Tomorrow morning, at the blasphemous hour of 5:30 a.m. – Pacific Time! – Kerry Washington will be on duty to announce the nominations for the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which will air on September 23. Here’s hoping that L.A.’s infamous June Gloom, which has also made a mockery of my July mornings, burns off early enough to offer a sliver of sunlight when I roll over to hear who’ll be up for a coveted statue. In the meantime, I’ve concocted my own “wish list” of folks for whom I shall be rooting. Would you kindly keep your fingers crossed for them, too? Thanks much!
Regina King – Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
King is the truth, period. As Detective Lydia Adams, she can get no realer on Southland, which is as gritty as it is addictive. Aside from the work that she puts in on the TNT crime drama – her character is now with child, grappling with her career choices and the possibility of facing motherhood alone – the actress has been putting in work for over two decades and more than deserves to be acknowledged…. I’m just saying!
Vanessa Williams – Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
This triple-threat performer does it all, and when she brought Wilhelmina Slater to fierce and fabulous life on Ugly Betty, she should have won each of the three Emmys for which she was nominated. Later, she brought even more shady drama to Desperate Housewives and proceeded to wreck havoc all up and through Wisteria Lane. There’s no doubt that ABC’s go-to drama queen will bring her A-game to 666 Park Avenue this fall, but wouldn’t it be amazing if she took home a shiny, gold statue sooner rather than later?
Giancarlo Esposito – Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Okay, full disclosure: I am extremely behind on AMC’s Breaking Bad, embarrassingly so. While I bow my head in shame, I also tip my sun hat to the talents of Esposito, who put it down and wore folks out as fast-food-joint-fronting meth kingpin Gustavo Fring. The buzz surrounding his possible Emmy nod is near-deafening, so here’s hoping the stars align for this ever-so-gifted actor.
Maya Rudolph – Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Truth is, Maya Rudolph is funny as hell. Her tenure on SNL (I’m still laughing about her renditions of Michelle O., Donatella and Beyoncé) coupled with her role in last summer’s blockbuster Bridesmaids was the perfect setup for her turn as self-absorbed daytime TV host Ava Alexander on NBC’s Up All Night. She will do whatever it takes to get the laugh and her timing is impeccable. If she is, in fact, nominated (and wins!), can you imagine how hysterical her acceptance speech will be? Go Maya!
Michael K. Williams – Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Back in the day, when the “award Gods” weren’t checking for The Wire, the rest of us got really acquainted with Williams as the oh-so-complex, drug-dealer-jacking, Newport-smoking brother named Omar Little. These days, it seems that everybody tunes in for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, on which he portrays crafty bootlegger Chalky White and continues to deliver powerhouse performances. He’s due some Emmy love, for sure!
Idris Elba – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
How thrilling was it to see Elba accept his Golden Globe for Luther last January? He seemed so shocked when his name was called, which was quite surprising since he’s so brilliant in the title role of the BBC drama series (which I’m terrified to watch, even with the lights on!). He earned an Emmy nod last year, so is it asking too, too much that he nab another nomination… and, hopefully, the statue this go ‘round? I mean, it would only be fair, right? (Hey, Idris!)
Kerry Washington – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
As Washington, D.C. spin doctor Olivia Pope, who just so happens to have had a steamy tryst with the leader of the free world, Kerry Washington set primetime ablaze when Scandal premiered on ABC last spring. As the first Black actress to lead a network series in over three decades, she also made television history. All that said, I have all the faith in the world that she’ll be reading off her own name tomorrow, too!
Regina R. Robertson is West Coast Editor of ESSENCE. Follow her on Twitter @reginarobertson.