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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Star Elisabeth Moss Looks Like A Shoo-In For A Best Actress Emmy Nomination

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The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale star Elisabeth Moss has surged from likely nominee to trophy contender in Gold Derby’s latest Emmy projections for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama. Moss has risen from fifth to a virtual tie for second in the Emmy handicapper’s poll in the two weeks since the Hulu original series premiered.

“Emmy voters have wanted to give Moss an award for a long time,” Gold Derby editor Tom O’Neil told Decider, “but this is the first time she’s had such an impressive showcase for her skills as an actress. Winning Emmys is all about buzz, momentum and critical acclaim and she’s got all that right now.”

Besides Moss, Gold Derby’s current projected nominees for Lead Actress in a Drama are Claire Foy (The Crown), Keri Russell (The Americans), Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder), Robin Wright (House of Cards) and Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld). Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), the 2016 winner in this category, will not be on the ballot this year with Orphan Black pushing its Season 5 premiere just outside the eligibility window.

Gold Derby

Moss has seven previous Emmy nominations — six for Mad Men and one for Top of the Lake — and she is peaking at just the right time with Handmaid’s Tale. Emmy voting is June 12 through June 26 and the season finale for The Handmaid’s Tale — the most critically praised new show of 2017 — is tentatively scheduled for June 14, which should give Moss a jolt of favorable press as Television Academy voters are beginning to fill out their ballots.

The Handmaid’s Tale is also a contender in what is shaping up to be a competitive Outstanding Drama category. Returning champ Game of Thrones is off the ballot due to the delayed start of Season 7, returning nominee Downton Abbey ended after last season, and returning nominees House of CardsMr. Robot and Homeland are all trending downward from their previous seasons. Gold Derby’s current projected nominees are The CrownStranger ThingsThe AmericansThis Is UsWestworld and Better Call Saul with The Handmaid’s Tale falling just outside the top six.

“In the past few weeks, The Handmaid’s Tale emerged as a super-hit,” O’Neil said. “It broke through with critics, TV viewers and — most amazing of all — fans of the original book, and all of that is largely due to Moss. Her performance is penetrating and powerful, and that’s remarkable because her character is so quiet and subtle.”

Game of Thrones

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Gold Derby’s projections are based on a combination of Gold Derby editors, TV writers from other publications and Gold Derby registered users whose projections last season were predictive of the eventual nominees. Gold Derby is part of Penske Media, which includes Deadline, Variety, IndieWire and TVLine. For predictions in other categories, visit GoldDerby.com.

Scott Porch writes about the streaming-media industry for Decider and is also a contributing writer for Playboy. You can follow him on Twitter @ScottPorch.

Stream 'The Handmaid's Tale' on Hulu

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