Last Year’s Winner: Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: Much like the Best Actor in a Drama Series category, it has been a long time since there has been an actress to win two back-to-back years, and this year will be no different. However, Showtime and BBC America are currently tied for most wins in this category over the last 10 years, and a “Yellowjackets” or “Killing Eve” win could be the tiebreaker.
Notable Ineligible Series: Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Season 6 is not eligible); Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld” (Season 4 is not eligible)
This article will be updated throughout the season, along with all our predictions, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for the latest news from the 2022 Emmys race. The nomination round of voting will take place from June 16 to June 27, with the official Emmy nominations to be announced on Tuesday, July 12. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be given out over two consecutive nights on Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4, with an edited presentation on the ceremonies to be broadcast on Saturday, September 10, at 8:00 p.m. ET on FXX. Finally, the 74rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, September 12, and air live on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT.
This year the race for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama shares many parallels with the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama category, but not much of the same contending shows. Similar to “Killing Eve” and “Euphoria,” both past winners in this category, “Yellowjackets” puts its primary focus on its female characters, and therefore is likely coming in with the most contenders.
They aren’t necessarily the only newcomers with a shot at a nomination. None of the shows that were nominated in this category last year are eligible this year, so while the assumption is a high profile returnee like Jennifer Aniston will take a slot, there’s still room for a breakout like Simone Ashley (“Bridgerton”) to make the cut, or for “This Is Us” star Mandy Moore to receive another nomination for the blockbuster NBC show’s concluding season.
Current Contenders (In Alphabetical Order):
Aunjanue Ellis, “61st Street” (AMC)
Britt Lower, “Severance” (Apple TV+)
Carrie Coon, “The Gilded Age” (HBO)
Elisabeth Moss, “Shining Girls” (Apple TV+)
Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show” (Apple TV+)
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve” (AMC)
Juliette Lewis, “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)
Laura Linney, “Ozark” (Netflix)
Mandy Moore, “This Is Us” (NBC)
Melanie Lynskey, “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)
Reese Witherspoon, “The Morning Show” (Apple TV+)
Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve” (AMC)
Simone Ashley, “Bridgerton” (Netflix)
Tawny Cypress, “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)
Zendaya, “Euphoria” (HBO)