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Do Multiple Nominees Help ‘Ted Lasso’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ in Supporting Acting Categories?

The pandemic made a lot of things strange this year. With plenty of filming shutdowns and delays, there were many less shows in the running for the Emmys this year. Rather than broaden their tastes to new shows, voters seemed to default to old favorites. This meant only a few shows took up a majority of the slots in the acting categories. Does having all these nominees help or hurt a show from winning? We did this analysis last year and found that once you get more than three nominees from a show in one category, vote splitting occurs (particularly in recent years). This only intensifies when four actors are nominated in the same category for the same show.

This year, four categories feature one show taking up three nomination slots and three feature one show taking up four nomination slots. How many of them will prevail this year? The categories are as follows:

3 NOMINEES FROM A GIVEN SHOW

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Saturday Night Live – Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – The Handmaid’s Tale – O-T Fagbenle, Max Minghella, Bradley Whitford
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – The Crown – Gillian Anderson, Helena Bonham-Carter, Emerald Fennell
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie – Hamilton – Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff, Anthony Ramos

4 NOMINEES FROM A GIVEN SHOW

  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Ted Lasso – Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Jeremy Swift
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – The Handmaid’s Tale – Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – Saturday Night Live – Alec Baldwin, Dave Chappelle, Daniel Kaluuya, Dan Levy (it was already announced that Dave Chappelle won)

In the Emmy’s 71-year history, three actors from one show have been nominated in the same category in as many years. One of those nominated actors has prevailed about 62 percent of the time. While the odds are on the side of the dominant show, this statistics has altered since Emmy voting rules changed in 2015. When looking specifically at the results from 2015-2020, shows with three actors in one category only won 47 percent of the time.

If we apply the 47 percent statistic to those shows with three nominees in a category, likely one or two will result in a win. Gillian Anderson is all but assured a win for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Crown. She was able to best the two lead actresses in the show for a win at the SAG Awards. This means Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series will be one category where having more nominees works out. The other most likely would be Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, where Daveed Diggs is the clear person to vote for in the cast. The issue with the other options are lack of passion (the three Handmaid’s Tale men) or divided passion (the three SNL women). Specifically in Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Kate McKinnon is the only previous winner of the bunch. However, Aidy Bryant’s nomination for Shrill proves that voters love her. Finally, Cecily Strong has a strong showcase as it is her final season and she gets a grand sendoff. This is a clear example of where vote splitting will occur.

Last year, having three nominees in a category ended up helping a specific show. Of the four occurrences, three of them resulted in a win (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – Watchmen, Uzo Aduba – Mrs. America, Eddie Murphy – Saturday Night Live). Billy Crudup won for The Morning Show (which lacked a Drama Series nomination) likely because Succession (which won Outstanding Drama Series) took up three slots and split the vote. 

This trend becomes even more pronounced when four nominees from a single show hog a category. This has happened ten times in Emmy history, resulting in seven wins. Unfortunately, most of those wins were from many decades ago. In the past ten years, having four slots only resulted in a win 40% of the time. Lastly, since the rule change in 2015, four nominees have never resulted in a win for the specific show. This was most galling in the final Game of Thrones season, where four women competed for Supporting Actress and they all lost to Julia Garner for Ozark

Taking up 80% of the category didn’t stop Dave Chappelle from winning Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. So does this help or hurt The Handmaid’s Tale women and Ted Lasso men? It’s very likely that all of The Handmaid’s Tale women will lose to Gillian Anderson in The Crown. It also stands to reason based on the recent statistics that someone could upset the Ted Lasso Supporting Actors. Both Brendan Hunt and Jeremy Swift steal scenes, but are never enough of the focus to garner votes for the win. We can count them out. This leaves Brett Goldstein as the foul-mouthed soccer star Roy Kent and Nick Mohammed as the soft-spoken towel boy, Nathan. Goldstein feels like most likely winner. It’s the biggest performance of the show, Goldstein is also in the Ted Lasso writer’s room and is the host of a popular podcast. However, Mohammed very strategically submitted a great episode that showcases Nathan finally getting angry and roasting each member of the team. Could he siphon off enough votes to win, or will he just keep Goldstein from winning. Elsewhere in the category, both SNL men – Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang – feel like possibilities, though vote-splitting could come between them. If they cancel themselves out, we might be looking at Paul Reiser from The Kominski Method as our surprise winner. His show is nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series and it is the final season.

