Emmys: Which of these guest star nominees will get the win?
F. Murray Abraham, Homeland (Showtime)
This first Emmy nom for the Oscar winner comes for his portrayal of a Black Ops CIA agent in a year when his show roared back from the dead. His episode submission is the heart-pounding season finale.
Alan Alda, The Blacklist (NBC)
The TV legend has six wins in five categories, but never in this one. Playing a veteran intelligence officer with a pipe bomb strapped around his neck, he has an incredible final scene that ends with a bang.
Beau Bridges, Masters of Sex (Showtime)
-- Projected Winner
This is the seventh guest acting nom (and second in a row for this show) for this three-time winner, whose married, closeted gay character tries to eliminate his homosexuality and then tries to eliminate himself.
Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards (Netflix)
This is the second straight nom for the scene-stealer, who plays the Freddy's BBQ proprietor turned White House employee, but he had more opportunities to shine -- and the show was better -; last season, when he lost in this category.
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife (CBS)
The five-time winner has four guest acting noms in the past five years for his portrayal of cunning lawyer Louis Canning, Alicia's ailing adversary. In brief screen time, he makes a big impression.
Pablo Schreiber, Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
One of the amazing things about his "Pornstache" prison guard is that he is able to engender sympathy even while doing unsympathetic things. But he's mostly absent in season three (streaming since June), meaning he's less top of mind for voters.
Khandi Alexander, Scandal (ABC)
Her Mama Pope hopes to follow Papa Pope to the podium (last year's drama guest actor winner was the show's Joe Morton) for her performance as Olivia's terrorist mother, who pulls strings even from a maximum-security prison. Unfortunately, she has little screen time.
Rachel Brosnahan, House of Cards (Netflix)
At 25, this up-and-comer is less than half the age of any of her fellow nominees, all of whom she could top thanks to her submission of the show's season finale, in which she and her stalker harrowingly wind up in a van together.
Allison Janney, Masters of Sex (Showtime)
Also a supporting nominee this year for Mom, she won this same award for this same part (the wife of a closeted gay man) last year -- but the show mostly has been ignored outside of the guest acting categories.
Margo Martindale, The Americans (FX)
The 2011 winner, nominated for the third straight year for her work as an intelligence operative on this otherwise snubbed show, gives a brief but memorable turn opposite an ex-lover played by Frank Langella.
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones (HBO)
The revered veteran, who won an Emmy in 1997, landed her third straight nom for her Lady Olenna on this big hit and could win for the first time thanks to a killer monologue in the episode she submitted.
Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)
-- Projected Winner
The 90-year-old three-time Emmy winner, upset last year for The Trip to Bountiful, is back as Viola Davis' character's mom/fellow abuse victim who, we learn, knows how to get away with you know what.
Mel Brooks, The Comedians (FX)
The show business icon teamed up with Josh Gad and Billy Crystal to play himself refusing to guest star on a show as himself, which was funny -- but the show was Emmy ignored and has been canceled.
Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live (NBC)
His comedy Louie has never nabbed him an acting Emmy, a streak that could be snapped by his hosting of Saturday Night Live's season finale (SNL hosts have won in four of the past six years) -; though his monologue's pedophile jokes didn't sit well with everyone.
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Twice a supporting actor nominee (but never a winner) when he was a regular on the show, he's now in the hunt for his hosting of an episode in which he revisited many of his classic roles -; plus, he now can be seen on the big screen in Trainwreck.
Jon Hamm, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
His performance as a whacked-out cult leader who tormented Kimmy and friends earned him his fourth guest acting nom (the others were for 30 Rock) and comes in the same year as his eighth lead actor nom for Mad Men -- could he go from zero to double winner in the same year?
Bradley Whitford, Transparent (Amazon)
The West Wing winner landed his first nom in 12 years for his portrayal of a troubled cross-dresser who can't bring himself to live openly transgender, which already won him a Critics' Choice Award over unisex competition.
Pamela Adlon, Louie (FX)
The longtime friend and writing partner of Louis C.K. (and former King of the Hill voice actor) plays Pamela, Louie's prickly on-again/off-again hookup buddy. This is the first acting recognition of her career.
Elizabeth Banks, Modern Family (ABC)
For playing Sal, Mitch and Cam's wild friend turned single mother, in an episode that gets surprisingly emotional, the versatile actress, who recently directed Pitch Perfect 2 and starred in Love & Mercy, earned her third nom in this category (the previous two were for 30 Rock).
Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
The veteran character actress' portrayal of the psychologist/mother of Johnny Galecki's Leonard also earned her noms in 2009 and 2010. This year, as in 2010, she's simultaneously nominated for supporting actress for The Good Wife.
Joan Cusack, Shameless (Showtime)
This is the Oscar-nominated actress' fifth consecutive guest acting Emmy nom -- a stat nearly as remarkable as the fact that she never has won -- for her portrayal of the nutty, lovable woman married to William H. Macy's character.
Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
The TV Academy favorite, who also co-created and writes for this show, is up for a very small part -- in what many regard as some of the weakest episodes of the show's otherwise strong first season -- in which she plays a Marcia Clark-like attorney.
Gaby Hoffmann, Girls (HBO)
-- Projected Winner
The indie darling, who plays Adam's unstable sister on this show -- and also is nominated as a supporting actress for Transparent -- spends the episode she submitted nude, moaning and in labor.
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