Emmy Spotlight: Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Jun 5, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Edie Falco of HBO’s “The Sopranos” and Ellen Pompeo of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” are the consensus picks in a field where it’s hard to get a consensus. The lead dramatic actress category saw votes spread out among a wide range of contenders, including no fewer than three actresses from “Grey’s” (with Chandra Wilson joining Ms. Pompeo as a vote-getter).

“The lead actress division will have more diversity-but no less talent-than the lead actor category,” said panelist Ray Solley. Lifetime’s Tim Brooks finds the category “a little harder to pin down, as women do not get as many really juicy roles or unconventional ones. They’re usually noble, to please the female viewing audience.”

The actress most likely to translate that nobility into an Emmy appears to be Ms. Falco. “I feel bad for actresses when ‘The Sopranos’ is eligible for Emmys because it’s very hard to think of anyone else when Edie Falco is on the air,” said TV writer Diane Gordon.

TVWeek’s Emmy Panel

  • Matt Roush, senior TV critic for TV Guide

  • Diane Gordon, author of the television e-mail newsletter The Surf Report

  • Tim Brooks, executive VP of research for Lifetime

  • Ray Solley, program development consultant

    Panelists’ predictions

    Edie Falco, ‘The Sopranos’ (HBO)

    “Edie Falco has won several times before, and she has rarely been better than in this season, as she tends to a wounded husband, a wayward son, a failed construction project. She comes to terms with the nature of the life she has been leading and gets an epiphany in Paris. The other actresses should just stay home.”

    -Matt Roush

    “She always makes the most of whatever she’s given, and her performances stay with us long after the episodes end.”

    -Diane Gordon

    Ellen Pompeo, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (ABC)

    “This is a long shot, but I think the show’s popularity will help this appealingly offbeat actress make the cut. She plays a polarizing character, but the fact she isn’t afraid to look a mess and be an emotional wreck should actually work in her favor.”

    -Matt Roush

    “Personally, I think she’s more appropriate in the supporting category. But she’s the title character, so I guess I have to include her in this category.”

    -Diane Gordon

    Geena Davis, ‘Commander in Chief’ (ABC)

    “Academy voters wanted this show-a putdown of Washington-to work, even though it didn’t. So maybe they’ll reward the star.”

    -Tim Brooks

    Candice Bergen, ‘Boston Legal’ (ABC)

    “She adds class, wit and chemistry to a show that is always in need of more estrogen. Thankfully, the writers know how to write for her and she delivers anytime she’s onscreen.”

    -Diane Gordon

    Patricia Arquette, ‘Medium’ (NBC)

    “She won last year-pure and simple, still one of the biggest jaw-droppers ever at the Emmys. But watch the show and you come to appreciate how real she plays this rather surreal role of a messy homemaker who communes with the dead, even when it’s a real bother.”

    -Matt Roush

    TelevisionWeek staff picks

  • Edie Falco, ‘The Sopranos’ (HBO)

  • Kyra Sedgwick, ‘The Closer’ (TNT)

  • Jennifer Garner, ‘Alias’ (ABC)

  • Evangeline Lilly, ‘Lost’ (ABC)

  • Patricia Arquette, ‘Medium’ (NBC)

    2005 contenders

    Winner: Patricia Arquette, ‘Medium’ (NBC)

    Other nominees:

  • Jennifer Garner, ‘Alias’ (ABC)

  • Mariska Hargitay, ‘Law & Order: SVU’ (NBC)

  • Glenn Close, ‘The Shield’ (FX)

  • Frances Conroy, ‘Six Feet Under’ (HBO)