Best Actress in a Drama, 2015
The Lineup: Claire Danes (Homeland), Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Tatiana Malsany (Orphan Black), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Robin Wright (House of Cards)
Is this the strongest year for actresses in Emmy history? We say yes. The range of genres and tones represented by 2015's nominees is crazy wide, with prestige dramas, smash-hit soaps, political potboilers, sci-fi imports, and postcards from Shondaland standing shoulder to shoulder. The performances are equally varied, equally strong, and virtually indispensable for their shows: Can you imagine an Empire without Henson, a Homeland without Danes, or an Orphan Black without Malsany? Even if you could, why would you? For women actors on television, this really is a New Golden Age.