Sarah Snook (‘Succession’) set to join special group of Emmy nominees

Since the fourth season of HBO’s “Succession” focuses on finally providing an answer as to whether Logan Roy’s media empire can survive in the hands of his three youngest children, it’s only fitting for the actors who play said offspring to now be on the same tier when it comes to awards consideration. Soon after former supporting Emmy nominee Kieran Culkin joined his TV brother (Jeremy Strong) and dad (Brian Cox) in submitting as a lead this year, Sarah Snook, who portrays youngest Roy sibling Shiv, followed suit. This move means she will very likely be counted among nine other women who each procured supporting and lead Emmy bids (in that order) for a single role on a single series.

As a featured “Succession” performer, Snook earned her first two TV academy notices in 2020 and 2022. She lost on both outings to “Ozark” actress Julia Garner, who she wouldn’t have had to face again this year since the Netflix crime drama concluded well before the start of the current Emmys eligibility period. Still, it was wise of her to step out of the way of “The White Lotus” cast member Jennifer Coolidge, whose own category change after winning last year’s movie/limited supporting actress award for the same show is widely expected to pay off.

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Snook would be the eighth supporting-to-lead Emmy nominee to achieve the feat as a dramatic actress. Those who were added to the list during the 20th century were Linda Cristal (“The High Chaparral”), Kristy McNichol (“Family”), Patricia Wettig (“Thirtysomething”), and Julianna Margulies (“ER”). Wettig’s supporting (1988) and lead (1990-1991) victories made her the second woman to win both types of Emmys for playing one character, after Valerie Harper (comedy supporting, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” 1971-1973; comedy lead, “Rhoda,” 1975).

After 2000, Allison Janney emulated Wettig by scoring both supporting (2000-2001) and lead (2002 and 2004) wins for “The West Wing.” She was then followed by cross-category drama contenders Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”) and Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”). Moss’s case is special because her sole featured mention for “Mad Men” came between her first two of five lead bids for the show.

The first female supporting-to-lead instance on the comedy side involved Agnes Moorehead (“Bewitched”), who moved back to the featured category after being bumped up for one year. This subgroup has since grown to include Jennifer Aniston (“Friends”) and Janney (“Mom”).

Also worth mentioning are the three actresses who were each nominated across both comedy categories for playing one character on two series. After Harper set that precedent as Rhoda Morgenstern, she was followed by Cloris Leachman as Phyllis Lindstrom (supporting, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” 1972-1974; lead, “Phyllis,” 1976) and Polly Holliday as Flo Castleberry (supporting, “Alice,” 1978-1980; lead, “Flo,” 1980).

Since Aniston and Michael J. Fox (“Family Ties”) are the only single-series supporting-to-lead nominees who achieved their first wins after switching categories, Snook could make history as the first dramatic performer to do so. She is currently ranked third on Gold Derby’s odds-based Best Drama Actress predictions list, and she can easily make her way to the top of the heap in the coming weeks. With no direct challengers from her own show and several major supporting threats having chosen not to move up, there truly isn’t much standing in her way.

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