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Category: Kyra Sedgwick

The Kyra Sedgwick mystery: Is her Emmy heyday over?

Kyra segwick emmysA funny thing happened when this year's Emmy nominations were announced: The 2010 winner of best drama actress, Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer"), was nowhere to be found. Sedgwick's win came after five consecutive nominations for playing Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the popular TNT crime drama, so it was disquieting to have to list her among this year's snubs. The final season of "The Closer" is airing, so 2012 will be Sedgwick's final year of eligibility for this character. Can she expect to hear her name called next year or is she simply out of sight, out of mind when it comes to Emmy voters?

Looking at recent Emmy patterns, this isn't the first time something like this happened, and the results bode well for Sedgwick. Patricia Arquette ("Medium") won this race in 2005, then was snubbed the following year. Arquette came back swinging in 2007 with another nomination but lost to Sally Field ("Brothers and Sisters"). If Arquette could reap a nomination after a year's absence, then Sedgwick should have nothing to worry about. After all, Sedgwick will likely get additional sympathy votes next year simply because her show is ending.

If Sedgwick does get a comeback nomination next year, is there precedence for her to win? Based on what happened in the lead drama actor race in the mid-2000s, the answer is an astounding yes. James Spader made a huge mark on the Emmy circuit when he won for "The Practice" in 2004, won for the same role on spin-off "Boston Legal" in 2005 and was then subsequently snubbed in 2006. Did Emmy voters simply forget about the man they'd championed two years in a row, or perhaps they assumed he was golden for another nomination so they voted for someone else instead? Whatever the case, Spader was once again nominated in 2007, and he made it three wins for his Alan Shore character.

Sedgwick's 2010 win came for a powerful episode of "The Closer" called "Maternal Instincts." Emmy gurus all knew that she had the strongest submission in the drama actress race, but many predicted Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") to win anyway because she had already bagged the Golden Globe and SAG Award. Unfortunately for Margulies, her submission wasn't strong enough, and Sedgwick finally prevailed after four consecutive losses.

Had Sedgwick been nominated this year, Emmy experts would have a hard time choosing her to win over the likes of front-runners Margulies (who this year has a much stronger episode) or Elisabeth Moss (whose "Mad Men" episode "The Suitcase" is the talk of the town). In other words, nomination or not, Sedgwick wouldn't be taking the stage for a second time. Depending on how the rest of "The Closer's" final season winds down, there's a great chance for Sedgwick to knock it out of the park with another winning submission, perhaps even with the series finale. Time will tell.

Besides Margulies and Moss, the other four leading ladies in contention are Kathy Bates ("Harry's Law"), Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights"), Mireille Enos ("The Killing") and Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit").


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Photo: Kyra Sedgwick accepts her Emmy for lead actress in a drama series after four previous tries. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times.

Julianna Margulies on 'Good Wife,' Emmys and 'insane' awards [video]

Julianna margulies

All Emmy eyes are on Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”) in the race for lead drama actress. Last year, after early victories at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, she was a heavy favorite to win the Emmy next, but Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”) pulled off an upset. This time, Sedgwick isn’t nominated, but Margulies faces a tough challenge from Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”). Over at Gold Derby, most site users (56%) predict Margulies will prevail, but Moss leads among the site’s editors (55%) compared with 45% for Margulies.

Curiously, Margulies’ first encounter with the Emmy Award is what put her on the Hollywood map back in 1995 when she won best supporting actress in a drama series.

“When I won for ‘ER,’ I was a recurring” character, she recalls in our webcam chat. “I was the lowest paid on the totem pole. I was barely in the press the first year of ‘ER.’ I won the Emmy and it catapulted me to a point where I was finally acknowledged as a cast member. They had to make me a series regular. They had to up my payroll and take me a little more seriously.”

After that, Margulies lost six Emmy bouts, but now she’s a favorite of many prognosticators thanks to the strength of the episode she chose to submit to Emmy judges -- “In Sickness” –- in which she responds to the news that her husband once had an affair with her best friend. It includes a powerful scene where she must discuss the messy situation with her children, who are not completely sympathetic to her point of view.

“That episode was a real showcase for a lead actress because it was completely and wholly my story,” Margulies tells Awards Tracker. “In terms of dramatic, roller-coaster emotions, it was the best showcase I had for the entire year. The scene with the children … was one of the saddest scenes I’ve ever done.”

-- Tom O'Neil


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Photo: Julianna Margulies in "The Good Wife." Credit: CBS 

Can Kyra Sedgwick cop another Emmy for 'The Closer'?

War zoneTNT's police detective drama "The Closer" returned Monday night for its seventh and final season -- just a few days before the announcement of Emmy nominations. Its star, Kyra Sedgwick, won the award for best drama actress last year, and she'll certainly be back on the list Thursday morning, but can she pull off a repeat victory over the rival who most pundits predicted would win last year -– Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife")?

Some Emmy watchers believe that Sedgwick won because Margulies made a big mistake: She submitted the wrong episode ("Threesome") to Emmy judges instead of the pilot of "The Good Wife." Sedgwick prevailed with a strong entry, "Maternal Instincts," in which her character is forced to use her niece to uncover the motive for a murder. Now she plans to enter another hefty episode, "War Zone" from Season 6, in which her character decides to let a confessed murderer be killed on the street by his fellow gang members. Margulies has not yet declared her episode, but she has a number of emotion-filled options to submit as ties with her husband and best friend fell apart toward season's end.

"The Closer" was an instant hit when it premiered in 2005, becoming the highest-rated show on basic cable. Sedgwick's performance generated a lot of media attention in the early years, as well as a Golden Globe Award in 2007. However, she lost four consecutive Emmy races for lead drama actress -– to Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: SVU") in 2006, Sally Field ("Brothers & Sisters") in 2007, and Glenn Close ("Damages") in 2008 and 2009.

Last year, she was nominated for the fifth time and prevailed even though buzz for the series had died down and she was facing Margulies, who had just won the Golden Globe and SAG Award for playing a politician's betrayed spouse on "The Good Wife." Sedgwick will likely face most of the same contenders this year. Only one of last year's nominees is out of contention: Close will not be back because "Damages" did not air new episodes during the eligibility period. Likely additions to the category are Katey Sagal ("Sons of Anarchy") and another TV detective, Mireille Enos, for AMC's freshman series "The Killing."


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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Kyra Sedgwick in the "War Zone" episode of "The Closer." Credit: TNT


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