Jessica Lange "American Horror Story: Coven"
Sarah Paulson "American Horror Story: Coven"
Cicely Tyson "The Trip to Bountiful"
Rebecca Ferguson "The White Queen"
Helena Bonham Carter "Burton and Taylor"
Zoe Saldana "Rosemary's Baby"
Khandi Alexander "Treme"
Toni Collette "Hostages"
Whoopi Goldberg "A Day Late and a Dollar Short"
Holliday Grainger "Bonnie and Clyde"
Kiernan Shipka "Flowers in the Attic"
Imani Hakim "The Gabby Douglas Story"
Carrie Underwood "The Sound of Music Live"
Minnie Driver "Return to Zero"
Kristen Wiig "The Spoils of Babylon"
Gina Gershon "House of Versace"
Mary-Louise Parker "Christmas in Conway"
Christina Ricci "Lizzie Borden Took an Axe"
Commentary - This year Sarah Paulson rightfully takes her place beside Jessica Lange as one of the leads of the American Horror Story franchise (honestly, she should have been nominated here last year). This year though, nothing is a given, and she is fighting for a slot among some tough competition. First there is Jessica Lange, who is always a threat for the win. The one I think we all need to watch for though is Cicely Tyson. She recently won a Tony for the same role in The Trip to Bountiful (the role that finally gave Geraldine Page her overdue Oscar in 1985). The role is pure awards bait and television critics and viewers ate up her performance. Plus it doesn't hurt that she is Cicely Tyson. She is an Emmy-winning legend, and is an acting force of nature. Other popular previous winners/nominees join the ranks this year. Whoopi Goldberg reminds us that she really is an actor first with her role in the overall mixed production A Day Late and a Dollar Short. Hostages was a disaster of an experiment for CBS, but it could still net the network an Emmy nod (kind of like Ashley Judd's nod a few years ago) for Toni Collette, who happens to be an Emmy-winning acting favorite. Two-time nominee Helena Bonham Carter returns to the movie/mini categories with her role as Elizabeth Taylor. The reviews were decent, and once again, she is a favorite among voters. Actors looking for their first nods include Khandi Alexander for the underrated Treme that was ignored when it competed in the Drama categories, but could find a footing here. Zoe Saldana is a bonafide movie star, but she could get her first major awards recognition on television with the reboot of the classic Rosemary's Baby. Of the bunch though, the one that has the best chance of emerging is Rebecca Ferguson who landed a Golden Globe nomination earlier this year for her role in The White Queen. Also watch out for Christina Ricci, Carrie Underwood (okay that one is probably a stretch), and Emmy favorite Mary-Louise Parker.