — the surprise Critics’ Choice Award winner — isn’t, noting she uses an “internal rhythm or a sense of drive” to differentiate each clone. Copy that!
Jonny Lee Miller, Elementary
Playing an iconic character like Sherlock Holmes has its pressures, but Miller portrays the pseudo-investigator with a sharp eye. To prepare for the CBS drama, which moves the setting of the Holmes mysteries from period England to modern-day New York City, Miller — who has yet to receive Emmy recognition — went back to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s original texts in developing his multilayered Sherlock. One of the most dramatic arcs of the freshman season: Sherlock’s discovery of the Moriarty/Irene Adler twist.
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Connie Britton may be the star of ABC’s soapy musical drama, but Panettiere deserves recognition for her heartbreaking and compelling portrayal of country star Juliette Barnes. Compared to her Nashville counterparts, Juliette was one of the few characters that consistently evolved as the season went on — and it certainly helps that Panettiere can rock a tune.
Monica Potter, Parenthood
Potter returns to the list for the second year after a season that started with the actress’ real-life cancer scare helping to inspire Kristina Braverman’s emotional journey on the NBC drama. Potter, it turns out, was on to something, as showrunner Jason Katims had just broken that same story for the character, who also had to balance a new baby, explaining cancer to her son with Asperger’s, and a revealing her diagnosis to a daughter settling into college life across the country. Never has she been more deserving of recognition for her supporting turn than this season — which ranked an 11 on the Kleenex scale.
Kiernan Shipka, Mad Men
At this point in Mad Men’s storied history with the Emmys, not a single actor has taken home a trophy despite many, many nominations — though none of those nominations have ever gone to the 13-year-old dynamo behind Sally Draper. As her character has aged, Shipka’s performance has only gotten more nuanced and heartbreaking. She’s the AMC drama’s not-so-secret weapon, and she’s long overdue for some Emmy love.
Corey Stoll, House of Cards
The Netflix drama heads into Emmy season as one of the biggest question marks. Will voters recognize the unconventional vehicle for the critically acclaimed series? If they do, they’ll likely throw some love toward Stoll. A working actor without much of the cast’s name recognition, Stoll’s dark, devastating turn as Rep. Peter Russo was the biggest surprise of House of Cards — and a worthy match for Kevin Spacey.
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