“Variety” Analysis of Best Supporting Actress


Jenna Fischer

Unable to narrow it down to the usual five slots, Emmy voters opened up the comedy supporting actress race to six nominees, with two women hailing from the same show: Holland Taylor and Conchata Ferrell of CBS’ ratings smash “Two and a Half Men.”Neither of these veteran actresses is a stranger to Emmy. They faced off in this category in 2005, both losing out to perennial “Everybody Loves Raymond” fave Doris Roberts. Taylor does already, however, have a statue on her mantel with a win in 1999 for her turn as Judge Roberta Kittleson on ABC’s David E. Kelley series “The Practice.”

Taylor and Ferrell aren’t the only returning nominees this time around. “My Name Is Earl’s” Jaime Pressly and Elizabeth Perkins of “Weeds” both competed here last year.

“The Office’s” Jenna Fischer and “Ugly Betty’s” Vanessa Williams are both first-time nominees. “Betty” stands out in this field as a one-hour series, rather than most comedies that clock in at 30 minutes. Whether that helps or hurts Williams’ chances remains to be seen.

Historically, voters have favored actresses from the more typical three-camera, studio-audience sitcom in this category as evidenced by the aforementioned Roberts’ domination in recent years

That said, Cynthia Nixon of “Sex and the City” managed to snag the award in 2004, and Felicity Huffman took top comedy actress prize in the one-hour “Desperate Housewives” in 2005.

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…well, if this were my career, I’d have to throw myself in front of a train. – Jim