Julia Roberts "The Normal Heart"
Kathy Bates "American Horror Story: Coven"
Angela Bassett "American Horror Story: Coven"
Frances Conroy "American Horror Story: Coven"
Lily Rabe "American Horror Story: Coven"
Gabourey Sidibe "American Horror Story: Coven"
Emma Roberts "American Horror Story: Coven"
Taissa Farmiga "American Horror Story: Coven"
Jamie Brewer "American Horror Story: Coven"
Ellen Burstyn "Flowers in the Attic"
Jacqueline Bisset "Dancing on the Edge"
Allison Tolman "Fargo"
Kate Walsh "Fargo"
Janet McTeer "The White Queen"
Audra McDonald "The Sound of Music"
Laura Benati "The Sound of Music"
Kimberly Elise "A Day Late and a Dollar Short"
Tichina Arnold "A Day Late and a Dollar Short"
Anika Noni Rose "A Day Late and a Dollar Short"
Vanessa Williams "The Trip to Bountiful"
Keke Palmer "The Trip to Bountiful"
Minka Kelly "Full Circle"
Kate Walsh "Full Circle"
S. Epatha Merkerson "Gabby Douglas Story"
Regina King "Gabby Douglas Story"
Kathy Baker "Return to Zero"
Kate Hudson "Clear History"
Holly Hunter "Bonnie and Clyde"
Sarah Hyland "Bonnie and Clyde"
Ruth Wilson "Luther"
Melissa Leo "Treme"
Carole Bouquet "Rosemary's Baby"
Commentary - American Horror Story may have shot itself in the foot. Even with Sarah Paulson moving up to lead (which might really work out for her), there are eight women fighting for what will most likely be two, maybe three at most spots, and even two will be hard with so much competition. I think of the bunch Kathy Bates is a lock. She has a incredibly meaty role, and even though she has only won one Emmy in her long television career, she is always a safe bet for a nomination. Right behind Bates is probably Angela Bassett. She only has one Emmy nomination, but she gets to chew scenery and scheme against Kathy Bates. Also look out for AHS alums Conroy and Rabe, and young talents Sidibe and Roberts, but among them it is hard to see who will emerge as the solid third contender. Once you get beyond the impressive array of actress in the third chapter of the AHS saga, you begin to see the depth of this category. Right at the top of the list is Julia Roberts, who is teaming up with Ryan Murphy (whose productions could sweep this category if they wanted to) in the adaptation of the classic play The Normal Heart. Roberts (who could go up against her niece Emma). Up until recently she had been out of the awards game for awhile, but her Oscar nod this year for August: Osage County proved she is still beloved within the industry. Last year Ellen Burstyn won another Emmy for her role in Political Animals. While she certainly was a scene-stealer, I am personally still reeling from Sarah Paulson's loss. She returns this year for Flowers in the Attic. I don't think she'll win back to back here, but a nomination is certainly in the mix. Jacqueline Bisset made quite a scene at this year's Globes with her, let's just say, interesting speech, but her performance is pretty good, and she is a Hollywood legend at this point. Emmy voters could invite her to the party just to see what she'll say next. Also in line for a nod is Oscar nominee Janet McTeer. The White Queen is a big period production piece and McTeer, who is clearly respected in acting circles, has a lot to chew on. Now that there are six nominees in these acting categories, this opens it up more for surprises. Allison Tolman and Kate Walsh have a lot of great scenes in the reboot of Fargo. While The Sound of Music Live! was pretty, well awful, Audra McDonald singing usually equals major awards (she may get another Tony this year to add to her collection). The Trip to Bountiful was fantastic (and will probably earn Cicely Tyson another Emmy), but if they really like it, watch out for supporting players Vanessa Williams and Keke Palmer. Less well-received was A Day Late and a Dollar Short, but names like Kimberly Elise, Tichina Arnold, and Anika Noni Rose are worth a second glance. Also watch out for Holly Hunter in Bonnie and Clyde, Regina King and S. Epatha Merkerson in the Gabby Douglas Story, last year's Emmy-winner Melissa Leo for the reduced-episode final season of HBO's Treme, and Kate Hudson in HBO's Clear History.