List of Categories with Three Nominees from the Same Show

1956

  1. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series – Producer’s ShowcaseMary Martin, Eva Marie Saint, Jessica Tandy

1959

  1. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series – Playhouse 90 – Robert L. Crawford, Jr., Paul Muni, Rod Steiger

1962

  1. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series – The Dick Powell TheatrePeter Falk, Milton Burle, Mickey Rooney

1966

  1. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series – Hallmark Hall of Fame – Ed Begley, Melvyn Douglas, Trevor Howard

1969

  1. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series – Hallmark Hall of Fame – Bill Travers, Ossie Davis, David McCallum

1976

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series – Eleanor and FranklinRosemary Murphy, Lilia Skala, Irene Tedrow
  2. Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Series – Rich Man, Poor Man – Bill Bixby, Norman Fell, Van Johnson
  3. Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama Series – Rich Man, Poor ManFionnula Flanagan, Kim Darby, Kay Lenz

1977

  1. Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama Series – Rich Man, Poor ManOlivia Cole, Sandy Duncan, Cicely Tyson

1979

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – The Rockford Files Stuart Margolin, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos
  2. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – Roots: The Next Generation Marlon Brando, Al Freeman Jr., Paul Winfield

1980

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Lou GrantNancy Marchand, Nina Foch, Linda Kelsey

1981

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Hill Street BluesMichael Conrad, Charles Haid, Bruce Weitz

1983

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Hill Street BluesMichael Conrad, Joe Spano, Bruce Weitz
  2. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – The Thorn Birds Richard Kiley, Bryan Brown, Christopher Plummer

1984

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Hill Street Blues – Michael Conrad, James Sikking, Bruce Weitz
  2. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Hill Street Blues – Barbara Bosson, Betty Thomas, Alfre Woodard

1985

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Cheers – Nicholas Colasanto, John Ratzenberger, George Wendt 

1986

  1. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – The Golden Girls Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanaghan

1987

  1. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – The Golden Girls – Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanaghan
  2. Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series – St. Elsewhere – Steve Allen, Edward Herrmann, Jayne Meadows
  3. Outstanding Guest Performer in a Comedy Series – The Golden Girls – Herb Edelman, Lois Nettleton, Nancy Walker

1988

  1. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – The Golden Girls – Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanaghan
  2. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Cheers – Kelsey Grammar, Woody Harrelson, George Wendt 
  3. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – L.A. Law Larry Drake, Alan Rachins, Jimmy Smits 
  4. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – Baby M John Shea, Dabney Coleman, Bruce Weitz

1989

  1. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – The Golden Girls – Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanaghan
  2. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – L.A. Law Larry Drake, Richard Dysart, Jimmy Smits 
  3. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – L.A. Law – Amanda Plummer, Susan Ruttan, Michele Green 

1990

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – L.A. Law – Larry Drake, Richard Dysart, Jimmy Smits 

1992

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series – Miss Rose WhiteAmanda Plummer, Penny Fuller, Maureen Stapleton

1994

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – And the Band Played On Alan Alda, Richard Gere, Ian McKellen
  2. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – NYPD Blue – Amy Brenneman, Sharon Lawrence, Gail O’Grady

1996

  1. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series – Chicago Hope – Michael Jeter, Richard Pryor, Rip Torn

1997

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – ER – Laura Innes, CCH Pounder, Gloria Reuben

1998

  1. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – Mad About You – Hank Azaria, Mel Brooks, Nathan Lane

1999

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – The PracticeHolland Taylor, Lara Flynn Boyle, Camryn Manheim

2000

  1. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series – The Practice – Paul Dooley, Henry WInkler, James Whitmore

2001

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – The West Wing – Richard Schiff, John Spencer, Bradley Whitford

2002

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – The West WingStockard Channing, Janel Moloney, Mary-Louise Parker
  2. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series – The West Wing – Mark Harmon, Tim Matheson, Ron Silver
  3. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – Frasier – Alan Arkin, Anthony LaPaglia, Brian Cox
  4. Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series – Six Feet UnderPatricia Clarkson, Illeana Douglas, Lili Taylor

2004

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Sex and the City – Kim Cattrall, Kristen Davis, Cynthia Nixon

