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Emmy nominations often repeat, but not winners

March 18, 2011 | 10:00 am

Nurse JackieOnce a performer is nominated at the Emmys, they usually can count on bids for several years. However, winners rarely return to the podium the following year. Of last year's victors in the eight regular series races, only best drama actor Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") had previously taken home the prize for the same role.

Among the other seven winners, only best comedy actress Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") was a prior Emmy champ with three victories as best drama actress for "The Sopranos" (1999, 2001 and 2003).

The remaining half a dozen were all new to the Emmy spotlight. Rounding out the drama categories were lead actress Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer"), supporting actor Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad") and supporting actress Archie Panjabi ("The Good Wife"). Sedgwick finally prevailed on her fifth nomination for the TNT procedural, while Paul secured victory on his second bid for "Bad." And Panjabi shocked pundits by winning with her first career nomination for the freshman hit.

Besides Falco, the other winners in the comedy field were lead actor Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"), supporting actor Eric Stonestreet ("Modern Family") and supporting actress Jane Lynch ("Glee"). Parsons won with his second consecutive nom while both Stonestreet and Lynch prevailed for the first year of their shows.

Six of last year's winners are eligible again this year. The extended hiatus for "Breaking Bad" has robbed Cranston of the chance to make it four in a row and has taken Paul out of the running. And while some of the others could repeat, last year's ceremony reminded us that Emmy loves awarding new blood.

-- Tom O'Neil


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Photo: Edie Falco defied the Emmy odds while competing for "The Soproanos," winning three times. She won last year for "Nurse Jackie." Can she repeat? Her toughest competition will be her Showtime costars Laura Linney ("The Big C") and Toni Collette ("United States of Tara"). Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images