Poll: Who's next to win an Emmy for 'Law & Order: SVU'?
Which famous actress is next in line to win an Emmy for appearing in a guest role on "Law & Order: SVU"? The detective series has had a lock on the race for the last four years, with victories by Leslie Caron, Cynthia Nixon, Ellyn Burstyn and Ann-Margret. Below are the leading candidates this year. Episode lists include titles, air dates and plot descriptions.
Shohreh Aghdashloo ("Dirty," Dec.14, 2010 - Det. Sunny Qadri) -- Det. Qadri helps investigate when her colleague, a Brooklyn assistant district attorney, is raped and murdered, but the probe reveals that Qadri killed the assistant district attorney to keep her from finding out about drug money Qadri stole from evidence.
Maria Bello ("Trophy," Dec. 7; "Rescue," Dec. 10 - Vivian Arliss) -- Vivian is the alcoholic, pill-popping daughter of a woman now suffering from Alzheimer's. Vivian was conceived as the result of her mother's 1970 rape; Det. Benson, also a child of rape, suspects Vivian is her half-sister, but a DNA test disproves the theory. At the end of "Trophy," Vivian is suspected of killing her father (her mother's rapist) and sends her son Calvin to the police station with a letter that gives Benson custody of the boy. In "Rescue," Vivian reappears, leading to the discovery of Calvin's father and the real killer of her mother's rapist. Calvin is taken to live with his father's family while Vivian enters rehab.
Joan Cusack ("Locum," Dec. 1 - Pamela Barton) -- Pamela is the adoptive mother of foster child Mackenzie and calls the police when Mackenzie goes missing. She and her husband have an older daughter, who was kidnapped 10 years earlier in a case that was never solved. When Mackenzie is found, the detectives suspect the parents of abuse, but the investigation eventually leads to their older daughter, who is finally reunited with her parents.
Marcia Gay Harden ("Penetration," Dec. 8 - FBI Agent Dana Lewis) -- While working undercover, Agent Lewis is raped and enlists Benson and Stabler to find her attacker. When she identifies and confronts her rapist, he denies committing the crime, but during the trial Lewis takes the stand to recount the incident, which leads Benson to discover a connection to a case Lewis previously investigated.
Jennifer Love Hewitt ("Behave," Dec. 3 - Vicki Sayers) -- Vicki is a woman who has been raped four times by the same man over the last 15 years and lives as a shut-in afraid to leave her home. Though she identifies her attacker, there is not enough evidence to hold him until the detectives uncover missing evidence from one of Vicki's previous rapes. When the perpetrator is arrested, Vicki confronts him and says, "Behave yourself," just as he told her when he attacked her.
Christine Lahti ("Gray," Dec. 9; "Pursuit," Dec.17 - Executive A.D.A. Sonya Paxton) –- Executive Assistant Dist. Atty. Paxton prosecutes the alleged rapist of a local college student in "Gray," in order to redeem herself after appearing drunk in court in a previous episode. But she ends up arguing before the judge who ordered her into rehab. In "Pursuit," Paxton helps in the investigation to find the person who abducted Debra Messing's sister, but she gets too close to the case and ends up getting killed.
Debra Messing ("Pursuit," Dec. 17 - Alicia Harding) -- Alicia is a TV journalist who hosts a show targeting sexual predators and starts receiving threats involving the unsolved disappearance of her sister. Alicia interviews the perpetrator, and he confesses to killing 44 women.
Rita Wilson ("Delinquent," Dec. 23 - Bree Walsh) -- Bree is the overbearing mother of a 14-year-old boy who is suspected of multiple rapes but may also have been a victim of rape. Bree covers for, and defends, her son at every turn, but eventually confesses that her son was molested by a babysitter when he was 7 and that she refused to report it in the hope that the boy would get over it. The boy tracks down his molester and kills her.
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: Shohreh Aghdashloo, left, and Mariska Hargitay in "Law & Order: SVU." Credit: NBC