2005

  1. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Desperate HousewivesFelicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher

2007

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Grey’s AnatomyKatherine Heigl, Chandra Wilson, Sandra Oh

2008

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – John AdamsTom Wilkinson, Stephen Dillane, David Morse
  2. Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series – 30 Rock – Carrie Fisher, Edie Falco, Elaine Stritch

2009

  1. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – 30 Rock – Alan Alda, Jon Hamm, Steve Martin
  2. Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series – Law & Order: Special Victims UnitEllen Burstyn, Brenda Belthyn, Carol Burnett

2010

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Modern FamilyEric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell

2011

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series – Mildred Pierce – Melissa Leo, Mare Winningham, Evan Rachel Wood
  2. Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series – GleeGwyneth Paltrow, Dot-Marie Jones, Kristen Chenoweth

2013

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series –Modern Family – Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell

2014

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series – American Horror Story: CovenKathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy
  2. Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series – Orange is the New BlackUzo Aduba, Laverne Cox, Natasha Lyonne

2015

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series – American Horror Story: Freak Show – Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson

2016

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. SimpsonSterling K. Brown, John Travolta, David Schwimmer
  2. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Game of Thrones – Lena Headey, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke
  3. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series – House of Cards – Mahershala Ali, Reg E. Cathey, Paul Sparks
  4. Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series – Orange is the New BlackTina Fey & Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler

2017

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Saturday Night Live – Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon
  2. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series – This Is Us – Brian Tyree Henry, Gerald McRaney, Denis O’Hare
  3. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – Saturday Night Live – Tom Hanks, Dave Chappelle, Lin-Manuel Miranda

2018

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace – Ricky Martin, Edgar Ramirez, Finn Wittrock
  2. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Saturday Night Live – Aidy Bryant, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon
  3. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – The Handmaid’s Tale – Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd, Yvonne Strahovski
  4. Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series – The Handmaid’s TaleSamira Wiley, Cherry Jones, Kelly Jenrette

2019

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Barry – Anthony Carrigan, Stephen Root, Henry Winkler
  2. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Game of ThronesPeter Dinklage, Alfie Allen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
  3. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – When They See Us – Asante Black, John Legiuzamo, Michael K. Williams

2020

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Succession – Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin, Matthew Macfadyen
  2. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – Watchmen – Jovan Adepo, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
  3. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series – Mrs. AmericaUzo Aduba, Margo Martindale, Tracey Ullman
  4. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – Saturday Night Live – Adam Driver, Brad Pitt, Eddie Murphy

List of Categories with Four Nominees from the Same Show

1977

  1. Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Series – Roots Ed Asner, Moses Gunn, Robert Reed, Ralph Waite

2002

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – The West Wing – Dule Hill, Richard Schiff, John Spencer, Bradley Whitford

2004

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – Angels in AmericaJeffrey Wright, Justin Kirk, Ben Shenkman, Patrick Wilson

2005

  1. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – Will & GraceBobby Cannavale, Alec Baldwin, Victor Garber, Jeff Goldblum

2008

  1. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – 30 RockTim Conway, Will Arnett, Steve Buscemi, Rip Torn

2011

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Modern Family – Ed O’Neill, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell

2012

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Modern FamilyEric Stonestreet, Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell

2014

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – The Normal Heart – Matt Bomer, Joe Mantello, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina

2019

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Game of Thrones – Lena Headey, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Gwendolyn Christie
  2. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – Saturday Night Live – Matt Damon, Robert De Niro, John Mulaney, Adam Sandler

Full Categories Taken Up By One Show

1977

  1. Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series – RootsLouis Gossett Jr., John Amos, LeVar Burton, Ben Vereen

1982

  1. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Hill Street BluesMichael Conrad, Taurean Blacque, Charles Haid, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz

1986

  1. Outstanding Guest Performer in a Comedy Series – The Cosby ShowRoscoe Lee Browne, Earle Hyman, Danny Kaye, Clarice Taylor, Stevie Wonder

Wins Track Record

Full Categories – 3/3 – 100%

4 Nominees – 7/10 – 70% // Recent 10 Years – 2/5 – 40% // Since 2015  – 0/3 – 0%

3 Nominees – 44/71 – 62% // Recent 10 Years – 11/21 – 52% // Since 2015 – 7/15 – 47%

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Written by Chris James

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